Volume 2 follows the basic format of Volume 1 but four new keys with be explored. My vision of publishing this material as a 3 volume set was to not burden the student with the overwhelming task of trying to master all 12 keys at once. Therefore in these courses we will be focusing on 4 key centers each.
Students will gain a foundation starting with mastering the major scales in four keys and then progressing on to mixolydian and dorian scales and arpeggios. Foundational technique will be put to use in a fun and practical manner as Ross uses the framework of the 12-bar blues to teach improvisation over this familiar set of chord changes. Volume 2 covers the keys of Bb, Eb, A, and E.
The instrument begins to unlock its treasure trove of possibilities to the student as various slide ornaments and other expressive devices continually unveil themselves with diligent practice. It quickly becomes obvious that the C harmonica can indeed be played in multiple keys and eventually in all keys. The only barrier to growth and exploring these possibilities is the amount of time and effort the student puts into it. A lifetime of musical satisfaction awaits as the student is challenged to approach the instrument with a comprehensive and disciplined approach.
I have a teaching philosophy where I don’t want my students staring at pieces of paper or pdfs. My preference is that you memorize each of these major scales and then begin a process of playing simple melodies based on the scale to begin connecting with the instrument without reading either standard notation or tablature. However, after Volume 1 was released I attended 3 harmonica conventions and I taught seminars at two of them. What I noticed is that the students were raising hands and requesting that I write hole numbers, breath and slide patterns down on the white board. Therefore in this course you will see some visual aids on screen to assist you. I think its a good idea and not a compromise at all. I’m still not going to hold your hand to much. If you can play a scale or line in the first octave you can play it in the second and third octave with the same breath and slide patterns and you don’t have to know what hole numbers you are using. You have to trust me that once I get past hole 5 I really don’t know what holes I’m playing. Nevertheless the hole numbers are a great reference for teaching and I am certainly glad they are there on the mouthpiece! You just won’t see everything I teach tabbed out.
I wish you success if you chose to follow this course of instruction. Please contact me if you want or require some private web-based coaching to work through some of this material of if you need feedback.