Re: [Harp-L] Starting with a rack

There is no better combination of instruments than harmonica and guitar.  The harmonica provides the sustained tones of the melody and the guitar provides the harmony and rhythm.  

Common Pitfall: Quitting because it doesn't come as quickly and easily as you had hoped.  Just remember that it is much easier to learn than bending and overblowing on a diatonic…..something else that you couldn't do the first time you tried.  For inspiration, look up Jimi Lee, Madcat Ruth, Enrico Granafei and maybe even Vern Smith on youtube.  You will need strong motivation but you can do it.  Think of the organist who plays different tunes on different keyboards with each hand and a third with his feet!

Just keep it simple and very, very slow at first.  Slow it down until you can play it perfectly even if it is two seconds a note or even slower and it doesn't even sound like music.   Concentrate on keeping the instruments in time without consciously trying to play faster.  Your progress will be glacial at first but will accelerate as you get the "hang" of it. As you practice, you will find yourself speeding up automatically.  Don't try to play eighth notes, triplets, or syncopation too soon. 

Sing a slow song that you know well as you accompany yourself on guitar.  Then play the same accompaniment and let the harp do the singing.  

Have fun.  Rack harmonica is a fascinating challenge with endless musical possibilities.  


On Jul 27, 2013, at 3:00 PM, Sean Murphy <taser8@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I play a little guitar in addition to my harmonica stuff, and just picked
> up my first rack to see if I can play both at the same time.
> Any pointers or general words of advice? Common pitfalls?

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