Re: still struggling

The reason a lot of harmonica players play harmonica is that it was the 
first instrument they picked up and could actually play almost 
instantly.  This has certainly been my experience ansd in reading 
interviews of harmonica greats in the Kim Field book it seems to be 
somewhat thematic as an experience.  I agree that people lurking in bars 
playing harmonicas in the wrong key can be a less than pleasant 
experience, but it's the way everyone learns.  I think there is great 
value in staring out with just one or two harmonicas and noodling around 
by yourself.  It helps establish context for the sounds and I think 
you're less apt to fall into the crossharp is the only way trap.  If 
Howard Levy had succumbed to cross harp the overblow style might never 
have been perfected.  Now don't get me wrong here.  Like Tim I carry an 
enormous array of diatonic harmonicas in my bag at all times.  I even 
duplicate many keys in different models for the different tones they 
provide.  My point is I don't necessarily agree that this is the way for 
a beginner to start out.  While there is an element of truth in the 
statement that being a beginner can be fun because you learn more quickly 
than at any other point in your playing I also think that there is truth 
in the thought that later in your playing career you hit plateaus and 
struggle sometimes for months but eventually you come out the other side 
and the leaps of understanding you make can be orders of magnitude.  The 
more I learn the more I realize how much I have to learn and how little 
of it I'll be able to learn before I die.  I find that the last 5% of 
playing can be the most interesting to learn.  I agree about Steve 
Baker's fine book the Harp Handbook but it doesn't have much actual 
instruction.  This book is a good example of something that you read then 
read again months later and gain new insight.  Quite a feat for such a 
concise book.  FJM

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