Lessons, Classes and Videos

Paul and Annie are accepting students for private study in country blues guitar and blues harmonica. Lessons can be taught in person in the Boston area or in your living room anywhere in the world via Skype or FaceTime. If you're interested, contact us and tell us a little about yourself and your musical goals.




Blues Harmonica Blueprint - The new, comprehensive and interactive harmonica video from Annie Raines


268 minutes and 68 lessons that will take you from complete beginner to in-demand Blues Harp player. Whatever level you occupy now, be prepared to move up!

This revolutionary video features tools for every learning style. There are animated graphics showing where the notes are as they're being played; detailed video breakdowns of songs and exercises; 75 pages of written harmonica tab; solos in the styles of the masters; text descriptions; live band jam tracks so you can play along with an all-star blues combo including guitarists Paul Rishell & Troy Gonyea; and more. Level: beginner to advanced intermediate.

Instant Download $39 - Buy Now Data DVD Disc + Instant Download + Streaming $59 - Buy Now

Watch samples on Truefire's website, but come back here to buy direct, which benefits starving artists and teachers (Click a buy link above to add to shopping cart, which will open in a new window.)

Dirt Road Blues - Country Blues Guitar Lessons on Video


"Dirt Road Blues" by Paul Rishell -

Click the link above to add the CD-ROM to shopping cart, which will open in a new window, or order from one of the options below.

"Playing and singing country blues guitar is no easy task. It’s just you and the box summoning up the requisite guitar parts, singing the melody and maintaining a solid groove. No drummer. No bass player - just you and your guitar. Independence, repertoire, technique, timing and endurance comprise the essential skill set for authentic fingerstyle country blues guitar. Playing and singing the material in Dirt Road Blues hones these skills like nobody’s business."

Instant Download $29 - Buy Now Data DVD Disc + Instant Download $49 - Buy Now

Watch samples on Truefire's website, but come back here to buy direct, which benefits starving artists and teachers (Click a buy link above to add to shopping cart, which will open in a new window.)

Watch a sample of the video below:

Scroll down for more video samples


"Paul Rishell’s Dirt Road Blues is optimized for solid intermediate to advanced players, is presented across 2 interactive video CD-ROMs (Windows and Mac compatible), features 40 full-length interactive video lessons including performances of all the songs, text overviews, standard notation and interactive Power Tab so you can "see" and "hear" the tab and notation played out at any tempo. TrueFire's video lesson player features zoom, frame advance, looping and other handy controls."

"Get a solid grip on this Delta, Piedmont and Texas blues guitar repertoire and you’ll be able to handle anything (including your own compositions) with authenticity, stellar technique and maximum groove. Head out to the porch now with Dirt Road Blues. " Featuring Annie Raines on several performances. Bonus material also available on request.


  • “Down the Dirt Road Blues” by Charley Patton
  • “Shake ‘em On Down” by Tommy McClennan
  • “Low Down Rounder” by Peg Leg Howell
  • “Sweet Jivin' Mama” by Blind Blake
  • “One Dime Blues” by Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • “Black Horse Blues” by Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • “Rag Mama Rag” by Blind Boy Fuller
  • “Custard Pie” by Blind Boy Fuller
  • “Step it up & Go” by Blind Boy Fuller
  • “Trouble Blues” by Scrapper Blackwell
  • “Hunkie Tunkie” and "Keep it Clean” by Charley Jordan
  • and four Rishell originals; “Vanessa,” “Louise,” “I’m Gonna Jump & Shout” and “Blues on a Holiday.”

Private Study with Paul and Annie

Paul and Annie are both acccepting students for private study in the Boston area.

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED GUITAR Guitar students must know the names of the strings and how to play basic chords and some barre chords.

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED HARMONICA Intermediate harp students should know how to hit all or most of the bend notes. It is not necessary to know how to read music.

HARMONICA - BEGINNER'S: Before you sign up for lessons, consider that there are lots of good books and CDs out there to start you on your way to playing the harmonica. Recommended is "How to Play the Pocket Harmonica" by Pickow & Shulman, which costs about $6. Private lessons begin with general harmonica orientation and how to set up a simple blues groove, play single notes, learn to bend notes and play melodies in straight and cross harp. You're welcome to contact us for rates and more information.

GUITAR AND HARMONICA LESSONS ON SKYPE: Study with Paul or Annie from the comfort of your home! contact us for details.



Video Clips from "Dirt Road Blues" - New from Truefire.com

Tommy McClennan's "Shake 'em on Down" taught by Paul Rishell:


Other class offerings - samples:

THE STORY OF RECORDED BLUES (taught together) The developing Blues genre enjoyed immense commercial success by way of the brand-new medium of recording. The first Blues records sold in the hundreds of thousands and gave rise to a rapidly growing industry whose need for fresh talent was boundless. As recording and marketing technologies progressed, specific artists rose to unprecedented fame. Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leroy Carr were among the first wave of Blues recording stars. Their popularity continues to influence and nurture successive generations of highly original artists. This course explores, through live and recorded performances, the story of the Blues, the tragic and heroic figures who shaped it, and its lasting appeal.

COUNTRY BLUES GUITAR (taught by Paul) Right and left hand techniques of the 4 major blues guitar styles: Piedmont, Delta, Texas and Chicago. Also: slide guitar, open tunings, and signature pieces by artists such as Blind Blake, Lemon Jefferson, Scrapper Blackwell, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son House, Skip James, Blind Boy Fuller, Tampa Red, Robert Lockwood, Elmore James, Fred McDowell and others.

INTERMEDIATE BLUES HARMONICA (taught by Annie) This class will study the history of the Blues harp and the recordings and techniques of masters such as Deford Bailey, Sonny Terry, Little Walter, Big Walter, Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson and Rice Miller. It will cover rhythm techniques for solo playing as well as supporting other players in both acoustic and electric styles of blues. We will also work on classic harmonica techniques such as tongue-blocking, bending, octaves and chording, and position playing.

BEGINNING BLUES HARMONICA This class is available as a single, 2-hour workshop, or as a weekly series of 1-2 hour sessions running from 4-7 weeks. It is designed for the beginning harmonica player as well as for the more experienced player who wants to review the basics. Techniques run the gamut from holding the harmonica and playing a single note to tongue-blocking, bending, and rhythm playing. Handouts with notation of songs and exercises are included.


  • Berklee College of Music (visiting artist, guest faculty), Boston, MA
  • Brown University (guest lecture/performance, Providence, RI
  • Harvard Extension University (guest faculty),Cambridge, MA
  • Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, VA
  • Augusta Heritage Workshop, Elkins, WV
  • Baltimore Blues Soc. Blues In Schools, Baltimore, MD
  • Boston Blues Soc. Blues In The Schools, Boston, MA
  • Blues in the Schools, Kansas City, MO
  • Harmonica Masterclass Workshop, San Jose, CA
  • Catamount Arts Center, St. Johnsbury, VT
  • Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Moline, IL
  • National Blues Festival, Burnley, England
  • Newton Community Education, Newton, MA
  • Pendle Leisure Trust Blues in Schools program, Colne, England
  • National Guitar Workshop (1994-1997), New Milford, CT
  • New York City Blues Harmonica Club, New York, NY
  • Poconos Blues Festival, Blakeslee, PA
  • Port Townsend Blues Workshop (1995, 2000, 2002), Port Townsend, WA
  • Riverwalk Festival, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Swannanoa Gathering, Asheville, NC
  • Wheatland Festival, Remus, MI
  • Guinness Temple Bar Blues Festival, Dublin, Ireland

PLUS numerous workshops in clubs, schools, music stores and Blues Society gatherings in the US and Europe, and private students since 1975.