[Harp-L] Harp mics
Thu May 27 13:43:27 EDT 2021
There is this mind-frame that playing harmonica is like making instant
oatmeal. If you buy the right package and follow the instructions, you will
instantly become a great player. Most of us know that is a fallacy and that
playing the harmonica takes as much practice as playing any other
instrument. But because of the mass marketing of tablature, self-study
books, and YouTube videos, the general public gets the notion that becoming
a professional harmonica player is like weeds growing in their yard--no
Case in point
When I moved to Lynchburg Virginia 4+ years ago, a local harmonica guy
stumbled across a facebook post and discovered that I was now in his town.
He was on my doorstep like a bee on a hive. First he thought of himself
highly and wanted to produce me locally so that I could get some gigs in
town. Next he told me that he watched a bunch of YouTube videos and liked a
lot of the harmonica playing that he heard and wanted to sound like them.
So he bought a Harp King amp, a Lone Wolf pedal, and a Bulletini (ONLY
because these were the pieces of equipment used in the videos). After
racking up all that money, he said to me, "something is wrong with all this
stuff, I spent a lot of money and none of it works right. These things
don't sound like the videos." I told him that he needed to practice and get
a sound of his own that he could live with because you will never sound
like anyone else but you will always sound like yourself. I told him that
if he wanted to sound like Dennis Gruenling, then he needed to pay Dennis
A month went by and he had shipped back the Lone Wolf pedal. He came over
to the house and we played a couple of songs and he said, "What kind of
harps do you play?" I said Hohner Rockets. He said, "That's it, I love your
sound. I am going to buy a set of Hohner Rockets from you." And he did.
That was two years ago.
In the last two years, he listened to PT Gazelle and wanted to trade in his
harps and buy a set of Gazelle Method harps. I told him that I could
half-valve his Rockets and then he will have half-valved harps without
buying a new set. So he did and I charged him for the labor. One month
later, he said to me "I just can't get the same sound so I'm going to have
you take the valves off." I told him that for his type of playing, he just
needs to stick to the harps he has. The Hohner Rocket is a great harp
without any modifications.
He must not have believed me because instead of buying through me, he went
online and bought a set of Seydel Session Steel harps. I know this now
because he called me last week. Now he wants a quote on four-country tuned
harps and says that he will probably buy a whole set of them.
I think that this guy is an extreme case of putting all of his stock in the
equipment and no time into practicing or paying for lessons. It is also an
indictment on people who watch YouTube instructional videos to learn on
their own, but do not pay for a one-on-one teacher to give them feedback on
their playing. It's like taking a test and getting a false positive. This
guy is *one *in my town. There are *more *out there.
*George Miklas <http://www.georgemiklas.com/>, **Harmonica Specialist; *
*Scholar, **Educator, **Performer, Repair Technician; Harmonica Bands,
Harmonica Concerti *
*GeorgeMiklas <http://www.georgemiklas.com/> ** HarmonicaGallery
<http://sales.harmonicagallery.com/> & **Repair
On Thu, May 27, 2021 at 7:41 AM Robert Eberwein via Harp-L <
harp-l at xxxxx> wrote:
> I am writing this- in no way trying to be provocative- toexplore
> something that another post made me think of. Someone asked whatmicrophone
> to use with diatonic. I only want to say, that that is like askingwhat
> dance shoes should I use if I want to learn ballet. It is kind of
> obviousthat that is not the way to learn how to do ballet, no? And yet,
> harmonicaplaying always seems to suffer from this. Why is this. I'd like to
> help rid this chip from our shoulders. THAT, I think, would "advance"
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