Re: still struggling

> Date sent:      Thu, 25 Aug 94 17:58:13 EDT
> From:           David Fish <dfish@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Send reply to:  Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> To:             Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject:        still struggling

> Everybody,
>     Well, while everybody is confessing to being new subscribers/players,
> I may as well introduce myself too.  I already sent one question about the
> tonal qualities of a Blues Harp vs. a Marine Band (Thanks Gordon for the
> comment about the mic (Sears $5, GE stereo--probably not the best)).  I got
> my first harmonica (Blues Harp-C) as a present (requested) about two years
> ago.  Ever since, I have really loved listening to harmonica recordings and
> trying to play on my own.  I ended up buying another Blues Harp (D) since
> that seemed to match more blues songs.  My problem is as follows:  I think I
> am somewhat tonedeaf (can't tell if I'm harmonizing or not very well).  I
> think what I do sounds okay, but people tell me I'm off.  Any suggestions? 

>                 David


My suggestion is that you first make sure you can match pitch.  That 
means make sure you can sing a note that is played for you or which 
you play yourself.  Sit with an experienced musician--one whom you 
know isn't told s/he is "off" -- and get the person to coach you on 
whether or not you can sing the note exactly on pitch.  The next 
step is to be able to sing arpeggios of common chords.  Try blowing 
a three-note chord on the harp and then sing the notes back to 
yourself.  This will attune your ear to hear the harmonies when you 
start to improvise melody lines to the harmonies accompanying you.

I hope this helps.

Another constructive hint:  You don't have to be so self-effacing.  
You know, a lot of advanced players envy beginners because the leap 
in progress you will make as a beginner will never again be matched 
in the same way with quite the sense of wonder and innocence that 
you bring to your study of music on this day.  Be confident that you 
bring a spirit that is fresh and new and very valuable to anyone who 
knows how to listen for it.



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