Harmonica Players: Rock / Pop
||Harmonica players from the rock, pop, and folk realms of music. The musicians below use primarily, but not exclusively, the diatonic harmonica (i.e. blues harp or standard 10-hole type).
- Magic Dick
- "Wherever Magic Dick blows the harp, there's a houseparty going on." A pioneer in sound and style for rock harmonica, the 80's saw the J. Geils Band release a number of albums with one or two great, innovative harmonica solos buried away. Definitely worth tracking down.
- John Popper
- "Very controversial and not best loved by many blues harmonica players, John Popper has nonetheless invented a new musical style and redefined the role of the harmonica in 90's rock. This site is that of 'Blues Traveler', the band in which he sings and plays harp."
- Dave Gage
- "Dave Gage puts forward a Rock/Heavy Metal approach rather than a bluesy one, although his style doesn't depart as radically from blues as say, John Popper's. That being said, the music samples on his site feature a percussive and fast style that reminds me of classic american rock. His technique of 'tongue-switching' is the closest you will find, to duplicating on harmonica, the modern guitar playing style of 'tapping' (a la Eddie Van Halen). Hear audio and watch video at the Dave Gage website.
- Huey Lewis
- "Huey Lewis and the News have been defying the rock oddsmakers for nearly two decades. Their contagious brand of straight-ahead rock n' roll has outlasted countless trends, selling over 20 million albums worldwide in the process." Not too many people know that Huey started out as a hitchhikin' harmonica player.
- John Sebastian
- "Born in New York City, the son of a classical harmonica player, John Sebastian grew up in the Greenwich Village coffeehouses and was a popular sideman to various folk artists prior to forming the folk-rock band, The Lovin' Spoonful, which he served as lead singer and songwriter and played harmonica from time to time with in the mid-'60s."
- Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
- "The heart of the Jukes has always been the vocals of "Southside" Johnny Lyon who also plays harmonica on many
- Bob Dylan
- Not necessarily a technical favorite among harmonica players, but Dylan has been an inspiration for many people that have picked up the harmonica over the years.
- Mick Jagger
- Lead singer and occasional harmonica player with the Rolling Stones.
- Neil Young
- Not necessarily a technical favorite among harmonica players, but Neil Young has been an inspiration for many people that have picked up the harmonica over the years.
- Steven Tyler
- Lead singer and occasional harmonica player with Aerosmith.
- Greg 'Fingers' Taylor
- "Fairly famous diatonic player, Greg Fingers Taylor has a very clear Rock n' roll vein, sort of a harp playing Jerry Lee Lewis, at least from what little I've heard. His site features loads of photographs and a few sound samples both in a blues and in a rock style."
- Bruce Willis
- "Bruce is primarily known for his acting, but he also sings and plays harmonica well."
- G. Love (Garrett Dutton)
- "Dutton, born in Philadelphia, began playing guitar at age
8. He wrote his first song by the time he was in the 9th grade and
began playing harmonica in a wire rack. Dutton credits Bob Dylan and
John Hammond Jr., as well as then-contemporary "old school" hip-hop
sounds of Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, and Philadelphia's own Schooly D
- Nicky Shane
- "Awarded the Guiness World Record for "The Fastest Harmonica Player," Nicky Shane is multi-talented. Through all, he has continued to develop and master his skill with the harmonica. Leading his band, Heavy Metal Harmonica, Nicky belts out unique grooves and shredding melodic solos that often sound more like they might come from a Fender Stratocaster than a 10-hole harp."
- Will Tang
- "Will Tang, singer/songwriter, guitarist and harmonica maestro, gained a reputation as Hong Kong's top blues harp player. A session player on many pop albums, film soundtracks and commercials, Will also has numerous album releases of his own, including recordings with guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel. His cross-genre style ranges from blues through rock to pop. Will now plays and teaches in the UK."
- Peter Hope-Evans
- "Recorded as medicine head for john peel's dandelion label (1969 -71). Working with pete townshend on his "solo" projects since 1974."
- August Bullock
- "Incendiary, impassioned harmonica coupled with meaningful lyrics. A singer songwriter as well as legendary harp player, Bullock rocks with the intensity of Paul Butterfield and soothes with the sensitivity of Neil Young."
If you have a harmonica-related website and would like it listed here, please email us with the web address, site title (or player's name), brief description, and the page it should be included on. Also, if you find any 'dead' links or have changed the URL to your site, let us know so we can make the update.
To open any of the pages in a new browser window, right-click and select "OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW" ("NEW WINDOW WITH THIS LINK" in Netscape). Macintosh users should click and hold on the link until you can select the same option.
SAMPLE VIDEO: Harmonica Instruction for Beginners
- Over 45 Hours of Video Lessons -
Attend up to 12 Live Classes per Month
* Dave Gage - 30 Year Teaching Pro
SAMPLE VIDEO: Advanced Harmonica Instruction
Dave explains how the concept of "Follow Through", as found in many sports, also applies directly to your breathing and airflow.
Dave explains the value of not just learning a scale up and down, but dividing it into smaller "bite-size" chunks, which can then be used as blues riffs.
Dave demonstrates how you can use the "Tonguing" technique to create interesting sounds such as the "Chicken Call".