Subject: [Harp-L] Re: Players to Listen To

Maybe it's simply a failure to communicate? 
No one has suggested that one 'shalt not' listen to or take away  as much 
as possible from their favourite harmonica players. But IF you don't  want to 
sound like a clone of your hero playing the same riffs note for note,  then 
it's merely being suggested that listening to other instruments and  
musicians to develop your own personal voice is optimum. What could one  possibly 
find fault with in this idea?
Many of us ALSO highly recommend other harmonica players. For instance  
(among a slew of other videos for harmonica players I like and have posted  
links to here) I've several times suggested this one: jjmilteau's Inspirations  
Album. Here it is again with audio clips - and worth every penny (imho):
with a separate interesting review/synopsis to give a bit more  info:
The CD is made up of 22 tracks by disparate harmonica players who  span 
genres, eras, styles and types of harmonicas for ANY harmonica player to  
listen to. Other than Toots and Stevie, my particular favourite here is Michel  
Herblin's 'Voice', a tune I didn't previously know.
Listening to other instruments isn't an 'all or nothing' idea, only a way  
to expand one's musical horizons. I absolutely get what Toots meant.
"Message: 6
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 16:00:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: martin  oldsberg <martinoldsberg@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] Re: Players to  Listen To
To: "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>

OK guys, I  get it as per recent discussion: We shalt not listen to 
harmonica players in  order to improve as harmonica players.
Interesting. As for the blues  harmonica players I´d say there´s a very 
strong tendency among not so few that  what you really strive for is to sound 
completely like somebody else (LW, BWH,  SBW etc). 
I normally take exception to that -- but the context of my  original 
question was to give pointers to an almost newbie/at best intermediate  on how to 
behave in aa band; and then I found that Butterfield live concert and  it 
seemed like sound advice to present before him: "Try something like  this."
No way I´m going to say something mysterious about "finding his own  
style", or, "Bill Evans, man, that´s what you oughta listen to ..."
We´re  talking almost damage control here, and "his own voice" sounds like 
total crap  at this point so that´s not an option.

Generally when learning the arts,  stealing is a good thing. There´s a 
limit to it´s usefulness -- but don´t you  all think you are Miles Davies in 
1959 when you´re starting out. Be traditional  at first and see what you cann 
discover as you live and learn. Originality is at  times of very high value, 
but just sounding good is not catshit (as we say here  in Sweden). 
It was John Popper who said, "My favorite harmonica player is  Jimi 
Hendrix" (and I didn´t even know Jimi played the harp!) and of course,  that´s 
really cool, but also of limited instructional use, as well as descrption  of a 
style. (Jimi H was a very idiomatic electric guitar player last time I  
heard him, but I guess you can always throw him in and people will say  "Amen".)

But if I shall join the club and name a few models/paragons as  well, I´d 
Neil Young (who I don´t care that much for in a general way)  for his 
insistent and rather crude gnawing on the neck of a guitar, until, at  times 
something like a beautiful monster appears;
Bill Frisell for his  ability to make even the simplest melody come to new 
life by ... repeating it  (erh, well);
Don Byas (despite his mannerisms) for his absolutely shameless  way of 
simply playing more and more beautiful  things.


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