When I was an undergraduate back in the early 1990s, one of my friends was a Computer Science student. He’d regularly make visits to the IT labs at the university – strange, dark rooms devoid of natural light and crammed with computers whose blinking command line driven interfaces were enough to discourage their use by all but the most committed students – to make use of something he called ‘the internet’. When I enquired as to what this internet thing actually was, I was met with a barrage of terms that at the time were incomprehensible. So I ignored it.
Months later, however, when my friend returned home clutching pages of A4 paper which contained guitar tab for dozens of songs, my interest was piqued. Maybe he was on to something after all.
Today it’s hard to imagine a world without access to the seemingly limitless resources that the internet provides. When you’re learning to play an instrument, or want to progress from beginner to intermediate or beyond, the web offers thousands of sources of material, from video lessons to sheet music and tablature. The problem now is more a case of locating the best resources for your needs – quality can be highly variable and Google is not always the best judge of this.
Which brings us to Harmonica.com, which is one of the most popular harmonica-related websites currently in operation. Established by JP Allen, the site offers a range of content, from harmonica reviews and lessons, through to blog articles and player profiles.
A Quick Overview
Given that one of the most frequently asked questions on harmonica forums is ‘which model should I buy’, it’s great to see a wide range of harps from all price points covered in the review section. Each one is given a star rating and an accompanying video so that the viewer can get some idea of tone and volume. The reviews are extremely honest, and the reviewers are not afraid to point out any flaws in particular models.
Probably the next most frequently asked harmonica questions are related to technique, and harmonica.com has a section covering the fundamentals as well as some more advanced techniques. There are also free harmonica tabs featuring a range of artists and genres, including classical, rock and pop.
In addition to the free resources, Harmonica.com offers two main pay-for tuition products – a portfolio of lessons (http://www.harmonica.com/lessons/) covering a range of techniques and musical styles, and a Jam-Along Sound System (http://www.harmonica.com/songs/) that enables players to learn songs by playing along at a tempo that they control.
If you’re more interested in articles about harmonicas and artists, there’s plenty of content on the site that fits the bill – from artist profiles through to regular blogs covering a range of harp-related topics.
To summarise, then, Harmonica.com is a great website for all harmonica-related information, and is one that we wholeheartedly endorse.
Beginner Lessons: http://www.harmonica.com/lessons/
Jam Along Sound System: http://www.harmonica.com/songs/
Top 100 Players: http://www.harmonica.com/top