Posted by Patrick J. McKenna on December 11, 2002 at 22:18:27:
In Reply to: ANY SUGGESTIONS? posted by Neil Mickelson on December 07, 2002 at 17:56:34:
: I HAVE BEEN LEARING TO PLAY THE HARMONICA FOR ABOUT A MONTH NOW AND I STINK :-) HAVE TO SMILE BECAUSE I USED TO PLAY THE CLARINET AND GUITAR YEARS AGO BUT MY FINGERS AREN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE. I THINK THE HARMONICA IS MY TOOL FOR MUSICAL JOY AT LAST. TO BE TRUTHFUL I WANT TO APPROACH IT RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING BUT CANNOT FIND A TEACHER IN MY AREA. I LIVE IN LAKEWOOD, CALIF. NEAR LONG BEACH. IF NO ONE KNOWS OF ANYONE TO TAKE LESSONS FROM HERE THEN I WOULD LOVE IT IF SOME OF YOU PROS COULD SUGGEST AND GREAT BEGINNER VIEDO. I WANT TO PLAY CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN CHURCH MUSIC AND OTHER CHRISTIAN HYMS AND HERS :) I AM 51 AND BELIEVE IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN NEW TRICKS ALTHOUG THEY DO SEEM MORE CHALLENGING TO LEARN THAN BEFORE! I JUST WANT TO APPROACH IT IN A FUN WAY AND IN A WAY THAT WILL CAUSE ME TO LOOK FORWARD TO LEAFNING AND STICKING WITH IT. I AM DETERMINED I WILL JUST NEED SOME DIRECTION. ANY WAY THANKS FOR WHATEVER INFO YOU CAN LEND BUT PLEASE SEND SOMETHING YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KN0W HAS EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND OR EVEN SECOND :0) AHY HAND WILL DO. SEE YA, NEIL
There's probably not a lot that I can add, which you probably haven't already been told, but I'll try...
Check out this site regularly.
Learn to read both tab and standard music.
Acquire some of the harmonica methods, such as the excellent material by Jon Gindick, which provides an unorthodox but practical approach to music (including theory & harmony). It's the only non-traditional instruction method that I can recommend.
Other material, such as music written for other "free-reed" instruments, such as the concertina and melodeon often provides music that is suitable for the harmonica.
One of the reasons that I strongly recommend that you learn to read standard music, is because that will open doors, which would be closed to those who can only play by ear. The ability to read music also frees you from having to rely on countless repition and memory to play a song.
You probably don't want the additional advice that I'm about to give you...
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE...
...but have fun too.
Wishing you success in your endeavors,
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