In the following rhythmic exercises you'll have the opportunity to combine many of the techniques you've learned up to this point — including playing single notes and chords, using syncopation, and playing rhythm — into cohesive musical phrases.
Practice these exercises often and the techniques will mesh and support each other, becoming new tools you can command.
When traveling with your harmonicas remember that they can be a cause for concern at airport security. It's best if you announce that you have harmonicas before you put your bag through the X-ray machine — but don't be surprised if they ask you to play something to make sure you're not just using those harps for bomb parts!
Here's a rhythm exercise for you to try. This one involves going from chords to single notes and back to chords. You'll hear it start slowly, and then it will speed up.
FIGURE 6-4: Rhythm exercise 1
Here's an example of how the harmonica interacts with another instrument playing a rhythmic feel. Try learning the harmonica riff demonstrated on Track 25, and then try playing it along with the recorded track to get the feel of playing with a guitar player.
FIGURE 6-5A: Rhythm exercise 1 — Blues shuffle
FIGURE 6-5B: Rhythm exercise 2 — Blues shuffle