From: "Adam S. Gussow" <;asguss~hoenix.Princeton.EDU>;
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 16:51:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: harp-l-digest V1 #165

Dear Harp-Lers:

On the question of Bob Shatkin/The New School's harmonica program:

I don't know exactly what's going on at the Guitar Study Center now-which
is located on the Sixth Floor of the New School (66 W. 12th St), and is
where Bob teaches, but
I'd bet it's pretty close to what it was back in the late eighties/early
nineties. I was one of two "Staff Instructors in Blues Harmonica" there
from '86 to '91, and in fact Bob Shatkin and I overlapped during the last
year or so. I taught courses in Beginning and Intermediate blues harp.
Fall and Spring sessions met, as I remember, for an hour once a week for
twelve weeks; summer sessions were an
hour-and-a-half for eight sessions. Five to eight people in a class,
usually. I'd bring in records and have a weekly fight with the New
School Audio-Visual people to make sure a turntable was brought in so I
could play stuff. That was in the old days, when people still hauled
stacks of records around under their arms. I'd bring in Little Walter,
James Cotton, Big Walter with Carey Bell, but also Howard Levy's
"Harmonica Jazz" tape, which none of the beginning blues harpists seemed
to GET. Sometimes we'd have a combined class with the beginning blues
keyboard class and try to make shuffles happen.

It was a useful class for people, I think, not least because I was in the
middle of a steep learning curve myself, was passionately in love with
the licks we were pulling off records, and my enthusiasm seemed to drive
everybody. My best student, in his early fifties, was playing in two
bands at clubs like Manny's CarWash less than a year after he left the

Short answer is: It's a worthwhile class, whoever's teaching it. You'll
meet like-minded others--more often than not, curiously enough,
suddenly-single guys with broken hearts and lots of time to practice and
obsess. (Which is not to say I didn't have women students.) The cost
then was something like $20 a session--$240 for the 12 weeks--but I'm
sure it's gone up.

John Popper wasn't, at least while I was there, part of the Guitar Study
Center harp program; he was downstairs, in the New School Jazz Program.
We were up on the sixth floor, in our own little world. I ran into John
all over the city in those days; he'd show up at Dan Lynch--our best,
scuzziest, most wonderfully atmospheric blues bar--for a jam, with the
early incarnation of Blues Traveller, and play amazingly fast if not
amazingly bluesy solos on slow blues songs. Next week he'd be hosting a
weird alternative jam in some second-floor space in Chelsea. One evening
I jammed with him and an acoustic guitar player in Washington Square
Park. He was singing and playing MIND-BENDING solos on a four-hole
Hohner "Little Lady". I mean you would not believe the things he was

Anybody else run into Popper this way, in the early days?

Best to yall--


[Previous Message[Next Message]

[Start of Thread][End of Thread]


Buy the Book!

I cleaned up my tab for Sonny Boy's Help Me and made it into a short book. There's a Kindle version for 99 cents, and if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle free.

Playing "Help-Me" In the Style of Sonny Boy Williamson II: A step by step, note for note analysis of some of Sonny Boy's Signature Riffs

I also write Science Fiction, so you can sample some of my best stories. Also available in Kindle format.

Error Message Eyes: A Programmer's Guide to the Digital Soul

Shure Versadyne 575SB Lo-Z Dynamic Microphone w/Accessories Harp Harmonica Mic

End Date: Friday May-24-2019 4:35:22 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $50.00
Buy It Now |
Vintage 50's American D4T Dynamic Chrome Bullet Mic Harp | WORKS!zz

$100.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Friday May-24-2019 11:39:15 PDT
Bid now |
Vintage ASTATIC 335H-7 Hand Microphone Harp - Tested by Zun Labs - Works Great

$13.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Friday May-24-2019 12:59:36 PDT
Bid now |
Astatic 333 Crystal Ceramic Microphone Mic Harp Harmonica

$25.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Friday May-24-2019 15:46:57 PDT
Bid now |

End Date: Friday May-24-2019 16:36:06 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $69.99
Buy It Now |


The JT30 Page Popular links

I began collecting data about the microphones used by blue harp players before there was an internet. I began organizing it into in the late 1990s. I accumulated more stuff than I remember. This is some of it.

Street Theory

A Harp Player’s Guide to Music Theory

Learning Harp

Picking Up Blues Harp

A guide to learning to play Blues Harp

Microphone Information

Usenet Articles

Harp Amps

I've been collecting Harp Amps for a while. This is the old website. There is lots of information here. Here a coupld of links.

Harp Tab

A collection of songs and riffs that I’ve worked out over the years, plus some libraries of stuff I’ve converted to tablature. I’ve included most of the notes and instructions that helped me when I was learning to play blues harmonica.

Basic Riffs Simple harp tabs for songs Blues riffs and phrases.

Harp-L Archives 1992 to 2002


Harp Frequently Asked Questions