Trying to improve my playing

Dear members,

I’d like to have some advices from you. I’ll try to make the story short :
Many years ago, I attended live harmonica classes with a great local player (His name is Thierry Crommen from Belgium). I played for several months but became busy with my kids education.
Recently, I spent some time in a blues bar in town where people were jamming together. I have been hooked and busted the dust out of my harps.
I attended JP Allen classes and completed them.
Now, I would like to improve my skills but don’t know what could be the best approach.
I can bend all the holes, the 10 is a little bit trickier. I can improvise some stuff on 2nd position and 3rd blues scale. I’m not interested to learn overblow and overdraw nor tongue blocking (only for octave splitting).
I’ll be very interested if you can give me some paths to follow. I admit that following a rythm is not what I’m best at it.
Best regards,
(Please be indulgent, English is not my mother language


Hi Raymond @raymond.flagothier

It sounds like you have most of the skills needed! I suggest improvising to backing tracks (youtube has thousands in every style, key & tempo).

To improve your rhythm skills you should also perhaps regularly record yourself to later get a more neutral feel for how well your playing with the backing tracks sounds.

You can also use a metronome while working, for example, with scales (again, use recordings of your playing), and trying out all sorts of different rhythms.

Finally, Ronnie Shellist or Jason Ricci have many excellent tutorials that can help you improve.

It really sounds as if you should start looking for “open mike” sessions where you can play live with others.:point_left:

– Slim :sunglasses:


Absolutely worth trying to find an open mic or jam session to join in with - nothing spurs on your playing like playing with other people.


Seems you got it. Play along with songs, is a way, make up parts in non harmonica songs, like do horn parts and even guitar riffs. Also use an amp, this opens another world of sound for harmonicas. Just like they do guitars and the like.


Following the rhythm is a big problem for me. I have several songs i like on a I Pod and place one eye piece in and listen to the song I want to learn. So far its been my best way. I am always in front of the song. You are far more advanced than me and i doubt it will take you long. As far as tongue blocking, over blows, etc. I agree. All but the basic bends are not for me. most sound very flat to me unless a very good musician plays them.