Re: [Harp-L] does anybody NEED another book on playing Chromatic Harmonica?

Jon and all,
I apologize and back off.  Sometimes I read an email and project a vibe
that wasn't there.
Michael Rubin

On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM, JON KIP <jon@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> oh, ok.... I think what I wrote was:
> There is nothing really complicated about the chromatic harmonica.
> That's why it's so difficult to master.
> That's, to me, not "Chromatic is easy!  Look, I can do it!  So, therefore
> it's easy for everyone."
> For goodness' sake, my website is "Jon Kip, Chromatic Harmonica Owner".
> (Unlike other spurious websites, my spurious website doesn't include MASTER
> in its name.)
> I've mentioned more than once that this instrument is much harder to learn
> than The Real Instruments...
> I would never think that "I can do it".... mostly because I'm in a better
> position than most to fully know what's possible and also to know  that I
> really don't have the years left to master it.
> One reason, that I was writing above,  is the instrument itself. It gives
> us really no help. While the more complicated instruments are built with
> Playing Ease in mind, alternate fingerings to make certain passages
> possible, the harmonica really has none, unless you count the confusing C's
> and F's.
> So I probably wasn't clear.
> This is a very difficult instrument to master. I have no thoughts of
> mastering it. I will be better than most, simply because of my history, my
> location (near Tommy Morgan) and the fact that I'm retired, don't have to
> make an honest living, and my court-mandated ankle bracelet makes me stay
> home. Ideal for practice. (another six months, and it comes off)
> I have never worked as hard at anything, music-wise , as I've done on the
> Toy Instrument. Never. And I've played "real" instruments for money for
> forever. (Ok, sure, some people who hired me must have been deaf, but
> mostly not)
> Read or reread my site where my ghost writers say something about the
> built in features of instruments. I think it's on the page called LESSONS.
> I have never said this was easy. It's not.
> That said, when Tommy sends me a student, we both learn. But only the
> student realizes it, i suppose. Teaching is not easy. I'm not all that good
> at it, but getting better. I prefer to teach people who already play an
> instrument. Makes it all easier.
> If I ever said or implied that chromatic harmonica is easy..... well, I
> didn't.
> Most likely I just wrote words in a confusing order.
> sorry
> as for teaching students with no aptitude for the instrument, sure, I have
> one guy. He has so much fun, and never gives up....and, in that, has taught
> me valuable lessons each week.....none of them include the ability to tap
> his foot on a beat as he plays, or even play the right notes a high
> percentage of the time, but he has fun... and it's rubbing off on me, the
> fun part, that is....He's in his 80's.
> I'd rather teach people with The Aptitude, but apparently there's stuff to
> learn by teaching the less Aptitudy people...
> To Tommy's credit, and wisdom, when i was learning stuff with him, he
> NEVER said "that's difficult".... and that's a good thing.
> I mean, sure some things are  difficult, but why put that label on
> it.....that just makes it harder. You always want the student to discern
> the difficulty for himself, according to HIS/HER skills, not yours.
> end.
> On Oct 23, 2014, at 9:42 AM, Michael Rubin wrote:
> Nope.
> People who have an aptitude for understanding how an instrument and music
> works seem to have a hard time understanding how difficult it is for people
> without that aptitude.  You, John Kip, seem to be falling into that trap.
> Your argument seems to say, "Chromatic is easy!  Look, I can do it!  So,
> therefore it's easy for everyone."
> What we need is a chromatic book written by someone who has taught many
> students with low aptitude for learning chromatic, who has learned by trial
> and error how to explain things to people who for whatever reason have a
> hard time understanding things.
> It is one of my lifetime goals to write such a book, but to be honest, I
> am finding very little time for writing nowadays.  Perhaps when my kids get
> older I will knock one out.  I am sure John Kip will look at it and say,
> "This is pointless, chromatic is easy.  What a waste of paper, time and
> energy."  But I believe if I or someone else writes the correct chromatic
> instruction book, it will up the game for people who want to learn it but
> would otherwise have a difficult time.
> Michael Rubin
> On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:05 AM, Steve Molitor <stevemolitor@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>> Jon I totally agree with you 98.7%.  You're 10 times the musician I am and
>> you know all of this but:
>> There would be some very minor advantages to a chromatic etude book.  A
>> good etude book is progressive in that it gets harder gradually.  This
>> keeps the student progressing without getting bogged down and frustrated
>> too early.  What's difficult on one instrument can be easy on another and
>> vice versa.  There's a reason why, for example, oboe players mostly use
>> oboe books and not flute books.  The ranges are different sure, but it's
>> not just that.
>> On most woodwinds playing on the high end is difficult - very different
>> fingerings, embouchure, etc.  So a beginning or intermediate flute etude
>> book will shy away from the third octave for a while.  But on harmonica
>> that's easy, might as well start working the third octave pretty early.
>> Except for maybe hole 12 and the high D -  might want to hold off on
>> introducing that until the student is solid in the standard patterns.
>> Conversely, certain trills and ornaments that are very easy on the flute
>> are fiendishly difficult on the harmonica.  So you might want to hold of
>> on
>> those for a bit.
>> Case in point, the very first C major etude in the oboe book I'm using has
>> a grace note turn that's a flick of the finger on the oboe but fiendishly
>> difficult on the harmonica.  Being the stubborn mule that I am I refused
>> to
>> move on to the next etude for a few weeks until I mastered that.  But
>> really it would have been better to skip the turn for the time being and
>> come back to it in a few months.  But then I'd be afraid I'd forget and
>> never come back to it....
>> The easiest way to write a good chromatic etude book would be to take a
>> public domain flute book and adapt it.  Take some stuff up an octave to
>> start working the whole range early on, remove some of those tricky trills
>> early on but make sure to add them back in later etudes, augment it with
>> some studies focusing on interval jumps, octaves, maybe some double stops.
>> You wouldn't need any text, prose or essays in the book - just notes.
>> But all of that is pretty easy to do on your own - so I take it back I
>> guess I 99.56% agree with you.
>> On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM, JON KIP <jon@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > I've just been avoiding life and cleaning dishes today, by reading some
>> > posts  over on the chromatic harmonica site, from which I'm gratefully
>> > banned from posting,  (a great time-saver for me,)
>> >
>> > I'm disturbed just a bit about the numbers of people who say "we NEED a
>> > good book on chromatic harmonica, let's annoy Winslow enough that he
>> > convinces his publisher to publish another book, even if they lose
>> > money...".
>> >
>> > There is NO need for another book on the instrument. What people mean is
>> > "Gee I'm not as good as I want to be, instead of logically practicing,
>> I'll
>> > go look for a book to help me."
>> >
>> > That's just silly. Avoidance at its best.
>> >
>> > Playing chromatic harmonica is, in theory, a very simple thing. In
>> > practice, however, it
>> >
>> > You find the right hole
>> > you blow or you draw
>> > you realize that there are several ways to play certain notes, and you
>> > figure out which would be easier in the particular passage you're
>> trying to
>> > play..the other silly things about the instrument, you learn to live
>> with.
>> > (The "If Toots can do it on the same instrument, then it's possible, so
>> why
>> > not give it a try,? approach.)
>> >
>> > for the adventurous (usually not me), you learn what double and triple
>> > stops work....(all the chromatic harmonica books have them)
>> >
>> > you practice long tones, just like a real musician on most any
>> instrument
>> > does.
>> >
>> > You learn that every piece of music is really just ONE LONG NOTE,
>> divided
>> > up into tiny, sometimes, annoying, and difficult,  bits and pieces, some
>> > silent and some less silent....and they all count as music.
>> >
>> > Then you practice for X hours a day for ten years and go play you some
>> > music and hope that some very elderly person in your family, after
>> living a
>> > great life for well over 96 years, dies and leaves you some money, since
>> > you won't make much playing harmonica.
>> >
>> > But when you die, Nobody will have to say "Gee what a great person
>> he/she
>> > was, but what do we do with all these redundant books on chromatic
>> > harmonica?"
>> >
>> > Buy any one of the beginning chromatic harmonica books as a reference if
>> > you want, and then buy some flute or oboe studies....
>> >
>> > And do not, under any circumstances, put the little indications on the
>> > flute/oboe music regarding hole number, wind direction, slide position
>> and
>> > so on.
>> >
>> > Actually, perhaps DO put those hieroglyphics in the books, but
>> immediately
>> > take the books and quietly (shh! it's a library!!) and secretlly put
>> them
>> > in the local library's Flute Study bookcase, just to confuse the flute
>> > players....yeah, that's a good idea.
>> >
>> > there is nothing really complicated about the chromatic harmonica.
>> >
>> > that's why it's so difficult to master.
>> >
>> >
>> > jk
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > The philosopher Socrates, discovered to his dismay that he was the
>> > smartest person in Athens merely because he, and he alone, recognized
>> how
>> > ignorant he was.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
> jk
> The philosopher Socrates, discovered to his dismay that he was the
> smartest person in Athens merely because he, and he alone, recognized how
> ignorant he was.

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