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I have been tooting along on the harp for about 25 years now, but never very
seriously - cutting my teeth on mostly folk (Dylan, Seekers, etc.) with a bit
of gospel stuff thrown in (remember those old Sunday School tunes?). Like
most people, I was given a crappy old 15-hole Taiwanese mouth organ for my
12th birthday and carried on from there. I don't read music, so it was all
ad-lib and by ear.
I have a good handle on playing 1st position melody, but recently wanted to
expand my skills in 2nd & 3rd position blues licks. Since I don't 'jam' with
anyone, it was a bit hard starting off. I decided to drag out some old
cassettes I had in the back of the rack - Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy II and
Charlie Musselwhite - tapes I had brought along the way but not really
listened to. All I can say is that was the best thing I have ever done! I
have never looked back and my playing has taken off in a new dimension.
Of great benefit to me was Dave Gages' article on "How To Become A Better Player
" on this site. He emphasized to keep on keeping on and in at least 5 years I will have mastered it. 5 years??!!!
I guess we never stop learning, and this is particularly true with the harp.
I know of no other instrument that is so versatile.
Maybe in 5 years time I will actually start to sound like Charlie or Sonny
Boy, but regardless I will still be able to breathe, and therefore will
still be practicing those licks!!!
Lower Hutt, NZ