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

michael rubin wrote:
<I still have a dream!  One day, vidoes will be judged on the content
<of their instruction and not on how flashy they look!

The dream described above is unlikely at best, tending to impossible.

Human beings are visual creatures.  We all use our eyes as well as our ears when we judge the quality of a presentation, including a musical performance. Studies of lecturers at UCal Berkeley a few years ago showed that the typical student formed 90% of his or her opinion of a lecturer within the first 30 seconds of the lecturer's first appearance onstage, and that opinion persisted for the rest of the semester.  

Of course this is all wrong, not to mention unfair and damaging to our organizations as well as to individuals.  Judging people on their looks means judging them on the single thing that matters least to their performance.  But it's the nature of the beast, and you can only do so much to overcome human nature.  A performer who doesn't look so good is likely to be perceived as not sounding quite so good.  A performer who is visually uninspiring is less exciting to the audience.  (Hendrix and T-Bone Walker were great guitarists, but they were also killer showmen, and the latter was at least as important to their success and continuing influence.  Do I need to mention Buddy Guy?)  The saying "you only get one chance to make a first impression" is very true.  

So I think it's worth the extra effort to make a video look as good as you can make it.  It doesn't cost more than a few bucks to hang a sheet behind you, and it makes the product a lot more visually appealing.  And I definitely shave and comb my hair before I shoot.

Regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" 
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