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Harmonica Instruction Books

Harmonica Instructional Books- We recommend the instruction books that we would use ourselves or suggest to a friend. We simply do not list the numerous redundant and lesser quality products that are also available. If you do not see a book here that you have seen elsewhere, there is probably a good reason for it. We simply will NOT list books that claim you can "learn instantly", "overnight", or "in 1 hour", it just isn't possible or true.

HarmonicaLessons.com presents: Vol.1: Beginners Start Here
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"HarmonicaLessons.com presents: Vol.1: Beginners Start Here" (book)- *Tips, Techniques, Lessons Plans, and 10 Fun Songs. *Clear, concise explanations for beginners of all ages. *Simple Song Note Tablature -- You don't need to read music to play. *Free audio/video examples for book buyers at HarmonicaLessons.com. *Coil bound; to lay flat on table or music stand when reading or practicing songs. Our thoughts: A great beginners book to get anyone started playing harmonica.
Buy Gindick book
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Rock n' Blues Harmonica (book/CD)- "A World of Harp Knowledge, Songs, Stories, Lessons, Riffs, Techniques and Audio Index for a New Generation of Harp Players (Includes 224 page book and 74 minute stereo CD Jamming Buddy) by Jon Gindick. Rock n' Blues harmonica uses fact, fiction, illustration and notation to teach." Our Comments: A great book for anyone starting out. Easy to understand and learn from.
Harmonica Lessons.com
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*No.1 Best Online Instruction Book
Harmonica Lessons.comô (website)- Free samples available. Over 425 pages of harmonica instruction and information. Learn to play immediately !! Includes over 150 of the most popular and requested tabs and songs anywhere -- Learn to play the blues -- Play Techniques like Single Notes & Bending. Can't find or afford a teacher? Besides the text-based instruction and MP3 audio examples, use the Members Forums for help. Theory, Blues Riffs, Complete Beginners Section, and much more."
Buy Learn To Play: All-American Harp
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Charlie Musselwhite Power Blues Harp (book/CD)- "This book is designed for those who play diatonic or chromatic harmonica or both. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate player, each chapter presents a new and distinct learning experience. The chapters may be approached in sequence or in a haphazard fashion, without even completing a given chapter - as long as a particular sequences of exercises is completed within that chapter. All tunes and exercises are shown in both standard notation and harmonica tablature. The enclosed CD contains 84 tracks with audio samples of all the music in the book."
Buy blues harp instruction
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Complete Classic Chicago Blues Harp (book/CD)- "By David Barrett and Mel Bay. Instuctional for blues diatonic harmonica. Classic Chicago blues harp style. Level: all levels. Book/CD package."
Buy Bluegrass Instruction
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Bluegrass Harmonica : Techniques, Tips, Songs, and Inside Information (book/CD)- "Extraordinary harpist Mike Stevens has been named Central Canadian Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year five years in a row. In this book, he teaches all the techniques, tips and inside information you need to know to play bluegrass harmonica. He covers holding the harp, lip pursing, tongue blocking, draw bending, vibrato, attacking the notes, wind chops, and a lot more. The CD features practice tunes for beginning, intermediate and advanced players, including 2 versions of some of the intermediate and advanced tunes, 1 at standard tempo, and 1 slowed down for easier learning." Our Comments: A good place to get started if you have an interest in bluegrass and country harmonica.
Buy Harp Handbook
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The Harp Handbook (book/CD)- "The complete handbook on the harp (harmonica). Begin with training exercises while learning about the history of the harmonica, as well as its construction, techniques, styles, tunings and amplifications. Includes an instructional CD. By Steve Baker." Our Comments: A great reference for intermediate and advanced players.
Buy Jam Trax
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Harmonica JamTrax (book/CD)- "JamTrax Book & CD Package: Practice soloing and learn to improvise in your favorite style by jamming with the live back-up band on the CD." Our Comments: This is a good deal for the price. Of the 12 songs to jam to, 4 of them would use a standard diatonic in the key of "C" played in 2nd position. The four harmonicas you would need to play with all the tracks would be: key of "A", "C", "D", and "F" (all played in 2nd position).
Buy repair book
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Make Your Harmonica Work Better (book)- "How to Buy, Maintain and Improve the Harmonica from Beginner to Expert." Douglas Tate is a well known and respected expert on chromatic harmonica improvements and customisation and construction. He has made and customised harmonicas for Larry Adler (who writes a forward for this book). Our Comments: This book is specifically designed for work done on chromatic harmonicas, but much of the information will also apply to diatonics.
Buy Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers
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Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers- "More than a million harmonicas are sold in the U.S. every year. Here is the first book to explore the history of this inexpensive and extraordinarily versatile instrument and the techniques and unique styles of individual players from Larry Adler to Stevie Wonder. 35 photos." Our Comments: This is not an instruction book, but you'll learn a lot about the history of the harmonica and it's players. By Kim Fields.
Buy Learn To Play: All-American Harp
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Learn To Play: All-American Harp (book/CD)- " by Charlie McCoy. Learn to play all the great American styles from Chicago blues to Nashville country or down to the Rio Grande for Tex-Mex. Easy to follow CD and book for absolute beginners."
Buy Blues Harp Workshop CD-ROM
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Interactive Blues Harp Workshop (CD-ROM)- "For diatonic harmonica. Blues. Level: beginning. Interactive CD-ROM for PC (Mac?). Licks and phrases. By Steve Baker" Our Comments: There was not much information on this CD-ROM. If you pick it up, let us know what you think. The material here may be very similar to what you find on this site.
Buy Harmonicare Chart
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Harmonicare Chart (double-sided)- "This double-sided chart gets right to the point on repairs, maintenance, and simple modifications for diatonic harmonicas. Diagrams and descriptive text included. By Phil Duncan"
Play the Harmonica Well
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Play the Harmonica Well (book)- "Great for all harmonica enthusiasts, this handy, easy-to-use book aims to explain precisely what is required to play this instrument well. Topics covered include: holding, posture, mouth position, movement, breath control, articulation, phrasing, tone manipulation, vibrato, trills and turns, projection, chords and intervals, interpretation, and much more. For chromatic players, but diatonic harmonica players will learn just as much." By Douglas Tate.
Paul Butterfield instruct. video
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Paul Butterfield - Blues Harmonica Master Class (book / CD)- "Paul Butterfield Teaches Blues Harmonica is part of the Listen and Learn series from Homespun. Paul explains some of his playing techniques that made him famous such as note-bending, tongue-blocking, and tremolo." Our Comments: Paul was a great player, but not necessarily known for his teaching abilities. If you are a Butterfield fan and an intermediate player or up, this CD and book will be a lot of fun. If you are a beginner looking to get started, you may be better served by one of our Recommended for Beginners choices.
Buy Jazz Harp
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Jazz Harp- "This book, now in its sixth printing, is widely considered to be the best book ever written for intermediate to advanced level harmonica players. Includes transcriptions of solos by Toots Thielemans, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Charlie Christian, King Curtis, the Harmonicats, Tom Scott, Mike Turk, and Richard Hunter, exercises for chromatic and diatonic harmonicas, discussion of advanced harmonica techniques (including overblowing), and more!" Our Comments: Not really a songbook, but this book includes some tabs, scales, and some instruction for chromatic and diatonic harmonica.

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