Is it possible to learn how to play a harmonica proficiently just from free lessons on the internet? I’ve stumbled across several websites with great information from J.P., Gussow, Gindick and others. With all this information what is there to gain from face to face lessons? In other words it all comes down to how much air goes through the harp during practice. Am I missing something I might regret later?
From what I have found from my experience so far, The free lessons given are just enough to get your feet wet and give you an appetite for more. Anyone can take the FREE lessons and learn to play “O When The Saints…”, “Red River Valley”, and a hundred other songs. If that is as far as you want to take it, Fine and Dandy. If you want to be BETTER, Play the BLUES, learn Articulation, Play and sound Good with others, and a whole list of other advanced things a GOOD player needs to know, You pretty much will have to pay.
It can be learned on your own but it takes longer. Teachers and lessons give you a guide to follow and keep you from learning things wrong. (I have done that many times.) Lesson will help when you find yourself stuck in a rut. I have bought lessons from everyone you have mentioned and learned from all of them.
Is your question about paying for lessons, or getting face-to-face lessons? You can pay for lessons and still not get the face-to-face. I can see how there would be some benefit to face-to-face lessons because you can get immediate feedback and pointers specific to what you need help with. It’s probably something you’d get more out of after you get the basics down, or when you have plateaued in your progress.
I’m new at harmonica but these are my feelings about it based on other things I have tried to learn in my life. Having said that, I just bought JP’s Happy Harpin’ series 5 days ago and it has been a tremendous help after spending 2 weeks trying to learn using just books, free online videos, and whatever else I could find for free. Using those methods, I was becoming very frustrated, exhausted, and tense after 30-60 minutes of practice. Even though I wanted to keep practicing, I knew I had to stop because of how tense I was getting. JP’s lessons helped me see that I was doing it wrong and it set a good pace for me to re-learn using better habits. I’m enjoying it a lot more now!
When you buy lessons from these guys do they start at the beginning with fundamentals or at your current level? Since I can’t find anyone to take lessons from in my area I was curious as to how online lessons work. I’m currently following Adam Gussow’s YouTube lessons and I’m amazed at how much info he gives away. With all these harmonica sites it just seams that its all there for the taking and its up to me to put it to use.
I can only speak for the Happy Harpin’ series because that is all I have bought, but it does start at the very basic level. The thing about putting your own lessons together is there is no order or sequence to it so you kind of have to piece it together yourself. I, personally, prefer the more structured approach with a logical progression.