RE: [Harp-L] New Member Introducing Myself


You can get Skype lessons from several people, but (arguably) the best teacher is Jason Ricci, if you really want to take your playing to the next level.  Besides being a harmonica genius himself, and very knowledgeable musically, he is an extremely nice guy to deal with.  The only catch is catching him, as his touring schedule has escalated recently.  Reach him at and click on "Skype".

Tom Watson

-----Original Message-----
From: harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Chris Hofstader
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2015 7:27 AM
To: Brian Stear <brianstear@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Harp-L] New Member Introducing Myself

Hi Everyone,

Iâm an incredibly rank amateur would be blues harmonica player who just joined this list. Iâve been playing for something on the order of 25 years since I bought Dave Harpâs original âThree Minutes To Blues Harmonicaâ book and cassette at Sandyâs Music in Cambridge along with a super cheap Huang harp in G. Over the years, Iâve bought a ton of books, tapes and CDs and, now, in the Internet age, I enjoy lessons from a bunch of guys on YouTube and elsewhere online. I enjoy playing mostly for self satisfaction and have only rarely played with other musicians in the past.

The other thing that changed in the years since I first picked up the instrument is that I lost all of my vision. I am totally vision impaired now, no light, no shadows, nothing. While a lot of the online materials are nice for a blind person to use with a screen reader (a screen reader is the software we use to have our computers and mobile devices read aloud what everyone else would see), most is pretty hard for us. Iâm especially fond of Tom Lind and Will Wild but find value in lots of others as well.

The other big change that happened is that I turned 55 in July and have decided to mostly retire from my professional commitments and start working 20 hours or fewer each week. Thus, Iâll have far more time to play music and am planning on starting to attend jams in the three cities where I live (Cambridge, St. Petersburg, FL and San Francisco) and maybe do some busking. I never expect to be a professional player, I just want to have fun, meet fun people and make some music that might bring a smile to some strangerâs face.

Iâm an admitted gear geek. I know the first rule of learning to play or get better at playing any instrument is all about practice and that the hardware is secondary but, as a career engineer, I find the technology alluring and my collection of such grows all of the time. The one area I might be able to be helpful to others around here might be with getting recordings done as, while Iâm not much of a player, Iâve done a lot of podcasting work around disability issues and understand both the gear and how to get it set up to sound really great. Sorry, the blindness keeps me from helping with anything related to video for what Iâll assume is an obvious reason.

So, Iâm hear to learn more, maybe meet some people (in addition to living in three cities, Iâm traveling a lot and one never knows where Iâll turn up next) and hopefully find resources to help take my playing to a level where I can have a good time jamming with other peeps at local watering holes. 

Lastly, I am looking for a private instructor. Iâm pretty good at the technical side of harp playing, I can hit all of the draw bends and make decent sounding (to me at least) little solos, 12 bar improvisations mostly but would enjoy working with someone who can help move from what Iâve been able to learn independently to more formal training. If youâre one who does private lessons, please write to me at: cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>.

Thanks for having this list available, Iâm grateful to have found it and look forward to learning a lot from you folks.

Happy Hacking,

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