Winslow Yerxa | Lessons

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Harmonica Lessons

What I can do for you

What inspires you to want to play the harmonica? What would like to be able to do that you can’t do now? What experiences do you bring to playing the harmonica and to making music? When you answer these questions, you create a path to the places you want to go with the harmonica.

With those answers, I help you form that path and then walk along it toward your goals. I focus on you, and I work closely with you to meet your unique needs and goals, regardless of your background, your chosen style, or your level of ability. I assess what you need and what learning style works best for you. From there, I work with you to get you where you want to go.

There is almost nothing that can’t be played on a harmonica. For everything that can be done, there’s a clear, simple, relaxed approach to gaining mastery of the abilities involved and the assurance and poise to use them well.

My Teaching Background

For over 20 years, I’ve been teaching harmonica players at all levels, from beginner to advanced. I understand the harmonica not only as a teacher but also as a performer, a technician and a historian. As a result, I can address just about any question or problem.

Some of the major teaching events I’ve taken part in are David Barrett’s Harmonica Masterclass, Jon Gindick’s Harmonica Jam Camp, Joe Filisko’s teach-in at the SPAH harmonica festivals, the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the Harmonica Collective, and the World Harmonica Festival in Germany.

My Instructional Writings

In addition to authoring the acclaimed books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies, I have authored chapters in other harmonica books and written articles for American Harmonica Newsmagazine, HIP – the Harmonica Information Publication, Echos France Harmonica, Harmonica Happenings, Harmonica World (UK), Harpoz (Australia), and

My Learning and Playing Background

I have been playing the harmonica for many years: performing with it, teaching it, and writing about it. I started out learning blues licks from records, but soon branched out into rock, jazz, classical, Celtic, bluegrass, and other styles.

Along the way, I received university training in music theory and composition. I have developed an extensive knowledge of harmonica playing techniques, artists, history, lore, and repair and customization and have gotten to know many of the best players, writers, and teachers while developing my own approach. I’m an experienced performer in just about every type of venue, from concert stages, theaters and orchestra pits to recording studios, outdoor festivals, nightclubs, and even busking on street corners.

Rates and Availability

I teach in both San Francisco (weekdays and evenings) and Berkeley (weekends). In San Francisco, I’m in the Richmond District, between Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge. I charge $40 for a one-hour lesson in San Francisco. In Berkeley, I teach at the Jazzschool on Addison near Shattuck, where I charge $50 per lesson.