Lesson #1

Okay, back to basics. Yesterday I received JP Allen’s “Complete Play at Home Video Harmonica Lessons for Beginners and Non-Musicians”. It’s a set of 11 DVDs and CDs. Check it out at Harmonica.com. I’ve really been looking forward to getting started.

Anyway, one of the first lessons is to play along with a guitar practicing a simple phrase of draws and blows. I played along with JP on the DVD, but then I wanted to see if I could play the guitar as well. So, I found a free app for the iPad called “Classical Guitar“. Here’s what it looks like:


You can strum and switch chords. Cool. I connected the headphone jack of the iPad to the Audio Input of my MacBook and recorded a guitar track in Garageband. I don’t play guitar. I had to learn a basic strum pattern and chord sequence, but that was easy to do by watching a few YouTube videos on how to play the guitar.

I then recorded the harmonica on a separate track in Garageband. Along the way I learned how to pan each track so the guitar is a bit on the left and the harmonica is a bit on the right. I also learned how to set effects for each track (a little reverb). I then saved the mix as an mp3 file to iTunes.

Note: Garageband lets you change tempo. So, you can record at say 60 bpm and then speed it up to 120 bpm. I didn’t do that with this recording, but it’s handy to know that it works with audio recordings without changing the pitch.

I also found a good site for free lead sheets called “Wikifonia.org”. They have all kinds of music available as PDF files. The music has melody and chord changes as well as lyrics. This will be great for playing duets once I get good enough on the harmonica.

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