OH WOW @RollyJoe GOD BLESS YOU my friend for turning me onto this. I am absolutely AMAZED by this. I downloaded the free audio examples, and just bought the book on Amazon. Looking forward to checking this out!
I have always been fascinated with drum rudiments. I used to teach drums (along with bass, guitar, and harmonica) and the same way that practicing scales and arpeggios can unlock fluidity for the melodic improviser, practicing rudiments can unlock fluidity for the drummer.
It’s like, “why I am practicing all this weird boring stuff” and the next time you go to play it’s like everything is on another level and, “ooooh, THAT’S why I was practicing all that stuff!”
Like Howard I have always been interested in applying drum rudiment patterns to melodic instruments in various ways.
For example, one of the early rudiments that trips us all up is the Paradiddle (#16 on the PAS International Rudiments.)
It’s tricky because the double-stroke alternates hands
R-L-R-R to L-R-L-L (repeat)
I’ve applied that to the harmonica in a chugging pattern where in this example R=in and L=out
-123 123 -123 -123 to 123 -123 123 123 (repeat)
And it generates some cool ideas. But Howard has taken it to the next level where the double stroke = a slide.
So 1 -1 1 2 to -2 2 -2 -1 (repeat)
The other thing that’s interesting about Howard’s methodology is that from what I can tell it’s devoid of SCALES or MELODIC THEORY. It’s focused instead on applying consistent blow-draw patterns across the harmonica and just seeing what melodic material happens to present itself.
This is a very free approach, and makes the whole thing more palatable for beginning students or for veterans with little theoretical knowledge. But it also ends up being challenging for intermediate and advanced players who HAVE been working on the theoretical knowledge.
I’ll give you an example: I have worked on the seven stroke roll kind of concept before, but applying it within a scale, such as the major scale. So I’m thinking intervallically: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, 1 7 6 5 4 3 2, 2 3 4 5 6 7 1, 2 1 7 6 5 4 3, etc.
When you play the major scale on the harmonica when you get the whole seven you switch which direction you’re blowing or drawing first because of how the harmonica is tuned.
But Howard’s methodology is not thinking intervallic, it’s mechanic. So it’s just blow draw blow draw blow draw blow in this example. You’re playing all kinds of unusual melodic patterns rather than going up and down a scale. FASCINATING! Just apply a pattern and see what happens to fall out!
I’m looking forward to exploring this book and seeing how going through it impacts my playing. Thanks again for posting this! I’M SO EXCITED!