Hello and Questions/Road blocks..?

First off hello everyone!

My Name is Don, everyone just calls me Dew or Dewy though - so please do :slight_smile:

I just wanted to thanks JP for his nice lessons from Happy Harpin’. I know they have helped get me off the ground.
I’m 36 years old and out of the clear blue I decided, “Hey, I want to do this!” So I started. On Dec. 06, 2013 I received a Hohner Special 20, a Bluesband, and my DVD set, Happy Harpin’.

As of today Jan. 05, 2014 I have completely finished Happy Harpin’. I took tons of notes and have done super well with clear single notes. I’ve even done well with VERY BASIC bending practice. I can’t bend everything, but I’m happy with my progress. I even have a pitch program on my computer to watch as I bend so I can work on my muscle memory to make it perfect more quickly as I get better.

So thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the beginner help.

I also have some remarks. And firstly, I mean no disrespect to JP or anyone here, so PLEASE take as an IN MY OPINION Review. And there is no malice here, I surely appreciate all I’ve learned and watched!

While I was working with Happy Harpin’ I kind of ended on the feeling that I was more of a fifth wheel in my practice sessions. I know JP’s intention is to have fun while learning, but since this is a video and not a live course, I truly felt having a second student present in the video really detracted from and distracted me. Since we all learn at different paces having someone present that may or may not be on the same level as myself (Or anyone that purchased it) really throws the balance off.

At the end, I felt kind of lost at sea. Yes, I learned a ton of basic technics, but where do I really go? I must admit I’m one of those people that needs a little steering. I can review Happy Harpin’ again, but I feel that I understand it plenty fine. It will take time to perfect these technics, but my comfort level - I feel, is very good.
Since the lesson names (some of them) are not terribly uniform I’d have to kind of paw through some to restudy any specific technics I may have short comings on, but I should be fine.

OK, enough negative sounding. JP, Happy Harpin’, overall, was a fantastic starter tool. It has pro’s and con’s, but your energy and your obvious love for the Harp is catchy my friend and it doesn’t feel like a “Ho hum, yet another exercise video” thing.

But where now? I ordered the Blues set with all the bonus DVD’s, but is this the logical next step in a beginners progression? Am I missing something? I feel a bit empty in a way after going through Happy Harpin’. I want more, is what I mean to say, and I’ve seen hundreds of videos and lessons and teachers online. My progression is starting to becoming a bit confusing. Which way next? I’m not afraid to try anything and fail, I will try until I don’t fail.
Any advice would be awesome!

Again, thank you JP for your fun lessons
Thank you to the folks in the forums. I’ve learned a bit by lurking about here and trying a few things.

Peace and Happy New Year!
Dewy

Howdy Dewy! I’m glad you’re with us and still wanting more/
It’s good that you got a sound, basic start. You have learned
from JP’s DVD set, I hope, many good habits. That’s one of the
reasons (in my humble opinion anyway) The video student is
used in the video; to emphasize proper technique and show
up good/bad habits of a beginner.
Now, the blues set will give you something to chew on. I don’t
play a lot of blues. I play more gospel, and I play all types of music
on chromatic harmonicas. I am a seasoned wind instrumentalist,
and I got started on JP’s DVD set. Of course I have ventured out
on my own after my healthy beginning with JP to find many things
that are fun and challenging.
JP’s work is great, but if you find you want something different also,
there are many free lessons and how-to’s (some with tabs) on
youtube and elsewhere. There are advanced courses you can take
from some of the other greats (DVD or otherwise).
One of the things to do if you really like blues is to listen to sections
of some of the less difficult pieces and try to play along. This will
require obtaining certain keyed harmonicas and getting a good handle
on bending so you can begin learning to play in other positions (second
position is pretty easy…start here and open up to others).
If you like melody playing, Just get the proper key harmonica, and play
along with everything. For melodic playing, you might want to check out
chromatic harmonicas. The dollar lay out may bring sticker-shock, but
remember that a cheap chromatic is CHEAPLY made. We’re dealing with
much more complex instruments here. Expect to start your chromatic journey
in the $200 dollar or WAY up range.
I have given you some options here. I suggest sticking to the Blues set
you have coming for now, and then branch out. Little birds need to learn
to fly before they leave the nest, or the cats will get them. LOL
I am glad you are with us. You seem to have a strong desire to master
harmonicas.
God bless you!

thebugleboy

Hey thebugleboy!

Thanks for your advice. I should be receiving my Blues set Monday or Tuesday. I’m excited!

I really don’t know which direction I want to go. I love how Blues sounds, but I’m not sure that
will be for me. I just figured, why not? If nothing else, I will pick up some new technics I can carry on to
other aspects of Harmonica practice.

Sitting here really thinking about it I almost feel as though I want to work primarily on Harmony. I have a friend that has a beautiful back yard and he has a nice fire pit setup with ‘Stonehenge’ style seating. We usually grab a cooler of cold ones and sit out with a few friends. One plays the guitar, occasionally his keyboardist comes over, and he brings several smaller percussion instruments. It’s quite a fun time! The guitarist loves to do both current Rock and older stuff. Nothing ‘camp fire’ though. These are clearly set apart.

I had fairly warned them one night that I’m still new at the Harp, and the guitarist encouraged me to go with it. I tell ya what, I may not be great, but the feeling I got doing my best keeping with the music was still quite fun. He was even nice enough to allow a sort of ‘solo’ for myself as he did basic progressions. Good stuff, I say!

Anyhow, thanks! I’ll be around!
Dewy

Right! Now that’s the way you start out. Just do what
you know, and more will come to you as you go along.
Melody, harmony, riffs…do what fits you at the moment.
Sounds like you have the perfect jam setup.

thebugleboy