Why I Play the Harp

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Why I Play the Harp

Postby eline » Tue May 08, 2007 9:32 pm

Sorry guys but sometimes you just feel like writing something!

Why I play the Harp.
I didn’t always like the fact that played the harmonica. In fact, I really wanted to play the guitar but I just couldn’t get it. One of the reasons why I excelled at the harp is because I drove a 100 miles a day, and in order to avoid falling asleep at the wheel one tends to finds things to do.

About fifteen years ago, I picked up the harp and began to mess around with it; with not much luck. I talked to an old neighbor who played it and he gave me some tips; this was all the coaching I got. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago when I actually thought that I could play the thing and it was really by chance. I was in one of the local music stores looking to buy an amp and I was using my harmonica to test one out. The guy at the store started asking me questions as to whom I played with and how long I’ve played. I told him that I had only been playing for a short while and that I never played in a band. He told me, “you need to go out and have them scales heard.” And even with this, I still hadn’t fully accepted the fact that this is my talent. Me, I’m still thinking that I’m eventually going to learn how to play some guitar.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I started to embrace the harp. I started to see the benefits to playing the harp over other instruments: I can carry it with me, I can mimic other sounds around me, how it’s so expressive, and that it’s a vehicle for me to express myself much like singing. After fully embracing the harp, I’ve made many gains with it. I’m getting to the point where I start playing and it feels like the harmonica takes over and plays itself. Picking up licks is not a difficult task or as difficult.

When I first join a band, just this last year, I felt that having a harp player is something that people could take or leave in a band. I’m beginning to see now that the other players see the harp as somewhat leverage over other blues bands; it adds an element to our sound that can’t be replicated with any distortion pedal or sound effect. It’s a versatile instrument, I can play it percussively; I can play it like a brass instrument; acoustically, or electric. And this is an advantage!

So it’s taken me a while to see the advantages or to embrace it. But once I did notice, it helped me to grow as a musician and to learn that it’s not what instrument you play but how you play it and how you use that instrument to say what it is that you feel.
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eline
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Postby FunkyStickman » Tue May 08, 2007 9:37 pm

Thanks for sharing that, man. Very inspiring. And I definitely agree that harps add "something" to a band that you can't get any other way, especially if you're good at it.
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embracing the harp

Postby jagarner70 » Thu May 10, 2007 2:47 pm

I have embraced the harp but I think I am the only one around me. When someone finds out I play I always get a reaction, You play what?, why would you? and so on. I usually dont tell people I play anymore. At some point people will hear me and they will know why I play but that is still a way off.
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