Re: [Harp-L] Harmonica Progress

The advice in this thread to learn melodies is good advice.  Melodies are fixed; the notes are a known quantity.  So you know when you're doing it right.

Two other approaches that made a big difference for me are:
1)  Learn to play particular solos--harmonica solos, trumpet solos, any instrumental solo at all--note for note.  As you increase your abilities, try to match the articulations that the original soloist used.
2)  Get an inexpensive recorder--Radio shack makes a portable cassette recorder that sells for about $30, and the Zoom H1, which makes good quality digital recordings, is less than $100.  Record every practice session, and listen to what you recorded.  Identify the areas for improvement, and work on them. I did that every day for 3 months while I was preparing for the recording sessions for "The Act of being Free in One Act," and it had a profound influence on everything from my basic sound to my facility with tricky lines.  

Finally: carry a harp in your pocket everywhere you go, and play every chance you get.  Those spare minutes devoted to harp add up.  

regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
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