Fw: 2000 hours - YIKES

Sorry DL, it was meant for the list...

DL said :
> Toungue-blocking, overbends, (even overBLOWS), 12-position playing, etc.,
> does NOT define mastery.
> TONE defines mastery. I'm not sayiing this claiming to be a "master" - I'm
> saying this as a lover of the instrument who HAS NOT mastered it.

As a side issue to the original poster's question, I think tone does not in
any way define mastery more than any of the other elements above do. There
is a myth that tone makes blues harp, it's just a myth. I can name 5 harp
players off the top of my head who would not be considered as having great
tones who are great musicians, which is what mastery is about in my book.
Just as easily I could name five tone-monsters who are not great musicians
(still in my book, it's all subjective...)

However, in answer to the original question, I believe that Mike's figure
probably takes into account the curve of learning how to play music, not
just how to play harp if you're already a musician. That being said, when do
you know you've mastered the intrument ? I know I haven't and I've been
playing 6 years or so, including 5 1/2 in bands and in public.

Now if the question is technical mastery, I'm still not there, but it's a
more measurable goal. I know I have great gaps in my technique though. I
just have to hear the tongue-blocking wizardry of Vincent Bucher to figure
out I'm not even a baby tongue-blocker. Similarly, I can overblow and use it
freely in my playing, but I just have to listen to Howard Levy to figure out
that there's a world beyond what I'm doing. So I'm back to not being able to
define mastery...

I guess, at the end of the day, the important question is "am I pleased with
what I do". Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not, so I know I've got more work
ahead of me. Probably gonna be that way 'til the day I die...

Ben FELTEN, Editor

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