July 12, 2013

Blues Harmonica Jam Camp News

Here's Chris Hillier, three time Jam Camper, international ski instructor, and great guy kicking unowhat on the hallowed Ground Zero Stage at our May Jam Camp. His bullet is plugged into Harp Gear amp, via a Lone Wolf Harp Attack and Delay. To get the amp tone into the PA, the Harp Gear is miced. Technique, tone, confidence, attitude and chops--Chris has it all. Hope to see you again soon, Chris!
Blues Harmonica Jam Camp News
 2013 and 2014 Dates -- Tues Afternoon  thru Saturdays         $995
September 24-28, 2013 ---ROOM FOR 3 MORE!!
March 25 - 29, 2014
May 13 -17, 2014
January 21-25, 2014 (in Ventura, California)*
or call Jon at 310-457-8278
Writer/Jam Camper/Harp Player Margie Goldsmith of NYC wrote this great article "Why I Play Blues Harmonica" for American Airlines In Flight Magazine, "American Ways." She talks about how she started at Blues Harmonica Jam Camp and now works by SKYPE with a private tutor. It's a wonderful article!
Make sure to leave comments because she does an excellent job describing the agonies and ecstasies of dedicating yourself to blues harp. Thanks, Margie! 


Above is the group photo our May Camp.  Every camp feels like the best yet, and this is no exception. We had a fantastically international flair with campers from Switzerland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Quebec, BC and all parts USA. The accents were bustin' out all over.  About half our campers were repeat, and that's real rewarding, to see our friends again, and see how improved they are. We jammed at Ground Zero, Hambone, Bluesberry, Blues Chapel and everyone got so much better. We had a wonderful group of raw beginners, and after 5 days of instructed wailing, one could call them Slightly Cooked Beginners. I was surprised by how many people sang for the first time. Can't wait for September! There are still a few spots left.
 Here's our March Jam Camp, a great group of people who made amazing progress.  At this camp we had two father and son combos, 2 best friends from Canada, (their fourth camp together) and players of all different levels having great time. Photo by Tom Status.  
The Yearly Plan
Jam Camp is a new, and better way to enjoy music, to enjoy listening, learning and making it-- in a community of friends. Many campers are returning once a year, others every two years. Sometimes campers come to several camps in a row. Lots of people put Jam Camp on their bucket list, but then come back year after year.
Setting yearly goals and returning to Jam Camp to show them off is a big motivator for practice.
 Please join us at Blues Harmonica Jam Camp as soon as you can. There is nothing else like it.

Announcing: A NEW Camp, in a NEW LOCATION,  Pierpont Inn Retreat, Ventura, California
Built in 1912,  beautiful rooms, one block from the beach, ocean views,  Jon's favorite Southern California town. This will be like a regular Jam Camp, just in a new location. We are arranging to do our famous "line up" jam in Yolies Blues Club.  This is going to be a blast! And you cold weather folks are guaranteed to thaw.
January 21-25, Tuesday through Saturday,y 2014$995
Rooms at about $80.00
Join the entire  Jam Camp Team:
Jon, Hash, Ralph, Cheryl, Brian , TJ  Klay and Rj Mischo and get defrosted in this great and affordable Seaside retreat.  http://www.pierpontinn.com/
 Summertime, 4th Position with no bends   
8b   7b  8b    8d     7b   8d 8b 7b 6d  5b     8b /    7b  8d  /      7b /     /   8d   7b   7d

Summertime and   the     livin'  is  eas y,   the fish are jumpin' and the cotton is     high


8b      /  7b     8b    8d   7b   8d 8b 7b 6d  5b      5b  6b  5b 6b     6d7b 8b     8d 7b 6d   

Your Daddy's rich and your Ma is good looking, so hush little       baby  dont you   cry

4th Position is the practice of using your 6 draw and your 3 draw whole step bend as your Note of Resolution. This lets you play your C harp in the key of A minor. For more information on Position Playing, be sure to get Jon's 7 Position of the Blues instructional CD and handout.m
You can also get the tab for Summertime and other songs in my book, Bluesify Your Melody, and even more information in Rock n' Blues harmonica.
 The Best Place to Get New Harmonicas Online..
Be a happy customer...
 Harmonicas are better than ever. I still like the Hohner Special 20's, and others go for that Suzuki Mangi. Lee Oskar also makes wonderful instruments, and so does Seydel.  Other people, like our beloved Cheryl Arena won't budge off those Marine Bands. The  mail order company that has them all at the best price, and ships internationally, is also the company that does my mail order fulfillment.  Ron carries every make every model and his service speed is remarkable. Plus a great guy who it is easy to work with. 

When you get new harps, check out Ron first.  

"It's not about the music. It's about the magic that the music creates."
 Speaking of Magic...
There's still room at our September 24 to 28, 2013
Mississippi Delta Blues Harmonica Jam Camp  at the Shack Up Inn.
Sign up ASAP.
310-457-8278 for personal questions.

Summertime Blues -- 2nd Position 
(arranged for no bending)
  4d    /    6b /    /     /    5b   4d  3d  4d  /   4d   5b3d 2d       
Well I'm gonna raise a fuss yes I'm gonna raise a holler  
3d / / 4b       4d / / 3b

4d    /   /  6b  /     /    5b   4d  3d  4d  /   /   /5b   3d 2d
About a  workin' all summer just to try to earn a dollar
3d / / 4b       4d / / 3b
4b  /   /     /  /      /   5b 6b    5b 6b   /  5b  /  6b
Every time I call my baby,    and ask to get a date
 3b   3d  3b        /      /      /     6b     /   /     /   5d
My boss says, "No dice son,  you gotta work late"
 4b    /       /  5b 6b    /       /   /   /    /   4b
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do
4d    /      6b 5d    4d   4b 3d  4b 3d 2d   2d
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues.
3d / / 4b       4d / / 3b
Speaking of More Magic...
Join the Jam Camp team for a West Coast Jam Camp
in a great California town. .. 

Blues Harmonica Winter Jam Camp in Ventura, California
January 21 through 25,  2014 at
Pierpont Resort
$995 for 5 Days for seminar
$85 a night sleeping rooms
You'll love Ventura's Seaside ambience with it's eclectic, historic locally owned downtown
and old tree parks, and of course the California mission.
Take the train from San Diego because the Ventura station at
the beach, a small hillside away.
This camp is Tuesday 3 pm through Saturday 6 pm
and will feature Jon Gindick, Rj Mischo, TJ Klay, Hash Brown, Cheryl Arena and Brian Purdy,  our daily band for learning and jamming pleasures

 Free Harmonica Secrets That Will Make You Better in 5 Minutes, a 17-minute Video Lesson on Bending from Jon  Give me a chance to get you bending. It's free. All you have to do is open your heart and mind to my instruction, and explore from inside. Enjoy the process of learning.  

Harp Jam Lesson # 1 using  Riffs with Jon's Jam Tracks  Jam tracks are wonderful tools for moving from beginning to intermediate. This free you tube lesson shows you how memorizing and internalizing some easy riffs into your muscle memory sets you free to improvise. This jam track is based on "The Thrill is Gone."

The Jam Camp Experience
Jam Camper, former pro wrestler, new harmonica player and film director Butts Giraud of BC (with the help of several talented campers) made this wonderful 15 minute movie that makes you feel how the camp makes you feel, the challenge, the learning, the fun, the people, the location. He uses the amazing soundtrack with music from the cds of Jam Camp coaches TJ Klay and RJ Mischo to great effect. You can feel the feelings of the campers.This is really worth watching and hearing.

 Stop Fighting Your Harp!!!!
This could be the most important 20 minutes you ever spend with me on You Tube. 
In order to get  great tone, to get good at riffs, to bend notes, to make music, you need to stop fighting your harp. First you have to identify the ways you may be fighting the harp (It's so easy to do) and then correct your approach so you and ol harpo are on the same team.

Save on  taxes, shipping and time.   
Download Jon's books and Cds at 
 Two Great Blues Songs--No Bends Necessary!
Stormy Monday--3rd Position
4d     6d  /  6b        5d  6d 4d      4b 4d 5d 4d    4b  5d  4d       (4d    5b   4d)
They call it Stormy Monday        but    Tuesdays just as bad
6d     6d  /  6b        5d  6d 4d   4b 4d 5d 4d    4b  5d  4d       (4d  5b  5d  6b 6d)
They call it Stormy Monday      but Tuesdays just as bad
6d     /           7b  6d  6b     6d      4d    6d     /     6b 5d 4d
Lord and      Wednesday’s worse and Thursdays are so sad
I’ll Play the Blues for You -- 3rd Position
4d                                5d   6b   /     5d 
When you’re down and out, feel real hurt
4d            5d  6b  5d 6b      5d      /  4d
Come around to the   place where I work
6d   /      7b  6d   6d      5d     6b
All your lonliness I’ll try to soothe
4d  5d   6b 6d /  6b  5d 4d
I’ll play the blues for you.

There's nothing quite like The Shack Up Inn. It's just one more component in the experience that is Jam Camp.
Grip Me, Baby! 
Getting a good grip is essential for good blues harping. The idea is to create an airtight airchamber that pressurizes the sound going into the microphone. This overdrives the microphone capability, and creates a warm natural distortion. For many intermediates, getting an airtight grip is the NEXT STEP and is what is missing in their playing.
On stage, you need a fierce focus and this can start with your grip.
In the above grip, you bring the heels of your hand up to the sides of your face to make it airtight. Notice how the right thumb covers up the highest holes. This helps with the airtight grip, and you easily move your thumb out of the way when you go high. This is only one of many different ways of gripping the harp. Everyone's hands are different. In addition, you don't have to use a bullet mic as shown in the photo.
Mississippi Delta
Blues Harmonica Jam Camps September 24-28, 2013   -- room for a few  more
Sign up Now!!!! 
Core Coaches:
Cheryl Arena
TJ Klay
Brian Purdy
Hash Brown
Ralph Carter (guitar teacher)
and Jon Gindick
 with Richard Sleigh (Sept. Camp.)
 At The Shack Up Inn. Clarksdale, Mississippi
$995.00 for 5 Days of Instruction and Jamming in the Heart of the Blues Country
at the Shack Up Inn, Clarksale, Missisippi
Does Not include Shack or food.
With  every camp sign up: free membership in Jon's Video Harp Club and a free SKYPE lesson with Jon
Plus our Jam Camp Band which sets up daily and helps each camper get use to playing amplified blues with an ensemble. 
Plus a great group of fellow harp players...in one of the world's coolest places, Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where campers stay in "bins" and "shacks" and we hold classes in the Shack Up Inn's world famous "Blues Chapel" and on front porches and shacks around the compound. On Thursday Nights, we take the entire camp to Ground Zero, the juke joint co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman, and everyone in the camp jams, in one 30 minute non-stop boogie that your friends and family can watch at http://www.groundzerobluesclub.com/ 
Now its time for you to take your stand, to make your commitment. The Mississippi Delta is waiting for you!  
Questions? Shoot me an e-mail at jongindick@verizon.net . That's the quickest to get a hold of me. 
Our September 2012 Camp.
 Notes from Campers... "You and your staff were all superb. It's not easy to address the needs of  people with so many different personalities, from so many walks of life. I got the feeling that some of the people there are really shy at home, but somehow you got them playing harmonica in front of a group of strangers. That's really an achievement."Your comments about my harp playing were spot on, and greatly appreciated. I learned to bend years ago, on my own, mainly by narrowing my draw and tightening up the mouth and tongue. It worked, but  my tone made me cringe when I heard it, and I didn't know what was wrong. You spotted it instantly. Also the fast sliding from one part of the harp to another. Not easy to enjoy somebody who seems in a panic all the time. I have much to work on. I picked "Easy" for the final jam, as I wanted to focus on tone and slowing down. It wasn't great, but it was the first thing I ever heard myself play that didn't make me cringe more than once or twice. That's a start. "The take home lesson of "do simple things really well", and the importance of the groove,  sums up blues playing really well. Great to see all the women there as campers, and to have a superb player/teacher like Cheryl there. Anyway, if the gods so will it and you'll have me, I'll be back. David Kissel
 The women of Jam Camp.
And here is my core team of coaches.
 Cheryl Arena                                        Hash Brown 
RJ MischoBrian PurdyTJ Klay working with Kate and Jerry
RJ Misho                                                   Brian Purdy and camper Eddie          Campers Jerry and Kate, and coach TJ Klay
 Below you see the Fab Five, a group of  five new friends from all over the globe who organized online before the camp to rent a car for the drive from Memphis down to Clarksdale.   Butts, Kate, Bob, Dale and Jim. Behind them the band is laying down some solid blues. . 
 Above is another ensemble of musician/campers: Scott Harris, Lynda Stirling, Kate Wakeling, and Jenkins.
 We organize into small groups based on level and topic. This is a class where we mixed harp playing with vocalization. Many jam campers sing in front of others for the first time in classes like this.  Over the course of 5 days, sings are written and before you know it, campers are organizing their favorite songs with the band and singing them in our Jam Camper Revue, the 3 hour show in the blues chapel's main stage on  Saturday's day 5.  Working with top flight musicians like Hash Brown, Cheryl Arena and Ralph Carter helps campers learn how to set things up with the band. Now don't get me wrong, not every body plays and sings their own song, and beginners often get up with coaches. It's a comfort level kind of thing. No pressure. Just encouragement.
Tone, bending, vibratto, articulation, gripping, improvising, getting used to jamming with the band, learning how to call a tune and perform it, singing, harmonica repair, songwriting...
with guitar  lessons on the side!
with an increased emphasis on singing!
Plus Jamming at Ground Zero, Red's, Bluesbarry Cafe, and The Blues Chapel!
A sense of community...lifetime friendships...a common purpose shared among freinds...
A GREAT WAY for total beginners to get started with the basics.
A wonderful way to up the ante on your playing, and on your commitment.
The way to learn anything--using the power of the group to accomplish individual goals.
Whatever your level is, that's where we meet you....

With only 30 campers, 6 coaches, a great band for daily improvement
In accomplishing our goals of making you more musical, we have created an experience some call life-changing. Sounds extreme, but if you aren't musical, and suddenly, as a result of Jam Camp the pursuit of musicianship has taken over your life,well, that is indeed life-changing.

Here are some of the ways Jam Camp itself keeps reaching a new level:

* Expansion from typical weekend seminar to five days camp. ( started two years ago)

*Moving the event to the Blues Chapel in tthe Shack Up Inn for increased community.

* Emphasis on singing results in campers breaking through and singing. 

* Classes on songwriting results in songs written and performed. 

* New emphasis on Saturday Jam Show in which each camper prepares a peformance has resulted in many campers singing their own songs and also incorporating other campers as back up singers or "guest soloists." (increasing over last year)

*People bringing ukleles to camp has in late night uke jamming, ( started with May Camp) and uke playing in final Saturday Jam Show.

*Inclusion of guest coaches along with a core coaching team. The guest coaches keep us fresh, the core coaches keep- getting more effective in mentoring our campers.

*Having the band come in four times over the five days for training sessions as opposed to free form jams has made a big difference. Now each electric band jam focuses on mic-grip, relaxing, listening, even scat singing with a coach standing besideyou "coaching" you.

*Having a strong program for beginners that IS separate but equal and includes EVERYBODY in all the electric jammingbut also gives an accoustic beginner oriented alternative. --(from the beginning.)

*People coming back time after time gives us a chance to guide their evolution.

Doing Jam Camps at the Shack Up Inn in the Mississippi Delta has allowed us become a part of the Clarksdale Music Scene, and also housed the campers one one of the best hotels in the world for this sort this sort of thing.

*Getting Jam Camp catered for lunches and dinners with greens salads and fruit salads as well as wonderful main courses.

*Using a well balanced team of great player/musician/teachers who have a strong combination of different musical skillsand personalities and yet share one common goal: to get you to your next level.

*Locking down a great rhythm section who knows what we need, with Jam Camp Great "Hash Brown" on guitar, Ralph Carter on bass, Lee Williams on drums.

*Getting to do our Thursday Night Jam at Ground Zero, one of Bluesdom's most hallowed stages, our performances streamed live from the Ground web site.
One of the great things about Jam Camp is its location, the Shack Up Inn. No stuffy hotels, unopenable windows, and daily maid service for us! This is rural Mississippi, baby, and the ghosts of the legends are smiling at us, and teaching us their tricks.
This picture shows the extremely talented John Grubbs singing and jamming with the band. Note how good Johnnies music is making everyone feel.  I can't guanatee it will work for everybody, all of the time, but as you can see, John is in a chair, leading the band, and it's working out just fine.  This is a realm where dreams can come true.
Have You Gotten These Second Position Riffs Into Your Muscle Memory Yet?
Here's a Cross Harp Riff that you should learn to play smoothly, 
over and over, with gaps, or hesitations. The exhale helps you keep your breathing solid.

Good Morning Circle Riff
1d 2d 1d 2b (x infinity)

And here's another easy one, and oh so funky! Slide the 2 draw into the 3, 
and, like through a ball back and forth, play catch with the 4 blow.
You can end the riff on the 2 draw, as shown, or on the 3d, or actually just abpout any old note.
Go gaps, no hestitations. Focus on these small subtle moves. Make them efficient.

Funky 3d to 4b
3d 4b 3d 4b 3d 4b 2d

Now let's head up to that funky non bending but big talking 5 draw, one of the most important reeds
in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd position. Right now, we're talkin' 2nd position. The 5 draw is the

Beatle's "Love Me Do"
5d 5b 4d 3b / 5d/ / 5b// 4d 3b / /
4b 3d 3b / 3b / / 4b 3d
3b / / / /
Now here's a lick that you can take all over the harmonica, and the 5 draw is a great place to start.

5 Draw Slider Down
5d 4d 5d 5b 4b 5b 4d 3d 4d 4b 3b 4b 3d 2d
As I said, you can take it all over the harmonica. let's work the same pattern out of 6 blow.
6 Blow Slider Down
6b 5b 6b 5d 4d 5d 5b 4b 5b 4d 3d 3d 4b 3b 4b 3b
Here's a really easy jamming lesson that shows you to use the riffs I teach.

                                 Why Do I Still Sound Bad????
Here's why:
How Can I Sound Better?
Here's How...

All the way back in open mouth , pushed up towards nose gives you great tone.

It's almost that simple.

A Trip to Gindick's Store
Order books and cds shipped to your door
or save on shipping and time, by ordering them as downloads.

This is where blues players should start...

Country & Blues Harmonica for the Musically Hopeless

112 page e-book and 73 minute audio $19.95

The New Musical Miracle Worker from America's Best Selling 


Harmonica Instruction Author

This is the book and audio that sits beside you and shows you how to buy, hold, breathe, move and articulate the harmonica. It shows intermediates what they have been doing wrong, and shows beginners how to get it right.

The original sold over 1.5 million copies, and created generations of harmonica players. Now this 112 page book and audio lesson have been completely revised, to get you playing sooner, and better, and faster than you ever imagined.

It walks, guide, explains, illustrates and jams you through a lesson devoted to the basics of tone, bending and jamming. You will learn to play beautiful chords, great single notes. You will learn to play several easy 1st position songs, and then move on to Cross Harp (2nd position), the style of the blues.

Before long, you will understand rhythm, tone, articulation, phrasing, vibrato, tongue-blocking, bending, playing the I-IV-V and the arts of jamming like never before.I'll explain how 2nd position jamming works, how the 1,2,3,4,5,6 draw holes will always work when accompanying a chord progression. I'll show you how wailing notes create musical tension, and Notes of Resoltion resolve it.Then I show you six blues harmonica riffs, short patterns that will never make a mistake when jamming with a chord progression. All you have to do is adjust the timing the suit to rhythm of the song, and I show you how to do that.

You will need a diatonic harmonica in the key of C.

If you have the original Country and Blues Harmonica for the Musicially Hopeless, this revision is all new, yet retains the original charm. Get it by clicking this link.

2011 Edition Rock n' Blues Harmonica 



A World of Harp Knowledge, Songs, 


Stories, Lessons, Riffs, Techniques and Audio Index 

    For a New Generation of Harp Players224 Page e- book and 73- Minute Audio Jamming Buddy $19.95  (Beginners through Intermediate) 










We Love Beginners and Intermediates!

Jon's Video Harp Club
A subscription is still just $49.95 . Download everything. The files are .wmv.
Mac Users: use flip4mac, a free program at http://www//flip4mac.com
( Video Harp Club is free when you sign up for jam camp.)
To Join the Video Harp Club


Rockin' Robin
4d  5d       5b /    4d     5b    5d  5b  4d
He rocks in the tree tops all day long
5d      /      5b   /  4d  /       4b   3d   2d     /   /
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing his song
5d  /     5b /  4d   /       5b  5d 5b   4d
All the little birdies on jaybird street

5d      /    5b      /    4d    /   4b  3d     2d       /
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Chorus :
 3d* 2d  3d* 2d  2d    /
Rockin’ robin, rock rock
3d*  2d   3d* 2d
Rockin’ robin’
4b      /        /     /    /
Blow rockin’ robin

4b          /          4d  /    4b        3d    2d    /
’cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
    Are You Singing?

    As you know, I am all about harmonica playing and making the world more musical.

    By musical, I mean more music-making, more musicality.

    ...not just turning on the radio, rather turning it off and singing
    and playing harp, making your own music.

    I mean being true to the music you love, not the music you think you should love.

    And I mean, singing.

    Yes you, playing harp and singing.

    "I love my baby!" wa wa wa wa
    "Like wino loves his cabernet!" wa wa wawa

    Singing develops your ear and timing. Singing gives the music a context. 
    Singing makes you the most important member in the band.

    I remember how I used to feel about singing.

    My voice was throttled in 3rd grade (age 8) when I decided that it was girls who sing
    and I was no girl.
    So I closed down the heart, resticted the airpipe.
    None of that girl stuff for me.

    Throttled more growing up as I found out how much trouble I could get in by speaking carelessly,
    or just wising off. I strangled myself to stay out of trouble. 

    "Watch what you say" is an important, but throat-closing injunction. 
    Think before you speak is wisdom.
    Think before you sing may not be.

    Ol' Gin Voice was throttled again at age 24 when I took a college singing class in Sacramento. As an assignment I played guitar and sang "The Gypsy Rover" for the class of some thirty people.
    When I was done, the singing teacher turned to the class and said,
    "And THAT is EXACTLY how NOT to SING!"

    Even though I continued to sing, I was singing into the void of those memories.
    I was singing from fear.
    I sang from weakness. 
    Which meant, all I could do was mumble.
    When you sing, you have sing from courage.

    Then came Jam Camp. Then came a fire to perform.
    Then came a singing teacher who got through to me.
    She taught me the secrets of humming and smiling.
    Then came performing and recording with a friend who beleived in me.

    Singing is your passport in the world of music.
    When you go to a jam, don't say you are a harp player, or you'll be off in the corner
    playing through an underpowered pa channel.
    No, tell them you're a singer.
    Then they are all over you to try to please you.
    To a certain extent, it's now all about them doing a good job for you.

    You call the tune, set the tempo, set the key for your voice and harp.

    If you haven't done it, it takes nerve.
    You make be asking yourself, is that me up here singing?

    Of course you need something to sing,

    You can turn to the amazing collection of songs and artists that make up the blues
    and use those lyrics, or adapt them.
    You don't even have to sing.
    Humm, scat, rap...just don't mumble!
    Be bold. Open your heart. Embrace your audience.
    And smile, always smile when you sing!

    Look at it this way...

    Anyone who can talk can sing...
    Anyone who can fill their lower
    torso with air as though it were a balloon
    and let the air escape through their lips as they talk
    can sing on key. 

    And yes you can sing better, MUCH BETTER very very quickly
    in the right environment.
    For almost everybody, the key to singing the blues is embracing singing the blues.
    Jam Camp teaches embracing.
    But you can be your own jam camp. 
    Start Now. Sing every day. Add your voice to your harp.
    When you play a riff on your harp, answer it with your voice.

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