Teachers at the Old Town School

Harlan Terson

Bass Guitar, Guitar

Blues, Soul, Rock

Harlan Terson was born in Chicago on January 3, 1951, and began playing electric bass in 1966. His influences include all styles of blues, as well as the recorded sounds of Stax/Atlantic and Motown. James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, Jerold Tommy Cogbill, and Duck Dunn are just a few of his favorite bassists. He began playing professionally after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Terson's steady in the pocket groove has kept him working on the competitive Chicago blues scene, and taken him overseas as well. He recorded and toured with Lonnie Brooks from 1976-1982. He has also appeared and recorded with many other artists, including the legendary Otis Rush, Bo Diddley, Magic Slim, Albert Collins, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Littlejohn, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Rogers, Kim Wilson, Eddie Shaw, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Jody Williams, Steve Freund, Tad Robinson, Dave Specter and the Bluebirds, Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies, The Chicago Rhythm Review, and Chicago blues rockers, The Fabulous Fish Heads. He performed at the internationally famous Kingston Mines in Chicago for more than twenty years, and has taught at The Old Town School of Folk Music since September, 1999. He has appeared on more than thirty commercial recordings on various labels including Alligator, Delmark, Evidence, Severn, and JSP.

Get in touch with Harlan at HTerson@oldtownschool.org.

Education: BA Music, University of Illinois-Chicago

Started at the Old Town School in August of 1995


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 08/31/2020

Mondays 1:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Wednesdays 2:45 pm – 6:30 pm
Thursdays 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturdays 11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Saturdays 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Group Classes for the session beginning 08/31/2020

Walking Bass Groove Lab with Harlan Terson

Work with a variety of 7th chords and find useful ways to play them in songs. Get insight into effective ways to move from one chord to the next.

$140 ($123 members)

08/31/2020 – 10/19/2020 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM · Online Classes Available

Playing Reggae Bass with Harlan Terson

$177 ($168 members)

08/31/2020 – 10/19/2020 (7 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · Online Classes Available

Learn Classic Soul Bass Lines with Harlan Terson

$202 ($192 members)

09/05/2020 – 10/24/2020 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 2:30 PM – 3:50 PM · Online Classes Available

Class is full — Call 773.728.6000 for waiting list info

Bass Guitar 2 with Harlan Terson

$206 ($186 members)

09/06/2020 – 10/25/2020 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 12:00 PM – 1:20 PM · Online Classes Available

Bass Guitar 1 with Harlan Terson

$206 ($186 members)

09/06/2020 – 10/25/2020 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · Online Classes Available


Group Classes for the session beginning 10/26/2020

Bass Guitar 1 with Harlan Terson

$206 ($186 members)

11/01/2020 – 12/20/2020 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 12:00 PM – 1:20 PM · Online Classes Available

Bass Guitar 2 with Harlan Terson

$206 ($186 members)

11/01/2020 – 12/20/2020 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · Online Classes Available