This is an ongoing course which covers all areas of diatonic harmonica playing. Ranging from material for beginners through intermediate level to advanced. Originally designed as playalong CD/book packages they are now in an ideal format for download. The CD tracks have been converted to MP3s and the book into a pdf. The music tracks all feature harmonica on the right channel of the stereo mix, the band on the left channel and the rhythm (drums or a click) in the centre giving each track different uses for the student/performer. All the tracks come with a chart in conventional music notation and harmonica tab.
Volume One of the course (now published by MelBay) covers 'chugging' - another name for rhythm harmonica playing where the performer uses sounds and words to create rhythmic patterns. This style is often found in the playing of people like Sonny Boy Williamson III.
Another important aspect of harmonica-playing is covered in Volume Two 'Search for the Single Note' which, as the title suggests, is designed to develop melody playing from the simplest one and two note tunes to more complex pieces using complete scales.
The next volume in the series is the first package to focus purely on the blues. Volume Three - 'Blues Jam Factory' features many different types of blues in a way that beginners can easily play along with and feel that they are soloing with their own backing band! Great for building confidence right from the start. This album is also the first to have a double CD length playalong section where stereo mixes without the harmonica allow the performer to play completely solo with the backing track.
'Mastermix 1' is Volume Four in the series and features chugs, riffs and tunes all aimed at the beginner. Still featuring blues, there are also classical, rock and popular styles represented in this playalong format.
The fifth volume 'Bones of the Blues' returns to the blues but now demonstrating how one harmonica can play in different keys - five to be precise on this album. These tunes are aimed more at the intermediate level and can provide much more challenge for the developing player. Ten tracks in different styles give the student plenty of opportunity to explore these new possibilities.
Volume Six '101 Blues Riffs' is our first compendium of riffs in different styles for intermediate to advanced players. These are in the styles of great harmonica players like Sonny Terry, in different musical styles - jazz etc., in particular positions on the harp or have particular functions - endings, fast & flashy etc. So there should be something for everyone.
As the name suggests 'Funky Folk' - Volume Seven features treatments of folk tunes in a funky way. Traditional folk tunes have been given funky backings and provide a challenge for any intermediate harmonica player.
Still in the funky vein the next two packages Funky Nursery - Volume Eight and Funky Christmas - Volume Nine feature traditional nursery rhymes and christmas carols treated with new funky backtracks which makes learning for younger beginner loads of fun. There is also the odd original piece among these selections of familiar and not so familiar tunes.
Catering for school age children the next volume 'Nasty Chugs' - Volume Ten uses 'Roald Dahl'-type words and phrases that appeal particularly to kids and provide a great vehicle for learning rhythm harmonica. This is a perfect compliment to the very first volume 'Get Chugging'
There are many CD/book packages planned in this series as well as new ventures like Blues & Beyond which takes a fresh approach to beginning harmonica for all ages.