Weekly Zoom Harmonica Workshops


Patricia Marcoux - YouTubeWeds 29th July: Patricia Marcoux (Montreal, Canada) – 6pm (UK)
Our Beginners will be joined by Patricia Marcoux, live from Montreal, Canada. Patricia recently released a YouTube video called Blues Shuffle, which has greatly inspired our group. Patricia has very kindly agreed to join us, offering an insight into her music and the harmonica skills she uses in her video. Intermediate/Advanced players are very welcome to tune in too. Visit Patricia Marcoux.
Video link: YouTube
Backing track: YouTube
Blues Shuffle: Tabs
Harmonica required: Key of C

Thur 30th July: Joe Filisko (Chicago, USA) – 6pm (UK)
Our advanced players have recently been exploring how to make it to the top end of the diatonic harmonica, and what to do when you get there. Live from Chicago, USA, Joe Filisko will be here to impart his expertise in this area, with some added insight into tongue blocking at altitude. Visit Joe Filisko.
Bending insights: pdf
Harmonica required: Key of D and G

Harp Surgery would like to show our collective appreciation to Patricia and Joe by forwarding your donations. Please contribute what you can by pasting the following link in your browser: paypal.me/harpsurgery

914-617-7410 058464
Beginners – Weds 6pm-7pm (UK Time)
Intermediates – Thur 6pm-7pm (UK Time)

If you don’t have Zoom, click here to download it. There are also plenty of short tutorials on YouTube.

Building Confidence in holes 7-10

Image may contain: 1 person, textHarmonica UK – Lockdown Session

Thank you for joining the HUK zoom session, and thank you Jason Ricci for joining us live from New Orleans.

I know that everyone enjoys checking out tabs, exercises and links afterwards, so here are some resources to follow up my session on making it in holes 7-10 on the 10 hole diatonic.

If you’d like to book a 1:1 session on this, or any other blues harp topic, I’d be very happy to help. Lesson details are in the Services menu above.

YouTube links
The Cheaters – Drugs (D harp 2nd position)
Blues Traveller – Run Around (C harp 2nd position)
Rod Piazza – The Bounce (A harp 2nd position)
Walter Horton – Walter’s Boogie (A harp 2nd position)
Doc Watson – Mama Blues (C harp 2nd position)
Walter Horton – Hard Hearted Woman (A harp 1st position)
Jerry Portnoy – Home Run Hitter (A harp 1st position)
Nine Below Zero – Doghouse (B harp 1st position)
Kim Wilson – Trust My Baby (G harp 1st position)
Jimmy Reed – Bright Lights Big City (A harp 1st position)

Harmonica Map – Map
Frequencies – Tab

Thirds Exercise (in Couplets) – Tab
Thirds Exercise (in Triplets) – Tab
Breathing Exercise Tab
Walking The Octaves – Tab
1st Position Blues Scale – Tab
2nd Position Blues Scale – Tab
3rd Position Blues Scale – Tab

Song Tabs
Jimmy Reed, Bright Lights Big City – Tab

3rd Position Blues Harp – An Introduction

Harp Pic 2Anon they move, In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mode, Of flutes and recorders. Paradise Lost (Milton)

When we first pick up a diatonic harp, we’re on a mission from God. Nothing, but nothing’s going to get in our way. In short order we buy some cheap shades and a big old hat, then we embark on a crusade to capture that sound. You know the one. It fits in your pocket and goes da DAH da da.

Listen to

We raid the wardrobe, car glove compartment and every drawer for loose change, and then plunder the sofa. Then we invest our accumulated swag in a used copy of Play Like Walter in Ten Minutes, while bidding on ebay for a second hand entry level harp with a fancy name like Sonny Boy’s Special or Blues Howler. (more…)

Whammer Jammer […with tab]

J. Geils Band - Full HouseYou gonna get it all down, get it all night, get it all right, get it out of sight and get it down baby?

Here’s the top entry in our ‘I wanna play like that’ hit list. Originally recorded on the J.Geils Band studio album The Morning After in 1971, Whammer Jammer reappeared a year later on the classic live album Full House. It is a power harping beast of the highest order.

Like the lunar landing, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, every power harp fan can remember when and where they were first Whammered! So, it’s time to reminisce a little, do some research and then, with the help of modern technology, deconstruct the song for you. Key of A major ten hole diatonics harps at the ready..

1st Position Blues Harp – An Introduction (Part 1)

Harps and Guitar 1A guide to straight blues harping

No force, however great, can stretch a cord, however fine, into a horizontal line which is accurately straight. Elementary Treatise On Mechanics (William Whewell)

The classic blues harmonica journey starts with a crusade to the Holy Shrine of cross harp. Whereupon, straight harp (normally in the guise of Oh Susannah) is swiftly abandoned. Drunk on the glories of success, and soon lavishly equipped with assault amplifiers and bullet microphones, the crusade continues.

New techniques are won – including tongue blocking, vibrato, blow bends and third position blues – before a dark specter looms like a cloud on the horizon; the ghost of first position past. It’s been neglected for too long and now it’s broken our serenity, and it’s raining torment. Here’s how to make amends…

Listen to


Harmonica Lessons Available Online

The Good Doctor’s making house calls

We hope you’re staying safe and keeping well. While we’re isolating and enjoying some extra down time , what better opportunity could there be to grow your harp skills and elevate your playing. Don’t put it off any longer!

While regular live lessons may be on hold, this isn’t stopping us from enjoying harmonica learning at the Harp Surgery. Indeed, the Good Doctor is ready and waiting to coach you over internet right now! To book your online session, go to our Contact page and get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you very soon.