Songs of 3 Famous Harmonicists
Those new to playing the harmonica may be surprised to find out just how many famous harmonica players have elevated the art over the years. Here we take a look at 3 of the most prolific.
Bob Dylan: Legendary folk singer, Dylan has been recording and performing for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Dylan is believed to play the Hohner Marine Band harmonica, a standard usually used in folk and country genres.
He has recorded a wide range of songs and some of his more popular tunes featuring harmonica playing are “On the Road Again,” “I Shall Be Free” and “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Dylan is so well known as a harmonica player that books and websites devoted to studying his work are available. Dylan also has a signature series harmonica with Hohner.
Stevie Wonder: Wonder began playing different instruments at a young age including the harmonica. By the time he was 13, Wonder had released “Fingertips (Part 2)” which featured Wonder singing vocals and playing the harmonica. He can also be heard playing the harmonica on Chaka Khan’s single “I Feel For You”. Wonder usually plays a chromatic harmonica on his songs for a wider range of sound.
Little Walter: When it comes to harmonica players, Little Walter has been called revolutionary, legendary and innovative. The blues diatonic harmonica player defined Chicago blues and enjoyed the height of his success during the 1950s. Walter’s was noted for his use of electronic distortion the first harmonica player to utilize this technique, he is also noted for his versatility in non-standard cord changes.
Walters has the distinction of recording the only harmonica instrumental to come in at number one on the R&B charts. The song “Juke” has since become a standard performed by other harmonica players and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Other popular harmonica songs released by Walters include “Mean Old World,” “Blues with a Feeling” and “Key to the Highway”.