Jon Gindick Harmonica Lesson and Interview (Plus Cool Bending Tip!)

By Hal Walker

Written by Hal Walker on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, Hal Walker, Harmonica Lessons, SPAH Interviews and Lessons

Go get your harmonica in the key of C and get ready to play along with this awesome lesson and interview with none other than harmonica legend, Jon Gindick. Jon’s harmonica lesson covers “3rd position” playing and a great tip on bending. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Jon also gives a lesson on how to play the song “Joshua Fought the Battle”… Enjoy!

“If you’re a harmonica player born anytime after the mid-20th century, you’ve probably been knowingly or unknowingly influenced by Jon Gindick. For me, Jon is the Elvis of harmonica instruction…he not only opened the doors of blues harmonica to the world….HE KICKED THE DOORS DOWN!!! Thank you Jon for helping me believe in myself. Your legacy lives through me every time I teach harmonica.” JP Allen,

I’m so grateful for all my musical influences along the way. With 10 years of piano lessons and 2 harmonica songs under my belt, in 1984, I ventured off to Northwestern University with no clue what I was gonna do with life. Sometime during the first week, I stood transfixed as my new friend, Charles from New Orleans, sat down at the piano and made up his own original music right there on the spot.

During the 2nd week, I was sitting in a 3rd floor dorm room and, for the first time ever, I heard Neil Young playing “Sugar Mountain”. My life felt transformed. At some point during that first fall quarter, I stumbled upon the book and tape set called “Harmonica for the Musically Hopeless” by Jon Gindick.

I was by no means “musically hopeless”, but this seemed like a great place to start. The musical world was opening up to me and I started carrying a harmonica in my pocket everywhere I went. I wandered around the streets of Chicago in search of parking garages and stairwells with good acoustics and I started developing my own vocabulary of riffs.

Flash ahead almost 30 years. I’m sitting at the SPAH 2012 Convention in Dallas, Texas, enjoying a blues workshop taught by the legend, my first harmonica influence, Jon Gindick. After the workshop, I mustered up the courage to approach Jon and ask if he would consider being my first interview in what would soon become known as “Studio 1411”. With an enthusiastic “Yes!”

I had begun the path toward 16 interview / lessons with a fantastic variety of great harmonica players. Jon was so generous in his lesson. It was quite a treat to jam with him. With my friends at, I’m pleased to present Interview #1 with Jon Gindick.

Hal Walker

Hal is a singer, songwriter and musical explorer. Hal Walker, the educator, enjoys ongoing collaborations with Ohio arts organizations. Hal has also released 3 albums of his songs and one CD of instrumental music. Hal Walker, the multi-instrumentalist, composes and improvises on the guitar, piano, harmonica, the khaen, jew’s harp and concertina. In collaboration, he has developed a modern version of a traditional African instrument called a “Banakula.” New! Hal Walker harmonica lessons for beginners, click: Music That Fits in Your Pocket

Comments (5)

  • Pauline




  • Chandra Pokhriyal


    Thanks Hal… it is so inspiring to hear your story of self realization


    • Hal Walker


      You’re welcome, Chandra. It’s a never ending process, is it not. I look forward to hearing what you do with that inspiration! 🙂 Hal


  • Kaz


    Big WoW! Jon Gindick is so amazing and Hal looked like he was having way to much fun! I can’t wait to see who else you got in the pipeline. I picked up rhythm and blues for the musically hopeless back in ’96 and got JP’s lessons last year. Luv this stuff keep it comin!


    • JP Allen


      You got it Kaz! I’m glad you are enjoying it. jp


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