Street Theory

(What you need to know about Music Theory if you play Blues Harmonica)

by Keith P. Graham

Table of Contents

Introduction - Wherein I justify learning theory in the first place and explain exactly what street theory isn't.

What Makes a Blues Song?- Blues is: Same Notes - Same chords - Same beat -Same words - Different Song. A wordy discourse where the author vents opinions.

Basic Theory - Notes, Three little Chords, Circle of fifths, Harp positions.

Blue Notes - Flatten Down the Hatches, The Blues Scale is Coming!

Why Positions - Cross sounds great so why should you learn something that's makes it harder to play the same thing?

First Position - Using Music Theory to find the good blues notes in First Position.

Third Position - Just like Cross Harp, only different.


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I cleaned up my tab for Sonny Boy's Help Me and made it into a short book. There's a Kindle version for 99 cents, and if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle free.

Playing "Help-Me" In the Style of Sonny Boy Williamson II: A step by step, note for note analysis of some of Sonny Boy's Signature Riffs

I also write Science Fiction, so you can sample some of my best stories. Also available in Kindle format.

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The JT30 Page Popular links

I began collecting data about the microphones used by blue harp players before there was an internet. I began organizing it into in the late 1990s. I accumulated more stuff than I remember. This is some of it.

Street Theory

A Harp Player’s Guide to Music Theory

Learning Harp

Picking Up Blues Harp

A guide to learning to play Blues Harp

Microphone Information

Usenet Articles

Harp Amps

I've been collecting Harp Amps for a while. This is the old website. There is lots of information here. Here a coupld of links.

Harp Tab

A collection of songs and riffs that I’ve worked out over the years, plus some libraries of stuff I’ve converted to tablature. I’ve included most of the notes and instructions that helped me when I was learning to play blues harmonica.

Basic Riffs Simple harp tabs for songs Blues riffs and phrases.

Harp-L Archives 1992 to 2002


Harp Frequently Asked Questions