Hootin’ the Blues on the Harp – Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee Video

By JP Allen

Written by JP Allen on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, Harmonica Videos

I hope this video brings some fun to your day.

It’s a 1950s video of my first harmonica idol, Sonny Terry, jamming with Pete Seeger and Brownie McGhee.

AND YES! He is making all those awesome hooting sounds while playing harmonica at the same time. Super Fun!

Please post your comment below if you feel inspired. My intention is to bring happiness into the world through the harmonica and I’d love to know if you either enjoyed or didn’t enjoy this blog.

Warmly,
JP

Avatar

JP Allen

JP Allen believes that anyone can learn to play harmonica. Are you a beginner or intermediate who is looking for an especially easy approach to getting good fast? Do you think it would be fun to play blues or some of your favorite songs with minimal practice? Then CLICK HERE for JP's Beginners Harmonica Lessons, the world’s only 100% play-along harmonica video lessons.

Comments (198)

  • Avatar

    Don Grundy

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    J.P. I’ve truly enjoyed the emails you’ve sent. I’ve played the harmonica badly, since I was about 7. Then I didn’t play for years. About a year ago, I bought a MB. I started with You Tube, trying to learn, but needed more structure. I enrolled in Tony Eyers, Harmonica Academy.

    I do want to thank you, for your emails.

    Thanks, again,

    Don

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Bruno

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      J.P. Thanks for the emails you send. They encourage me and keep me in touch. I still play badly but the senior center keeps asking me back. I think the seniors like the simple music and the familiar melodies.

      Blessings on you and your family my friend.

      Bruno

      Reply

    • Avatar

      samuel bone

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      Thanks JP.This video is awesome .Great lungs…Don is the academy on line?I started playing about a year ago and ok with a few songs.I realy found it hard to practice once college started…however i am xcited because summer is near and i can go back to my harmonica! I just cant wait.

      Reply

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      martymann

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      i love this video, saw about a month and a half ago. i cant wait to play like him. the foxtrot harp is genious!

      Reply

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        victoria

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        PJ,I realy like it and makes me happy all the way. Thank you for sending me the emails and, I like the way you teach people how to play harmonica. Are you a vegan, a yoga man, a christian or what? you look very honest add good heart person. Keep doing what you do and, God is blessing you and forever. Apreciation Victoria.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          JP Allen

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          Thank you Victoria, I feel blessed everyday that I get to wake up and share music with so many. jp

          Reply

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      ERNIE

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      I enjoyed this video it made my day. THANK YOU

      Reply

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      John

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      Loved it. Want to learn to do this so bad. I’ll keep practicing. Thanks for the e-mails JP

      Reply

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      Barry Walker

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      I have really enjoyed your emails the last month or so. I havn’t purchased your package YET, but I am toally impressed with your communications. Keep it up and keep me on the list. Thanks e u later Barry

      Reply

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    Rafa

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    Hey JP, I’d also like to thank you for the information you send us! I’m from Chile and harmonica is not really well known, so receiving this videos every now and them is a great way to take 5 minutes of your day for the instrument we all adore.

    Thanks again!
    Rafa

    Reply

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    Sylvia

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    Heya JP,
    How’s your bones?!

    Great video you send, thnx. That’s some great harpin’ and hootin’ that he does and it shows it all comes down to the breathing…! Hope I’ll get that far one day, first got to overcome a major mental block. But I’m confident just one day………..and much thnx for all the free stuff you put out there on the net, that is really nice of you!
    Respect!

    Reply

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    Lainey Wilson

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    LOVE IT. This video just shows the joy and soul that goes into the playing.

    Reply

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    Charlie Carr

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    SUPER VIDEO..HE HAD LOADS OF TALENT AND SPECIAL EFFECTS AND BLEND THEM ALL TOGETHER,THANKS FOR SENDING IT TO ME I REALLY ENJOYED IT AND ALSO YOUR TEACHING SKILLS REALLY HELPED ME OUT A LOT, KEEP YOUR TEACHING VIDEOS COMING..THANKS AGAIN..CHARLIE

    Reply

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    Arlene

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    JP,

    On this video to be honest it is very excellent. Words can’t describe it. Also, I enjoyed each video you sent to me to learn new Harmonica tricks, actually I can play a simple song thru Harmonica now. Thank you for helping me to learn Harmonica, I truly appreciate it. And may I suggest that you also create a MySpace account so that I can communicate with you more often. Thanks and God bless!!!

    Arlene

    Reply

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    Mario

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    I loved the ecstatic expression on the banjo’s player face!
    Fantastic…

    Reply

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    Ludo

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    Hi ya,
    hope you are good and sound,
    Although I admit I can’t read them all, I like your emails yes, your joy is communicative.
    This video is great too.
    A quick word on how music helps me.
    I can’t say harmonica especially because I am not a true harpist. I explained briely. I had started to learn diatonic but I lost three of them including a Lee Oskar on the road.
    I kept on learning anyway on a bad harmonica till I turned to chromatics. I was given an old one but I never knew how it worked.
    I understood the advantage they had for someone with no musical education or ear such as me. On diatonics I could never know if I hit the right note and I felt guilt for others ears…
    I am still learning how to play the better chromatic I got myself, everyday simply going up, down and around the musical alphabet which is the chromatic scale.
    That’s all I do.
    After two months of this, I started singing.
    I started singing! Never could I do this in my little 34 years of life. And in tune.
    Being able to sing feel like being born, man!
    I love it and it is changing me, my perception of Life and my relation to People and the World around.
    I am a HAPPY person. I can feel and give happiness.

    Here is why playing Music is indispensable.
    No Music No Life!
    Harmonica is a wonderful handy instrument to learn on and grow as a human being.

    😉

    Take good care
    Ciao

    Ludo.

    PS: Many thanks to your great work and videos because I started to learn diatonics with you.

    Reply

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      ian

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      hi Ludo
      just read with interest your reply to J.P. I have only been learning to harp for a few weeks with J.P. i hope to buy the complete set soon. Please tell me about the ‘better chromatic’ i have not heard about it before, but only have the ten hole hohner in C. take care Regards Ian

      Reply

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      paul gladwell

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      JP I love this thank you

      Reply

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    ashley bell

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    Really enjoyed this post.
    Been learning now for five years and can play a little but sonnys tone and timing with his rhythm is amazing, something there for us all.
    Thank you.

    Reply

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    Ricky Lien

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    Hey JP!

    Thanks for posting up this golden oldie. It’s a sheer delight to listen and watch. Sigh….one day ….. with daily practice …. I too, will be able to play something from start to finish that’ll have the audience’s feet a-tapping!

    Thanks for the emails!

    Ricky

    Reply

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    Ed Gold

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    Thank you for this Sonny Terry video and all your others to date. It was a joy to watch the pleasure that Sonny Terry got from his playing. I’ve been much more into the chromatic harmonica, playing with the Long Island Harmonica Band what we would call “golden oldie” tunes from the 30’s to the early 50’s, but I also love hearing the blues on the harmonica and would like to improve my abilities in that area. Thanks again.

    Ed

    Reply

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    JP Allen

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    Hey Ricky,

    Glad you liked the vid of Sonny. Stay with and you will be able to play something start to finish. Maybe start with a small goal and then work your way up.

    jp

    Reply

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    Ken Noland

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    J P I seen this and every time it makes me want to kick myself for not getting a handle on the harmonica, thanks for the post to see 3 giants together made my night.

    Keep harpin Ken N

    Reply

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    Molly McGuire

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    Dear JP,

    I had the good fortune of seeing Sonny and Brownie live in Manhattan in the 60’s. It was just as on this video. All that stuff with his hands makes it seem as though he is making the air around him do all that stuff that I now know is all happening inside his mouth. What an entertainer!! Sure wish I could do that train stuff so fast and easy. Also loved the Buddy Greene at Carnegie Hall video. It makes everybody I show it to laugh out loud and shake their head in amazement. Keep ’em coming. Molly

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      No way!!! How cool!!!

      jp

      Reply

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    Dot

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    What a treat!! Appreciate the emails too.

    I played weekly with the “Harmoneers”, a great group of
    people in Walnut Creek, CA..and loved every minute.
    Hope I can find some players here in NJ.

    Best wishes,
    Dot

    Reply

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    danny

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    Loved it, JP. Thanks for adding me to the post.

    Reply

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    Betsy Johnson

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    Loved this video. Two great players that can do this hollerin’ technique today are Joe Filisko and Peter Madcat Ruth…it is so much fun to listen to.

    And yes, I love getting your e-mails and watching some of your stuff on you tube. Wish you’d come to SPAH!

    Keep on harpin’….Betsy

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Khuong

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    oops,

    Where is the video? I couldn’t see anything!

    Reply

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    Gerard Cornielje

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    Thanks for your great e-mails, they are helpful and fun!
    Regards,
    Gerard Cornielje

    Reply

  • Avatar

    chief

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    Thanks for that video,ever since I started playing harp,Ive been listening to OLD rag time harp Blues and been playing them,not very well,But good enough to put A smile on your face,Thanks again.Chief

    Reply

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    ROBERT TAYLOR

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    Love the mail I get from your sight, Just starting to learn to play harmonica. Got a good teacher here in Wilmington NC

    Reply

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    Ron Martin

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    Man, how could anyone not enjoy and be inspired by that dude’s talent. Thanks—send more!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Lou Piskura

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    JP:

    Sonny Terry is one fine talented musician. The control he has in his breathing technique to be able to play both the harmonica and hoot at the same time is nothing short of miraculous. Gosh! just to see a variety show with the likes of Sonny & Pete would be tremendous. I would love to see the harmonica become a more prevelant instrument. It transmits so many feelings to the soul.
    Lou Piskura

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Tom

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    Another example that music reflects life as it really is. If only everyone could have that experience. Thank you for YOUR inspiration to others.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JP Allen

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    WOW!!!!

    I just read all of your comments posted and I went from smiling to laughing to smiling. This is so darn cool to feel connected to a harmonica community when I living here all alone in Kauai, Hawaii with absolutely no harmonica contingency…actually some…but not like my days living in Austin, Texas…

    STOKED!!!

    YOU MADE MY DAY!!

    jp

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      P.S. It is amazing to play to the setting sun over the ocean here in Kauai…so Blues Night club or setting sun….hummmm…I’m 44 now…I’ll take the setting sun… can’t keep up with the young ones anymore…I’m going to do a harmonica retreat in Kauai at some point so email me at jp@jpallen.com if you’re interested and I’ll let you know.

      Reply

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    Diego

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    Greetings and blessings from the World´s Best Coffee Country – Land of the Eternal Spring!!! Guatemala, Central America. I have really enjoy this video. Gave me a couple of minutes of fun. My dad gave me a Harmonica when I joined the Boy Scouts back in 1973. I never played good, recently I bought another Harmonica, a BluesBand, and I`m practicing just for fun. Your lessons and videos have been a great help to me. Thank you.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Joe

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    Great video. It’s hard to believe he can play & hoot at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your lessons are awesome too. I can’t wait to be able to play a song. I’ve been wanting to learn to play for almost 40 years. The wait is over. Thanks for everything, Joe.

    Reply

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    Filipe Mesquita

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    Hi JP

    It´s one of the idols of all of us. It brought to the scene the very essence of harp playing, this extreme happiness and naturalness of improvising over a few chords. I already knew the video. Sonny Terry in his best!!!
    Don´t forget also the same mood in Sonny Boy Williamson´s Bye Bye Bird.
    Thanks a lot for the video.

    Reply

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    Phil

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    It says that the video has been removed. too bad

    Reply

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      JP Allen

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      Hey Phil, we found another version of the video and just added it again to our blog post 🙂

      Reply

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    Eduardo Curiel

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    Simplemente EXTRAORDINARIO, Sonny Boy Wiliamson was my inspiration for play harmonica, and each day I fill playing much better with your teaching true the video.
    play fast is very difficult, but I am into the problem.
    Now we have a band with the name, Dr. Blues Band and we play our own songs, later send you a video .
    Take care
    Eduardo.

    Reply

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    Vic

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    Greetings JP,
    I enjoy all of your emails. I recently picked up the harp after seeing your videos, and others on youtube. I’m still stuck on the basics…but enjoy playing. Like all things in life “you get out what you put in”, “no-pain; no-gain”, and “practice, practice,practice”.
    Best regards to you and all your followers.

    Reply

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    Alma Engel

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    Great fun! Thanks for sharing. I love receiving your e-mails. You seem so happy!

    Reply

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    Rhiannon

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    Rhiannon says, “This was a good video, I liked it. Thanks for the newsletters, JP. I’m learning to bend notes, and I like all your videos and CDs, and so does my daddy. “

    Reply

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    Dorothy A. Thomas

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    I loved listening to Sonny. In fact I love all you emails. Dotty

    Reply

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    Bob Hanan

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    Hey
    I have really enjoyed all your e-mails! I’m looking forward to getting your course. I was given my Uncle’s harmonica back in the seventies. I used to love to play piano and guitar but loss the use of my hands about 12 years ago to inflammatory arthritis. I think the only thing I can play is the harmonica! I worked in the ministry for many years and now am in financial services. anyway..I have looked at some of your preliminary courses online and I love your positive approach and your warm smile and attitude! So.. when I can get the funds I’ll get your course! We just became grandparents and I’m making moves in my business because of a move and limited mobility. Please keep in touch. It is a blessing to me.

    Warm regards

    Bob

    Reply

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    Don Wagner

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    Great playing. Got anything on or about Herb Schriner? I really enjoyed this, what a great talent

    Reply

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    Geoff - down under

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    Thanks JP – this was awesome. I loved the rhythm and the guy’s wailing. I agree with the others, Sonny Boy sure was one talented individual.
    Geoff (Down Under)

    Reply

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    Janny

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    I love it. Actually, since I heard you first, I think he sounds like you. lol. Btw, last night I played some harmonica songs for friends around the campfire – thanks to you. One friend got out his banjo and played around, too.

    Thanks for helping me learn to make people smile, one harmonica song at a time!

    Reply

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    Armando Amarillas

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    I recently bought a cd by Sonny Terry and B. Magee great stuff. Thank you JP Allen. I bought your instructional DVD’s last October and have really enjoyed learning. I’m currently on the bending instruction DVD.

    Reply

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    Marilyn

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    I enjoyed this video. It truly amazes me what you can do with a Harmonica. My goal is when I can do single notes I will save my pennies for the DVD’s.

    Reply

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    Comboverguy

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    Thanks for a great video, I really appreciate all of your information and am coming along nicely with my harp. Not nearly fast enough, but slow and steady wins the race.
    Thanks again. I will be ordering your course soon.

    Reply

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    Ben Downs

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    JP,
    Thanks for the Sonny Terry,Brownie McGhee,Pete Seeger video.
    When I was about twelve years old I heard Sonny and Brownie on Juke Boxes during the 50’s and black musicians were not getting much tv time especially blues(harmonica) players.Sonny and Brownie had out a song called “Fannie May” and I would play that song over and over at a dime a play or three songs for a quarter!I didn”t know his instrument he played until later on in life but I knew it sounded good.Now I appreciate his harmonica and mine even more.Thanks for the instructional videos that you send also.I hope you can find more of the old blues harmonica players and post their videos
    such as Sonny Boy Williams and Little Walter.I bought your instructional DVD set and I am on the first one and taking my time.

    Reply

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    Ben Downs

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    Also if you can find a video of Buster Brown who also recorded Fanne May would be good.

    Reply

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      Sarah

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      Hey J.P.
      I really enjoyed that video and all the others you’ve sent and I love the way you share so much of your talent freely. I am soon to be 65 and I am trying to learn to play the harmonica by watching your free lessons on the PC. You are an inspiration to all of us who love music; God bless you.
      Sarah

      Reply

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    Fernando

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    JP

    Gracias for all this inspiration and lesson you give me, i should actually say give us!!!, because is me and my friends we live in Colombia, so me been the only one understanding your lessons have to translate into them we all practice and have tons of fun jejeje, we just bought ourselves 4 blues band harmonicas yuuuu huuuuuuu

    and thank you again

    Reply

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    Jim Day

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    One of my favorites too!!!

    Reply

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    Mel

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    Lovin’ the videos and emails. Thanks !

    Reply

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    Elizabeth

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    Outstanding! What an artist. Thanks for finding and posting it J P.

    Reply

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    Mike Healey

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    JP:
    I truly enjoy your videos. At 80 years I just started playing the harmonica for enjoyment and fun. Bought your complete set of lessons and find them helpful. They are very well done, can’t say much for the Bluesbands however. So far I prefer my Pocket Pal.
    Thanks a bunch.

    Reply

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    Igor

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    Hi JP,
    thanks for the video, it’ great!
    Some artists of old school are playing in so light manner as if they were walking around and came for one song by the way.
    And that is what we’re target for!

    Reply

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    Mel

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    I’ve grown so much with my Harp playing that I’m ready
    for Carnegie, (would you believe a cave waaay in the forest?)

    Reply

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    Laurel Anne Smith

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    I really enjoyed Sonny Terry and Brownie MaGee, My husband has some of his music, Thank you so much for sending this to me today. I enjoy all of your E Mails and you have helped me in many areas of playing the harmonica.. I have not mastered the bending technique yet. But am working on it, Will look forward to your future encouragement!!!!!

    Reply

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    Carol Roberts

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    I just watched a DVD: Paul Lamb: A Journey Through the Blues with a Harmonica. Sonny Terry is his # 1 inspiration, and he plays so much like him it isn’t even funny! This DVD includes a tutorial that discusses how Terry uses these “whoops” and other fun techniques. Check it out. I got it through Net Flix.

    Reply

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    Jemmy

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    Hi,

    That’s one awesome tunes. I hope that one day I could play like him.

    Thanks for the emails, I’ll practice harder.

    Reply

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    Don Odom

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    Hey J.P.,
    Wonderful video! The sounds Sonny Terry makes are awesome. I saw a video of Bonny B. making similar hooting sounds while playing a Shuffle Solo, it was good also. J.P., I just want to let you know how well I like your instructional videos as they have helped me greatly. I have been playing a little less than two years and had a mental block for a while because I was trying to much without learning basics. You helped me with that and a couple of weeks ago I actually played on stage at church! I went to practice, not at all expecting to actually get to play during service the next day but the band members liked it so much they insisted I play at the church service. And check this out, after service everyone listening said my harmonica playing was one of their favorite parts of the service. Thank you for sharing your knowlege!
    Don Odom

    Reply

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    Bill Yost

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    Hey JP,

    I really enjoyed watching this.. thanks for sharing it. I can sure understand how watching this inspired you. It’s amazing how easy Sonny Terry made it look. It’s like the harmonica was an extension of him rather than a separate instrument. Thanks again for everything you do to make harmonica playing enjoyable to so many. You are an inspiration to all of us.

    Bill Yost

    Reply

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    Rhenz Erric R. Repizo

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    AWESOME!!! You’ll never be bored with this prodigy!!!!!!

    Reply

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    Jo Barlow

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    Love it! Makes me want to play more. Thanks!!!

    Reply

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    Jabo

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    sonny terry is my favorite. I really like his rhythm playing. he is one of the all time greats. thanks for your emails,look forward to reading them.

    Reply

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    hugo

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    great video playing with soul and thats what its all about

    Reply

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    Jenny

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    Wonderful! how fun…thanks for all your e mails I am loving the play. A harmonica fits into your pocket so when on horseback its easy to get some music going..you have been a big help

    Reply

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    GRAHAME

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    Funny and brilliant all at the same time. How cool. Thanks JP for all the info.

    Reply

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    Ed Criger

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    JP,

    I really enjoyed the video with Sonny Terry, I’ve never heard anyone hoot like that while playing the harmonica. There were times I thought he was barking like a “dog”. His playing is motivational and I got a big kick out of listening to him. Thanks for the additional lessons you through are way. I have you’re complete bundle now…do you have any cd’s or dvd’s that are made for intermediate harmonica players? Just thinking down the road.

    Thanks Again,

    Ed

    Reply

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    Lewis

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    Thanks JP much appreciated mate.

    Lewis. UK

    Reply

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    FJ1200

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    Hey JP – that’s a keeper! Great fun, brought a huge grin to my face when I needed one on a Monday morning! I just learnt to play “When the Saints…” too – enough to start having some fun with it. Thanks for the inspiration you’re providing to a 4-week old harpist and to the rest of us.

    Reply

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    Jack Aiello

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    HI JP
    enjoyed all the videos that you sent me….have learned a lot of good things from you…..right now i am challenged with learning to play a tremolo harp…24 hole….just love the sound of this….first song was gabriels oboe…..can not read music….play by hearing…..learned from a cd I purchased many years ago…Terry Mc Millan “Somebody’s Comin” really do miss him…..JP your much appreciated…..
    Jack….Webster,NY

    Reply

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    Kenneth F Fackrell

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    I love that piece, I here it once in while on Bluesville ( XM Radio ). Very inspiring. Thanks for the vidios. Say hi to Rebeca.

    Reguards, Ken.

    Reply

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    Nicolas

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    Thanks J.P. That video is really good and it ecourage me to keep playing

    Reply

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    Bertram Greenland

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    Having grown up on the blues and first listerned to Sunny Terry and brownie Magee on You Bring out the Boogie in me Album.And Wow what a blast.Talk about a HARP player.” Sunny Terry is A legend He;s as Sharp as they get.An all time insperation to play the harmonica.

    Reply

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    David

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    Great video! Past my bedtime, but had to watch it. Very cool!

    Reply

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    D.Clark

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    J.P.:That is some good old harp playing!
    I noticed that some of your favorite harpist,including this one, and quite a lot of others,including Terry McMillan play(ed) the harp with the lower notes on the right. Generally,this seems upside down,is there a valid reason for playing this way?

    Reply

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      JP Allen

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      Wow. I didn’t know that about Terry. It really doesn’t make that much of a difference with harmonica… where as playing a left handed guitar righty is a whole ‘nother can of worms… jp

      Reply

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    Zsolto66

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    Hey Allen,

    thank you for this great video. It is so amazing to see the many ways these talented artists play the harp. it is a great inspiration (and also a reminder how far my Il Silencio is from being any good :)).

    At 1:29 my dog jumped to the window growling — she thought another dog was outside 😀

    Zs

    Reply

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    John

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    thats a man enjoying life

    Reply

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    Robin Clark

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    JP,

    That was really funny. What joy can be had from making some gentle noise.

    By the way thank you for your harmonica lessons. I thought my wife would go ape when I told her that I had a set of the Hohner Bluesband on order, but she thought that it was it was a really good idea since she knows that if I am whistling then I must be in a good mood. Well its working – I maybe still mediocre, but having a whale of a time.

    Best regards,

    Robin

    Reply

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    Larry

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    I sure enjoyed this, and all videos.

    Reply

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    Brooke

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    I love these videos, truely inspiring and reminds me why I wanted to learn the harmonica in the first place. I’ve only been practising for a few short weeks but I do love it.Thanks J.P.

    Reply

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      JP Allen

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      Hey Brooke!!! Good luck with your practicing… If you want support from some harmonica playing friends… friends that will encourage you to practice… come find us at the forum…. https://www.harmonica.com/forums/how-to-play/finding-a-harmonica-buddy-964/

      Make it fun Brooke and if you stick with it please give me a hoot to share your progress.

      Your Harmonica Buddy,
      jp

      Reply

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    Sirsanto

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    Sonny’s great….always enjoyed his licks. I encourage everyone to see their favorite harp players before they leave us. I’ve seen my favorite, John Mayall, several times….as well as Charlie Musselwhite and Lee Oskar. I consider it a blessing to have been in their presence.

    Reply

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      JP Allen

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      Here here!!! Thanks Sirsanto! Good advice… cease the moment while we’re alive and they’re alive… jp

      Reply

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    Rae Hudso

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    Well, Sonny T. could be classified as the epitomy of Harmonica Soul. However, I do feel he would sound a lot better & more professional if he backed off on the hooting while he is playing. Just the overview from an ooooooLD player from 65 years back.

    And yes I really enjoy your e-mails……keeps me thinking…..keeps me thinking young………again.

    Kind regards from an old pro….

    RHM

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Hey Rae! I’m glad these blogs are inspiring you. Dang! You’ve been playing way longer than me… RESPECT! jp

      Reply

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    Albert

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    These old folks could realy jam it. The little instument can realy make wonderful music. Could you pliz tell me what key that was. I normaly play a C and G keys.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Steve

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    JP,

    Thank you. I used to play my dobro with a group of people that included an 80 year old retired preacher who did a very similar song with the verbal accents. I have always been fascinated by the harmonica. Please continue to share your knowlege and music. I try to practice my harp skills more regularly now.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Glad you enjoyed it Steve.
      jp

      Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Hi Steve good to hear from ya,
      Don’t worry I will, Harmonica is a fascinating instrument.
      Glad to hear your practice time is going well.
      jp

      Reply

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    phillip ryan

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    awesome

    Reply

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      JP Allen

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      Right on Phillip. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Arthur Hakalani Pacheco

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    This takes me way back. i also saw Sonny Terry and Brownie Mchee at the Ashgrove in L.A. in the early seventies. They really blew me away. So thanks for sharing this with us all. Aloha!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Glad you enjoyed Arthur!
      jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    sandy

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    JP,
    Getting emails from you everyday helps keep me fired up and practicing. A friend loaned me your complete disc course and I have really enjoyed it. Your teaching method is so enthusiastic and clear. I’ve been able to learn in leaps and bounds. And have LOTS of fun. As a marriage and family counselor devoted to helping people create positive lives, I especially appreciate your carefully worded messages of encouragement and reassurance. Thank you so much for helping to bring a new source of joy into my life.
    P.S. Can you recommend any venues in Austin for hearing great harp playing?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Thank you for your appreciation Sandy, it gives me great joy to share music with people. My languaging is influenced by Marshall Rosenberg who models NVC. I’ve been living in Kauai for almost a decade so I’m a bit out of the Austin scene…If you can find Michael Rubin, Jimi Lee or Guy Forsyth…some of the worlds finest harmonica players… these guys are super cool, and could probably steer you to the best place to find more great harmonica players and Austin venues.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    sandy

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    Thank you, JP, for your reply and for your referring to NVC, Michael, Jimi and Guy.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Your welcome Sandy,
      jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    John J

    |

    Just great, beyond words. Keep ‘posting’.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Thanks John.
      jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Danny campbell

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    Hi JP
    That was great, I really got a feel for how passionate Sonny was about the harp. Passionate yet relaxed and looked like he was having fun, that’s something I’m noticing all the great harp players ( yourself included ) seem to be having a great time, they don’t play harp they party.
    I look forward to the day when I can do that, keep the videos coming they are a real inspiration and they show exactly what we can achieve with practice, and a lot of what you teach can be seen by the greats

    harp on

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Let’s get this party started Danny!!! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Barbara Marquardt

    |

    I still have my old LPs of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, and lots by Pete Seeger as well, so, yes, I enjoyed this email very much and the free lessons as well, which were extremely helpful. Your not-free lessons are beyond what I can afford, but I’m sure they are worth every penny. Thanks for all the help and entertainment you provide.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Glad to hear I could help you Barbara! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Ante

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    It makes me smile

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Me too. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Mark R.

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    Hi JP
    I am about half way through your lessons and get discouraged sometimes that I am not where I want to be and about that time I get another e-mail with a video like this and I am on fire to learn. Thanks JP for helping so many like me. I live near Kansas City, MO. and don’t know where I would go to hear a good harpist.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      I’m glad they get you fired up, that’s why I send it out. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Van Riet Jean-Pierre

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    Great fun! Thanks for sharing. Grtz from Belgium.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Right on Van. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Bob Smith

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    Pete Seeger lives in Beacon, NY now, and it was really cool to see this video from so long ago! Thanks.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Yea…love the classics…thanks for enjoying. jp

      Reply

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    LARRY

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    THIS GUY IS AWSOME, NOW THATS THE KIND OF STUFF I WANT TO SOUND LIKE, THANKS FOR SHARING

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Right on Larry! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Pete

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    Thanks for posting this video, JP. This inspires me to keep practicing and improve my meager abilities.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Sure thing Pete. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Gerald Clark

    |

    HI J.P
    All your E-mails are greai, inspiring and informative.
    Please keep sending same.
    Makes for a happy day
    Thanks
    G. Clark

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      I’m glad you’re inspired by my emails Gerald. I’ll keep em’ coming. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Gerald Clark

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    Hi J.P
    This article is great as are your other articles.
    I like this guy whooping it up.
    Super stuff.
    Keep it coming.
    Thanks
    G. Clark

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      You got it Gerald! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    jacques degeselle

    |

    thanks for the e mails and the lessons its difficult for me to explain because i dont know your languige verry good but i say thank you

    jacques

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      You’re very welcome Jacques, I’m glad you are enjoying them. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    David Miller

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    Thanks JP for this wonderful viedo..really enjoyed it.I would love to play like that….it would be a pleasure for you to teach me to do so… i have seen your free leasons and played along with you..also, i went and got myself a homer special 20… this is my dream .again thanks

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      You can do it David. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    jake

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    that is truly amazing.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Right on Jake. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Bruce

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    JP, I loved the video, as well as all of the prior videos, blogs, and free lessons. I’ve always loved music as well as the the sound of harmonica, but never attempted to learn that amazing instrument. I’ve played guitar in the past, but now I have bad osteo-arthritis in both of my wrists which prevent me from playing the guitar. So I’ve been contemplating learning the harmonica this past month, and I’ve subscribed to your emails and I am really enjoying them, and learning, still in the beginings. I just bought an inexpensive Hohner Blues Band harp to start. It is all new to me and I hope I can one day make it sound good. I have always loved listening to Terry McMillian, and Buddy Greene, what sounds they have made. I chose harmonica because there appears to be a lot less wrist movement verses the guitar. My ortho doctor says I need a total fusion of both wrists, but I don’t want that right now. I would rather live with the daily pain/discomfort in my wrists than another surgery. So I’m hoping that harmonica will help me bring back self entertainment/music to my life. So very humbly Bruce

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Hey Bruce, I’m so happy that you found me and discovered the ease of the harmonica. What a blessing! Sounds like the perfect instrument to get you back into playing music again. Sending my best wishes for you recovery….jp

      Reply

      • Avatar

        rj

        |

        that was G R E A T! Thanks for posting it.

        Reply

  • Avatar

    anthony

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    WOW!!!!!!!!!! I love the way he plays. Even the hoots he makes looks like fun.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Yea…love it. He was one of my greatest influences. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Ronald

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    It would of been a honor to set at that table in the times. The ultimate today would be Grey Vocal, Guy Lead Guitar, Wood Rhythum and Allen Harmonica. Your the best, Appreciate the excellant lessons. Ron

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Ha!! That would’ve been a treat. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Ronald

    |

    DVD’s are fantastic!!! Do it at your own pace, no download time, pause when you choose and I personally can play them over and over again. ( Senility, or I think when You get my age they call it Dementia ). Food for thought for all, especially oldie but goodies. Great works! Thanks J P previous message I said Grey and it’s Crey for the record Thanks Again! Ron

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Glad you enjoyed Ron….nothin’ like harmonica to keep your memory sharp. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    richard see

    |

    I enjoyed this video. I am still a very young learner of your course. I hope I can play this well one day.
    Thank you for sending videos to encourage in learning to blow a small simple musical instrument.
    God Bless You

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      You got it Richard, have fun on your harmonica journey. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Bill Neil

    |

    I am 81 and have been playing harmonica and keyboards for many years. But I see by your videos I was not holding the harmonica in my mouth properly> I am following your advice and have corrected myself. I do have 2 Golden melodies in D and G and three chromatics. I am practicing the throat warble rather than fluttering my fingers to create vibrato and am attempting to keep the instrument completely enclosed within my hands, opening them only for ther effects as you do in your videos. I cannot yet get the sharps and flats on the diatonic, like I do with the chromatic and the octave is limiting, but I cannot get the same effect with the chromatic as I do with the diatonic either. I enjoy the videos. You have truly helped me to explore my creativity. Thank you. Bill Neil

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Dave

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    Great, the ability some people have, I plod on
    Dave

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Happy plodding Dave! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    jf plowman

    |

    jp its jp plowman isaw him in the 50 the had his owne stile. cool

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Wow! What an amazing and fortunate life experience. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    phillip ryan

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    Easy to see why he was your idol….would love to be able to play harmonica..

    Reply

  • Avatar

    will dennis

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    awesome! the first concert i ever went to i was about 4 and sat on stage at a pete seeger vietnam war protest. he is such an incredible artist…all three of them are! now my kids listen to pete and dig him. thanks! someday i’d like to be able to play 1/10 that good! keep it coming JP

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      What a great memory. Thanks for sharing. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    john f plowman

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    sony terry what can yo say hes good i notthe best. jfp thanks jp for that.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      You got it John. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Reno

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    Excellent posting JP. Really inspiring to complete beginners like myself. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Glad it was inspiring. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Rod

    |

    Keep sending these great emails about harmonica greats. I remember those hugh sized harmonica”s from TV. As a child in the 50’s I remember seeing players on TV. Don’t change anything you are doing, your system works very well. I am reviewing the beginner lessons now and feel inspired to continue to the next level soon. Thank you for being such a wonderful person. If I ever can afford a trip to Hawai, I look you up.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Sounds great Rod, I’ll save a space for you on the next round. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Harley

    |

    Thanks for sharing. The growing years for me were the 70’s. I don’t remember any harmonica players on TV, except for a fellow by the name of Jimmy Riddle (9/3/18 – 12/10/82) on a Saturday show called Hee Haw. He could play and that is what I aspire too before it’s my time to leave. Sonny Terry is super. All the video clips are very inspirational and keep me going.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      I’m glad your enjoying the videos Harley. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Peter P

    |

    Dear JP,

    Thank you for all your emails. They are helping me to improve my understanding how to play this small harp.
    Keep sending please.

    Regards

    Peter P

    Reply

  • Avatar

    don raines

    |

    wow sonny terry thats wild super good thanks jp

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Lesley Dyer

    |

    I love this…and appreciate you. Thanks again for helping me get past the I sound awful phase.

    Reply

      • Avatar

        Roman S. Australia

        |

        Good stuff , I was leaning on table watching this guy , nice and steady ,but the legs ,I thought I was going to dance them off . Good one JP.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          JP Allen

          |

          Awesome Roman…work those legs! jp

          Reply

  • Avatar

    balugastone

    |

    i have been doing all my tucka toodle diaphragmatic breathing as you said in your video jp and after 9 days it is finally getting easier but the best thing i find for learning the harmonica is jamming along to one of your tracks because it gives you the freedom to free style and build your own confidence on the harp.thanks for the emails jp and keep on rockin.j

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Yes! The jam alongs are an excellent way to improve your skills and feel confident. Way to go! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Tony D.

    |

    I loved that harp by Sonny. He has real style. I am definitely inspired to play like that. I’m gonna try some right now.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Don

    |

    I really enjoyed the video,Sonny is a great talent. I started your lessons about a month ago .I;m 83 yrs old so progress is slow,but I am enjoying it very much.
    Thanks JP,

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

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      Thanks for for giving it a go Don! I’m glad you’re enjoying the lessons. jp

      Reply

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    ROBY

    |

    Very enjoyable!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Jack-KEAKA

    |

    I am 57 yr old i would to star playing harmonica is the Blues Bend 7 piece set good to star with form hohner or Bluesmaster set ?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Yes Jack, a great starter set. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Blues Harp Shorty

    |

    Sonny Terry and Brownie MaGee my first and still favorites!! I enjoy doing train sounds!! I even play on stage with some frynds of mine,Lukyn Skywyrd. I do the intro to Blackfoot’s Train Train and I do If You Wanna get to Heaven by Ozark Mountain Dare Devils. Take care and Merry Christmas!!!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ron

    |

    Wonderful playing .
    Sadly, the earlier one had some banning notice pasted over it. I don’t know why.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sam Leone

    |

    I really enjoyed Sonny playing the blues. The rythem that he played
    Was simple but made you want to hear more. A true talent. Thanks for
    The piece.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amit Chandra Mandal

    |

    This Video really an inspiration. Your idol is really a genius.
    Love n Regards…

    Reply

  • Avatar

    FRANCKE

    |

    THANKS for the vidéo,it’s super but i am frustrated because i’d like to learn and play some of them espécially “hooting for the blues” but without tablature? it’s difficult; I know that it’s posslble to get courses from you, but being French,i am afraid not to understand everything.
    Bye and thanks for the vidéo and informations.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Hey Francke, I understand your concern, I just want to assure you that the way the lessons are taught using written tablature and visual cues I am confident that you will be able to play along and learn. I have students from all over the world who have learned to play with Happy Harpin’. There is a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Richard D Muraoka

    |

    Hello jp, that was awesome video. I know adam gussow showed hoq to play hootin blues. On his video is 2 hole draw tucka ticka. 1,2,3 let the air around harp.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Diamantina Verteouris

    |

    AMAZING!!! I just love it!!! He is a great idol to have and look up too!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    RON

    |

    JP

    Your productions constantly keep improving.

    That Sonny terry video “Hootin’ The Blues” is an excellent demonstration of quality “Soul Music”.

    Love your site. You give a lot to the music community.

    Ron

    Reply

    • Avatar

      JP Allen

      |

      Thanks Ron! I enjoy digging up cool stuff to share. jp

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Henry Simas

    |

    thanks for the video Jp. I happened to watch a video on utube the other day of a street performer beat boxing while playing the harmonica at the same time. both styles seem very close to each other. it encourages me to practice harder every day thank you

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Martin Arnold

    |

    Hi jp
    Just watched the video of sonny terry that was brilliant I loved it is also like sonny boy Williamson 11 both players are awesome thanks you jp love the lessons
    Martin from England

    Reply

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