2000 hours - YIKES

I picked up diatonic a couple of years ago, and am coming out of a period
of inactivity while recording a CD as a bass and guitarist. In revisting
Mike Will's wonderful site (http://www.angelfire.com/tx/myquill/) I
noticed in his introduction a statement that follows:

"How long does it take to learn the diatonic harp and to play the blues? 
Of course that depends on you, your musical background, your natural
aptitude, and your goals.  I've seen the number 2000 hours cited as how
much time is required to be reasonably proficient at blues harp playing,
and that seems to me to be as good a number as any."

Holy Hoener's Batman! That's a lot of lip-locking on the old brass blower!
Not trying to toot my own horn (or harp in this case), but that seems
outrageous to me. I learned how to visualize the note layout, bend notes,
shakes, growls, etc. in about 3 months of limited effort, somewhere around
80 hours. I even played the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Runnin'" and
several other rock kinds of tunes on stage after about 6 months. I have
been a bass player for over 20 years, I'm sure that helped, but I really
didn't think this was that difficult. So this 2000 hour thing really blows
my mind, except if we're talkin' about someone who's never been a musician
before,,,,there's a general learning curve to cover there too.

So I'm curious, and have a quicky 2 question survey:

1) How long had you folks played the diatonic before you played in front
of an audience (or were moderately proficient enough to do so)?

2) For you master harpers, how long did it take you to get to the point
where you could play in third position or higher, play overbends, use
tongue-blocking, etc.?

Despite my (relatively) quick start, I'm starting to sober to the notion
that the skills referenced in question #2 will take considerably more

- -Mike Due (formerly posted as Herrdue)

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.