One of the great things about the internet is that we now have access to an incredicble amount of instructional material previously unatainable. We can now be students in out own homes when it suits us. However having a live harmonica instructor is really something else and interacting with other students is really inspiring. If there is no harmonica school in your area and no teachers are close by, I can really recommend that you take a look at the available blues harmonica events that are run all over the world. In this article I list events I think are worth taking a look at.
SPAH Annual Convention
The SPAH Annual Convention is organized in the US once a year. Unfortunately I have not attended yet but it is definately on my list. It takes place in August over 5 days. From what I gather the program is packed with workshops and jam sessions and don’t plan for a lot sleep! This is an event with all the great instructors and artists. This is probably the largest of the blues harmonica events.
Edinburgh Harmonica Workshop
Edingburgh Harmonica Workshop is organized by Tomlin Leckie and is one of the newer additions when it comes to harmonica events. It is a 80 participant 3 day event, so definately smaller than SPAH. Looking at the program for 2019 event Tomlin has put together a great program. The teachers are well known and the topics look really interesting.
Harpin’ by the Sea
If you are looking for a short event, then Harpin’ by the Sea is for you. It is a one day event based on different themes every year. From what I hear from friends, this is an event that is really fun. I hope to join this event one day. My friend Stuart McKay, who is one of the organizers has made a really good case for it.
Harmonica Masters Workshops
Harmonica Masters Workhops organized in Trossingen each year by Steve Baker is now well esablished among the blues harmonica events. It is organized 3 years in a row and then there is a gap when the World Harmonica Festival is organized.
khops organized in Trossingen each year by Steve Baker is now well esablished among the blues harmonica events. It is organized 3 years in a row and then there is a gap when the World Harmonica Festival is organized. To get a better insight of what goes on there you can read my trip report from 2018.
Getting the most out of blues harmonica events
Which ever event you choose to go to, I have a few pieces of advice to make sure to get the most out of it.
- Prepare at leat one song to perform in front of the class if that is offered. It is a great way of getting feedback.
- Participate in jam sessions. A great way to test things in a safe environment.
- Prepare a song to perform in an open stage session if that is offered. These events have the best audience.
- Trade contact information with other participants, you make friends for life.
- Live close by the event. Don’t spend your time in transit every day.
- Have fun!
If one of these events doesn’t seem right for you then I am sure you can find another event to go to. You will not regret it!
Don’t forget to sign up below to get the Welcome package and exclusive articles!