This is a public version of the members-only Harmonica with Howard Levy, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Harmonica with Howard Levy.
Join Now

by level
This groups the Lessons by level according to difficulty.
by style
This groups the Lessons by musical genre.
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Harmonica Lessons: Advanced Tongue Blocking: Scale in Octaves

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Harmonica with Howard Levy.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Harmonica with Howard Levy. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Harmonica Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Now I'd like to show you some tongue
blocking techniques that involve bending.
This involved tongue blocked bends.
Now this is something that's a little
bit more sophisticated because it's
a combination of two techniques.
I just played a scale in
octaves from the bottom of a G harmonica.
Now, you know if you've tried playing that
If you're just play it straight
Or something like that,
then you can't play
octaves between the second hole draw and
the fifth hole draw,
whatever harmonica you're using,
i'm staying with the,
G These notes are C and C, so
if you play up the scale, it's G, A, B, C,
G, A, B, C, D, E, F sharp, G.
And we bend the notes in the bottom
octave on the second and
third holes, to get the C and the E.
Like playing " Susanna"
So, the top octave, from four to seven,
all the notes are there.
With the tongue blocking
technique that I just used,
we can play octaves now up,
parallel to each other.
Because we're tongue block bending
the second hole draw with the left
side of our mouth.
So if I cover.
This part of my mouth.
[SOUND] The way the tongue
blockers do to get that bend.
All of your tongue blockers, especially,
all you have to do is allow a little
space on the right side of your
mouth where the fifth hole is.
[SOUND] And lo and behold, you have
an octave between the fifth hole draw and
the second hole draw
bent down all the way.
And this is fantastic because I didn't
know about this until about five years
ago when Joe Falisko showed it to me.
It never would have occurred to me.
And I taught myself how to tongue
block bend just in order to do this.
So, I'd already been playing for
more than 30 years at that point.
And I thought, gee, this is a very
important thing to learn how to do.
So I learned.
And then you have the sixth the third
hole and sixth hole octave.
which gives you that octave,
which on the G harmonica is E and
E, but you can also
You can mess around and
do all sorts of other stuff.
And this brings us to certain adjacent
intervals that can be band together,
where you're bending holes that are next
to each other to different amounts,
to create intervals that you
didn't think could be played.
Now, I'm going to, again,
just stick with the G harp,
just going to do all this on the G harp.
You could try it on any harmonica.
It's not any better or
worse on any of them.
It's when you get into the higher
harmonicas I think it's a little
harder to do this.
It's probably easier to do it on
an A harmonica, B flat harmonica.
So, for example,
this is an advanced extension of
adjacent note bending exercise.
Remember when I showed you
things that went like this?
Where you were bending the note on one
hole and
not bending a note on the other hole,
well if you'd play those things together.
My goodness, you can get all sorts of
intervals and sounds, you're getting.
A minor third and major third where
there used to only be a fourth.
And then,
on the second and third holes.
You can get those notes to
bend different amounts.
I'm doing two and three draw,
and then I'm bending two and three.
Instead of D and F sharp,
I'm getting D flat and F.
C sharp, same note and E.
Then C sharp and D sharp.
This is really wild.
This gives you the possibility
of all sorts of different
kinds of intervals and sounds.
And it also improves
the strength of your aumbachure.
Definitely try this on the C harmonica.
I'm just staying on the same one that
I'm doing the tongue block with but
maybe I'll do it on the C
harmonica afterwards.
So if any of you get some good results on
some of these advanced
tongue blocking tunes
like the beginning of my
harmonica concerto, or
the Ode To Joy, or
the Beethoven violin concerto, or
the other one I did, Jesu,
Joy of Man's Desiring,
I would really love to hear and
see what you've been working on.
So please send me a video, okay?