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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Stopped practicing for a LONG time - new drive!
Stopped practicing for a LONG time - new drive!
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outdoor joe
52 posts
Jun 09, 2018
10:43 AM
Hey everyone! My wife bought me a harp for my birthday back in 2016 and I enjoyed the little progression that happened for the several months that I practiced. Got stagnant and just dropped it and pursued other hobbies.

I just came across the YouTube channel for a musician named Indiara Sfair and she REALLY got me wanting to play again!

If you haven't heard of her, check her out! (NOT a plug, I just really enjoy watching the videos of her and her mates having a realllly fun time, if this is against the rules, please take it down)

I really want to get back into the hobby and just need some help. I pretty much just watched this one lads channel online to learn childs' melodies and then some tabs and videos to learn my favorite Neil Young songs and then just couldn't figure out where to go from there.

How do people make this music? How do you even choose which notes to blow and when? I just don't get music, really. I'm really a hands-on learner honestly, I should just look for local lessons. How much would you pay for lessons? $10 for an hour? 20?

Sorry for the long-ish post, I have a lot on my mind!!!

I hope you all are well, I used to frequent this forum a lot when I first started out and I hope you are all progressing/having fun/living your best lives!!!

Much love!!!!
318 posts
Jun 09, 2018
3:52 PM
Hands on worked best for me. I didn’t have a local teacher but I looked for workshops by known teachers who work hands on. I’ve had good results with Ronnie Shellist in Colorado and I’ve been able to work with Jason Ricci who is also a fabulous teacher.

They both offer online lessons and through Skype or Face Time which actually works surprisingly well. Adam Gussow’s lessons are also terrific.

Where do you live? There might be someone near you.
outdoor joe
55 posts
Jun 09, 2018
3:56 PM
Southwest USA. I have seen that Jason offers Skype lessons but I'm not sure if I'm at that stage yet am I? I am trying to sell some baseball cards to pay for the $35 package that Adam offers on this site. That should be a real good foundation.
5426 posts
Jun 10, 2018
12:50 AM
I don’t know anyone who charges as little as $20 an hour but maybe there is someone.
I don’t recall how much I paid Ronnie Shellist, but its on his website/sign up page. You can get 30 minute lessons from Ronnie.

I think Mike Rubin (for example) is $50 per hour. That’s relatively cheap for a reputable instructor but I’m sure there are competent people all over who may work for less.

I don’t know about the idea of not being good enough yet for a good instructor. That may be a wrong idea. Might be the most important time to get on the right track. Might save a lot of backtracking and uncertain flip flopping.

Maybe the main thing to know is what you’re interested in. What’s your goal right now?
Goals can change too, so it’s ok to go with the first thing you think of. You can always review your ideas every couple of months or whenever you’re inspired.
Some people are creatively driven to self expression, others want to play in a band, others just want to play for themselves. Etc.
I think when I started I was just playing for myself and seeing if I could work out tunes. Now I’m playing Chicago style harp and singing in a quartet. I dunno if that’s really what I want but it’s fun and I get paid to play which still amazes me.
The better you play, the more fun it is.
I just worked from books and then videos but I think the face to face things I’ve done have led to the most progress
outdoor joe
57 posts
Jun 10, 2018
9:21 AM
SuperBee, thanks for the insight m8. I've never really taken lessons for anything so I didn't know the pricing really.

As for right now, I am going to buy the $35 package Adam has here on his site and go from there. After I get it all down 100% I'll see where to go from there, maybe I'll have a direction from YouTube or hit up Moon Cat, who knows.

As for right now, my goals are to be able to just jump into a Jam and...well, Jam. Right now the idea seems so foreign to me. How do people know which notes to play and when to stop and when to play.

I'm not HUGE on Blue's Harp, more of a folksy guy, but it's wearing on me. Neil Young and Bobby Dylan all the way. But Indiara Sfair is really getting me into Bluesy stuff.

After I'm done doing what I'm doing now (seems secretive I know), I most likely am going to be taking a couple courses at the local college and Music Theory or any Intro to Music class is #1 priority.
321 posts
Jun 10, 2018
1:35 PM
There’s a book from David Harp ( yes, that’s his real name) available on Amazon called “ 3 Minutes to Blues, Rock and Folk Harmonica”. It can actually get you going pretty quickly. It includes a CD for training and play along. I found it useful early on especially developing rhythm breathing patterns. Book is about $17. Have fun.

My first jam I just spoke to the leader, said I could play chords and someone would have to signal me when 12 bars were up! I got by and just continue to learn.
outdoor joe
59 posts
Jun 10, 2018
2:40 PM
Harpdoc! Thanks!! So much. I will take a look at that.
174 posts
Jun 14, 2018
6:16 AM
Super Bee offers words from experience.
I’ve always learned from his posts, he remembers what it was like to be a beginner better than many accomplished players, and offers great pointers and advice.
I wish I had paid more attention earlier. It would have saved me time and money.
outdoor joe
68 posts
Jun 25, 2018
12:57 PM
@Crawforde, yeah from perusing the many many threads in the first dozen pages on the Main Forum, I can see SuperBee knows his/her stuff.

The $35 beginners deal on this site has been SUPER helpful so far and I am enjoying the videos so much I might even buy more when I get through everything!

Baby steps though. Just going through everything with a smile on my face, just a tap tap tappin' my foot to the beats!

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