Raising your game

Saturday 4th Feb 2023, 10.30am-1.00pm

If you’ve been playing for a while, can manage regular draw and blow bends, but have always wondered what to do next, this is the workshop for you.

Our intermediate programme usually starts with a short bending clinic to ensure that everyone is playing with the same foundation skills.

You will then be introduced to some new concepts and styles by our guest tutors Mark Hummel (USA) and Ed Hopwood (UK). Mark specialises in West Coast electric blues, while Ed specialises in blues, zydeco, old-time & bluegrass styles.

Mark Hummel will cover…
West Coast and Chicago Blues Harp styles, learning triplet licks with bends, octaves, blow bends, quarter note and half note bending, vibrato, head shakes, tongue flutters and other techniques. We’ll start work on basic third position playing, how to cup a mic properly and avoid feedback from an amplifier. We’ll work on jamming etiquette and how to direct other musicians. Finally we’ll get into some basic architecture of the old masters Sonny Boy, Sonny Terry and the Walters.

Ed Hopwood will cover…
‘Improve your Groove’. Learn to take control of your rhythm playing, improve your groove, develop feel and add texture to your licks and melodies. Learn to strengthen your ‘inner clock’ too. Techniques required include single note playing and on-demand note bending at a basic level.

What to bring
You should bring a small set of 10 hole diatonic harps, including the keys of C, A, D and G Major. You will not be able to follow the full programme with only a C Major harmonica. A limited selection of discounted harmonicas will be available on the day from our trade vendor.

These workshops run on Saturday morning. In the afternoon you can attend our Masterclass with Joff Watkins, or join John Cook for his Signature Tuning Software workshop. The afternoon closes in the company of our guest artists for their Q&A Session, after which there is an acoustic jam session in the Cellar Bar ahead of our evening show.