Re: [Harp-L] death of live music
David Jacoby wrote:
> Anyway, it turns out that my niece saw me and was impressed.
> She's doing Suzuki for violin, but she wanted me to teach
> her harmonica last time we visited. True, that's a girl of
> age 10, not a boy of age 15, but that's still something.
well, ok - teaching a child something new is always a good and satisfying
thing (if not always, at least mostly). Give her some time, i think, she'll
change her priorities more than once. ;-)
Indeed sometimes there's a guy in the audience playing "air harmonica" (as an
analogy to air guitar), but usually that's after he had some beers and is a
On one jam session in my near is often a whole bunch of youngsters - from kids
of 12 yo, others in the age of 15...17 or 18. The kids bring their parents
with them (oh, they're so proud about them) and what they play is a mix from
good ol' hard rock (AC/DC, Deep Purple and such), the older ones are playing
a modern style of rock, with a tad of punk, eventually write own lyrics, and
only one of them is really addicted to the blues. And that's what he really
is - when he plays, a lot of older, experienced guitar players stands mouth
open and listen and shake heads. Un-be-friggin-lievable! And that's not pure
technical wizardry, he plays also very tasty and whenever one of the older
guys plays, he have his eyes on their fretboards and learns as much as
Before he started to play blues, he studied classical guitar - with the same
Well...but youngsters with a harp, seriously practising? Never seen one.
Never. When i was 17, 18, we could impress someone with harmonica back then,
when we did it seriously and good. That was in East Germany (and indeed
harmonica is still much more respected over there than here in West
Germany!), but today (and i'm 46 now) i meet the "Eh, harmonica is just a
toy!" attitude more than ever - amongst guitar players even a bit more than
amongst the audience.
But in general - to get back to the topic - it's the same here than in the US:
The DJ parties are packed, and live music is a much tougher thing than ever
before. With some exceptions: Either you're known for playing everything your
audience likes, or you are a national or international act. Otherwise you'll
eventually play for a crowd of 4 or 5 people.
When i was in Brazil last year, the same happened there: Flavio Guimarães
(great harp player!) had a gig each tuesday, with a local band. 20 or 25
people in there. Rather less. Too sad, because the music was great, and he
featured a special guest each time - Leo Gandelman (sax), Zélia Duncan (voc),
each one a national known artist.
And then he had 2 gigs with his very well known band "Blues Etilicos" - known
from BC and TV and big festivals, and on both days the house was packed...
That's how things use to go, and it seems, in other countries they have the
But one of these days, when i'm big, i'll gonna make big bucks with playing
blues harmonica, i'm pretty sure! Maybe i'll have a nice set of wings then,
but i don't care...
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