Rock and Blues Harmonica

Still on the subject of instructional books for harmonica Jon Gindicks Rock ‘n’ Blues Harmonica: A World of Harp Knowledge, Songs, Stories, Lessons, Riffs, Techniques and Audio Index for a New Generation of Harp Players
is interesting and contrasts with Winslow Yerxa’s Harmonica for Dummies.

Rock and Blues Harmonica is written in a comic book style introducing scale structures and chords. The instruction puts an emphasis on exploring the feel of the music.

It is light on tunes, unlike so many other books in this area so don’t expect to be learning a lot of standards like Oh Susannah, instead the book looks at what notes on a diatonic harp fit the structure of the music by creating or releasing tension.

I found the book interesting but from a personal perspective I prefer the approach taken in Harmonica for Dummies.

In some ways this may be an unfair comparison as the two books have somewhat different objectives with Harmonica for Dummies looking a the wider aspects of playing whereas Rock and Blues Harmonica is, as the name implies, more targeted at specific types of playing.

It is very much a matter of personal style but I need a more structured learning path, or should I say more hand holding than I felt was in Rock and Blues harmonica, that being said it is still a great introduction to Blues harmonica and an excellent guide to how to use the harmonica to match the structure of the music which will be really useful when it comes to understanding how to improvise.

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