Re: [Harp-L] Poor presentations of harmonica how to videos

 <rogergonzales@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> After seeing the how to video done in a car in the dark I am wondering what the heck is going on. Eddie Gordon gave me great advice when he told me to ALWAYS dress a bit better than your audience. But some of the people doing how to videos for harmonica are just being ridiculous. I have seen videos done by guys who haven't combed their hair, looked like they haven't bathed or look like they have slept in their clothes. At the same time I have seen videos done by Richard Hunter and Dave Barrett that are very well done. Professionally done and they look sharp as well as playing well. This goes for clinics done at festivals, music stores or NAMM as well as on U-Tube.

Glad to see that my vids are cited as an example of how to do it right.  However, I see a lot of room for improvement in my earlier videos.  (I won't specifically cite the ones that make me cringe, but they're out there.)

Aside from the grooming issues, one thing that many people get wrong in their videos, me included, is to a) pay no attention to what's in the background behind the subject, and b) ignore the lighting. One simple way to deal with both issues is to put a black sheet up behind the subject, and put some lamps on the subject to ensure good lighting.

There's a guy in Sweden named Hakahn Ehn who does a lot of harmonica videos.  Aside from his playing, which is very enjoyable, it's very instructive to look at the way he sets the scene and the lighting.  He's obviously working on a low budget, but he uses a few lamps and a black sheet very effectively to focus the audience's attention on what really matters.  

The only other thing I can think of to add right now is that a lot of the inexpensive cameras on the market for home video work do picture a lot better than they do sound.  I run my Zoom H4 in parallel with the camera when I do a video, and I use Windows Movie Maker (which is bundled free with Windows) to sync up the sound and video and add titles and other edits.  It's a relatively easy step that makes the video sound much better. 

FYI, the video of me playing "Widow's Walk" at the VA harmonicafest that's the current featured video on my site was recorded on a Flip video camera.  The Flip was set up on a stand a few feet from the stage, pointing up at me.  The audio is from the Flip too; I had the Zoom H4 running in the back of the room, near the PA, but it apparently picked up a ground hum from the PA, and it was unusable. 

Thanks and regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" 
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