Hi from Wailin' Susie

Well, maybe some day I will live up to my self-appointed harmonica nickname. hehe! Thought I would say hi and introduce myself.

My husband has been learning guitar, so I bought a cheap harmonica more as a joke to say I can accompany him. But then I got interested in actually learning. Turns out I bought the wrong kind of harmonica–tremolo, I think. So I got myself a Hohner Old Standby, some books, some videos, and went to work for my New Year’s resolution.

I was finding that after 30-45 minutes of practice every day, I was getting real tense and exhausted. I wanted to keep practicing, but I knew that it would not be productive to keep going. About a week ago I found JP’s site and saw one of his videos where it talked about how other teachers teach the pucker method all wrong (with tension instead of relaxation) and I knew that’s what was the root of my problem!

I ended up buying the “Happy Harpin’” series 5 days ago and went back to basics with it. It has made learning so much more fun and I no longer have that tense feeling after practicing. I breezed through the first 30 or so lessons in a weekend, but now I am slowing down some trying to get those single notes perfected.

Last night I watched JP’s lesson where he talks about how so many people think their harmonica is broken when they try the 2 and 3 draw and I was LOL’ing because I was sure mine was, too!

Convinced my Old Standby was broken, I had already ordered a Golden Melody, which I just received yesterday. I really like those rounded ends for my small, fat hands. :slight_smile: I guess I am addicted now, because I have a Special 20 and a set of 4 Johnson Blues Kings on the way, too. The Blues Kings were an eBay deal I couldn’t pass up–under $15 for 4 harps (keys A C D G). I thought it would be a cheap way to play around with different keys. I guess I am going to need a case soon!

So there is my story. In “my day job” I am the head writer for graphicssoft.about.com, a website about graphics software with reviews and tutorials. I’m looking forward to learning from you all!

PS: If anyone here is a guitar player and can recommend some guitar lessons along the same style as JP’s harmonica lessons, I will pass them on to my hubby!



This site is pretty good for guitar:


Depends on the style that your husband wants. I agree that justinguitar.com is great (and free).

For blues I really cant reccommend enough the range of courses that Griff Hamlin does. I have bought every course that he produces (it was actualy a reccomendation from a forum member there that led me to JP site).


For somebody starting out I would recommend Beginning Blues Guitar. A really relaxed but effective style.

You can get a few free lessons as tasters (in particular the 4 note solo). The forum is a really friendly community as well, extremly supportive. Late last year I attended the first UK Blues jam session for forum members and it was great. The jam sessions take place frequently in the US in different places.

Good luck with your harpin’ I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks, guys! Apparently he already knew about the justinguitar site, and I will tell him about that other one. He’s never been into the blues that much and I don’t think he knows yet what style he wants. He seems to prefer finger picking over playing chords but so far he has been dabbling with a little of everything.

Hi, Sue! If your husband is into fingerpicking stuff, he might try some DVDs from Homespun:
You might be able to find some of them at a local library. I can’t say how good all of them are, but I got the “Norman Blake’s Guitar Techniques” ones for Christmas, and they are fantastic. ('though those ones are probably for “intermediate” players, and not exactly probably what you are looking for.) What is really nice is that I think all of them come with notes and tab transcriptions that you can print out, which is kind of nice. If their other stuff is as good, they might be worth looking into for fingerpicking techniques.

Otherwise, you could always get lessons from Beaker… :smiley:

The Muppets: Beaker’s Ballad

Haha, that was cute. I passed it on to hubby with a warning about no candles. :slight_smile:

LOL awesome video FP!

And I is pleased to meet you!


Love your sig, BT! Been an Alarm fan since forever.

Awesome! I don’t think there are many of us left! lol They were really before my time, but I love 'em! lol


I got my Special 20 today… very nice! I can see why it is so highly recommended. I had to laugh at the photo of John Popper on the blister pack. It’s mirrored and you can tell because the text of his tattoo is in reverse. LOL

Edit: just learned that John Popper’s tattoo really is mirrored. Doh!

Howdy Wailing. I also like Waylon.
Glad to have you aboard. Post some tracks of the two of you some time.
And thanks Flatpicker. We can always count on you. That was cool. GOTTA love Beaker.


I dunno, BB, “Waylon” Susan just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. :wink:

Glad you all like the vid; it’s a very rare occasion now where I can play that song and not think of Beaker going up in flames.

I was thinking of the late great Waylon Jennings. Shooter’s Daddy.
I guess I got a little out of the home country. LOL
I’m not ashamed to be a redneck redbone Indian.


I know. I was just kidding. ;D

Didn’t Shooter play his dad in “Walk the Line”?

He sure did. I liked that one.


Good one about lessons from Beaker.

Welcome to the Club, the key to success is to practice, so that you can perform to your potential.