How to Become a Blues Harp Player

So what kind of animal is the blues harp player? In the first chapter of the Apprenticeship Series, guest blogger Elwood takes us through part 1 of his blues ethnography, Figuring Out The Harp Player.

For some, the journey to becoming a master takes them from the depths of frustration to the giddy heights of triumph via a thousand smoky jam sessions and hundreds of hours in the woodshed. Many of us, however, find the journey to becoming a master shorter and much easier: it goes all the way to the local music store and back – more often than not via the ugly hat shop.

There’s an old joke – or historical anecdote? – about a father who sends his son to harmonica lessons. The son comes home after the first lesson and his old man asks what he learned. The boy says, “I learned the two-hole draw, dad.” Mighty impressed is his old dad. (more…)