Annie Raines' Blues Harmonica Blueprint

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What you Get:

Video software (Windows and Mac) with TrueFire's Lesson Player, PIP, full-screen, looping, slow motion, keyboard shortcuts, plus...

  • - 263 Minutes of Video
  • - Songs & Exercises
  • - Animated Graphics
  • - Text Commentary
  • - 75 Pages of Tab
  • - Live Band Jam Tracks


Beginner to Late Intermediate

If your life is sucking in any of the ways that really matter, prepare thyself for riches beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t get a lot of playing time at the jams? Start bringing a few extra quarters for the meter. Perpetually single and looking? Book the chapel immediately. Proverbial wallflower at parties? Learn to get comfortable with lots of attention. Kids think you’re a nerd? Well, not much we can do about that, but you just might get a nod of approval or two. Yes, your life is going to change in majorly cool ways because you’re finally going to learn how to play killer blues harmonica.

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course

About the Harmonica Lesson Plan

Interactive Video Harmonica Instruction

There’s not a blues fanatic on the planet that hasn’t picked up a harp at one time or another and tried to blow a line or two. In fact, it’s darn near impossible to listen to the likes of Paul Butterfield, Sonny Terry, Junior Wells, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, or Little Walter and resist the temptation to at least give it a go. And if the old-school heroes don’t ring your bell, there’s no doubt you can catch blues harp fever from the Stones, Doors, Led Zeppelin, Blues Travelers, Huey Lewis, Aerosmith, J. Geils or any of the hundreds of other classic and contemporary blues-rockers.

box artSo why so many harps collecting dust on the shelves? Simple; it’s harder than it looks and truly effective instruction is quite scarce. Making matters even more challenging, you can’t really see what a harp player is doing and that makes it tough to cop their moves. That’s why we asked award-winning, monster blues player and renowned educator Annie Raines to hunker down with our technology geeks to finally crack the code and produce the quintessential blues harmonica interactive video course.

Over two years in the making, with hundreds of hours dedicated just to the visual notation guides and animations, the Blues Harmonica Blueprint and its interactive video format sets a new standard for harmonica instruction. The course drills deeper and wider than any blues harmonica course ever published, but more importantly, its effectiveness as a teaching system is unprecedented — finally, you will clearly see, hear and understand the ins and outs of blues harmonica.

Harmonica is no toy instrument and the Blues Harmonica Blueprint is no short-cut, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am harmonica course. Raines delivers the instructional goods in what is likely the most comprehensive work of its kind. Yet, the material is presented in such a clear and concise manner that you will fly through the syllabus thoroughly enjoying its hands-on play-along interactive approach.

Raines starts you off with a comprehensive orientation of the instrument; anatomy, holding the harmonica, hand positioning, blowing, drawing, swells, sliding and playing chords, straight harp vs. cross harp, tension, resolution and resolving to the draw. Once you have a grip on the fundamentals, Annie shows you a classic cross-harp blues riff and teaches you how to develop clear and clean control of single notes. You’ll then start working with scales, degrees and intervals. Basic blues beats and breathing techniques come next making you well prepared to start digging in and blowing some cool blues.

You’ll learn train rhythms, phonetics, Sonny Terry countrified rhythms, shuffles, the blues march, more chords and accents, a John Lee boogie, 12-bar blues, the blues scale, all varieties of bends, blue note triplets, wolf calls, boogie basslines, reed theory, vibrato, tremolo, more swell techniques, tongue-blocking and all the requisite techniques and tricks of the harp trade.

In the final section of the course, Raines teaches you an impressive range of blues tunage, all visually notated, thus equipping you with a repertoire guaranteed to win new friends, influence good people and get those nods from the kids.

The Blues Harmonica Blueprint will indeed spark many life-altering effects, all of them wondrous, magical and bluesy.

Guitar Players Take Note!

Already play blues on guitar? Once you get a grip on the breathing techniques and basic chord/note layout, you will be amazed at how quickly you’re able to “blow” what you already know on guitar.

About Your Instructor

Annie Raines

Annie RainesAnnie Raines was born in 1969 in Boston and grew up in the suburb of Newton, Massachusetts. She picked up the blues harp at age 17 and made her stage debut at the 1369 Jazz Club in Cambridge a few months before her high school graduation. Enthralled by the recordings of Muddy Waters, Little Walter Jacobs, Big Walter Horton and Sonny Boy Williamson, she became a fixture at Boston area blues jams. One of the few female blues harmonica players in the country, Annie played the New England club circuit with local bands, and traveled to Chicago where she met and played with many of her musical idols, some of whom became Annie fans: Harmonica legend James Cotton calls her “James Cotton Junior” and Muddy Waters sideman Pinetop Perkins said “She plays so good it hurts!”

In 1992, Raines paired up with country blues master (and author of TrueFire’s Country Blues course, “Dirt Road Blues” by Paul Rishell. Touring internationally at festivals, clubs, and concert halls, and teaching workshops and seminars, Rishell & Raines have earned loyal fans around the globe. They won the W.C. Handy Award in 2000 for Acoustic Blues Album of the year for “Moving to the Country.” The duo has recorded 7 albums together and performed on diverse radio and TV shows including A Prairie Home Companion, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and PBS’s Arthur, and are featured in the new jug band music documentary, Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost. They have performed and recorded with Susan Tedeschi, John Sebastian, Pinetop Perkins, and Rory Block. For more about Paul and Annie, visit their website:

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