Re: [Harp-L] How do you break through a wall?

I want to be able to:

1. Sight read for harmonica, sax, and bass.
2. Overbend harmonica and overblow sax (altissimo).
3. Play any given diatonic in all 12 keys.
4. Play as if the harmonica is my own voice--no "interface thought" between mind and harp.

This seems 10-20 years away from where I am now. I know it's not.

I am currently at an impass. I can't seem to start practicing.

Before I tell you my way of getting out of The Rut, I will tell you you are halfway there, because the feeling of I Can't Start Doing The Thing I Want To Do comes just before you break through and start.

1. Starting today, practice harp - no goals - for 5-15 minutes for a week. Do Not miss a day. Use a metronome if you don't already, it's a great collaborator. Do it today, not only because it's January 1, and there seems to be some psychological power in that date, but also because Don't Think About It - Do It Now.
2. Do this week of practice sessions early in your day if possible. Also, do not go longer than 15 minutes, and you have my permission to just go for 5, because I dig you.
3. Next Wednesday do your practice session as usual. Only this time, afterward, look at your goal list and decide which goal would be the best one to start working on. (You've actually already started on #4 just by practicing every day without missing a day.) I recommend the sight reading goal. Get your practice materials together and practice sight reading every day for 30 minutes. Start on verrrrry slow tempi.
4. After two months of working on this every day, you can start thinking about the other goals. They are not in my goal list so I cannot tell you much about how to go about them. However, #4 and sight reading are extremely good goals to work on throughout 2008 without bothering with the other two. Grounding yourself in those two skills for the year will allow you to learn anything else you want on your axes much, much more easily. Imagine, for instance, attaining something like those two goals by the end of 2008. Then imagine learning a new position every month, along with the appropriate bends, for the necessary months of 2009. Much, much easier, a much better way to go about this stuff.

You will have trouble starting your regimen if you cling tenaciously to all your goals at the same time. Pare it down for now, do the very easiest thing (such as 5 minutes with a metronome) and Never Miss A Day. You will rapidly develop an inability to miss a day if you do this, and remember You Are What You Do Every Day.

If you want to chat more about this offlist, feel free.


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