Re: [Harp-L] Harmonica Progress
Hey Kev, Michelle's advice is the best that I have heard. I find too many players doing riffs, runs, scales, modes, triads, positions, fourths, fifths, sevenths, etc. And while theory is fine, too much time gets spent on the mundane (but necessary) foundation blocks and not enough on the melodies themselves. One can therefore over analyze, and at the same time get into a drudge.
Melodies give you the forced impetus that you HAVE to get the notes. If you have a tune and there are several notes that are hard to get, you may as well not play the tune as, while you negotiate the notes trying to get 'around' the tune, you may miss the true flavor of the tune. I feel that Michelle is right on the money here. And once you have the melodies secured, you can then add your flourishes, and make it your own flavor.
On Jan 23, 2014, at 9:43 AM, Blowinharp . wrote:
> Thanks for all the advice. I was really fishing for the holy grail of a
> practice regiment. I'm an intermediate player learning 3rd position and
> playing everyday for 10 years'ish.
> Melodies seem to be a recurring theme. Maybe I'll go down that road and
> play with a rack in the car in the daytime parked with the parking brake
> on!!! Hehe.
> Thanks again,
> On 22 January 2014 14:23, Michelle LeFree <mlefree@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>> Blowinharp wrote:
>> I am trying to progress my playing and get out of a rut. I am wondering if
>>> there is any one thing or multiple things people did (ie. scale exercises,
>>> tone exercise, or general training exercise) that really elevated their
>>> Any and all answers will help!
>> Kevin you don't state what level of playing at which you are currently
>> stuck or what your goals are once you get unstuck. I'll offer this advice
>> I was at a point on blues harp learning curve where I had the mechanics of
>> playing fairly well down and had a little library of blues licks that I
>> could call upon. I could comp to most any blues song but I didn't know
>> where to go from there to become a better diatonic harmonicist.
>> That was when one of my mentors, Paul Davies, gave me some of the best
>> harmonica-related advice I've had. "Learn to play some melodies." Whaaat? I
>> thought that would take me a step back to the "Red River Valley" track I
>> started my harmonica adventure on. But of course there are far more
>> challenging songs to learn and in doing so, I became far more intimate and
>> friendly with my favorite little instrument.
>> So that's my advice. Learn to play some intricate melodies. You'll thank
>> me later, just as I am still thanking Paul.
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