Education

The harmonica is a fun and easy musical instrument to learn. In just 3 sessions you will be able to play dozens of folk and campfire type songs. Course fee includes student guide/song book and a 10 hole, key of C diatonic harmonica. The harmonica used in these sessions is popular in modern country, folk, blues, rock and Celtic music.

We currently have the following harmonica classes scheduled:

Because our band performs in public as an orchestral ensemble, most of our band players have learned to read music so that they can play their parts correctly within the ensemble. Others convert the song notes into harmonica tablature for easier reading. Some players play by ear rather than by written notation, which is okay as long as they learn to play their assigned parts exactly the same as the readers.

We periodically offer classes before our meetings to help folks in several categories:

  • Solo-Tuned Harmonica (Part I — Chromatic) Beginner level players will learn the basics of the 12-hole solo-tuned chromatic harmonica, which is tuned differently from the standard 10-hole diatonic instrument. Although not well suited for blues playing, the solo-tuned instrument is ideal for playing melodies and is simpler to learn. Students will learn basic playing technique, where the notes of the major scale are located on the harmonica and how to use this knowledge in playing a number of familiar melodies. Basics of scales, pitch and rhythm will be covered. Students must have a 12- or 16-hole chromatic instrument in the key of C for this course. An inexpensive 12-hole chromatic available through the club can be purchased at the first session.  Sessions: 3      Coursebook: $5.00

Part I Course Materials (PDF Format)

  • Solo-Tuned Harmonica (Part II — Chromatic) This course is designed for students who have completed Part I or have equivalent knowledge and wish to extend their knowledge to the solo-tuned chromatic, which is required for playing the sharps and flats found in more complex melodies and for playing in different keys.  A 12- or 16-hole chromatic harmonica in the Key of C is required.  The Gateway Harmonica Club can recommend sources for most favorable discount prices.  Students will learn how to play sharps and flats, further their knowledge of pitch and rhythm notation, and learn to play a number of popular tunes.     Sessions: 3        Coursebook: $5.00

Part II Course Materials (PDF Format)

  • Chromatic Coaching – Experienced players meet with individuals or small groups for coaching on how to play selected songs from written music.  Number of sessions is determined by the instructor based on student progress. Available to members only.
  • Club meeting discussion – Questions and answers between members about playing techniques, sources of music, playing with background tracks and the like occur before, at break times and after our weekly club meetings.
  • Blues Group Jam – In addition to playing 12 bar blues jams, participants also discuss techniques during the weekly Blues group meeting starting at 6PM.