Decided to pick up a harmonica I purchased( 15 years ago and never used it) 6 weeks ago and give it a try.I purchased a copy of Harmonica for Dummies ,I have found as a total novice the content of the book a bit heavy for me,apart from a few simple tabbed songs which I am now able to play.
Would any of you knowledgeable guys recomend any better books for a novice like me.
The harmonica I have at the moment is a cheapo GLH by Hohner (key of C)
I have on order a Hohner Rocket (key of C).
Any help you could give me would really be appreciated.
Hi Steve, I’m in the same position as you. Just starting out and purchased the Harmonica for dummies book. It does seem hard going. I’m thinking of stumping up for the JP course but am waiting to see what other people say about it before taking the plunge and spending that kind of money. Andy.
I hope you’re still around. Here’s some advice:
If you find yourself too dumb for the dummies book…Hey I’m just joking.
Many people find beginning harmonica to be difficult.
I’ve never looked at the Dummies book, so I’m a little dumb there.
Not every method is good for everyone.
JP has quite a few free lessons and hints here on the site that will help to get you started
with the basics. JP’s lessons are great, and they teach beneficial habit forming (and lead
away from the bad ones already formed). I know it’s an investment, but I feel it’s the best
all 'round method. There are lessons on youtube by many noted pros, but most get pretty
deep very quickly. I like slow steady progress. That’s how I taught award winning sections
back in my day…attention to the details others miss.
Faithfully practice the free lessons JP offers, and then make up your mind. He really does
make it simple.
I’m not affiliated with JP other than as a harmonica player/learner. You decide. I’m just
telling you I have used the method, and I recommend it.
Now for harps:
I play chromatic and diatonic…I didn’t say how well!
I guess you are more interested in the diatonic, the “suck harp.”
I love Hohner Golden Melody harps. I know there are great higher level harps on the market,
but they come with a PRICE. The Hohner Special 20 is a good harp too. I mention these because
of their relative reliability and the fact that they have plastic combs. Now my GM’s are all old model
GM’s, so the new ones could be a little different. Start with one of these in C. They are fairly easy ones
to learn to bend notes. Lee Oskars are good for the price too.
Remember this! If it’s cheap, it’s a cheap harp. Very low cost means nothing in the make up. You may find
the jewel in the dumpster, but probably not. Expect to pay $40 US or more unless someone has a real deal.
Stay away from used harps when you’re learning.
When you learn to modify harmonicas, then you can have some fun with used ones. I bought an almost $2000
(new value of course) treasure trove for $50. Of course I had to repair most and some are only parts harps.
Buy one GOOD (or better) harp in C and then, once you have finished the method, you will have some idea which way to go.