Re: Blues with a feeling

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Posted by Patrick J. McKenna on October 22, 2002 at 23:51:35:

In Reply to: Blues with a feeling posted by nick on October 20, 2002 at 09:10:32:

: hi there
: This goes out to all you novices that have just found yourselves in posession of a blues harp
: My name is Nick I'm no one special just a regular guy,I'm 42yrs old I live in the U.K working, married with a family. I had no interest in learning music at school,that came later on.Iv'e been playing harp for about 2yrs now.I have been to every site ever written read books listen to numerous c.d's the lot.So what have I learnt One important thing, You've got to feel it to play it. How do I feel it? You well ask,that comes down to how you listen.Music is like a good wine if you gulp it down you don't appreciate its flavours aroma ect,well music is the same when you put your favourite track on, put your headphones on turn the lights out and really listen, not just to the harp player but everyone who's playing on the track.Secondly you've got to love your harp I love mine so much that my wife thinks we're having an affair!Carry it with you where ever you go and play it as often as possible,on the loo,at the bus stop or waiting for a train who cares if anyone is listening they'll either throw money at you because you're good or they'll throw money to shut you up which pays for your fare home.Learn as many riffs as you can,mix them up to create new ones.One of the things I do is to think of a nursery rhyme "Mary had a little lamb" for instance play it in second position on a C or A harp and give it a bluesy feeling.A quote that stays with me is "You've got to listen to learn,you've got to learn to listen. Listen to all the greats,but use their experience and style only as a means of helping you get to where you want to go.There's only one Little Walter Sonny Boy or Charlie Musselwhite and there always will be.Tone is very important and at first like I did,you may become frustrated that you just can't seem to sound like the greats,there are no short cuts here I'm affraid expensive harps amplifiers or mics wont make the journey any quicker it's all down to practice.One day you'll be playing that 2 draw and you'll hit it just right and you'll say wow! that sounds great. I also use the recording features on this P.C.just find a blues track with a long intro or musical break without harp then record your own harp riffs to put over the top sometimes it sounds crap but sometimes it sounds really good use this site to find the key if it's there if not experiment.But most of all "Have fun"
: Happy harping
: Nick

Hey Nick,
Great post! I never have played harmonica while in the loo (which my British brother-in-law sometimes refers to as "the library"). I'll have to try it sometime!
Interestingly, some of the great doo wop vocal groups did some great recordings in the men's room. The acoustics were unique.
To get back to the subject of the harmonica, I was first turned on to harmonica after listening to the British artists, who did some incredible cover versions of American recordings originally done by Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, just to name a few. Some of those British artists included the Yardbirds, the early Rolling Stones, the early Moody Blues (check out their 1965 LP "the Magnificent Moodies" which features the hit "Go Now"), and many others too numerous to name...Some recordings include "I'm a Man," "Honest I Do," and "Bye Bye Bird."
I've been playing harmonica for 30 years and have discovered last year. This site is certainly a great source of information, ideas and some!
Welcome to the club. I will look forward to seeing more posts from you!
Wishing you success in your endeavors,

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