With alot of time spent on this new forum and loving all the suggestions comments etc…

Was curious about practice. I assume alot of people on this forum are like me maybe at a different level up or down.

But like me I want to get better. How much time should one put in to practice. When I say time I mean, Hours

in the day how many days per week.

Just curious about peoples habits about practice. Wondering if I am practicing too much or not enough.

I usually practice at least an hour to an hour and a half per day. Right now practicing some difficult fast moving blue

grass/fiddle tunes. I need to learn them memorize them then record them with a backing track. Then my custom is if it’s dead on

or pretty close to correct I save it on to my IPOD. If not I continue practicing till it is.

So to recap it’s 1 1/2 hours a day, then just play for fun the rest of the time. Pretty much everyday Sundays maybe not practice

but just play for fun. I really like it and enjoy it so practice is fun for me…for the most part anyways.

Harp on!!

I read on another forum the views of a world class player who indicated if you wanted to achieve the standard of Maestro then one must woodshed for 10,000 hours. This equates to 27 years at 1 hour a day. Joe you will get there sooner at 1.5 hours a day ie only in 18+ years.

No I don’t think I want to be a Maestro ie far too much work and not much fun. In 27 years I will be 97. But hold on I only practice 1/2 hour a day!! Guess I’m still only a beginner on this scale.

Methinks Joseph…You’d really benefit from getting a copy of “Effortless Mastery” by Kenny Werner. The one with the CD:

He will really help release the ‘inner musician’ in you, like he’s done for so many many more! Including lil ole me!

Inre: Practice…

I don’t practice, per se. I constantly play/try different things all the time. I wake up with the harp. I go to bed with the harp. Sometimes too, I’ll walk away from it; but I never leave home without at least two or three harps with me. And I play for the simple joy of it wherever!

JP talks about going into the bathroom on airplanes just to play - for the love of it!

I can dig it!

Over time, little by little, when I least expect it, things start to click and forge permanently in my growing repertoire.

JP was the first character I found on Youtube amongst all the other harpsters with the ‘energy’ literally exuding from him. I can’t explain it, and why should I have to…but I connected with it and him, and it’s fun!

I don’t practice, per se, Joe. Practice to me means “work.” I worked all my life, and still will have to do something - But I’m a career guy too. I want a career in music, a career in writing wherever it leads me.

So if you love what you’re doing, no matter how good or not good you think you are now, well just keep at it, you will get better and it will find ways to love you back in manners you could’ve never imagined before, I’m sure!

That’s my thoughts on the subject. Nice topic as usual, mi amigo!

Keep on smiling!

Keep on harpin’!

Thanks for reading!

I use the Pagninni Method. Easy and fun.

This 10,000 hours is what Malcom Gladwell found to be the average amount of time to become “world class” or “genius” at something. He talks about this quite a bit in his book “Outliers”:

“The greatest athletes, entrepreneurs, musicians and scientists emerge only after spending at least three hours a day for a decade mastering their chosen field.”

Though not everyone wants or needs to become world class. I’d say a a couple of thousand hours practice at most things and you’d be pretty darn good!

Cheers, C

Hey Joe, I don’t practice, I play the harmonica. Every moment of every day I have a harmonica with me. I have all the Little Walter, Sonny Boy II, James Cotton etc. CD’s in the car and I play, even if it’s only a note or two , on the spur of the moment and I play what comes out of the harmonica. I just play and try different things and combos, slow, Blues, songs or anything. Just play!!!


Hey Joe, when you read about the life of Sonny BoyII, James Cotton, Holin Wolf, Little Walter, and you’ll find common denominators:

  1. They all started young (under 10 years of age)

  2. They always carried a harmonica and played it whenever they could.

  3. They had NO formal training, they JUST PLAYED the dam harmonica.

  4. They listened to and got inspiration from eachother.

  5. And the most outstanding common denominator is the harmonicas thay played were the cheap Hohner Marine Bands not customized either!


Cool, ok I guess no one “practices”,
or they practice and just call it playing…kinda the same.
I just kind set a side an hour or so before work…
works for me.

1. They all started young (under 10 years of age)

I guess the key is starting young if your goal is to be world class.

Me I just want to get to the point where I’m not afraid to pull harp out
of pocket and let loose…

Harp on!!

I guess the key is starting young if your goal is to be world class.

Me I just want to get to the point where I’m not afraid to pull harp out
of pocket and let loose…

Oh, Joe, you can be such a downer sometimes! :-[

I mean and say that with all love and due respect for you too! :-*

Mwuahahahahaha! :smiley:

Comedienne Phyllis Diller didn’t start playing piano until she was in her 50s! A few years later, she was doing full orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall!

Anna Mary Robertson Moses – better known to all as “Grandma Moses” – was in her 70s when she began painting. Living past 100, well, we all know or at least have heard about how successful she became!

And probably the most well-known and famous of the lot: Harlan David Sanders! The “Colonel Sanders” of Kentucky Fried Chicken! Who didn’t hit the big time until after he was supposed to be collecting his first social security checks!

If anybody wants to kick themselves in the ass for not getting into the game sooner, I’m not going to stop them! But I’m going to encourage them too if I can, and let them know it’s okay, because you’re in the game now!

Dear Abby probably said it best!

A female letter writer once wrote: “If I’m 24 now, and have to go to college and medical school for 6 years and intern for a few more years after that, from my having to start at such a late age than others around me have - Abby, just how old will I be before I have my own practice?”

Her answer: “My dear girl, just how old will you be then if you don’t?!”

Nuff said!?


Keep on harpin’! (in good ways, Joe, my friend! Mwuahahahahaha!)

I’ve got two books:
“Rock n’ Blues harmonica” by Jon Gindick
“Learn to play the harmonica” by David Mckelvy

In the second book there are a lot of songs, and I’m trying to learn a new song each day. I’m playing until I get a hold on it.

In the first book I’ve found some blues patterns and riffs, which I am also trying to learn by heart, though i’m not playing these everyday.

Secondly I try to make up my own songs/patterns/riffs . I do this because it’s fun and challenging.

I’ve also tried to bend some, and i’m pretty comfortable with the 4 hole bend which i play and enjoy each day, but the other holes is more difficult so I have not managed to bend them yet, but i’m trying each day.

I guess I practise about half an hour to an hour each day. Something I think works fine.

Dude…I’m serious :

Me I just want to get to the point where I'm not afraid to pull harp out of pocket and let loose.....

If I can do that and play it well anywhere anytime. anywhere anytime I’m totally happy with that…

That would be awesome that’s a goal of mine…I would be flying high.

I’m alright.

Just life is getting in my way a little bit right now. Bump in the road but at least its not a road block.

That true about Col Sanders, Wow incredible.

Harp on!!

I started in January this year it took me six weeks b 4 I was able to tongue block
and play single notes [slow learner] I ordered J P ,s learners pack and thanks to him
explaining about bending I am now able to bend the normal range of notes Ok and
just getting to learn the O/B ,s but it a long process and I havent even scratched the
surface yet then I get the spell when I feel as though I am not going any place too
quick but I enjoy my harps too much to think of life with out them. As for practising
it would be about 1 1/2 hrs in the morning and about another hour some time in the
evening and that has been my pattern for 8 months and it never feels like Ho I have got to practice no I look foreward to it I hope it stays that way they say that it is possible to over practice and i dont quite know what is meant by that. I think that if I could find another group of harp players that would be great fun as I dont think that we r supposed to play alone all of the time I may be wrong but thats what I think.

If I can do that and play it [b][i][u]well[/u][/i][/b] anywhere anytime. anywhere anytime I'm totally happy with that...


Who the hell plays well their first time out?! We all fake it, broski, till we make it!

You slay me, J Feeney, you just slay me! Mwuahahahahaha! :smiley: <<<<<I know we jibe so I know I can say all this!>>>>

It’s okay! Meaning, I support you in this part of your quest! You lack self-confidence is all, yeah, okay! Thinking you might have to go out and get a ‘buskers’ license somewhere, well, not okay! We’re here in the good ole US of A, brother! <<<<And please no offense given to our friends Down Under or wherever either! I love Aussies and Brits, oh just everybody, what the hell! I really do! :slight_smile: Anyways…>>>>

Whatever it is you’re feeling, whatever it is you’re going through: If it doesn’t kill you -and I’m pretty positively sure it won’t - It will make you stronger and all the better for it! Really!

There are more lessons here involved than you can possibly know right now! That’s okay!

I hope to hear about whenever those magic light bulbs start going off for you! And you start shouting from the rooftops: “Aha-Eureka I’ve Done It!!”

But even if I don’t - I still have faith in you anyways! And down the road, you’ll look back sometime somewhere and wonder what all the fuss was all about to begin with!

But hey, I already know as well, your kid will pick up the good vibes as you lovingly pass them down to him, who will then lovingly pass them onto others along the way as well.

Ah yes, it’s all good, Joe Feeney! It’s all good!!

DUDE, I aint lying this is truth in the past week around here I am, well maybe in the past couple days I am beginning to let it go a little.

Fast example, went out with my wife and my 11 year old to fill the tank up for her. Now they necessarily don’t like me playing but I got out
of the car started filling up and you guessed it started playing a tune on my harp. The only bad thing was I have a Toyota Prius and it filled
up quick.

I went over to the attendant, young kid he smiled at me, and I said I hope I didnt bother you with my harmonica playing and he said absolutely
not I wished you’d played longer. Ya Baby. Cool or what. True story just happened tonight. And I didn’t play that harp quietly I played it loud.
I played a tune called “Whiskey Before Breakfast”.

Wasn’t even worried about it just did it.

This forum is really encouraging the heck out of me and filling me with confidence like you wouldn’t believe.

Thanks S.P.D. and all …

Harp on!!

I think how you practice and how often you practice very much depends on your goals and the types of music you want to be able to play.

If you are seeking advanced techniques eg use of overblows & wish to play Jazz & classics then you may need to consider learning to read music & get some music theory behind you.Knowing how to play the diatonic chromatically is probably for some the end game. Lots of study, lots of practice playing scales and arpeggios in different modes. This probably adds up to 10,000 hours & puts you in a league with the best.

However there are endless examples of great players who don’t read music & who practice by learning tunes & playing them. I’m by no means a great player and I only practice by playing and learning new tunes & techniques. I hate playing scales and arpeggios so this no doubt will limit my overall ability to play some stuff but I don’t care. If I were younger I might think and act differently. :-\

Wasn't even worried about it (I) just did it.

Am not going to give you your props about it yet, Joe!

But since I know you read through all these posts as I do…

You’ve found a new mantra! :wink:

And just to boost your confidence even more, not your head, I give you props for being able to record and put your tunes up for all to listen. :slight_smile:

I’m very private. I have my reasons. Not criminal; rather personal! So posting your music online for the world to hear is farther along than I am in those regards! 8)

Keep on harpin’!

You practice untill your finger’s bleed then you can rest.Hows it going Joe?

Only if you’re Stevie Ray Vaughan, dude! :wink:

Q: Just how you playing your harp anyway?

Man, I guess I really do have to come down and watch your ‘LSD’ video again! :o

Smiles! :smiley:

it that video im playing it acoustically but into my 8track it has stereo mics built in,I have delay and some chorues on it,I play sometimes with a bullet,and amp a lot of times acoustically sometimes with a rack.

Whats’s up Hobo,

Man, I guess I really do have to come down and watch your 'LSD' video again!

Where’s that video at Hobo I want to see it.

Can you post it here.

Harp on!!