Harmonica Lessons and Workshops

Besides the free podcast and the workshops that I offer on this site I also teach privately in my studio, in your place or through the webcam.

If you want to set up a private lesson just email me and we will take it from there.
I think anybody can play and have fun with this great instrument so do not give up before you start! Give the harmonica a chance!

Each student is different and the learning curve may vary from person to person.

Here is a brief outline of the topics covered throughout my diatonic harmonica course.

-Acoustic cupping (holding the harmonica properly).
-Embouchure – Puckering, tongue blocking and octave playing.
-Getting Started:
-Understanding the puckering embouchure.
-Understanding and improving your tone.
-Breathing with your diaphragm.
-Harmonica layout and natural notes.
-Basic Exercises over the middle octave.
-Basic exercises over the first octave.
-Basic exercises over the 3rd octave.
-2 holes shakes.
-Simple songs in first position using the middle and the high octave.
-Intro to 2nd Position:
-Chord grooves and rhythmic patterns (bases).
-Articulation – how pronouncing simple syllables as you play can help your
rhythmic perception.
-Getting the hole 2 draw right.
-Basic 12 bar blues chord progression.
-Simple songs using chords and natural notes.
-Learning to count the beats and bars so you don’t get lost.
-Bends – Adding 12 more notes to your harmonica:
-Exercises to develop control over your bends.
-Tuning your draw bends.
-Bending 1/2 step, 1 whole step and 1 & 1/2 step below
the natural notes.
-Blow bends.
-Licks to practice your bends in tune.
-Repetition licks.
-Starting to improvise:
-Licks
-Understanding tension and resolution on your licks using
major pentatonic scale and blues scale.
-One Bar licks.
-Two bar licks.
-In depth look of a basic 12 bar blues structure.
-Breaking down the 12 bar blues into sections.
-First 4 bars.
-Bars 5,6.
-Bars 7,8.
-Bars 9,10,11,12.
-How to create a solo and tell a story with your improvisation.
-Ideas on how to approach and build solos over different styles.
-Chicago blues
-Country blues
-Funk blues
-Jump blues
-Southern rock
-Gospel
-Bluegrass & Country
-Rhythm & Blues
-Adding more spice:
-Tongue blocking and octave playing – in depth look
-Licks and songs
-3rd Position:
-Licks
-Understanding your roots over traditional 12 bar blues on
-Songs:
I am ready
Saint James Infirmary
Summertime
Caledonia
-Effects:
-Vibratos
Throat vibrato
Light bend vibrato(howard levy style)
Diaphragm vibrato
-learning how to control the rhythm and depth of your vibratos
-Tongue flutter
-Tongue slap and pull

-Scales and patterns to practice in order build speed and precision.
-Understanding scales & Modes.
-Major Scales.
-Minor Scale – Natural minor, Dorian and Harmonic minor.
-Major Pentatonic scale.
-Blues scale.
-What scales are possible on different positions over the diatonic harp by
using just bends?
-Modes.
-4th position:
-Songs
Summertime
Manhã de Carnaval (also known as “A day in the life of a fool”).
-5th Position:
House of the rising sun
Minor Blues improv
-12th Position:
Georgia on my mind
Hard Times(Ray Charles)
-How to perform basic maintenance, setting up your reeds for your style of playing and
tuning your harmonica.
-Overbends:
-Overblows and Overdraws
-Preparing your harmonica for overbends
-Learning how to produce a full chromatic scale over the diatonic harmonica
-How to produce an overblow and an overdraw more accurately
-How to sustain and bend the overblow and overdraw
-When to use and when not to use overbends
-Exploring the same l licks in different octaves using overbends
(Now licks that you were able to obtain only on one octave can be
transferred to other octaves).

-Getting away from the blues and exploring other styles on the diatonic harp:

Bluegrass, Irish, Fiddle tunes, Waltzes…

-Exploring the “Powerbender” an alternate tuning on the diatonic harmonica
(tuning created by Brendan Power).

Incorporating the chromatic harmonica.

This is just a brief outline of the topics I teach my students. Each one of them can be unfolded and explored more thoroughly depending on the student’s demand.
I hope this can give you an idea of the amazing possibilities and uses of this wondeful instrument.
I am looking forward to hear from you!
All the best,
Matheus Verardino