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

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. 

Monthly Harmonica Workshops 2020

Live Monthly Group Workshops are currently on hold

With the Corona Virus threat ongoing, we have had to pause our live monthly workshops in Hove. We continue to monitor the situation and will let you know when normal service can resume.

When our monthly workshops return..
Each workshop is an hour and a half long and there’ll be plenty for you to practise between sessions. Please note we’ve moved to Wednesday evenings, and we’re upstairs now. Beginners meet from 6.00pm-6.30pm, and Intermediates meet from 6.30pm-9.00pm, in a user-friendly atmosphere, with drinks and food available for purchase from the Brunswick’s excellent bar. Perfect!

Beginners Learning Path

When students come to the Harp Surgery for tuition, we begin by setting clear goals. This process starts with a short diagnostic session to identify gaps in a student’s technical skills. It also involves a short playback, so that we can see and hear a student’s level of competency. This is done not as a cold critique of the student’s ability, but to establish exactly where the Harp Surgery can provide practical support and encouragement. In other words, we’re on your side every step of the way.

We can then consider particular pieces of music, styles and players we’d like to investigate. This gives us a healthy balance between exercises, theory and technique learning (foundation stuff), and repertoire (song learning and fun stuff).

For complete Beginners of course, we’re working from a blank sheet and we can build solid foundations from the outset. For others, we will need to address any bad habits, while exploring fresh territory to complete our Beginners Learning Path.

Once we have captured our regular bending skills, thereby adding twelve new notes to our palette, the Beginners Learning Path is complete, and we can embark on our Intermediate Learning Path.

John Cook Harmonica Repair Workshop

Together we stand, divided we fall
In 2016, John Cook attended Hohner’s prestigious harmonica accreditation training programme at their headquarters in Trossingen, Germany. He was subsequently appointed a member of Hohner’s worldwide accredited Service team.

Today, John manages and operates an excellent harmonica repair and modification service from his base at East Coast Music in Hornchurch, UK.

In a very short space of time, John has become the go-to repair and modification engineer for Hohner harmonica owners, not only in the UK, but internationally.

Come on now people, let’s get on the ball
Periodically, John runs small harmonica repair workshops, and this autumn we joined him alongside a small band of harmonica repair enthusiasts. Covering a wide range of essential skills, from blueprinting new harmonicas out of the box, to standard maintenance procedures and fixes, the day was fully hands-on and well worth the effort.

We dismantled harps, we cleaned harps, we tuned reeds, we gapped reeds, we replaced reeds, we embossed slots, we chatted and we laughed. We even took our first steps in harmonica customisation; by which time we’d gathered a wealth of top tips and handy tools. Best of all, we came away knowing how to approach and solve a range of problems that lurk beneath the average diatonic cover plate.

Come on, come on, let’s work together
If you need help restoring or repairing a broken harmonica, you’ll find a link to John’s website below. But perhaps you’d like to meet John yourself and learn some helpful skills like sanding your harmonica comb and draw reed plate for greater air tightness, correctly gapping your reeds for improved response and, of course, tuning your own instrument confidently.

In which case, get along to the UK’s annual National Harmonica Festival, Harpin’ By The Sea harmonica festival, or to the Blues Weekend in Bucks, where John leads some wonderful drop-in sessions for diatonic and for chromatic players.

Alternatively, check out John’s website and book yourself in for a super Sunday of indulgence in the dark art of harmonica repairs and maintenance. You know it makes sense.

John Cook Harmonicas