Tomlin Harmonica School
My name is Tomlin Leckie and I grew up in a number of places including Argentina, England and France.
I currently live in Scotland where I play and teach music full-time.
How I started playing harmonica
Back in 2005 I was embarking on a career as a guitarist in France when I got tendinitis in both wrists which meant I had to stop playing altogether for 6 months. This led to me picking up a harmonica through desperation to keep playing something musical. I did discover that I liked it. I now split my time between playing and teaching guitar and harmonica.
Problems I had when learning the instrument
The 1st problem learning the instruments was there being no harmonica teachers around. However, this wasn’t a massive issue for me as I had already taught myself to play guitar and I am pretty pigheaded. I started completely devouring every Adam Gussow video on youTube. He pretty much taught me everything I needed to get started.
Another issue coming from guitar was that I wanted to be able to play guitar phrases on harmonica. However, I discovered that the harmonica is a diatonic instrument while the guitar is a chromatic instrument. This means that there are loads of notes missing from the harmonica. Or so I believed…
I quickly learnt that there were ways to play all those extra notes by practicing advanced bending and overblow techniques which I still spend time working on now.
Falling in love with harmonica
In the early years of playing I just wanted to play guitar music on harmonica. It took me a long time to discover and fall in love with real blues harmonica playing. Discovering players like Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul DeLay and William Clark really got me excited about learning to use the harmonica in a more traditional way.
Hearing traditional blues harmonica music really started my journey to becoming a hybrid player (lip purse and tongue block). I’ve enjoyed the process through exploring by myself and taking lessons with many of my favourite players including David Barrett, Ronnie Shellist, Liam Ward, Hank Shreve, Roly Platt and Filip Jers.
Fronting a band
I have enjoyed singing and playing harmonica in many bands over the years. My latest project is a band called Delacroix which you can check out here.
Todd Parrott takes a mixture of sweet country and gospel melodies and fuses them together with heavy blues chops to make him one of the most exciting modern harmonica players on the planet. He’s a regular teacher and performer at the annual Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) convention, and at many other harmonica workshops in the USA.
Robert Laferriere is a harmonica technician, player, and instructor from Manitoba, Canada. As an instructor, Rob knows that every student has different goals, and he works hard to tailor his feedback to each student’s needs. He is also quite familiar with the plateau that many intermediate players find themselves on, and is here to coach you along and help you develop a plan of attack.
Sandy Weltman is a virtuosic harmonica player having studied with the great Howard Levy. While at home in the jazz realm, he is equally skilled in blues, jazz Klezmer, Latin and more. For over 30 years Sandy has been growing and expanding his innovative methods and skills on the diatonic harmonica and teaching them to thousands of students via workshops, residencies and other assorted musical programs.