confused

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

confused

Postby paulw » Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:24 am

I started playing harmonica about 6 months ago and I belive I am doing well by useing bits and pieces from various lessons via book, tape and video. However, I have gotten to the piont where I need to get down to some serious study.

My question is this. Which course should I use? I have the following: J Portnoy 3 cd set, Rock n blues harmonica by J Gindick, The Coast to Coast cd's and Madcats The ins and outs of rhythm harp.
I like them all, but I need some advice on an order of study.
Thanks
Paul
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RE: confused

Postby dblues » Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:35 am

I can see why you are confused. Too much information to be assimilated. Everyone has a different opinion on what to do, so you will probably get even more confused by the posts. Just play and play and play. Use the material if you must, but just use it as an occasional reference. Of course this is only my opinion and comes from someone who never had a lesson or studied any written or audio harp instruction. Then again, I imagine these courses have been very fine tuned and could make the process of learning the essentials easier than trial and error. Pick what you like from each, practice your ass off then go for the gusto on your own. I wonder what the early great harp players that were self taught would say???

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RE: confused

Postby angerboy » Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:04 am

Well, if you want to play Blues, I'd probably go with the instructional material from the guy that played harp for Muddy Waters for six years. I've found the Mountain Top Productions instructional videos to be good, too.

I sort of feel sorry for you guys these days. Back when I first picked up a harmonica and started learning to play, there was one book by Tony Glover. It wasn't a great book, but it was a start.

Currently, there are so many instructional videos, CD's and books, it difficult to decide what to do.
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RE: confused

Postby michaelc » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:02 pm

no matter what book, etc,you use to learn,remember assimilate.if your mostly into blues harpin` there`s basicly 3 schools of style.sonny terry,sonny boy williamson 2,and little walter.if you study these dudes among all the others, you can`t miss.they cover a wide area of harp playing.you study these guys and you`ll learn the language...do it to it.......
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RE: confused

Postby julio1958 » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:53 pm

I've got the Gindik book. there some good licks in it and good all around info, just play lots, ask lots, and last but not least ........... feel them blues brutha !!!!!!!!!.
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RE: confused

Postby mdbanjoharp » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:06 pm

I agree with michaelc. Get some cds of these masters and LISTEN ...over and over and over... until you feel it and start playing along with them.

No amount of "instruction" will replace... the feel.

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RE: confused

Postby czook » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:33 am

No amount of feel will replace the instruction either ;) It can take a whole lot listening to figure out what an instructional CD & book will teach you in 15 minutes, then you can work on the feel. Just my opinion...
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RE: confused

Postby oleman » Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:47 am

I went to harp workshop at my local music store and learned more in an hour than 6mo with the books and cds. Iv'e even seen ads for weekend harp workshops with well known contemporary players. I even heard of a harp cruise to the Bahamas. Still just getting together with your friends and playing helps to creat your OWN style. Technique will come.
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RE: confused

Postby czook » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:07 pm

Post more about the harp cruise if you have any info. Thanks.
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RE: confused

Postby michaelc » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:35 pm

someone here said about learning harp etc. [ what would all the old masters say]for sure i don`t know but the truth of this tradition is its a singing one.hollers,scat singing,mouth percussion and any other thing they learned and passed on to the next one who sang the song.all the technical knowledge out there ain`t gonna mean a thing unless you learn the language then SING THE SONG.but all that tech.stuff sure is gonna make it easy to learn the why`s of the harp... enjoy !
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RE: confused

Postby eline » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:59 am

I got a hold of the Jerry Portnoy set, but after I had learned how to play the harp. I was curious as to what and how he went about his lessons. The best advice out of that set was "use those funny things on the sides of your head." Just listen to alot of music and from many players and eventually it'll come out in your own playin'. Trust me. It's true. I honestly think that books and CD's or Videos only confuse you. The best way to learn any music is to simply listen.

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RE: confused

Postby rookie » Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:25 pm

Belatedly adding my few pennies worth...

I was getting on great with one of the David Barrett books, pretty much nailing down bending etc, and then my Portnoy set arrived, which started me off on a whole new set of basics again. So I slavishly worked through the first CD (tongue blocking/octaves/lip blocking etc) which was all very useful, even though all you could really do was practice scales.
Moving on to CD2 of Portnoy, it's all about bending, so on an impulse I went back to the Barrett course which has a bunch of exercises to practice the technique - except they're all in tune form, not scales. And I realised I'd really missed not 'playing' the harp for a fair few months - 90% of the time I was just practising it, in a monotonous, repetitive style.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing Jerry at all. I think the stuff he teaches there is great, but it does need to be mixed in with something that you enjoy playing. Even if you've originally learned puckering and decide you're gonna go down the tongueblocking road (I don't think I will), keep on interspersing those scales and exercises with a few puckered tunes to keep yer interest level high.
I genuinely can't wait to get back home tonight and practice again, which hasn't been the case for a while... Or maybe that's because my landlady who lives upstairs is on holiday, so I can really let it rip...
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RE: confused

Postby harp54 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:09 pm

Dblues has got the answer 'just keep playing' (and listening of course. There really is no substitute for staying on it. I used to trawl any songs featuring harp and working on sounds I liked. Then in the middle of a performance up comes a new riff.

I read that if you get Little Walters Juke down then you have all his tecniques and William Clarks Pawn shop solo is great for learning discipline. Good luck
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