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Zorglub TFeb 12, 2009 5:04 AM GMT
Just to say I had my first Harmonica Lesson on Skype, with Christelle. I would say I am an Advanced Beginner on the Gussow Official Level Scale. Connection, sound, image quality were very good, despite the fact we are on different continents (France vs. Japan).
This was a very good experience ! Christelle nailed down some critical details that are almost impossible to be aware off with books or the wealth of internet learning material, such as correcting my breathing (from the stomach, not from the chest!), and how to "hear the music" in ones head. Finally, she gave me a set of relevant exercises, that I feel are touching my weak points.
So, I just would like to say that this skype harmonica lesson was a surprisingly good experience. I think the concept of Skype lessons can be further developed and used, despite the potential flaws such as sound distortion, bad image and so on.
Thanks Christelle harmonica-sensei, you Rule!
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damn I gotta get my web cam fixed. Updated computers and can't get the
bloody driver to load.....grrrrr.....
Skype; it's a pretty cool pice of software that enables free audio and video communication ... check it out - it's part of the international internet culture:
I have some lessons with Paul Lassey from France too. He is a friend and partner with Christelle. What is fun with Skype or Messenger is the fact you can can really get along with someone that suits your style or personality. Ben Bouman gives some too via Skype. My guess is that many well knowned players teaches too. It is a good way for them to join anybody in the world! Love it! Plus, for me, the price is right and the benefits are greater than the investment. Man, I hate when I have a business eye on things like that!!! But, for those who feel it is important, then, usually, those teachers are a very good deal!
Ronnie Shellist also offers great Skype video lessons.
Breathing technique is very important and too often highly overlooked. 98% of all beginning players and 50-75% of intermediate players tend to play with way too much breath force, which often leads to being winded quickly, playing with a wet mouth, harps frequently going out of tune, and worse, blowing them out quickly, and the average player never considers this at all. Most of these players are usually completely unaware that they have this problem, largely because they're usually teaching themselves, and usually are gonna be isolated from being around a highly skilled player who knows better and won't think twice about getting in your face aboutit ASAP. Another thing to go along with that is playing very physically uptight and these two go hand in hand because if you're uptight, you've severly constricted your air passages, forcing you to play harder, but it weakens your tone dramatically, and you won't be playing resonantly, and worse, you're wasting much of your breath needlessly. I highly recommend that every harp player take some breathing exercises from a reputable vocal coach and you'd be shocked at what you will learn. I did that and have never regretted it.
Yes, Skype is amazing.
I think Skype will be great for many players that cannot find a local instructor as it is a form of one on one but... If you can find a true pro player that gives lessons near by, you will get more from it. As for breathing, well let me just say this. I was at a jam one day and after I played another harp player got up to play and boy did he play. He was fast, accurate and basically played his ass off but as he was playing a guitar player I did not know came up to me and said. "That guy can play circles around you man. But I personally would rather listen to just one of your notes than a hundred of his." Breathing is that important. People always want to know about my gear but what they really want to know about is my breathing. I really cannot play that well but Michael Peloquin got me set on the right track with the breathing thing. Breathing = Tone and as Rod Piazza once said, If you got no tone, then go home. or something like that. Anyway sorry for the rambling but I guess I am just tired of hearing harp players that can really play well, play without Tone.