Harmonica for Beginners with Ed Hopwood

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“Two of my favourite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp and playing my harmonica,” Abraham Lincoln

Played by soldiers in the trenches, cowboys whiling away time by the campfire and bluesmen the world over, the harmonica has endured as one of the most portable, accessible and expressive musical instruments.

Ed Hopwood’s Harmonica for Beginners online course covers harmonica fundamentals such as breathing patterns, hand position, mouth position and getting good clear notes on the instrument. You will learn tunes and key riffs of folk, country and blues styles, including the Chicago Blues Riff. You will also learn some essential music theory in order to fully understand the harmonica and the range of notes available to the player.

In Harmonica for Beginners Ed will teach you the simple art of playing a tune. This means not only learning from the basic harmonica tab you’ll find in books and online, but also mastering the important process of playing by ear. This is something everyone can do and it’s how folk and blues musicians, with no formal training, have been playing and communicating music for centuries.

This course comprises twelve lessons and features handy printable notes and tabs, plus access to a community forum. Each lesson features instruction on technique from Ed and a chance to play along with him before practising on your own. You can learn at your own pace by hitting “pause” and rewinding any time, and you can go back and watch any of the lessons again.

With Ed as your guide, you will master the fundamentals of the harmonica so you can start enjoying this wonderfully portable instrument on your own or with family.

PLEASE NOTE: For this course, you will need a diatonic harmonica in the key of C. The tutor recommends either the Hohner Special 20 (in C) or the Lee Oskar (in C). 

About the tutor

Ed Hopwood is a Harmonica player and multi-instrumentalist with extensive experience of both performing and teaching. As a harp player he has recorded for BBC Radio 4 Comedy series “Mums On The Run” and English Indie band “ The Mystery Jets” as well as currently playing for acclaimed U.K Blues and roots artist “Mark Harrison”. Ed also plays guitar and sings in an Old-time American string band as well as attending and hosting many folk sessions around the city. He has a degree in popular music from the University of West London. In addition to playing and teaching music, Ed has been creating a living and performance space in a large tug boat on the Thames.