Introduce Yourself!

Hi, I’m Mark from the south coast of England. I’m REALLY enjoying the course All credit to Luke. I have to say I’ve not worked out how to post a new thread, so I’m hoping it’s ok to jump in with a question.

The song ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call it The Blues’, by Elton John, has lovely harmonica sections in it. I’ve found out it was played on a chromatic harmonica. My question is, can it be played on a diatonic harmonica? If not how hard would it be to learn that track on a chromatic harp? Obviously I’m at the start of learning on a diatonic, so I should probably finish that course first :blush:

However it’s probably good to have goals.

Hi Luke,
I’m Nici from Gloucestershire in the UK. I signed up to your Beginner to Boss course yesterday after liking your teaching style on YouTube.
Got through 16 lessons in one sitting yesterday. Loved it!
My goal is to be able to play harp in the amateur band I’m in. Currently backing singer and percussion.
Played recorder as a child and clarinet (badly) in my teens. Now 54 and wanting to prevent dementia by learning a new instrument! I have early onset Parkinson’s Disease (8 years now)and what has occurred to me since starting yesterday is the hidden benefits harmonica playing may give me, namely mouth, tongue and breath exercise which may well prevent or delay the swallowing and speech difficulties that invariably develop further down the line as Parkinson’s Disease progresses. So, I feel I’m onto a win win. Fun and beneficial to my physical health and mental wellbeing. Thank you! Xx

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Hi @nicidavey7,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for posting the inspiring message! It sounds like you are doing all of the right things (positive attitude, active self-involvement in countering/slowing the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, etc.). Best wishes for your personal progress, both musically and physically! :drum: :notes:

Regards,

– Slim

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Hey Bob - welcome to the forum. Good for you for deciding to go for it! Sounds like you’re having fun. I love Ronnie Shellist too, btw. Best of luck with the band!! :sunglasses:

Rock on,
Luke

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Hey Mark - welcome to the forum! Happy to have you here!

All right, here’s my 2 cents. The chromatic harmonica is quite a different beast. I thought I wanted to learn chromatic, and bought one - it was quite expensive. I bought a book. I was all excited… for a few weeks…

So to answer your question how hard is it to learn chormatic: quite hard!

The diatonic is soooo much easier, and imho it’s more fun because you don’t have to know all the music theory stuff to play it, it’s smaller / more portable, and the joy of bending is such a big part of harmonica playing for me.

Now if you love jazz and Stevie Wonder’s stuff, go for it! But I’ll just stick with being happy I can play the Boogie On Reggae Woman solo’s, which are in 1st position on a diatonic, and if I’m not mistaken, Stevie’s only recording on a diatonic.

His playing on ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues’ cannot be duplicated on a diatonic, and it sounds very daunting to me.

If you are very dedicated and have LOTS of time to devote to it I’m sure you could do it. Otherwise, perhaps consider choosing a different goal.

Hope that helps!

Aloha,
Luke

Wow Nici - Wow 16 lessons in 1 sitting! :flushed: thank you so much for sharing your story. I love your goal of playing harp in the band. You can definitely do it!

And yes and amen to the health benefits of playing music, and specifically in your case with the Parkison’s, I’m in agreement with you, may it prevent any swallowing and speech difficulties. :pray:

So happy to have you here.

Aloha,
Luke

Thanks for that. As it was really only that song I was thinking about, I think I’ll leave it. You make a lot of sense. Thinking about it I’m far more excited to, one day, play the sort of tunes like Back Door Slam, Henrik Freischlader, Robert Cray or the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band do.

Do you do any lessons that teach you how to work out tabs for songs? I know I’ve mentioned some songs previously, like ‘I Wonder Why’ by Curtis Stigers. However I was just listening to ‘The First Time I Saw Your Face’, the version sung by George Michael, after reading your article on emotion. I was thinking the harmonica would sound really nice with that song. However, just like Curtis, I can’t find anything done already, and I don’t know where to start.

Do you have any tips?

Sounds like a plan, Mark! Check out this thread. Any further questions, please post them on that thread.

Rock on my friend,
Luke

Not used to forums or replying so hope this goes through. May have already replied awhile ago but don’t think so.

Absolutely love the harp. Love the sound and everything about it. Read as much as I could while recovering from surgery.

Try to be brief but went to work on Sunday morning didn’t feel well and asked new kid to cover my shift. I don’t remember leaving the parking lot and driving downtown traffic. I was found at 6am laying face down outside my Jeep unconscious. Something was in my blood system. I was dead for almost a half hour. I came back… and was in isolation for several months during which both legs were amputated for frostbite after they turned black. I have frostbite on a few fingers but they just tingle now after tips healed. Had my eye removed from socket cut in half and a clear insert put inside before putting eye together and popping back in socket. Didn’t help so blind in one partially in another. Hard to read at times. So lol have to share that yesterday tried to replace drivers license I lost that other state I moved from wouldn’t replace because I didn’t live there now. Made an appt and went to it. I was just given a replacement driver license with motorcycle endorsement from state I live in as a blind bilateral amputee with no written visual or driving test for next four years! Roflmao. I only want it so I can now get my fishing license. So to finishing my story I am going in for fourth cancer surgery soon. Need cancer again like a hole in the head but they will both be surgically removed soon. I’m lucky to have served my country because I now have a nice power wheelchair and titanium legs courtesy of them. Been three years getting to this level since Covid had closed all rehab for me. Gave me time to figure out how to fight depression. Harps. Fun easy to play. Invested in set of Hohner Crossover and Special 20s. Nice pricey Blue microphone for my desktop as well. Studied the online course even with vision disability and enjoy the sound. Frustrated that it isn’t just blow draw have fun. It is you have to learn notes. Chords. Lip placement tongue placement and several hours looking for your harp in the tall grass while in a wheelchair after throwing it in frustration lol. :laughing: I have lived my life by the motto Never Quit. So Ive challenged myself to read a couple Dummies books as well. Harp and Blues Harp. Watched several other instructors trying to sell their courses. Watched YouTube especially Indiana Sfair who I think of as Indiana Jones of harps lol. Just started her own tutorials who didn’t see that coming. She has an amazing course as well I’m sure. So while Im still in my chair I bring my harp with me to practice. Even when I got out of my chair for the first time in three years Friday and went kayaking all day down a long slow river with some fellow veterans. Harps are physically mentally spiritually motivational as well as great conversation starters. All different kinds and styles are available. Fun to search for and collect as well. Anyone from 9 or younger to 90 or older can have fun with them. From free to pricey something for everyone. Thanks again for providing such great tutorials chat rooms online classes and your very positive attitudes.

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Talk about “very positive attitudes” …

Thanks for the inspirational, and entertaining, post. Wishing you the very best for your upcoming cancer surgery.

Best regards,

– Slim

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Whoah! You are truly a champion. Thank you so much for your service. And thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I’m so happy that you are immersing yourself so deeply into the world of harmonica, and I’m very honored to get to be a part of your journey. Also, you are very funny, lol!

I pray that you’re surgery is effective, and that your recovery is quick.

Rock on!
Luke

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You my friend have guts, heart and soul. Thanks for the inspirstion and keep trucking.

Sleazy Bob
:canada:

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Hey guys. New to this, but enjoying so far……module2 lesson 6 I think. Can’t make any music yet!!

My nick name is Shamrock 1956. Shamrock because of my love for Ireland, where I have been backpacking several times; 1956 is my year of birth.
As a child and teenager I played harmonica in the sixties and seventies.
On some way or another I lost my interest in this instrument in my teens.
Well, once you get to secondary and high school your life changes quite a bit.
After high school I got drafted for the military. Later on I started my first job, and so on.
The harmonica has never really surfaced again in my mind. I the meantime, I’d have already experimented with a keyboard in the eighties; then an acoustic (Ibanez) and an electric guitar (Fender Stratocaster) in the nineties. Anyway, all instruments disappeared from my life, little by little.

In 2014, my wife bought a harmonica in a second hand shop, it was a Hohner Echo in fair condition. My wife did not know I could play harmonica, but she bought the instrument because it was a beautiful shiny thing .
The instrument ended up in a drawer in the living room cabinet.

In early 2015 our granddaughter Vienna (18 months old at that moment) stayed with us for the weekend and on a Saturday evening Vienna found the instrument and came running to me in the kitchen. Vienna pushed the harmonica in my hand and looked at me as if she wanted to say “Now play it, old man.” I played the instrument and, to my surprise, I could still remember the tunes I used to play, way back in the sixties and seventies and played them well. Ria (my wife), Vienna and I had a great evening. Vienna took me back to the harmonica, at the age of 59, after about 43 years. Now I play and collect of harmonicas, preferably of the Hohner brand. I mainly play diatonic and I would like to learn more about playing blues harmonica. I`m heading retirement on December 5th 2021 and I would like to spend a lot of time on playing blues harmonica :wink:

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Hey there,
It’s so seldom that I meet anyone with my name, I thought to write you and your granddaughter. Hello to your Vienna!
And Happy Harmonica-ing.

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Hello and thanks for your reaction, Vienna.
My Vienna is almost 8 years old now and tries to play harmonica
Harmonicaduo
On this picture she is about 3 years old :wink:

Greetings from the Netherlands

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And here’s me next to the sign of one of the 9 towns in the US named Vienna. This one was in Maryland. We stopped by during our tour of the places where Harriet Tubman the famous Underground Railroad Conductor and Freedom Fighter against slavery was born and raised.

Cheers to you and Vienna!

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Hi all! My name is Eddie. Just signed up for Beginner to Boss. I’m to to Harmonica. I actually bought a bunch of different c harmonicas. I’ve settled on the Hohner Rocket Progressive. The close second is the Hohner Crossover. I’m hoping this course will get me jamming on the harp!

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Bonjour je m’appelle Claude et j’ai 69 ans, j’habite un petit village situé en France. J’essaie de jouer de l’harmonica depuis 4 années, je n’ai aucune culture musicale, aucune connaissance dans le solfège et je suis nul en rythme…je pars avec beaucoup de handicaps et je progresse difficilement. J’arrive à isoler les altérations mais je suis incapable de les intégrer aux autres notes d’une mélodie.
Je suis heureux de rejoindre votre communauté et vous remercie pour Tout votre travail et tous vos excellents conseils.
Très harmonicalement.
Clause BON

Hello,

My name is Todd and I live in Ventura, California. I just started playing the harmonica seriously about 5 months. I am currently taking Beginner to Boss with Luke. I am really enjoying it. I really love the Blues.

I am playing an EastTop in C, have a Fender Blues De Ville in A, and a Horner Crossover Harp in G.

Great to be playing the harmonica and being part of this community.

Take Care,
Todd