[Harp-L] Re: Harmonica speed compared to other instruments

dmf 273 wrote:
<Okay, maybe there is no objective scientific way to quantify the speed
<of an instrument.  Instead let me just ask your unscientific opinions:
< Please rate these instruments from slowest to fastest:
<Piano, guitar, harmonica, flute, violin, trumpet, saxophone, trombone.
< Is this a stupid question with no answer?   I wonder what Bonfiglio
<would say about this topic?

I don't think there's such a thing as a stupid question, but I do think this is the wrong question.  The biggest factor in speed is the player, not the instrument.  A player who thinks and moves fast will find a way to make the instrument respond quickly.  (Assuming that the instrument will in fact respond.  Instruments that play low-frequency notes generally don't respond as quickly as instruments that play high frequency notes, because frequency is inversely proportional to wavelength, and a sound that has a looooong wavelength is going to take a little while to show up after you play it.  At least that's the case with acoustic instruments.)

So the real question is: what do the players who play fast have in common that others don't?  Great central nervous systems?  Minds that work a certain way, by practice or predisposition?  Hot girl/boy friends?

Answering those questions might help some of us play a little faster. (Although most people will probably seek hot girl/boy friends whether or not it helps them play faster.)  Unfortunately, I don't think you can answer those questions with random opinions from practitioners. Among other things, as anyone who's ever tried to build an "expert system" can tell you, a lot of practitioners really have no idea how they're doing what they're doing.  You need science: a hypothesis plus a bunch of people in lab coats to test it. 

Good luck and regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" 
latest mp3s and harmonica blog at http://myspace.com/richardhunterharp
more mp3s at http://taxi.com/rhunter
Vids at http://www.youtube.com/user/lightninrick
Twitter: lightninrick

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