POLL: What style of harmonica music do you prefer to play

Someone just mentioned in another post that they prefered something other than the blues. I myself became totally captured with everything in regards to the blues. I just hit me all of a sudden: “Self!! Let’s make a commitment to learn to play the blues harp.” And so begins my journey. At 47 – because JP says it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start.

I respect all harp players of all styles, and I am glad to see the brotherhood here no matter what you play and what level you are. I can thank JP for that mentality. :slight_smile:

Good question but the choices are limited. Also ticking the box for just one style preference is for me far too limiting. Choices could also include:-

Celtic Fiddle tunes

and perhaps numbering your preferences ie 1 to 5? But it would still be limiting.

Me, I find my mood tells me what to play ie it changes my preferences. Also there is a lot of overlap in styles. Take eg the tune Summertime ie is it Jazz, Musical Show, Pop, Classic or indeed if played in a bluesy way is it blues?

Isn’t the harmonica a marvellous musical instrument that is capable of covering a wide range of musical styles?

Many newcomers are attracted to the harmonica because of the blues & stay there. OK thats a matter of personal choice. I happen to like most any style played well & admit that I would love to have a better ‘feel’ for the blues as it really doesn’t grab me.

Ok, I edited the poll. Although some seem redunant. I was just trying to get a quick and dirty count of blues vs. other 8)

Fun poll!

I also love “funk” harmonica.


Ok, I edited the poll.

Explains now where the “Other” vote choice went. :-\

I don’t know where Boogie Woogie, Melodies, and Make Rythym Stuff Up As You Go Along Improv fall into the categories. That’s why I selected “Other.”


Keep on harpin’!

Tica–good job; including the editing. I’ll enjoy watching the results–while playing the Missouri Waltz.

JP - I actually HAD funk as an option when I first set the poll up, then deleted. But since you mentioned it I added it back.
I guess I should never jump to conclusions (and assume that funk doesn’t exist for harmonica) :-\

Sorry to whoever voted for the category “No particular style, just a noodler” - when I rearranged the questions the system deleted the 1 vote for that.

I should have put more thought and structure into the poll before I posted it… but I was waiting in an airport and on my Droid reading and posting to the forum, and wasn’t as efficient as I could have been on my home PC. Sorry.

this question kind of tricky ,i prefer the blues,but not all my music is blues, its bluesy but not the blues as traditional blues go,So i would say Other,cause i like it all,But when you say just a noodler,is that a negative,because i do noodle around,But im trying to be a serious noodler,so i guess my harp style would be that I noodle, the other kind of bluesy:-) yea thats me.But you left out Hip-hop harp yea harmonica can go great with hip-hop

Well I like playing all kindsa stuff, but over the last few months or so I’ve been learnin’ a few Irish tunes. All I gotta do now is get some speed up !! ;D

Hey Hobo, I definitely appreciate what you are saying.

As mentioned, I (without overdoing whole spirit of purpose) was trying just to get an idea of blues players vs. other styles of preference. So I guess I ask everyone to take this whole poll in for which it was intended and with a grain of salt. I mean no insult to anyone or any style of playing, or order of preference of the particular styles that are out there. I’m sure there are players that dabble in all styles at one time or another, or even play several styles as part of their normal/daily repertoire.
That is why I used the word “prefer” in reference to style of music.

I had been frequenting another harmonica forum that was VERY blues-centric. i.e. “blues or die” (and had very little if any, tolerance for newbies) so I just wanted to get an off-the-cuff sense of the balance here.

In retrospect I should have designed the poll as such:
What style of music do you prefer:
A) Blues
B) Other

no im was just funing ya i think ive been on that other forum your talking about if not its sounds similar:-)

Haha, No prob!
I am pretty sure you know which forum. I’ve seen you there… :smiley:

I mostly play the blues. The guy I play with often wants to play rock instead, so some of that too. My goal is to make the move from blues to jazz, but many years may pass before that happens. So for now I’m just jamming with the blues, trying to learn the basics of music from here :slight_smile:

Funny thing is that when I first started, I didn’t like the blues at all. I got myself two blues CD’s, but they were just awful to listen to (Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy). So I just noodled around, played gospel and folk songs in first position. Eventually I started getting into Irish music, but it knocked me right on my ass! I tried to learn it by ear, but boy is that music fast! I did however get some experience when it came to playing by ear, which again led me to improvise much more than before. One day I started playing in second position without the bends, and quickly I started to learn bending too. I was playing horrible blues licks, bending the third hole all the way, hitting notes out of the scale, generally having very much fun. Eventually I got more control of my bends and I bought a CD by Sonny Terry (loved it!), and I started watching Adam Gussows videos again. Before I knew what was what I were looking for a guitar player to practise with, and now we jam once a week or more :slight_smile:

Now I have three CD’s by Muddy Waters, and they are all awesome! I listen to blues all day, I sing blues in the shower and I always have blues on my mind.

What the fuck happened?

Funny thing is that when I first started, I didn't like the blues at all. I got myself two blues CD's, but they were just awful to listen to (Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy). So I just noodled around, played gospel and folk songs in first position. Eventually I started getting into Irish music, but it knocked me right on my ass!

God your story sounds similar to mine. Was just wondering how long you’ve been playing for.
I’ve been learning some irish and fiddle music lately. I am starting to get the bug for Blues though. I’m not gonna quit on Irish and fiddle tunes quite yet.

Back to the poll OTHER IS WINNING!! I’m a little surprised .

In retrospect I should have designed the poll as such: What style of music do you prefer: A) Blues B) Other

I’m closing in on two years now. If you’re into Irish music, you should check out Brendan Powers book & CD package if you haven’t all ready. He shares some basic excercises, and there’s a lot of tunes played at two different speeds.

I’m committed to try and finish Harmonicaacademy.com which is all or mostly Irish, fiddle, bluegrass stuff then once I’m done there well lets see if I finsih 3/4 of the way through junior year. And I’ve been playing just over 2 years now.

Harp on!!

I play blues, rock, and folk, but Hal Walker recently got me into the Eastern European/Gypsy style harmonica and I saw JP had a DVD on that, so I bought it! Hopefully it comes this week, can’t wait to start on it! The Minor Harmonic harmonica sounds so beautiful.

fireonhigh, if possible can you copy the link here where you purchased I’m interested also.

Harp on!!

I got my Lee Oskar Am, where else? Here:


But I believe JP has some sort of package deal going with his new Gypsy Harmonica release…So maybe it’s good to wait and see. :wink:

But I hope it gets here soon! :stuck_out_tongue: