Hi and welcome to the digital home of Harmonica Joe.
I love playing music and also sharing and helping others to play music. Although this website is dedicated to playing harmonica, I play several instruments.
My musical journey began way back in the fourth grade which was…well, a long time ago. I started on the french horn which I still play to this day. It was in high school when I began experimenting with the trumpet and later the guitar. After high school I attended Temple University as a Jazz major in the very first class of the new jazz program. While at Temple I took a recording engineering class and which was a turning point. After 2 years at Temple I transferred to the Berklee College of Music and enrolled in the Music Production and Engineering program. Berklee is a great place to be for a young musician. Because my instrument major was french horn I had loads of opportunities to play much to the detriment of my regular classes.
It was at Berklee that I got interested in playing jazz guitar. It was a rough beginning because I wanted to sound like Wes Montgomery right away! After graduating Berklee I moved to New York City where I soon landed a job recording music for TV commercials. This was a great place to be for a young musician! That is until my desire to play guitar awoke again. From NYC I travelled to Los Angeles, CA and enrolled in GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) which is now Musician’s Institute.
It was after settling in LA that I began playing harmonica. I was listening to a lot of Sonny Terry and it was at this time I discovered the great William Clark. Now I wanted to be a blues harp player!
Fast forward a few years and I wrote my first book Christmas For Harmonica. I began teaching lessons and later after moving to the east coast I continued to teach private lessons on various instruments. At one point I was teaching 60 students a week! At the same time playing in several blues bands over the years.
A few more books followed for guitar and related instruments (Dobro, Pedal Steel).
I found I like to do lessons over the internet and before this was available I had great success teaching through the mail which is where a student sends me an audio cassette or cd with their playing and questions and I reply back with another cd or cassette with suggestions. Now it is so much easier with Skype and video conferencing.
While I like teaching private lessons in music stores I found that is very inefficient. I wanted to reach a wider audience and so here we are!
While there are many great harmonica instructors around the internet, I hope to be able to add my spin on the subject and draw upon my musical experiences to offer students great easy to understand lessons on playing MUSIC on the harmonica.
If you are interested in getting together for a lesson, send me a message and I’ll get back to you!
Some of the links throughout this website are affiliate links with Amazon, Artist Works, Same Day Music and more. I would appreciate if you would purchase through these links. It doesn’t cost anymore for you but it helps me to offset some of the costs of this website and creating videos.