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My New Year's resolution

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Jan 02, 2012 3:07 AM GMT

I figure if I put it out there this year I'll have a reason to follow through! So here's mine:

This year I'm going to actually put inpractice on my harp! I'm going to startwith Harmonica For Dummies and read a chapter a week followed by at least 20 minutes of trying to do what it tells me to do!

Wish me luck!

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Comments (9)

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Jan 02, 2012 2:46 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

hats off to you Mondo!

i am struggling to teach 2 kids how to work a harmonica, 1 is 8 and 1 11. my resolution is tho learn enough about how to teach so i can actually get them playing a song or 2.

so far it's been very tough for me just in the fact that i know instinctively from decades of playing how to make the harp sound a certain way, but having to break it down into one bit at a time has been a real stumbling block. and kids are quick to boredom as well, so i have to keep their attention as well.

they are too young to independently watch teaching video on youtube i think, so it's a face to face thing mostly.

good luck to both of us on our chosen paths!!

Jan 26, 2012 6:25 AM GMT
Mondo Replied:

. Half way into the third week and just into the third chapter. Finding time to read is a challenge as I'm now in three bands and playing bass3-4 times a week. (more, if I can get it!) But it's worked out so far as there hasn't been anything to actually play until this chapter. (Note reading! Already? Well, my oldguitar teacher would be proud that I'm finally gonna take music notation seriously. Hahaha...)

. On a parallel note, I bought a Snark SN-1 for my guitars and liked it so much I got an SN-2 (with built-inmic) to use with the harmonica. I've always been disappointed with my lack of bending ability. It just never sounded like the notes were movingas muchI thought they should.But this thing has shown me that I am actually pulling hole 3 down a bit!

. Woo-hoo!

Jan 30, 2012 3:35 AM GMT
Mondo Replied:

. End of week four and I've not finished chapter three. Damn. Looks like I may have to "modify" my resolution a bit. At least for as long as I'm in demand. Since the newBlues-Rock band only needs me to mentor their bass player (not take over the position) I'm sure that at some point they'll be happy and I'll have to be on my way.

. Until that time, I'll move along as best as I can with my practice. But I'm not going to let another year slip past me like I've been doing. Just "wishing" that somehow the skill would reveal itself to me. (silly... I know). I did better when I was just practicing in the car, which I figure I need to start doing again. Gotta get thatembouchure back, weak as it was.

. Question: I have an upper and don't know if I should leave it when playing. Anyone out there have experience with this?

Jan 31, 2012 11:15 AM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

we have something in common- we'd rather be busy than bored. as if the current cd is not a big enough project here, we began working on the next one recently. 10 originals, some from a while back and some brand new. and now after a conversation with a friend and supporter last night we're about half decided to start yet anOTHER project as well! this one instead of all originals with old blues friends will be a public domain old chestnut type project, with 2 brothers behind us on drums and bass. it does remain to be seen if these two guys can fall into the blues groove with us. i'm thinking blues and gospel stuff ala St. James Infirmary, John Henry, etc etc. we've never actually worked with these guys but their background is more solid rock. should be intewresting if we do decide to take it on!

Feb 08, 2012 2:40 PM GMT
Ricardo S Replied:

Hey guys! I hope this is the right place to post this comment. Anyhow, I am absolutely new to harmonica, a good friend of mine gave me a Hohner Marine Band (in the key of G) some years ago and it has been sitting inside a drawer ever since, so I figured now was the time to start learning. I watched a couple of youtube vids but I can't seem to get any basic bends or really get to play something that will encourage me to actually play. I would appreciate any beginners' tips and some motivation from other experienced players How did you start playing for instance? Any good advice?

Thank you so much guys! I hope your playing keeps improving!

Best regards

Feb 17, 2012 2:13 PM GMT
Mondo Replied:

@Ricardo S: You've stumbled into the right place! Harmonica Space has many experienced players here. Unlike other harp sites, the pros that hang around HS are friendly and willing to help beginners such as you and I.

You might want to pick up the book Harmonica For Dummies. I'm working my way through it right now (just finished chap. 3) and I can recommend it as a good place to start. If you have questions, they can be answered here. In fact, the author (Winslow Yerxa) is a member on this site.

Good luck and keep harpin'

Feb 26, 2012 3:19 PM GMT
Mondo Replied:

I've started chapter 5 andI must say that the train sound inchapter 4 was loads of fun. That is the one sound that I've been told is REQUIRED of a good harp player!

Feb 29, 2012 11:19 AM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

not to hijack Mondo's thread but- hi Ricardo! i just saw your intro post here.

i'm not a great teacher, just ask the neighbor kids! there are 2 who are trying to learn to play harp from me. my big discovery is that teaching requires a lot of patience and teaching children requires also a level of excitement to keep their interest!

There are some good harp players who visit here. you may also want to check out Adam Gussow on youtube, and Jason Ricci as well. these are only two of many harp players who have a lot of teaching material available.

i would recommend that you get an additional harp, in the key of C, since most teaching is done in C depending one what you are learning. G is a good key to have- actually for my purposes i have most of the 12 keys plus low tuned, and a few chromatics which i took literally years to learn to actually play. but i am a hard head, hopefully you are more open than i was early on!

i think one's very best tool to learn with is an open mind coupled with a student mentality. to this day, after nearly 40 years of messing with harmonicas, i still have plenty to learn!

now Mondo, once again, hats off to you for fighting the good fight. i had no solid plan early on and so it took me a very long time to learn much about the harmonica and how to play it, past a very few bent notes. a turning point for me was the internet, which did not exist when i got my first harp. "discovering" the guys who would become my idols was another turning point, just deciding that i wanted to play like THAT. and getting their music and wearing out lp's, cassettes, and cds.

i am fortunate to have a wife who is my main music partner. we have growen together a lot in recent years although i have been in bands etc since the mid 90's. working with one partner- in my case a guitarist and singer- who listens to what i am asking and does very well at providing the bottom end of our duo (and some fine soprano vocals as well) i have learned a lot and honed in even more on what a harp can do.

i had the jon gindick book "rockin' blues harmonica" and found it to be very informative.

guys, i am not the best teacher but i support your efforts!

Mar 21, 2012 3:11 AM GMT
Mondo Replied:

Boy is it hard to find time to practice these days. One band (the most amatuer one!) wants to cut a CD, another band is giving their regular bass player some 6-string time and the third one has everybody in town for a couple of weeks! I even had to turn down a Thursday night get-together! I've never had to do THAT before.

But, makin music with my friends is one of the most rewarding things in my life right now. So, as they say, I gotta make hay while the sun shines! Still, I'm squeezing in a few minutes at work during lunch to practice Frere' Jacques! Driving my partner crazy, though. Hahaha...

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