[Harp-L] Howard Levy School vs. David Barrett School?

Levy seems to cover a wide range of things...according to this syllabus,
nothing really interests me until his intermediate level of study (some of
the 5th position stuff does). The jazz stuff is cool, but I don't really
play jazz, nor would I likely even if I wanted to. The world music piece
looks fun, and the tongue blocking piece where you chug/play a melody at the
same time looks wicked awesome. There is a wealth on 4th, 5th, and 12th
which I play and would like to learn more about. However, most of the
lessons seem theory based, which isn't necessarily unique to harmonica (I
can find that other places). Also, from what I've seen I get the impression
it is a lot of listening to Howard play a standard and then trying to figure
it out yourself. I didn't see much about "do this" or here is the tab. The
samples also didn't show me how to improvise with the knowledge.

The Barrett school is focused on blues only...which is something I do play,
although I am from the Ricci/Del Junco kind of school - Modern blues to flat
out modern harmonica. The videos are awesome and his teaching style is
wonderful. He holds my attention with his use of theory, and some of the
foundations he focuses on can be applied to other styles...and he teaches
improv. The artist inverviews are a huge bonus, and the equipment stuff
looks juicy. That being said, the licks and phrasing are going to be mostly
12 bar blues based - I won't be learning a "new" style of music for me, but
rather refining my tradtional chops and then learning to move them to
different octaves/positions. My use of extended positions and scales
wouldn't advance.

I am a very liberal user of overbends, which Barrett doesn't talk too much
about, but Levy does. For the time being, I don't see me getting to play
styles other than blues and rock. There are no "jazz" gigs around here for
me and I am totally foreign to the scene. However, I use more than the blues
scale and could stand to expand my vocabulary beyond learning melodies to


Mike Fugazzi

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