North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic harmonica workshop:
schedule of instruction


The NMHCP harmonica workshop will run from 9 AM to 4:30 PM on Thursday, June 23, 2016.  The location is the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, an antebellum cotton plantation (with outbuildings) not far from Holly Springs, MS.

The workshop will consist of two 75-minute slots and one 60-minute slot (four concurrent breakout sessions in each slot), a special 60 minute beginner's workshop/demo on blues fife, and a 75-minute group session with all four harp teachers.  Sessions specifically oriented towards beginners are marked "BEGINNER."

The instructors are John Nemeth, Watermelon Slim, Adam Gussow, and Todd Parrott, along with Sharde Thomas.

The cost is $100.  To register, please click HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the EventBrite page; this workshop is the last item listed.

The schedule is as follows:


8:30:  Doors open

8:30-8:50:  arrive and sign in; meet and greet

8:50-9:  announcements

9-10:15:  breakout session #1:

      *John:  3rd Position, Nemeth Style:  moving beyond cross harp    

      *Watermelon Slim:  An Introduction to the 10-Holer:  for raw recruits  [BEGINNER]  

      *Adam:  Greatest Hits I:  working through a series of classic blues harmonica licks, riffs, and grooves drawn from songs like "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Juke," and "Help Me" 

      *Todd:  Making The Most Of The Chord Changes - an exercise in listening closely and choosing the best notes for each chord change within the blues progression, so that you understand why those notes are important.

10:15 - 10:30:  break

10:30 - 11:45:  breakout session #2

      *John:  Blues Phrasing:  how to create a blues melody [BEGINNER]   

      *Watermelon Slim:  Working Around Your Vocals: the harp for lead singers.

      *Adam:  Greatest Hits II:  working through a series of classic blues harmonica licks, riffs, and grooves drawn from songs "Got My Mojo Working," "Crossroads Blues," and my "basic juke joint harp" video    

      *Todd:  Country Harmonica, Nashville style - learn to play country patterns and add fluidity to both country and blues styles.

11:45 - 12:45:  complementary pizza lunch (meat and veggie).  Instructors will be available to chat and sell merch.

12:45 - 1:45:  special workshop/demo:  "How to play blues fife," with Sharde Thomas.  (Ms. Thomas will have handmade fifes for sale at a cost of $100 apiece.)

1:45 - 2:00:  break

2:00 - 3:00:  breakout session #3

      *John:  Playing Blues with Soul:  the Memphis sound  

      *Watermelon Slim:  How to Own the Stage:  playing solo harp on the vocal mic  

      *Adam:  For Beginners Only:  reviewing and consolidating what you've learned, preparing for the rest of your journey  [BEGINNER]

      *Todd:  Overbending The Blues - how to apply overblows and overdraws in blues playing

3:00 - 3:15:  Break

3:15 - 4:30:  group session (all four instructors + all students):  John, Slim, Adam, and Todd will share ideas and conversation, answering ALL the questions you may have about blues harmonica, including questions raised by the breakout sessions (as time allows).

4:30 - 5:  instructors will hang out for a while to chat, autograph CDs, etc.

5:30 - 8:00:  an informal get-together and jam session at the smaller stage on the NMHCP festival grounds