How Much Better Would They Have Been?

I was just thinking about the things we talk about here in the forum ie the different harps, instructional videos, the web sites with help such as tablature and wondering if Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little Walter, Big Walter, Howlin Wolf etc.had these aids (especially the customized harps) would they have been the level of players they were or possibly not? I love these guys so much that I fear they would be so different with this modern stuff that thay would not be the same. I don’t know if I’m making my point here or not, what do you think, better or worse or just different, not the same!


Nice question if you care/wish to travel down these roads.

Meaning, it’s one of those philosophical, hypothetical, rhetorical ideas…

Meaning, what if someone or a group of someones had pieces of technology or tools from the future during their past days and age?

Meaning too, there has to be pioneers along with those ahead of their time in the times they’re in. Ecclesiastically, there’s a time and age for everything. For every season turn, turn, turn.

The arguments get posed that if Edison didn’t invent the light bulb; if Lindbergh hadn’t crossed the ocean in an airplane, and so forth - Who then would’ve done it?

The answers are always going to be: Somebody else to be sure!

But who, what, when, where, and how…?? Ah, those are defintely inclusive to the sweet mysteries of life. But one need not concern themselves with such things after the facts, eh?

Same thing here then with all the harp players you mentioned and many more.

For whatever it’s worth, we can switch it all around too. If say SBWI and II, the Walters, etc. were here now - then it might be possible that the likes of an SPD, Barry, Ace, JF, and so forth were their pioneers, couldn’t it?!

It’s just as fanciful to think this way, as it is yours, don’tcha think?!

And of course, in this particular time, during our time, except for supposing all the what if’s, we’ll never really know for any absolute certainty, will we?!

These then are my thoughts on the subject…


Keep on Harpin’!

Just ain’t noth’in better then a whole bunch of thinkin, cause thinkin is the first step towards everything. SPD, I like your reversal thinkin. I don’t think Babe Ruth could hit the pitchin of today, what’dya think?


On that one, I couldn’t rightly tell ya either, Mr Barry! ::slight_smile:

What I can tell you though is: He doesn’t make his candy bars the way he used to! :stuck_out_tongue:

Barry, same thought crosses my mind watching football played on artificial turf, inside in temp control. What would Vince Lombardi, think?

They just don’t mak’em like they usta ie; Sonny Boy, Babe and Vince!

I love this harmonica stuff!


Hey Barry, I follow your point differently than the direction of the thread.
Those blues men found their way entirely differently and without direction from the “rule book.” That’s one thing I appreciate about JP. He urges people to find their own way. BUT…If those blues harp pioneers had been given more of a nudge than they got from conventional music theory, the course of their music would have changed a little or completely. It’s like the old sci-fi movies about the time traveler causing just the most microscopic change; after generations have passed, the Earth is a completely different place than it would have been. There have been, and there always will be, many styles of playing and interpreting music. Except for a few, no one is more valuable than another. In my mind, the self taught, self wrought music is closer to the heart and soul.
Just my opinion, but then I’m always right.
Oh you know I’m right!


Very well said there, BB!

Nice post for sure!

Of course your last point reminds me of the Carolina boy who got his left side chopped off in a thrasher…

He’s all…He’s all…He’s all YOU!!!


Rock on, yo!!!

Hey I like that song “I’m Alright.” Not really all that much.


Ahem, BB!

What’re ya saying there, bro?!

Yer talking about the theme song from one of the funniest movies ever:
Caddyshack Gopher Montage (edited)