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Books on Harmonica

Books- History books on harmonica may not make you play any better, but it's nice to know who came before you and how it all got started. Did I mention inspiration?


Buy Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers- "More than a million harmonicas are sold in the U.S. every year. Here is the first book to explore the history of this inexpensive and extraordinarily versatile instrument and the techniques and unique styles of individual players from Larry Adler to Stevie Wonder. 35 photos." Our thoughts: This is not an instruction book, but you'll learn a lot about the history of the harmonica and it's players. By Kim Fields.
Buy repair book Make Your Harmonica Work Better (book)- "How to Buy, Maintain and Improve the Harmonica from Beginner to Expert." Douglas Tate is a well known and respected expert on chromatic harmonica improvements and customisation and construction. He has made and customised harmonicas for Larry Adler (who writes a forward for this book). Our thoughts: This book is specifically designed for work done on chromatic harmonicas, but much of the information will also apply to diatonics.
Buy repair book Let Your Music Soar: The Emotional Connection- "by Corky Siegel. This book offers a revolutionary tool that will transform and deepen the evocative power of music for musicians overnight. While this is a ground-breaking guide book for professionals and teachers as well as students and hobbyists, it is also an entertaining and inspiring exploration for anyone interested in the world of artistic expression."
Blues with a Feeling - The Little Walter Story Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story - "Blues with a Feeling explores the life, times, and musical creations of a founder of the Chicago Blues style. Little Walter revolutionized blues harmonica playing, and is generally recognized as the greatest innovator in modern blues. Beginning in the early '50s as a sideman with the legendary Muddy Waters, Walter appeared on many of Muddy's classic recordings through the mid-'60s, even after striking out on his own. Walter had several hits, including the #1 R&B songs, "Juke" and "My Babe," and his distinctive, heavily distorted, amplified harmonica style has been influential on all following generations of players. But his life was fraught with tragedy; he died young at the age of just 37, after years of hard living. For years, Walter's life story-even the exact names of his parents and his date of birth-have been shrouded in mystery. Now a trio of blues researchers have unearthed new information about how Walter lived and created the music that made him famous. Blues With A Feeling is an important addition to the literature on this distinctive musical style, and a must-read for any fan of the blues."
Can't Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters - "Muddy Waters's wailing slide guitar, stuttering rhythm and boisterous, sex-drenched lyrics (see "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "I Got My Mojo Working") inspired a generation of bluesmen and rock-and-rollers including a modish band of Brits who copped their name from his classic tune "Rollin' Stone." In this engaging biography, Gordon ("It Came from Memphis") mines some new territory, but the real punch comes from his telling, which reads as if he were on the front porch with friends, passing a half-pint of whiskey. Describing Waters's (né McKinley Morganfield) birthplace in Issaquena, Miss., he writes that it was "where farmhands partied on weekends because they'd survived another week, because the land didn't swallow them, the river didn't drink them, the boss man didn't kill them...." Over the years, he would allow his bosses to tamper with his style often with embarrassing results and with his fair take of the profits. And as Gordon notes, success never did satisfy his other main passion. "He went through several wives, and always had women on the side, and women on the other side too." After all, Muddy wasn't just talkin' blues he was the blues."
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