Tim Gartland

Harmonica, Songwriting
Teaches via Skype

"I have three brothers and they all were playing guitar so that was definitely out. A neighbor was blowing blues harmonica on his porch and I thought that sounded pretty cool so I picked one up and started messing around with it. 

My first couple of years were spent listening to records and trying to pick up stuff on my own. Slow going. It wasn't until I met a player who gave me lessons that I really began to make progress. 

That's why I decided to teach the harmonica. There are not many teachers and I guess there are others out there like me who could benefit from some guidance. 

The harmonica is a surprisingly sophisticated instrument. If you are skeptical of that statement I would invite you to pick one up and try to playing one right out of the box! 

My goal in teaching someone is to first figure out where they want to go and help them get there. Music is a personal journey, and I enjoy helping people get to where they want to go. I teach styles of harmonica from folk to rock; from country to blues. From basic techniques to more advanced such as playing octaves, improvisation and playing with a professional tone.

Over the last few years, living in Nashville, I have learned a lot more about the art of songwriting as well. I am an active member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and the NSAI named me as 'one to watch' as a writer. I would love to work with students who are interested in songwriting." 

  • Bachelor degree, Kent State University
  • Over 35 years of professional playing experience
  • Studied with Jerry Portnoy who toured with Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters
  • Performed with Bo Didley, Cary Bell and Pinetop Perkins
  • Performances featured on commercial radio stations such as WZLX and WBOS as well as satellite radio stations
  • Currently performs throughout the United States
  • Author of an instructional book, "The Talking Harmonica: Harmonica as a Second Language,” which is in its fourth edition and is a number one seller in harmonica instruction on Amazon.com
  • Annual judge of the International Blues Competition

Tim currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches and performs. He continues to spend time in the Boston area, teaches at WCMS in-person during the summer, and gives lessons via Skype during the school year.

His precision harp playing can be compared to that of the great bluesman Charlie Musslewhite as he wields his mighty musical axe throughout his new CD - Brian Owens, Blues Review