Reddit mentions: The best books about hramonicas

We found 223 Reddit comments discussing the best books about hramonicas. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 20 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

🎓 Reddit experts on books about hramonicas

The comments and opinions expressed on this page are written exclusively by redditors. To provide you with the most relevant data, we sourced opinions from the most knowledgeable Reddit users based the total number of upvotes and downvotes received across comments on subreddits where books about hramonicas are discussed. For your reference and for the sake of transparency, here are the specialists whose opinions mattered the most in our ranking.
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Top Reddit comments about Harmonicas:

u/dragontamer5788 · 2 pointsr/harmonica

I highly recommend 100 Authentic Blue's Licks.

However, the book assumes you know how to do a lot of advanced moves: tongue block chords and solid bending technique. I suggest you pick it up as soon as you can do F (2''), F# (2'), Bb (3'), A (3''), and Db (4').

Once you get those bends down, you'll be able to play ~30% of the licks in the book. Then you get Tongue Block chords to get another 20% or so. You can play the tongue-block versions without tongue blocking (just play the highest note), it just doesn't sound as cool / good... but it definitely simplifies things.

The last half of the book are technique specific: there's a chunk on Glissandos, Flutter Chords (related to Tongue Blocks), a few 1/4th step bends, a few Overblows and so forth. The book goes to advanced places, with tons of advanced techniques getting explored.

Sheet music, Tabs, AND a CD (if you're the type to learn by listening) are all provided as well. Its a great resource.


More realistically, I think that taking a break and going for something easier often helps encourage me. I suggest playing easier songs, don't push yourself if you feel discouraged. That only leads to frustration.

Learning the Harmonica is going to be a years long commitment. There's no need to rush... just play and improve at a pace that feels comfortable.

Failing to differentiate between Bb (3') and A (3'') (half-step vs whole-step bends) over and over again is rough. Practice playing something easier like "Skip to my Lou" to build confidence and then return to bending practice.


When I was learning to bend accurately (erm... I still am perfecting this technique actually...), I bought a Tuner that has note output and also checks for accuracy.

If you have access to a tuned Piano, you can just play the note and try to learn by ear what a bend should sound like.

u/winslowyerxa · 7 pointsr/harmonica

Tell him to try playing the inhaled notes in the first four holes. That's where you find the heart of the blues rock sound. This puts you in the key of G instead of C, but that's how you get that sound.

Here's the thing, though. If a song is not in G, you need to get a harp in the key that lets you play in that key. For tunes in G, you count four steps up the scale: -1-2-3-4 = G A B C - so, play a C-harp. And for a tune in, say, A, you'd count up A B C D to find that you'd use a D-harp. This way of playing is called "second position" and also "crossharp."

Playing in second position is not a strict rule for rock (or, for that matter for blues). Someone like Neil Young almost always plays a harp in the same key as the song. This is known as "first position" or "straight harp." Same for Bob Dylan.

On the other hand, rock players like John Popper, Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, and many others mostly play harps very similar to the Special 20 in your link (SP20 used to be Popper's favorite harp until he picked up a Fender endorsement) and mostly play them in second position.

There are other ways of playing a harp in a different key from its named key. But second position is by far the most popular.

The other big thing to learn along with second position is note bending - making a note slide down to a lower note. This is done partly to create an expressive wailing sound and also to supply bluesy notes that aren't built into the harp.

Hope this helps a little.

Winslow Yerxa

Author, Harmonica For Dummies, Second Edition and Blues Harmonica For Dummies

Available for lessons in person or online

u/lostmykeysonbroadway · 2 pointsr/Music
  1. Always have a harmonica in your pocket. Always. You never know when you'll have 5 minutes to blow a tune.

  2. Go on walks through your neighborhood and play every night. It's the perfect practice environment (especially when you're just learning)... by the time anyone cares to look outside and see who's making the noise you'll already be down the street!

  3. Play any simple song you can and play it repetitively. I started with Amazing Grace, The Man on the Flying Trapeze, Dixie Land, and a bunch of church hymns I remember from when I was young. They aren't suppose to impress anyone... they're supposed to teach your mouth what happens when you blow through your harmonica. They will also teach your ear how to hear the harmonica and you'll get used to where the holes are and what the pitches are relative to one another.

  4. Don't only play slow songs.

  5. Don't only play fast songs.

  6. Change keys. Sometimes when you're practicing in a C, stop and play the exact same thing on an A. It will teach you the differences in how the keys play and it will help you further get used to the sounds and placement of the intervals.

  7. Don't be afraid of repetition. It's okay, for example, to practice a single train chug on a 6 block walk. Also, play scales often as warm-ups.

  8. Record yourself. I have recordings dating back to my first week on the harp. It's good to be able to listen to yourself and hear what you sound like. Also, you'll occasionally record a gem that's worth sharing with friends and Redditors.

  9. Search YouTube and try to emulate people you hear. Some favorites of mine are Sonny Terry, Buddy Greene and G Love.

  10. Even if you can't come close to copying them, you can listen to harp music all the time to get it stuck in your soul. I got a hold of a copy of A History of Blues Harmonica and never stopped listening to it. I also got heavily into listening to Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Big Walter, Howlin Wolf and the whole Chicago Blues scene.

  11. I almost forgot that when I first picked up a harp I went to the library and checked out Rock n' Blues Harmonica by John Gindick. It's as good an introduction to the harmonica as your going to get in a book.

  12. Blow, baby, blow! It is a quick learning curve but it won't feel like it sometimes. Just play and keep on playing!

u/harmonicaben · 1 pointr/harmonica

Thanks for your feedback - I think you're right in thinking now is the time to focus on your breathing, because breathing leads directly into your tone. I remember when I was starting out, after I had gotten a grip on how to isolate notes and move around the harp, I focused a lot on breathing from my stomach. This gives you a deep and full bodied tone, especially from the lower notes. You don't want to "chirp" them. Here is a video that really helped me with this concept starting out.

I think it would also be useful to start thinking about different positions on the harp over the next few months. I'm not sure how familiar you are just yet, but depending on where you start and what notes you stick to, you can play different styles easily. First position lets you play basic melodies, but when you move into second and third position you can really start feeling the blues. This is a book that really helped me.

Finally, I really like your idea of an overarching song when you're first learning. It would be cool to break it down into different exercises and riffs, then build it up to a full song at the end. I'll definitely keep this in mind when building the site.

u/tipsyopossum · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Here is a little Harmonica Curriculum from someone who has bounced around nearly every instrument for a time or three.

Part One
The Harp Handbook

Rock 'n Blues Harmonica

Part 2
Building Harmonica Technique

Blues Harmonica Collection

Part 3
Just listen to everyone you can, analyze how they play (transcribe solos if you can) and work on developing your own style, learning songs and learning how to play with others.

Listen To- Little Walter, Big Walter, Sonny Terry, Carey Bell, John Popper and Howard Levy so you don't trick yourself into feeling "limited" by harmonica.

Learning a bit extra of music theory wouldn't hurt either, especially if you want to play with bands.

You are absolutely going to need multiple harmonicas if you want to play with other bands- other instruments tend to get tired of always playing in G. If you're just playing by yourself, though, all you need is one in C (or whatever key works best for your voice) to work most harmonica books.

u/tallpapab · 3 pointsr/harmonica

Take a look at the sidebar. There are pointers to web sites that can get you started. Or you could go old school and pick up a book like Jon Gindick's Country and Blues Harmonica or Harmonica for Dummies. The dummies author, Winslow Yerxa, also has a good Blues Harmonica for Dummies. Or you could just start playing with it. Good luck! Have fun!

u/duus · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I only play Hohner Blues Harps (they should run you about $25.) If you're planning on playing more blues, then you'll be seeking to play "cross harp" and you'll want an A harp to play blues in E. If you're playing more folk, then you'll be seeking to play "straight harp" and you'll want a C harp to play songs in C.

I learned with this book, which apparently you can buy used for 1 cent. Or new for only 158 dollars.

u/aliengem · 1 pointr/randomactsofamazon

This is one of my most favorite pastimes haha!

Hohner Special 20 harmonica in C
[Set of harmonicas in different keys] (
Harmonica book
(I really want to learn, half the reeds are busted up on my current one)

PowerSaves for Pokemon
Cigarette case
Window crystal thingies (blue and clear)

u/AmorbulousCras · 1 pointr/NoFap

I've been trying to teach myself the harmonica. It's really easy to get into (just buy a harmonica (like this or this and maybe a book) and then you can start! My family has always been musical, and playing music is a potent release for me. I'll try to upload something to soundcloud or something to chronicle my progress.

Anyone else into playing music?

u/Easy75 · 1 pointr/harmonica

Yeah, I got that bit from Gindick's book "Rock 'n' Blues Harmonica" and it really helped me get those 3 draw bends down. I highly recommend this book for beginners and intermediate players, if you're the kind who learns well from books. Yeah it has some hokey or cheesy stuff in it, but for me that was just a reminder to not take shit too seriously.

The syllables you articulate with can really change the sound a lot, and the mouth shape of various vowels can definitely apply to bends.

u/sincinnatislink · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Look in used bookstores:

This got me where I was going, anyway, and ultimately gave me a pretty good basis to teach myself guitar a couple years later . . . and then make fumbling attempts at counterpoint later.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Harmonica, harmonica pouch, and a harmonica book. Cool, cheap instrument that you can carry around with you everywhere. Do something useful with your time and money.

u/GuitarFish98 · 1 pointr/harmonica

This book has quite the collection: Cowboy Songs for Harmonica if you want to learn to play them. I’m sure you could also find them online/YouTube/etc

u/RobotCarl · 1 pointr/harmonica

I used this book when I was first starting out. Nothing unique about the book, they all pretty much outline the same stuff. Work on hitting one note at a time. Blow first, then draw. pm me if you have any specific questions.

u/stricknein · 3 pointsr/harmonica

This book has really helped me.

The Natural Blues and Country-Western Harmonica: A Beginners Guide

u/alephnul · 3 pointsr/harmonica

Harmonica for Dummies is a pretty good place to start. I don't usually like the "for Dummies" books, but this one is a gem.

u/clhydro · 1 pointr/harmonica

I'm working through this book. I'm not sure if other members will have a better recommendation.

u/Nathandean · 2 pointsr/harmonica

Paul Butterfield - Blues Harmonica Master Class: Book/Online Audio