New Player from Mobile, Alabama

Hello,
I’m FlyboyTR from Mobile, Alabama (USA) (also known as LA, Lower Alabama).

I play piano/keyboard, guitar and have spent time with a number of other instruments over the years. Last month we landed our plane at a small Private airport to refuel. Another plane landed and when the pilot walked to the office the airport owner asked him if he brought his instrument. “Yep!” He stepped out to his plane and to my surprise walked in empty handed…with the question…”We gonna’ play?” The owner pulled out a guitar and the pilot pulled a harmonica out of his pocket. …we just stood there sort of puzzled.

My wife and I listened as these two men softly and gently played through a melody of different tunes. It sort of stirred something in me. I grew up around family members that played harmonicas…although everyone on my Mom’s side of the family played something! …everything from rub-boards, pie pans, pianos, guitars, banjos, fiddles, horns, woodwinds, juice harp, harmonicas, etc. …I even remember someone playing a kazoo and a comb! :o Amazing as this was…everything was always great and the level of music and song…top notch! Our family reunions were all centered around music (mainly gospel)…and it was good! We would sing and play until the wee hours of the morning during our annual reunions. …I do miss those times!

Sorry for the long family history… Anyway, after talking with the harmonica playing pilot and his comments about entertaining himself and his family on long trips in their plane…I got to thinking… Well…I could do that! …nothing better than cheap entertainment while traveling! …and it would fit into my pocket!

I purchased a Hohner Bluesband and started messing around with it. It only took me a few minutes to realize that this was going to be MUCH harder than I thought. ??? I have watched all the freebie lessons that JB Allen offers as well as many of the intro lessons on YouTube by other folks.

After 2 weeks I can now play a few simple single note songs (simple like Kumbaya, Michael Row Your Boat, etc) I am getting better at the single note and trying to do it without using my tongue. However…I think I have exhausted the freebie lessons that are useful (to me). Also…I have realized that I needed a better harp (after a lot of reading and research) and I have ordered a Hohner Special 20. I am hoping that it will be easier to play and sound better as well! …Will I be surprised?

I am considering ordering JP’s complete instructional DVD program. While $200 is not going to break the bank…I am still on the fence as to whether or not it will actually carry me to where I want to go! My goal is to be able to play comfortably and it feel natural… To this point…I haven’t found anything natural, or easy about the harmonica! :-\ Any thoughts/input would be appreciated.

I have enjoyed reading through the Forum. Sounds like a great group of folks…and I’m glad I found this place. Thanks!

FlyboyTR ;D

Hi FlyboyTR,

I am a very novice player and having not played an instrument before I purchased JP’s DVD’s a few weeks ago and have found it to be well worth the purchase price. I too have been learning a few simple tunes but that is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much to learn in going to the next stage. The DVD’s take you through each stage of the learning curve and if you can master all the techniques JP teaches you will come away a very good player.

You may also consider looking at this site http://www.harmonicaacademy.com as many of the forum members also belong and it appears to be well structured however I feel sure others more experienced than I will come in with further advice and recommendations. Once again, welcome to the forum and I wish you all the best in learning this little instrument.

Keith

Hey FlyboyTR,

Wow!! What an amazing experience for you to grow up with all that music…that means to me that you have a jump-start on learning the harmonica because you were witnessing, hearing and absorbing music as a small boy…that right there is an advantage that many people don’t have…

I’m really excited to be able to interact with you here at the Forum…and that you’ve enjoyed and gotten the most out of my free harmonica lessons…

the Hohner special 20 was a great choice by the way…you’ll be happy with it.

Your next step is up to you of course, but I do suggest to keep it up while your passion and inspiration for learning is high…

You mentioned that your goal is to be able to play comfortably and for it to feel natural…those were some of the key elements I was trying to foster in creating and sharing my instructional DVD bundle, because comfort and ease is the foundation of being an advanced and skilled harmonica player…with that goal in mind, your well on your way, and I’m confident you would have your needs met and more with my lesson program…

I’d love to continue to assist you on in becoming a great harmonica player…

Your harmonica buddy,

jp

Hi and welcome to the forum Flyboy,

My 2 1/2 harmnica journey started with a few books of David Harp. Then realized I loved this instrument
and was going to stick with it. I bought JP’s bundle, i think it took me a year to go through it , but it definitely
got me on my way. I always have it and actually i really want to go back and go through it again.

Harp on!!

If you had a made in china harp you will notice all sorts of positive differences when you get the special 20. You’ll likely retire your other harp. It’s hard to go back.

Welcome to the forum. I’ve gotten a lot from it and I’m sure you will too. I’m really have a good time and learning a

Welcome Fly!!! You gonna have FUN!
As another friend has told me, watch out for ‘GAS’ ! ;D

What Does that mean again, "Gear A____________ Syndrome.

But I think I have It :o

How bout You SPD! got GAS ;D ;D

Harp on!!

If that’s Gear Qquisition Syndrome, it’s better than the GAS syndrome my wife fusses at me about!
Welcome aboard Flyboy. JP won’t lead you wrong. This field right here is the BEST place to land!!!

BB

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the information and the open arms. I feel much better about my decision to order the Hohner Special 20…and put the Bluesband on the shelf! Also the comments and support of the DVD training program was a great and has helped me to make a decision!

JP, Thanks for the personal response regarding my musical childhood. It really was a hoot! I still have amazing memories of those times. I appreciated you taking time to address what I felt my needs and goals are. With all that said…I will be ordering your DVD set today. Thank you again! ;D

While reading through this Forum I found a YouTube link to a lady named Christelle and she was playing Amazing Grace (her second recording of it). I sat here with tears in my eyes listening to it. I realize that that she has excellent backing music and possibly some digital enhancement on the harp sounds. Regardless…it was very moving and her talent is noted. …Way back when, during our family reunions (this was around 1964…I was 8 years old) we had a great uncle that played the harmonica (along with several others) and Amazing Grace was one of the favorites. There were no mics, no electronic gadgetry to help enhance the sound. However…When it was time for him to play Amazing Grace (to which I had the honor of playing the piano with him)…it was like the circus arrived. Someone would go out onto the back porch and grab a #3 wash-tub (a large galvanized tin bucket, probably 30” across and 18” deep) and they would position it on the edge of the table, turned on its side. Uncle Cliff would pull up a chair and literally stick his head into the wash-tub :o (remember…it was on its side) and from there he would play Amazing Grace while everyone else softly played along with him. The sound was so mellow and the reverberations filled the entire room. I had actually forgotten about that…until I heard Christelle play. Afterwards…there was not a dry eye in the house… and then the laughter (always loving…) would start about Uncle Cliff being a bucket head. …and the music would continue. :slight_smile:

Thanks for letting me share some of my silly musical memories from my childhood. I believe that “things” like that tend to shape who we are and what we do in life. Personally, I never would have dreamed that 46 years later… I would, almost out of the blue (literally) would develop an interest in a musical instrument that I enjoyed listening to as a child.

OK…It’s credit card time! Thanks again for sharing the love…and making me feel at home! …although I’m still puzzled about this GAS thing! ???

FlyboyTR ;D

Oh you’ll find out soon enough Flyboy ;D

One small tip from me and you’ll hear JP tell you also, take your time going through the course ;D

It’s well organized, that’s what I liked about it step by step, Inch by Inch…You’ll evolve into a Harmonica player ;D

Keep us posted on your progress 8)

Harp on

Howdy & Welcome Mobile Alabama!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I read this post yesterday. Yet I wanted to see where it was going before responding. And it’s quite interesting for several reasons. To wit:

For all his enthusiasm in meeting and hearing from new players, for all his encouragement that anybody who picks up this instrument no matter which path they take on their journey – Well with all the energy and excitement he brings, JP Allen is also very humble too. Meaning, he doesn’t sit around pitching and/or laying his stuff on anyone.

By the same token, if say I worked for a New York ad agency and was hired to tout the JP Allen Brand day in and day out - sure, it’d help pay some of my bills; but then this place would just turn into one long drawn out JP Allen Brand commercial; and how long then do you think it would last?! Not very.

So I won’t pitch or lay JP Allen products on anybody either.

However that being said: It doesn’t mean we can’t discuss all the great free videos and lessons JP provides. We most certainly can/do!

And herein again - JP warmly and humbly offered/explained something more of his program and what it could/might/will be for you.

Seeing then your response - I want to say congratulations on your deciding to get JP’s boxed dvd set!

Why?

Well one only needs to look around this forum - with its global (and still growing) membership; as well as JP’s other well received sites - to know and realize why I say: “JP Allen’s home harmonica course dvd set is the world’s best and most favorite!”

On that fine note then:

Have Fun Always!

Smiles!

Keep on Harpin’!

Right on Flyboy,

Have fun with the DVD’s and let me know if you have any questions…

I love your stories, keep 'em coming…got a great visual of Uncle Cliff’s head in the washtub!

And thanks Street Player for the compliment of all compliments (last line in quotes.)

Warmly,

jp

Hey Flyboy, I don’t fly, but I love the things that do fly, whether organic birds or mchanical ones. That said, we had a great low alt flyover today (time after time after time) by a couple of F16’s and what looked sort of like a couple of MIG’s. Training? Show for our local Champion AeroSpace plant very nearby (they have one yearly)? Don’t know, don’t care. I just want them to come back.
Anyway, I thought you would think that was cool too.

BB

Hey BB:

Since being a young pup, I soar and fly around in my dreams all the time! :o

Does that count…?? ;D

Just wondering… 8)

Yeah I’l bet it does. I love flying (for real), but I prefer a trained pilot to carry me up and back.
I used to heve the flying dreams too. Often, I would jump and just have way too much hang time (Air Bob). The sailing was good, but the thought of coming down was a downer.

BB

Interestingly enough, I’ve never had any problems flying around in the Other Side worlds. It’s over on this side where the fears come in.

No, not that I’ve ever been afraid of flying…Family took our first plane ride when I was like 5 or something. So no problems there.

My dread comes from heights. No, not buildings. Been to the top of the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. So again, no problems there.

More though specifically on scaffolding, slanted roofs, high ladders, and narrow beams.

Remember that '58 Hitchcock thriller with Jimmy Stewart? The one called “Vertigo” –

The condition of acrophobia is absolutely real. And can be quite terrifying at times.

During a break in trucking, worked with one of my brothers who did outdoor stucco work. When we did projects two levels high, I was okay with it. Once he went 3, 4 and 5 high…Fuggedabout it!

Barely made it up to three; and anything higher I froze. One project he had to get somebody else to assist because I just couldn’t force myself to go up there with him.

He said not everyone is cut out for high work; which is consolation enough, as not everyone’s cut out to be a trucker either.

I marvel at the old films of watching skyscrapers being built. Yet not having that Indian Navajo ‘No Fear of Heights’ kind of blood in me – Well, I certainly make up for it in other ways.

But if I’m ever on top of a church steeple with a Kim Novak looking babe, and she needs to be saved – Well, I’ll see what I can do then.

Fortunately, I don’t have to do that now!

Rock on, yo!

Have you seen Ms. Novak lately? She’s been pumping iron and doing set reps. She would rescue you.
Naw, just kidding. I don’t know if she works out or not. But I bet you won’t get her to climb a steeple these days just so you can climb after her.
I’m not afraid of heights. I’m not even afraid of falling. The sudden stops scare the heck out of me though. Are you crazy? The fall will will probably kill you (paraphrased).
When I was young I would do a little rock climbing (after big horns, etc). We didn’t know what we were doing, we just wanted a better look at the sheep flock. We had no gear, but I bet if I could turn around on one of those ledges, the seat of my pants could hold me up even if I couldn’t hold on with my hands. I tell you we could take a bite out of crime…uh rock that is. It’s funny how you’re attracted to things that intimidate you.

BB

Hey Flyboy,

Congratulations on getting the DVD set! You’re gonna love it, no doubt. :slight_smile: JP is the best harmonica teacher ever!

I really enjoyed your story. I was wondering, what airplane do you have? I have been crazy about airplanes my whole life…especially ultralights and taildraggers. My favorite is probably the old Piper Cub. I dream about flying one across the country someday! Gosh, I get goosebumps just thinking about it! :smiley:

Ashish