Posted by Patrick J. McKenna on March 05, 2002 at 23:14:42:
In Reply to: I DON'T USE TABS posted by Jay on March 03, 2002 at 19:01:27:
: Started playing the harp last Sept. I got the full set
: of 10 hole harps along the some larger octive and trempo
: harps. My question to you harp players that have been
: playing for some years is i never needed to use tabs. I
: listen and play to all type of music. I can't hit all
: the notes but play melody with 1st position and cross harp
: 2nd position. I just put a CD on or the radio in my car
: and play along. I tryed tabs a few times at first for the
: campfire songs and found that i play along with the song
: when its playing a lot easier, and faster the learn solo
: by repeat playing the song. I see alot about tabs and
: wonder if i hurting myself not trying to learn from tabs?
: I seem to have a good hear for key as 75% of the time i
: can hear a song pick out the harp key either in 1st or
: cross harp. Anybody else learned to play without tabs?
From what I've read, it seems like you have a natural ability to play and are on a great start.
My advice to you is to learn to read music (standard notation) AND tab. Continue to play by ear too. Meet with other harmonica players. When you do, learn what you can from them. Check out various harmonica playing methods. I highly recommend any of the books by Jon Gindick, whose method and approach is both unorthodox but effective. His material teaches how to play without reading standard music. It is, in my honest opinion, the ONLY method which doesn't use the standard music system that is worth looking into. Check out his web site.
Don't overlook the world of music that is open to those who can also read standard music. I don't want to repeat myself, but just in case you haven't been paying attention...learn to read (and write) standard music and tab. Continue to play by ear (while you're doing so, you'll probably find that your ability to play by ear will improve).
Another piece of advice, which is probably the oldest and most common advice can be summed up this way...Practice.
And by all means...have fun!
Wishing you success in your endeavors,
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