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: Scales in 1/2 Steps

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.
This is a C harmonica,
my regular harmonicas that I play on.
It's basically a marine band with
a composite hardwood comb and
special 20 cover plates.
For some of you who might
be new to the site and
don't know what it is I'm playing.
What I'm gonna go right now is
a fairly advanced exercise for
all of you who know where all
the notes are on the harmonica.
And if you've been practicing scales and
other keys like, practicing the C scale.
It's like one octave of it,
maybe even practicing D major.
Even E major.
We need the fourth hole overblow.
F major.
Some of the other keys are a little
trickier like F sharp.
We need two overblows in that one.
So after you've practiced all your major
scales, this is the kind of mental
agility exercise I give myself.
So the kind of things that I do,
that I practice when I'm just trying
to increase my own nimbleness,
my own mental agility so
I can make quick changes if I'm playing
music where the key's are changing,
is to go up in one key.
And then come down in the next key.
A half step higher.
So you really have to be able
to hear this stuff to do it.
And I usually just practice this myself
cuz I know what the major scales
sound like.
But, for you,
I've made a little guide track
where I play in time in each
of the keys as I go up.
And I stop after like six
keys because it's just
too much to keep going through all 12.
So here's the idea.
I will turn on this magic little
iPhone that has the tune on it and
then we're gonna play.
up to
Now we're gonna start at G.
We went
all the way up to C and
now we're gonna
come down.
to G.
Take a break.
Get your brain back together.
I screwed up.
you could
hear that
even I messed
up here.
And that's because I tried to keep
these scales going at the same speed.
And of course you should practice
them just really, really slowly.
And if you want,
if any of you wanna slow this down,
you can always put it into QuickTime and
slow the speed of the thing down.
But this is a nice moderate speed.
As long as you have the sound of the major
scale in your head,
then you'll be able to do it.
And, some of you who play keyboard,
you could even sit at the keyboard and
play the chord yourself.
To help
yourself along.
So good luck on this, and I guarantee you
that if you practice this thing hard, you
will really, really notice an improvement
in your playing of chord changes.
And, of course, you can practice
this not only in the major scale.
But you can practice it with minor scales,
this type of exercise,
with the Dorian mode, the Phrygian mode.
See the whole thing is you can make up
new exercises all the time by combining
these ideas of the chromatic scale and
different scales in different keys,
going up the chromatic scale in
different keys, different modalities.
So good luck, and
if any of you do this well enough,
send it in to me, I'd love to hear it.