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Advanced harmonica tongue blocking lesson

In this advanced tongue blocking harmonica lesson, I’m going to teach you a quite challenging harmonica solo, as played by Howlin’ Wolf in the song called I’ve been abused. This lesson is intended for students able to play bends, fast licks, as well as some effects like the glissando. Dip bends, pulls, slaps, all part of this solo performance study. Join me in the video lesson, in which you’ll also find the song tabs and learn this cool blues harp solo by the Louisiana artist.

In case you need, here you can find a good harmonica.

We are going to play a G harmonica in 2nd position to perform this D key song. In the video, I’m using a Hohner Marine Band Crossover harp, and as usual in these harmonica lessons, no talking! Just playing, learning, and having fun.

Song analysis:

Playing difficulty level: Advanced harmonica players.

Note bending skills: Draw bending on holes 3 and 4.

Lesson focus: Fast licks playing, blues scale patterns, dip bends, bending on draw holes. Execution of Glissando effect.

How to read the video lesson tabs:

One plus symbol means to blow the harmonica hole.

An apostrophe means to bend the note of a half-tone.

A double apostrophe means to bend the note of a whole-tone.

A triple apostrophe means to bend the note of three steps.

A dot before the notes means to use tongue blocking articulations.

^ means playing the note with a ‘dip’ bending.

R before a note means reaching that note with a glissando effect.

Sh means ‘Shake playing’ or ‘warble.’

Ft means the ’Flutter tongue’ technique.

P means ‘Pull technique.’

V means ‘Vibrato effect.’ 

Tr means ‘Tremolo effect.’ 

Here is the tablature of the song:

34 45+ 45 45+ 34

34 45+ 45

45+ 34

34 45+ V4^ 4' 4+ 3' 2

34 45+ V4^ 4' r2 2 p 45+ 34 2

(34 45+ 4) 4 4 4 4 4 4' 3' 2

4' 4 4' 4 4^ 4+ 3' 2, (1 1 1)

In this lesson, you learned how to perform ‘I’ve been abused’ by Howlin’ Wolf. I think you should have enjoyed practicing with me today, and if you want to improve your harmonica playing, enroll for free in my online harmonica school and have a look at the courses here. I hope to see you soon on these pages!

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