SPAH.org is but one of many sites on the internet dedicated to the harmonica. There are of course harmonica manufacturers, retailers, customizers, and educational publishers online, but perhaps just as importantly there are a number of places where harmonica players from around the world can talk to each other. The list below includes sites that do some or all of these things. It is by no means comprehensive and will continue to grow and change as the online harmonica community grows and changes.
Of particular interest to youth and other beginners, one of our community sent this message, and we thought this resource (AAA State of Play) would be useful to players beginning to learn the harmonica, and it is located in a somewhat unexpected place:
For the next 3 weeks, my daughter’s Girl Scout troop will be working on their Junior Musician Badge. Some of the badge requirements include exploring the fundamentals of music composition, learning about different musical instruments and genres of music and understanding the basics of music theory. Julie loves music so this badge has been especially exciting for her! We’re learning all about the harmonica right now and you shared some great websites for us to check out! She requested I let you know how much you’ve helped us 🙂 As a thank you, I wanted to share this harmonica guide that my daughter found – https://www.aaastateofplay.com/a-musical-playground-harmonica-resources/ … It includes a ton of information for beginner players, harmonica sheet music and songs, how-to videos and other harmonica related sites! She was very excited to share it with you, and thought you and your visitors would enjoy it!
Modern Blues Harmonica: Founded by blues harp legend, writer and scholar Adam Gussow, Modern Blues Harmonica is dedicated to getting you to play the blues. Gussow offers instructional videos, harp tab, gear and listening recommendations and a forum. Gussow also runs his own music label, with a roster that includes himself and one-man-band Brandon Bailey.
Slidemeister: The internet’s self-described “Chromatic Oasis,” which should say it all. Slidemeister is a chromatic-centered community with an active discussion forum. Topics do range from diatonics to current events, but the focus of the forums is squarely on discussion of the chromatic harmonica.
Harptalk: Harptalk is a discussion board powered by Yahoo!Groups and sponsored by harmonica retailer Coast2Coast Music. Its stated purpose is to “discuss harmonicas, harmonica playing, and harmonica related equipment, as well as to share tips, techniques, and experiences.”
Harp-L: Started in 1992, Harp-L is the internet’s oldest harmonica message board. In its time it has covered all aspects of harmonica discussion. The site has a complete searchable archive, and more current posts can be viewed on their Yahoo!Groups page.
JazzHarmonica.org: Created by jazz chromatic player Wim Dijkgraaf, jazzharmonica.org is mainly an educational site aimed at teaching people how to play jazz on the chromatic with a focus on inspiring improvisation. The site offers free articles, mp3s, videos and a discussion forum, as well as paid video-conferencing lessons with Wim himself.
BluesHarmonica.com: David Barrett, famous for his Harmonica Masterclass series, fills this website with educational videos, mp3s, lesson plans and interviews. The site also has contests and forums staffed with well known harmonica players serving as “forum experts”.
The Harmonica School with Howard Levy: Howard, the recipient of SPAH’s 2010 Bernie Bray Player of the Year Award, continues to advance the harmonica. This is an online community, managed since 2009 with hundreds of diatonic harmonica lessons in all genres: Blues, Jazz, Folk, Brazilian/Latin, Indian/Middle Eastern, Classical. The most unique aspect is that students can submit videos directly to Howard for personalized feedback, which becomes available for the whole community to see as a masterclass (or Video Exchange as we call it).
Harmonica.com: The name pretty much says it all. Harmonica.com aims to be a one-stop shop for pretty much all things harmonica. You can buy your first harmonica, learn how to fix it up and get lessons, all from the site. Site creator JP Allen believes that anyone can learn to play harmonica and has helped tens of thousands of students all over the planet to do just that. With JP’s unique lessons, “even the most musically challenged students will succeed in bringing the joy of harmonica into their lives and become a very good harmonica player.”
If you know of a site that should be listed here but isn’t yet, please tell us about it.