I think he's confusing 'clean' for good. Someone should explain to him that the slurs and growls and double stops are part of the sound. Plenty of people might have said that Walter has a 'dirty' sound, but bad? wtf?.
I don't think this is iconoclasm, or a critical reappraisal. Frankly it's just uninformed bollocks.
He's got lots of passion for the instrument. I watched another video so I could get a better feel about what he's doing.
I think his intentions are good but he needs some lessons himself. This stuff makes it so much harder other guys that have spent their lives studying harmonica and music. IMHO it gives the wrong idea about what good harmonica is. Maybe he just wants to share and have harmonica friends.
I think Diggsblues is spot on. I went to the harmonica notes YT page. Hey, the guy is enthusiastic about harp, credits Adam and seems like a nice guy, but let's just say he's got major stones to be giving "lessons" at his stage of proficiency. His "lesson" on bending seems super amateurish. I'm not sure he can get most of the bends himself.
Then again, they say you can learn "something", from everybody.
Agreed. Uninformed. The problem is the slick, professional presentation; does give the impression of expertise. Whether it is better viewed in the context of his previous video blogs is moot. what he says is still wrong
Sites like this will flourish as there is for many an unfulfilled need. It makes the 'promise' to learn the harmonica in 30 days! I wish! Similar claims are made to cure baldness!
Unfortunately it is such stuff that gives the harmonica a really bad name. If this 30 days were the extent of instruction taken and your mastery were then unleashed on the public then the poor perception they have of the instrument is only confirmed.
Hi Bro's i haven't checked this guy yet but i will there will be something there i can put to good use I'm sure,,one thing i allways mention to all my Harmonicist friends or persons wanting to learn Harmonica is,,if a person you think is not of great experince with the Harmonica like myself,,or you may think is a complete fool and he is giveing advise you must listen to him or Her,,??why you say simply because this person might say one little thing that is worth a second thought take that little bit of advise use it to your advantage,,i have just bought a Harmonica DVD from ebay for $9 yes i checked the guy out on Yuotube i knew what quality of product i was getting but still willing to buy this DVD,,i have picked up 3 tips from this DVD,,Did i think the guy was a Pro Harmonica Player no But I'm willing to give him the time of day..Thanks for your time Bro's we must Listen at times to those we think are wrong..
@Nastyolddog - fair point well made. Can't fault the guy's enthusiasm for sure I checked out a few more clips - he admits to not being a great player, but I still think you need to be able to execute reasonably well what you're trying to teach.
There's also a lot of misinformation - he suggests playing third position Dm with a Eb harp. Good luck with that.
1st i must say i love little walter,But i didnt see where he was bad mouthing Little Walters playing,I kinda got what he was talking about in a way.Some of Adams lessons teach to let a little of the 4 hole draw in just a little to fatten up the 3 draw,to make it fuller or dirtier sounding,I think thats a great thing to work with for a bluesy sound that dirty south harp sound.Now he just put it in a way that some people will get affended.I can see that,,And i dont know how good a teacher he is he sounded ok but well you guys know what i mean and learn to play in 30 days come on thats worse than saying little walter had a dirty sound
Last Edited by on Jan 20, 2010 3:00 PM
"Some people say he was rough and dirty and DIDN'T PLAY VERY WELL...He could break the rules continually and play BAD bends and ROUGH chords"
He doesn't say it directly - he attributes these opinions to "lots of people". Rough and dirty I'll accept, there's a world of difference between deliberately rough and deliberately bad. As for"didn't play very well"??? Who says that? seriously, who has the balls to make that claim?
@Nastyolddog In my experience, bad teachers do more damage than good. In the case you make, you would have to have enough experience to weed out the good info from the bad. If you have enough knowledge to do that, then you have more knowledge than your teacher and don't need them. I suggest that one does not waste their time panning for flakes of gold in a creek when they can collect nuggets from the mine nearby. ---------- The Art Teacher Formally Known As scstrickland
Last Edited by on Jan 20, 2010 3:32 PM
Hi Nasty. I hear what you say and agree. In many ways we can all learn from each other as we all have tips and tricks to share.
I could make similar claims to this guy. Maybe even stronger claims. I'm in my 70th year and I started playing at age 11. I should know it all. Sadly I don't as there were too many years that I didn't play & too many early bad habits to unlearn.
I would never try to teach someone. Help them yes. Facilitate their learning by pointing them in the right direction and to avoid sites that purport to make them a good Harmonica player in 30 days.
I think also that merely being very good at playing a harmonica doesn't set you up to teach. The reverse to limited extent could also apply ie you might not be a great or even a good player but are able to impart knowledge on the subject in order to bring out the best in others.
he's just teaching the basics. assuming he is giving a lesson a day, 30 days can give somebody the basics. whether the student picks it up isnt on him. david harp or jon gindick advertise "5 minutes to lear the harmonica."
Jon Gindick advertises "5 minutes to play 5 years to master"
I watched a couple of this dude's videos, and he only plays for a couple of seconds (and badly at that). a BIG part of teaching is CORRECT modeling. This guy need to remain a student and create a learning Blog rather than attempting instructional videos on a subject that he barely grasps. ---------- The Art Teacher Formally Known As scstrickland
Last Edited by on Jan 20, 2010 5:39 PM
Hi Aussie-S Gamblers-H & Stick-M thanks Bro's for your Honest replys to my comment,,For me personaly to assume I'm a better player than another Harmonicist i would be blinding myself with my own Ignorance..
Hi Bro's I'm not going to sit around a bag this guy he's trying to put accross his thoughts but not doing to well as mentioned above,,his comments @ 3.09 to 3.30 and 4.43 to 5.00 sort of redeems him self,,i am now going to contact this guy via his youtube email see if he wants to come over try and redeem himself and allso get him to join the HPC-3 Challenge so we can see what he is on about,,he deserves the right of reply to some of these comments i think this is only the Fair thing to do,,
No. We should not bag anyone out there for promoting the harp and giving it away for free.
I just think that no one can make claims to teach anyone how to play in 30 days. We all know it takes most of us forever!! If his claim was to help get you started on playing within 30 days & then put you onto a recognised proven course or teacher it would be realistic. But then he probably wouldn't have any starters?
Hi Bro's Iv'e just sent an email to this guy in all fairness for his reply,,iv'e allso mentioned if he comes over to the foram,,Please keep a civale tongue as not to inflame the sitiuation i would allso like you to keep a cool head when replying to his comments,,if he is to comment on some of the replys posted in this thread,,lets see how it pans out,,Thanks Hobostubs for your supporting my idea..
I not saying he is bad or good but when I was starting out with tongue blocking on one of his post I seen he Insisted on not tongue blocking , referring it to being messy with drooling all over the harp and that lip pursing was the only way to go , seemed to go against the norm of most blues tutorials but might fit the bill for some just not for me , but one would think that if you are going to teach the blues you might want to insure that what your telling new players is good for them in the long run not just how to play a simple tune in a day .I feel that there is way to many short cuts out there that new player could be lead into. I would welcome a response mabey I missed something .
Last Edited by on Jan 20, 2010 8:55 PM
Hey, this is Eirk, the Bad harmonica player you are talking about. First I would like to say sorry for offending. It's not my attention. I will not try to explain myself because I know there is no use in that. I would, however, love to answer questions you may have.
here's a few things I will say about myself.
I am not a good harmonica player. I never claim to be. I say that I suck in the videos.
My intention is to take all the things I have learned since I started learning harmonica a year and a half ago and put it in one place. I will get better and when I do, I will redo the videos.
I didn't expect ANYONE to watch them but I should have known better. It is Youtube after all. I am surprised at the response I have gotten. REALLY surprised!
A BIG reason I did the videos is so I could get better and thank you Nastyolddog for inviting me over here. I'm sure, I will learn a lot from these guys.
Finally on to the bone of contention Little Walters playing. I love the way Little Walter Plays. I ma actually in the camp that thinks he knows EXACTLY what he's doing. My intention was to tell brand new players that THEY can sound rough and screw up but as long as they love playing it's all good.
I also know from playing live at open mic and blues jam nights that being able to play along with players and not over them is a good basic thing to learn.
On to my bending. Yup I need to work on my bending. Every time I watch a Jason Ricci video I am reminded of that. It is also one of the hardest and most disheartening things when first starting out. There are TONS of people teaching bending and throwing my 2 cents in can't hurt.
Thank you to the people who said my video looks slick and professional. I did it with an $80 dollar Best Buy camera, work lights from walmart, a black bed sheet and a $60 CAD usb cardioid mic. I did it in my garage and edited on my mac. The camera mount is one of those metal canes with the 4 feet on the bottom.
A final note. I really got nervous shooting those videos and it effected my performance. I just really wanted to do something ANYTHING to give a little back.
Thank you for listening and you may flame me relentlessly now.
Oh and the tongue blocking video, I lived in Minnesota for 10 years and got really paranoid about having saliva on my lips because of the chapping. I spent a month with bleeding lips because I used to lick them. It was horrible and I have had a problem with wetting my lips since then.
Please understand that none of us are attempting to break your spirit. Keep doing what you enjoy doing which is playing the instrument and meeting other players.
I too believe in giving back to the community but understand that an inexperienced player/teacher can do more damage than good. If you teach someone else, you are accountable for all bad habits that they learn from YOU. It's unintentional but can do a lot of damage to those don't know better. When you set yourself up in a tutorial video, you are making yourself a role model to other people. Is this fair to them?
There are already great tutorial videos out there by people who truly are great role models for playing. The first few names I can think of are Chris Michalek, Adam Gussow, Jason Ricci, Jon Gindick, and David Barrett.
It's great that you got your video blog going for you but perhaps the "framing device" you used is inappropriate. You ARE doing the "Hi, I'm going to tell you how it's done" thing on the videos you know...
And I still think you need to work on that 5 draw bend. Drop your jaw and tongue more. Trust me, you're gonna hear a lot of that here. ;)
Well I appreciate everyones input and would love for all of you to become active with what I am doing. I made a promise to myself everyone who is watching (Which surprised me) that I would do this month and I will continue to do so.
The only negative comments I have heard have been here from you guys. Which is sad because I respect Adam Gussow SO much. I will continue what I am doing until the month is out.
If I can get one person excited about playing blues harp, I will consider it a success.
"Oh and the tongue blocking video, I lived in Minnesota for 10 years and got really paranoid about having saliva on my lips because of the chapping. I spent a month with bleeding lips because I used to lick them. It was horrible and I have had a problem with wetting my lips since then."
Good point , You did in fact say that on the post, being from Canada I completely understand and not that I didn’t get anything from your post but when your trying to learn tongue blocking the last thing you want to hear is you don’t need it when you already have a pool of drool in your lap and you look like a drooling hound .
Last Edited by on Jan 20, 2010 11:30 PM
hey i kinda got your just do it have fun attitude even if you know your not Sonny boy 2 or who ever,I feel the same way,woodshedding is great and needed,but the harp is a insterument that a beginner can start to have fun with a lot earlier than other instruments,Not saying you can be good or great any quicker if anything it requires a lot more work once you get to a certain point where it seems like all my licks are the same but at the same time a beginner can do some stuff that is motivational for pushing past the point of do i want to actually try to learn a istrument.a harp hooks a person quick with the thought of how easy it feels like it will be to learn,then it has you and you find out its one of the hardest instruments to play.thats where im at i hope one day i can say hey this thing aint so hard to play like it was in the beginning,Its the devils pied piper and he has our souls
Thanks to all my Brother Harmonista around the world this is Love,,Love of a wonderfull instrument ignored by many Just look at it's power,,thanks for all your Replys to my comment on this post and your kind welcome of another Brother on Board,,thanks to Harmonica-N for your levale headed reply well done Bro,,feel free to enter the Harp Challenge 3 grab a Backing track go for it Bro,,Thanks again Brothers I'm sure if Harpman-N askes questions you will be kind to point him through the right doors.I'm just going to ride of in the sunset now,,i'm Done come on Panda lets go home time to kick back,,Ps Panda is my Dog
Last Edited by on Jan 21, 2010 1:57 AM
I think some of us on this forum could take it a little easier on other harmonica-guys out there. Especially newbies! I think people should be allowed to have other opinions than the majority here without calling them jack***,clown or idiot. I'm much more into Nasty's approach. Find out what the guy thinks and have a debate about it. And it's funny to see how the tone change when Harmonica notes joins in. I have a golden rule when I'm writing on different forums. I always assume that the person I write about will read what I write at some certain point..
I'm not saying that this forum should be Sesame Street.. I like a hot debate once in a while. I just don't like when people hammer newbies.. Where would many of us be if Adam had that philosophy?
Glad you dropped in! Now we can engage in meaningful discussion rather than speculation.
I've watched a few of your other vids now and I think that you are definitely pursuing an interesting and challenging venture. I agree that you can probably learn the basics in 30 days, but it takes much longer to make the harp sing: still I'm sure you know that.
I'm not into newbie bashing, we've all been there at some point so please do not read any animosity into my comments - exasperation, surprise and disbelief, but no hostility!
I do think that if you are going to make a claim especially as publicly as YouTube, you have to be able to back it up.
My beef with your video is not about your own skills or your right to be teaching or any of that. I just really want to know who you were talking about when you say that "many people say"; I have never in 23 years of playing (and the best part of 30 listening) heard anyone describe Walter's playing as being "bad"- intentional or not.
Walter did play with a gritty dirty sound, but frankly (if you haven't already) you will come to appreciate that to do that is not about letting your technical prowess slide and playing sloppily. It is actually refined technique that separates a seasoned player from a novice. AFAIK There is no debate between people who think he was a sloppy player and those who think he was a good player, playing sloppily.
Just a general question, is it just me or do a lot of beginner players crank their head in funny ways and pull their shoulders way up to their ears and experienced pros just relax everything, you never see ricci or gussow or most guys (gals too) squirming like this guy does at the end of this vid.
Are there any pros who do the shoulder head crank thing? I am curious.
and harmonica notes guy good for you for trying to further yourself, I feel it may be good to include at the top of each vid that you are an admited beginner as folks come across these videos in many ways and you could help new players build bad habits if they assume you have years of expereince behind the technique you are passing on.