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Sonny Terry chugging style harmonica lesson

Welcome back to my FREE harmonica lesson series! Today you’re going to learn a chugging sequence, in the style of Sonny Terry, and train yourself to play solo harmonica, a fun way to alternate chords and melodies.

Together with this cool tongue blocking vamping solo, you’ll practice with me glissandos, double note combinations, as well as tongue flutters and dip bends. I’ll teach you these licks and you are going to play them them on the provided interactive video.

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

Intermediate level harmonica players are going to enjoy this free exercise, learning a cool rhythm and melodies song, played in 2nd position on an A harp.

For this lesson I’m using a Hohner special 20, the tune is in the key of E, and in the provided video below on this page, you’ll find the tabs on which the harmonica holes are notated. Follow my indications and play after having listened to me! As usual in this series, no talking! Just playing, learning and having fun.

Song analysis:

Playing difficulty level: Intermediate level harmonica players.

Note bending skills: Draw bending on holes 2,3 and 4.

Lesson focus: Learn to alternate chords and melodies, fast rhythm playing, draw bendings and blues scale practicing. Tongue flutters and glissandos execution.

How to read the video lesson tab:

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 ’Flutter tongue’ techinque.

P means ‘Pull technique’.

V means ‘Vibrato effect’

Tr means ‘Tremolo effect’.

Here is the tablature of the solo:

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) (12 12) 12+ 1

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) p 3^ 4 3^ 3''

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) 2+ 1 2+

2 34^ p 34^ (45+ 45+) 2'' 1

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) (12 12) 12+ 1

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) 2+ 2'' 2'

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) p 34 45+

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12 12) 1 2+

14 25+ ft25

r6+ 5 4 4' 4+ (3^ 4 3) 1 2+

2 p12 (p 12 12 p 12) (12 12) 12+ 1

2 p12 (p 12 12 p) (12 12 12)

In this lesson you learned how to perform a nice solo harmonica in the style of Sonny Terry, using the chugging technique. I think you should have enjoyed learning 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 harmonica courses here.

I hope to see you soon on these pages!

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