Beyond the Blues

Second position is the main blues style. Listen to many blues recordings, it will be clear that this is so. This year explores other positions for blues, and for other styles as well.

Having learnt the blues scale, the importance of the flat 3rd, 5th and 7th should be clear. These notes are mostly absent from 1st position. However, using blow bends, a complete first position blues scale is available at the top of the instrument. This allows a powerful style, which cuts through almost any setting. First position blues in the bottom octave also produces a unique sound, but requires some preparation.

Third position blues is a strong style, because the blues scale is available across almost the entire instrument. Also, draw notes and octaves add great power. However, good bending control is needed, as well as a clear understanding of which notes to use.

The techniques developed for blues apply to a variety of music styles, each having standard chord patterns, equivalent to the 12 bar one. We study these alternate forms, knowing them will greatly widen your performance opportunities.

These lessons completes the course, which, if you went from the start, may have taken some years. The time is well spent, the harmonica is a lifetime journey.