[Harp-L] My 2 Hours with Walter Tore, lesson 1

My 2 Hours with Walter Tore, lesson 1

âDonât make excuses about your equipment, just playâ

Walter had been talking about being yourself and not someone else when you play. He did a few spontobeat acoustic tunes to demonstrate. I decided to share my style of playing. I reached in my pocket and pulled out the only harp I had with me. I said,âThis D harp has the 4 blow blown out, so Iâm not sure what I can doâ

Thatâs when Walter shared:

âI donât want to hear you complaining about your harps. I just want to hear you play. When your playing with the big boys, they donât want to hear you whine. They want you to play or get out of there. A bunch of the guys I know had junk to play. Some didnât even own a guitar or amp. They would just use whatever they could get their hands on to get the gig done.â

Itâs a good lesson. I donât know how many times Iâve heard other people do just what I did, start off with an apology before the first note was played. In retrospect, I have to agree. I donât like to hear others start talking about how they arenât going to be their best because of some piece of equipment. We all can tell if itâs good or not regardless of the hardware. 

Iâll try to not whine before playing in the future. Walter is right.

And I did fine with out that 4 blow. I did some major pentatonic scales from 1 draw to 10 draw and never needed that 4 blow. Take what you got and make music with it.

Tuesday Jan 6, 2015 I visited from 7 pm to 9 pm with Walter Tore at his home in Granville, OH. Walter had just gotten over the flu and wasnât in the mood to jam. We just talked about music in general. He pulled out a 10 hole and 12 hole diatonic and did 2 spontobeat tunes during our talk. I was impressed and honored as I realized very few people have heard Walter play acoustic. Most of his recordings are with playing harp in a rack. Walter makes great use of his hands and puts out a tone that reminded me of the playing of Phil Wiggins or Joe Filisko. I learned a few things that night.

Jim Rumbaugh

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