I thought in this post I would continue where I left off in Play me A Song And Don’t Be A Foot Shuffler and put up a few songs that are not only easy to play on the harmonica but are important songs to know. They are perfect songs to play when asked the dreaded question…”can you play a song?” Instead of looking away, shuffling your feet and mumbling something about needing a band to back you up, play one of these songs. It’s important to be able to play songs people can recognize. No one really cares if you can rip off some fast blues riff. While flashy and might impress another harmonica player it’s melodies people want to hear. I’ll be adding songs as time goes on so check back now and then.
The first song is Red River Valley. I tabbed it out in the low range of the harmonica. after you learn it there, try working it out in the high range of the harp. Enjoy!
Leave a comment and let me know what songs you want to learn!
Download (PDF, 491KB)
The next song is Simple Gifts. One of my favorite songs this one is easy to work up a tongue blocking arrangement.
Download (PDF, 645KB)
There is a fantastic show on HDNet TV that is a tribute to Ray Charles that features Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Nora Jones and Mickey Raphael.
Mickey has loads of solo time and makes the most of his space. He is playing Lee Oskar harps in various keys to fit the songs. The songs featured are some of Ray Charles’ best work and as such cover a gamut of styles with R&B as the thread tying it all together. Tune in for a lesson in how the harmonica sounds in the hands of a master.
The question I get asked the most is how to figure out what blues harp or harmonica to use when playing with a band. I have made a chart that takes all the guessing out of this. Don’t be the guy on the bandstand frantically testing out harmonicas trying to figure which is the correct harp to use. Simply follow my handy chart and print it out if you like and put it in your harp case so you always have a reference. Click the button “Cross harp Chart” at the top of this page or simply follow this link to the easiest to follow chart to help you figure out what harmonica to use when playing with a band or other musician such as a guitar player.
Also, be sure to visit my harmonica store for loads of harmonicas featuring the ever popular Hohner Special 20 and also blues harp instruction. http://www.harmonicasongs.net/Harmonica_Store.htm