AIN'T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE'S GONE
-5 6 -6 7 -7 6 -6 (5 6 -6)
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
5 6 -6 7 -7 6 -6 (5 6 -6)
It's not warm when she's away
-6 -6 7 8 -8 8 8 -8 Ain't no sunshine when she's go-ne
INHALING THE BLUES
Ever thought "I've always wanted to play a musical instrument"
but never done a damn thing about it?
Attended a live gig and wished you were up there on stage with the Band, basking in the undivided attention of a rapt audience? Then just get off your butt and do it!
The harmonica (otherwise known as the harp) is probably the easiest instrument to learn (if a bit more difficult to master) but stick with it and you'll get as good as you want to be. And unlike other musical instruments they don't cost much and are easily transportable - just stick them in your pocket for easy access anytime, anyplace.
Can't read music? Nor can I. You don't need to because you can use a system called 'tabs' which shows you which hole number on the harmonica to go to, and indicates if you need to exhale or inhale - which is where that all-important lesson on controlling your breath comes into play.
But without getting too bogged down with details (and to stop you coming up with some other lame excuse) let me point you in the direction of a couple of guys who can show you just how easy it is to start out (and vastly improve on) your journey towards becoming a fully-fledged muso. There are, of course, numerous on-line tutors, but in my opinion, Tomlin Leckie (from absolute beginners through to advanced) and Adam Gussow (for those who really want to get serious about mastering their skills) are the best. Just click on the links above for their credentials, and their names below to access their tutorials.
FAMOUS BLUES HARPISTS
Sonny Boy Williamson
SO, I'LL JUST NEED THE ONE HARMONICA THEN?
Well, not exactly! But if you're an absolute beginner your best bet is to buy a 'starter' harp like the Hohner Special 20 in the Key of C until you get into your stride - but Leckie and Gussow will advise you on that.
Playing in many Bands both here and overseas, I've accumulated a whole caseful of harps in various keys, with backups in case they 'blow' and - as you can see - some pretty serious gear besides. But don't let that put you off; it's only when you're playing with other musicians and competing to be heard over an arsenal of drums, guitars and keyboards etc, that you'll be in the market for mics, amps, pedals etc which, combined, will give your tone that boost and punch you need to really bring your harp-playing forward.
I hope this page encourages you to take that first step to becoming (or improving on your skills as) a musician. And if you decide the harp's not for you, just try something else.
Watch this space for our band's suggestions for tutorials on how to play guitar, bass and drums, the best gear to buy and where, and a whole heap more.