Q: Should I learn to read music?

Yes, if you want to be a serious musician, a capability to read music can be very useful. There are many good musicians who cannot read music, so reading music is not strictly necessary. However, music notation is a very widespread means of communication, and an ability to read music will open up worlds of information. The many different systems that use arrows and numbers that exists have their use in explaining specific harmonica related things and for absolute beginners. However, they are generally considered not to be a good alternative to ordinary music notation. They are much more limited, and no other musician will be able to understand them.

(FMI: "Reading Music" 12 Apr 95 WY, RB)
(FMI: "Re: Harmonica and reading music" 25-28 Jan 94 RF, GM, TM, SL, GJ, BL, (context of Big River, etc.)
(FMI: "Play music, don't play harmonica (longer yet)" 1 Jun 95 HA)

 

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
 

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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 JT30.com 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 Harpamps.com 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


1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003

Harp Frequently Asked Questions