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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 01/03/2022

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


Private Lessons in the 8-week session beginning 02/28/2022

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 01/03/2022

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.

$169 ($149 members)

01/03/2022 – 02/21/2022 (8 meetings)

Mondays · 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Crash Bass for Guitarists with Harlan Terson

$206 ($186 members)

01/08/2022 – 02/26/2022 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM · Online

Blues Bass Techniques & Forms with Harlan Terson

$206 ($186 members)

01/08/2022 – 02/26/2022 (8 meetings)

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

Bass Guitar 2 with Harlan Terson

$214 ($194 members)

01/09/2022 – 02/27/2022 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 12:00 PM – 1:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Bass Guitar 1 with Harlan Terson

$214 ($194 members)

01/09/2022 – 02/27/2022 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Bass Guitar 3 with Harlan Terson

$214 ($194 members)

01/09/2022 – 02/27/2022 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave


Group Classes for the session beginning 02/28/2022

Walking Bass Groove Lab with Harlan Terson

Get moving and build that that bottom line! This hour long class is packed with information to improve your skills. Learn how to read a chord chart and get that walking bass feel. 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.

$169 ($149 members)

02/28/2022 – 04/18/2022 (8 meetings)

Mondays · 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Paul McCartney Bass Style with Harlan Terson

$214 ($194 members)

02/28/2022 – 04/18/2022 (8 meetings)

Mondays · 6:30 PM – 7:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Crash Bass for Guitarists with Harlan Terson

Guitarists are everywhere, but a good bass player is not easy to find... Learn how to be a good bass player by applying the skills and musical knowledge you have as a guitarist. Find the groove and make them move!

$206 ($186 members)

03/05/2022 – 04/23/2022 (8 meetings)

Saturdays · 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM · Online

Blues Bass Repertoire with Harlan Terson

Working blues musicians know enough songs to feel comfortable on anyone’s bandstand.  Start building your collection of blues standards here. Learn songs from the Chicago styles of Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed to the Kings, Albert , B.B., and Freddie.

$206 ($186 members)

03/05/2022 – 04/23/2022 (8 meetings)

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

Bass Guitar 1 with Harlan Terson

The bass is the glue that holds it all together! Explore the fundamentals of electric bass playing: tuning, the bass fingerboard, right and left hand technique, simple rhythms, triads, scales and finger exercises. Learn easy common rock and blues patterns, alternating bass patterns, and major and minor scales and triads.

$214 ($194 members)

03/06/2022 – 04/24/2022 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 12:00 PM – 1:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Bass Guitar 2 with Harlan Terson

Go deeper! See how your scales and chords can be put to work. Learn how to combine different triad shapes effectively, play songs and progressions using the I IV and V chords, and connect chords with easy scale based runs. Start working with walking blues patterns and dominant 7th chords.

$214 ($194 members)

03/06/2022 – 04/24/2022 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave

Bass Guitar 3 with Harlan Terson

This class explores interesting ways to get from here to there. Move through progressions using chord tones and passing tones. Learn to walk that bottom line!

$214 ($194 members)

03/06/2022 – 04/24/2022 (8 meetings)

Sundays · 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM · In-Person @4544 N Lincoln Ave