When I hear somebody giving some advice about this or that and it strikes me in some way I usually want to hear that person's playing or find out something other than a handle. When Buddha or BBq Bob post I know these guys have tons of experience so I have respect for their opinions but if I have no reference point for someone it strike me as ????. I have no ideas if it some person that has been woodsheding for 40years or somebody that has been playing for ten minutes. The "Medium has become the message".
So if possible please put a website, youtube or myspace page along with your picture. I always believe don't ask people to do stuff if you don't do it yourself. This is me.
If feel like I should only give advice to people who have been playing for less than a year. Anything else who be bull*** (unless the person is clearly below me in terms of technique) ---------- Heart2Harp
@Diggs: I'm nobody special or particularly well qualified. I'm self taught, been playing about 30 years or so. I've had the good fortune to play with a number of very good musicians over the years and from them I've acquired a practical working knowledge of basic music theory.
For reasons i don't completely understand, I've almost always had standing invitations from various bands to sit in, so for years, I'd play out 2-3 times most weeks and I developed quite a bit of live performance experience, including a paying gig every now and then (usually with some blues band that wanted me to play harp for a particular show).
Stopped playing out regularly for about 8 years because i felt I was just playing SOS and had nothing to say anymore that i hadn't said before. Practiced intermittently during that time (playing out only occasionally) and taught myself other positions and scales. Got to a point where I was able to play stuff i never thought i could play on a diatonic and I started playing out again. These days I have regular paying gigs with 2 bands and I also still sit in with other bands since I like to play and have opportunities to play with really good musicians from whom i learn a lot.
I don't have a website or a Facebook or My Space page.
So, I guess my only qualifications are substantial live performance experience and and a self taught understanding of modes as they relate to positions and how multiple positions have certain common breath patterns. That, and a practical working knowledge of basic music theory. But I've played live, in public, on stage with professional musicians quite a bit. I don't necessarily claim to be particularly skilled at it, however, I've done it often enough to know from first hand experience that a lot of the conventional wisdom about harp playing and harp amplification is not useful in the real world.
Last Edited by on Sep 18, 2010 12:24 AM
Self taught since about 1967. Started out trying to please my grandfather, who loved all things Old West. Consequently, he gave grandkids harmonicas as 'stocking stuffers' at Christmas. Of all the grandkids, I was the only one who really tried to make tunes work. Mostly campfire stuff, Red River Valley etc. My family is populated by musical instrument aficianados. My father loves jazz and blues and had music on at the house the whole time I was growing up. He played sax and clarinet, even doing light gigging when he was a full-time judge. My mother can work a piano from classical to rolling whorehouse honkytonk. I've got one brother who got himself a 4 year degree at Berklee, spending a good part of that time as a close buddy of Delfeayo Marsalis. Another brother was winning 5 string banjo competitions when he was in his mid-teens. And, most of my cousins play. Needless to say, my parents always had high hopes that I'd play a "real" instrument, too. Oh well. My musicality is either by genetics or osmosis.
I am not qualified to offer much in the way of musical theory advice. Being self-taught, half the time I don't really know nor care what "position" I'm playing in -- so don't ask. I reach for the harp that sounds right. Or, I try to make the harp that I happen to be holding sound right. As the years go by I get better at it. I've been blessed to have sat with some very cool and competent musicians over the years. When I was in my 20's I fell into living in a pretty non-white neighborhood in New Orleans. As fortune would have it, my next door neighbor was from Mississippi and had all manner of musical connections. Even though he drove a cab when I knew him, he knew a variety of musicians who would many times make it a point to visit him when they came to NOLA, or summon him to their shows or hotels. Through him, I learned about southern music, but far more importantly I learned about southern race relations. On many a night, I was the only white face at a barbecue or improv backyard jam. Great times. I was in effect almost adopted by that family (in fact, Mr Robinson pushed hard for a time to match me up with his daughter, but I slipped that particular noose).
I don't want lessons. I don't want to post playing for critiques. I don't want to formally learn theory. I'm not a musician. I'm a guy who loves the harp and probably has twenty thousand hours of playing the silly little things, and I'm far from tired of it.
I have a job that is outside the "norm". As such, I've managed to be as much a curiosity to some musical heroes as they are to me. I've been blessed to have met and interacted with some very cool names in both harmonica as well as music in general. Whooppee. Essentially these are my own little treasure trove of memories.
What is my point in all this miscellaneous rambling? None, really. Don't take musical advice from me. Opinions? Oh yea. Solicited or not, I'll offer them up. I'd like to think that as I get older I wait a beat or two before I give those opinions.....but, they are always there.
I think it's super and even courageous to invite members to i.d. themselves and their creative voices. In the same way that a commenter might be less abrasive in front of the addressed other they might be less abrasive/critical, etc, if they expose themselves via a website or link. For me social networking is a means of marketing and has catalyzed gigs, recordings, and fruitful musical relationships. I presume most don't hit my links but they are there as a reference leaving me a little more vulnerable and a little less abstract if commenting. So thank you in your attempt to make it a little more virtual Diggs. My best. d ---------- myspacefacebook
Strictly an amateur but have been around a long time. Few things I know but lots I don't know so I don't say. I do however happen to be the worlds foremost authority on what I think. Don't have a website & see no need for a bio as I'm retired.
Just checked my Harmonicas Direct account and saw I ordered my first harp - a Marine Band in C - in May 2009, right after coming across Adam's videos, so, Diggs, I'm definitely here to get advice, not to give it.
I consider myself a singer and not a harmonica player - per se. I've been playing harmonica 3 years this month. I hoped to bring something more than vocals to the party and chose the harmonica. I am playing out with a guitar player as a duo and fairly regularly am pleased with my vocals, but am seldom similarly as pleased with my harmonica playing. We have not taped anything as of yet, but plan to if for no other reason than to evaluate ourselves. I'll post it at that time if it does not disgust me. I have purchased way more harmonicas than I deserve and have had a history of successful evaluation of products in my adult life. So I wouldn't listen to my advice for playing the instrument unless I was an advanced beginner or less. My teacher (Grant Dermody) says I am an intermediate, but that may be a stretch if you were to ask me based on my level of confidence. I feel I have some valid commentary on the products I've purchased. Mainly I just try to feel the music emotionally and to express that emotion. For me this is a passionate hobby, but I never expect to consider it revenue generating.
im here for the entertaiment value,be it good music or reading the posts,me i dont really care if you like me or not or my music,i dont give advise but i will give a opion,I have a good school that i pay for my advise.
I have been back - playing for 3 years now - after a 16 year layoff....long story...I don't play for the money, I play because of the way it makes me FEEL. Play a lot of acoustic stuff, backing up local singer/songwriters, but my love is the blues. I have been fortunate to be able to sit in with many of the area's top blues bands / performers. This was recorded at a local club during an open mic ( using a tascam 2 ?). Totally un-rehearsed.....in fact most of the guys had never played together. My solo is at 4:15 but I am in there with some rhythm and warbles from time to time. Not the optimal sound - had to use a Blues Jr. mic'd to the PA.
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. - Charlie Parker
Good point, Diggsblues. If you're at a symposium on particle physics, you don't want the janitor to chip in, not at least without knowing he is the janitor.
So, who am I?
1975 - started piano at age 13.
1979 - discovered birds and booze, and put piano on the back burner, but dipped in and out - of piano, that is.
1990 - first attempt of three or four at learning harp, but always failed. Why were so many harp books so cr*ppy back then?
1992 - went to college to do a BA in music, and studied composition. Only got an average degree (2:2). Birds and booze again to blame there.
Taught piano here and there, and taught music in a special needs school for a while.
2008 - came back to harp and decided to make a serious attempt to crack it this time.
Loads of knowledge about music in general, though NOT a blues aficionado with the knowledge that many of you lot have on the subject.
On here, I generally try to keep my mouth shut, unless I feel confident about what I'm saying, whether it's informed by my degree, working with other musicians or what have you. ---------- YouTube SlimHarpMick
I am a very hard working beginner... I have been playing for a year now... playing as much as I can... I even got my wife to acknowledge that I can play and listen at the same time… so I can even play while my wife talks…
Now days every activity that allows one hand free or can be done with a rack, is harp practice time… driving… doing dishes… toilet… waiting for someone to pick me up… and many more… and I also have a hour a day for pure woodsheding…
I got the my first harp as a birthday gift from my wife (I sure she doesn't regret it), didn't touch it for a while until I stumbled upon Jason Ricci, Adam… and Howard Levy… from this point on I was totally enthusiastic… My role model today is Alex Paclin which got me hoping I could play like him when I get to two years of playing…
After one year I can overblow and overdraw all the notes and incorporate them into my playing… I am customizing my own harps based on online information and allot of trial and error…
I am documenting my progress and sharing the resources I find during my harmonica discovery journey on this facebook page (here).
Here is a rather recent video of me playing cross harp:
And here is a video of me doing a lick with the 4 overblow and 6 overblow integrated seamlessly (I hope) between other notes:
Last Edited by on Sep 17, 2010 4:10 PM
yea Who are you really LMFAO God this place is entertaining,This last week i joined 2 other forums plus I have David Barrests school forum.I ask questions on David's if i need a answer he's staight up no BS as was my other school with Tony Eyers,i pay them and there professsional's with no hang ups about a beginer asking such things,I just got invited By email by Waltertore at his favorite forum where i met a very cool person, who read i was asking about Bushman harmonicas for chugging sence all mine are LO and were having a chugging contest in about 6 weeks at the Bluesharmonica.com and this new friend sent me as a gift a 1923 hering vintage harp prewar tuning that plays great,and said this will help you in the chugging contest,im forever gratful for his genrosity,The other forum just started and its about 4 times larger than this one, and people talk about how rude they are over here exspecially if you dont play blues and been at it for 30 years,But this forum is good for laughs with all the bickering,I think Adam is great and tolerates alot,and hes not stuck up about beginers his Utubes videos and him being a teacher proves hes supportive of people wanting to learn,and theres some cool people here that i like from pro's to beginners But who are you really? come on:-)stuff like that is starting to turn this place into a joke on the web about blues snobs,little Walter is up there in harp heaven laughing his ass off,I wonder what he would say to that question?;-)
Last Edited by on Sep 17, 2010 4:06 PM
@Hobostubs You say those other forums are more professional. You also said that you have to pay for that. I invite you to ask me any question about playing the harmonica, equipment or just music in general! I'll help you or anyone else! OH did I mention I'm not going to ask for money!! I agree about the bickering! I don't like that either. I think alot of times people will type things they wouldn't normally say to someones face. Some people have some corny ideas and some people think they know everything, but thats life. people are like that everywhere. I took a statisical process control class years ago and studies showed that in almost every group, organization, work place or whatever. 10% of the people are assholes. That is the not as technical term for what they called it. What I'm getting at is everybody is different. We all have different ideas. If you stop listening to other prople you'll stop learning. You can pay to learn how to play the harp if you want. Before you bash the shit out of this forum. Try asking us the same qeustions you pay for. You direct them at me personaly. I'll be glad to help. I don't care if your a beginner or been playing for 20 years. I don't know everthing and if I can't help you I'll tell you. I believe there are other people hear that are very knowledgeable that would also be willing to help!
I have been a member of this forum for 6 months and the experience has been very positive learned a lot went to hill country harmonica event in mississippi-there is dissension among the ranks at times and flagrant abuse has been handled by adam like a fair and partial judge-I would like to propose a top forum member contest-1 who is positive,helpful and pure matter of fact in his opinions-do we have any nominations?
well the ones i pay for i exspect a answer if it can be answered,its more than fair,I watched this forum for 6 months befor i posted anything a question or a song ,because i didnt feel comfortable,but then i decided why not,but its been talked about here and other forums about the same weird feeling that expressed to a newbie here,I dont really ask questions to much,because not to sound cocky but i dont have very many to ask,If im wanting to find a answer i usually find it myself,I dont really ask to much in the online schools forum,the internet is the biggest library in the world,and i love to read about things im interested in,so i find my answers most times,Busman's forum and Harmonica talk are the 2,one has alot of old school players that made a newbie like me feel at home from day 1,the other is a new forum that has about 1200 members in 1st month a lot of newbies and the talk is about how this forum made them feel uncomfortable one that mentioned it to me ,is a regular member here,we joked about it,I dont care really ,i go where i can,say what i want,within limits,try to get along with everybody,but the question who are you really? come on Im Hobostubs damn it:-) ---------- Hobostubs
Last Edited by on Sep 17, 2010 6:55 PM
Hobostubs >very well said. You have proven who you are with your large number of video postings & your legion of fans on ReverbNation.
I think Adam does a fantastic job & has provided us all with a valuable learning & very supportive resource.
This forum does have at times some bickering going on and some professional 'jealousy' but just take a cold shower & have a laugh. Don't buy into it. For the most part it's positive.
Be comfortable in your own skin. If you are then you don't have to prove anything to anyone. If you are a good or lousy player it doesn't matter. What matters is being here and wanting to improve as a player. And there is nothing wrong in having opinions.
I apologize i got to thinking by saying what i said,it is basically doing the same thing im gripping about,instigating something whether right or wrong,ill keep my mouth shut,again sorry ---------- Hobostubs
I guess the "short answer" to this question is that I'm a Musical Hack who's made music most of my life on one thing or another, mostly guitar, and who gets good enough to impress non-musical types but never has gotten good enough to make a living at playing music even though that's what I'd love to do more then anything in the world. I've learned my limitations over the years and I've learned that no matter how much I spend on an instrument I'll never get that much better then if I spend on the conservative side of things. I know that cheap isn't good but for me expensive isn't all that good either. Somewhere in the middle is best for me, that's where my sill level is and that the kind of instrument I play, something in the middle. No reason to buy a silk dress for a pic when a cotton one will work just as well. ---------- Harps: Suzuki HarpMaster in C Suzuki FolkMaster in D and F(on order) Hohner Big River in A Hohner Hot Metal harps in G, A, C, D,and E
I am a 32 year old weekend warrior musician. I started playing sax in 7th grade and studied it through college. I picked up Bass guitar at age 15 and have played in countless bands. I consistently perform over 50 times a year (on bass) at venues and festivals all over the east coast, but mainly you will find me in the NYC/NJ/PA area. I privately teach bass guitar, music theory, and midi music production. I am also very handy with a recording studio. I started playing harp in Jan. of 2010. I've sat in with numerous local bands and play at open jams often. I aspire to be a hire-able multi-instrumentalist (harp/sax/guitar) with in a year or two. Click my profile for more info.
Hey Cap'n. That was great. How the hell did you make the alcohol travel through the web to my brain. I kept going blurry eyed and I don't drink. Seriously though, I enjoyed your playing even though I must be pissed.
In public school I played the clarinet. That's where I learned my basics. At 18, I took up bass quitar in 1970. I have played weekends on and off since.
In 2001 I joined the Harmonica Club (of Huntington,WV) and the guys showed me how to play it. Through Jon Gindick, Adam Gusow, Harp-L, and this forum, I am what I am today.
I still play bass a time or two each month in a dance band, but I play the bass every Sunday at church. I can strum the guitar to teach a new tune to the club. I can remember enough words to sing a melody to get the job done.
The Harmonica Club puts me and the gang in the public's eye about 2 to 3 times a month. (Or maybe I should say I keep The Harmonica Club in the public's eye. I'm the contact man)
I know enough theory and enough technique to impress my friends. I share what I know with anyone that is willing to listen. I see harp players that are struggling and try to teach them. I see harp players that are better than me and I steal from them :) ---------- intermediate level (+) player per the Adam Gussow Scale, Started playing 2001
I’m a very busy man I am. I was on the 6 o’clock news yesterday afternoon. They were asking me a couple of questions about the economy, foreign relations, and things like that. Well, I just had to tell them what I thought. I told them that when I was over in ....Russia.... about six weeks ago, I was talking to that Putin fellow. You know. The head Ruskii. He agreed with me completely. I can’t remember exactly what we talked about, but we were in complete agreement. Anyway, if you happened to see that newscast, you heard what I said. Well, the big man in ....China...... he seemed to agree with me also. He gave me a call the other night. My line was busy. I was talking with the head guy in ....Portugal..... Seems to me, he was wondering about something or other. But he seemed very happy with the advice I gave him ; whatever it was. I was busy writing a letter to the Pope at the time. In reply to an inquiry he had made of me concerning something. But I’m not at liberty to speak about that now. So instead, I’ll tell you about the time I had tea with the Queen of England. Well, she was a real nice lady. We talked about this and that for around forty-five minutes or so. Then I had to excuse myself, because I had an appointment with the Chancellor of Germany. It seems to me I had promised to cut a ribbon of some sort. He invited me to say a few words to the effect of whatever it was I was cutting the ribbon for. You can see that I am a very busy man. People seek my opinions whenever they can. Seems to me, they most always agree with whatever I tell them, whatever it is. They always appear to go away happy. That’s what I told the man on the 6 o’clock news. I forgot what network it was on. I don’t always have time for advice though. Because, you know, I’m a professional athlete too. I play a little basketball now and then. A little football, and occasionally, some baseball too. I’m fairly talented, I must admit. It’s sure hard being a professional athlete in three different sports. You’ve probably heard my name mentioned on the sports pages. Those sports sort of cut into my work time because you see, I’m also an international businessman. I wheel and deal a lot. Oh, I make a lot of money. It keeps me very busy. Very very busy. What, between sports, politics, and business, I just don’t have much time to raise a family. That’s why my ten kids just about drive me nuts! Why, they’re always wanting this and that. I never really have any time to myself anymore. It’s hard to get in my ten hours of sleep that I like to get every day. What with running all over the globe making all sorts of money, playing this kind of game, that kind of game, signing report cards,giving advice, changing diapers, I’m a very busy man. There ain’t anything wrong with being a busy man though. No sir! If I wasn’t a busy man, well, hah, I just wouldn’t have anything to do.
Heres me a link to some of my music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV0Olqr6PaQ#
You eitheir like this song i wrote or you dont. Im a 13 year old i play harp and i intend to give my opinion on this forum no matter what anyone says. ---------- Everyones opinion is valid. Ms series rule!!!