|Harmonica * French Harp- Music-Instruments of the World|
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
The harmonica, also known as the French harp, is a small wind instrument held in hand while playing. It can be played by inhaling and exhaling through several air slots. Kids love playing these because they're easy to learn and provide fun entertainment and lively music. Also, harmonicas are small so they can easily be carried in a shirt pocket or pants pocket. Many adults love them for these same reasons!
|Photo by Jay Phagan|
Harmonica Construction and Sound
In the past, harmonicas were usually made of wood. Today, many harmonicas are constructed from injection-molded plastic. There are also high-end harmonicas that are built from metal alloys, silver, or Lucite. The harmonica's sound is often based on the materials it is made of, with each material giving its own unique sound. For example, blues harps or marine band harps are made of soft wood that resists moisture and create a rich, unique sound.
Types of Harmonicas
Harmonicas come in many different types and styles. These are often chosen by players according to the type of music they would like to play. Some harmonica players enjoy performing at events as soloists or with a group or band. The cross harp is often used in blues music, but can also be used in many types of music. It is a diatonic harmonica that is played in a key that is actually seven half-steps up from the harmonica's main key. For example, if the harmonica were tuned in C, it would actually be played in G.
A diatonic major harp is the most common type of harmonica. It has all the "Major Scale" notes such as C, D, E, F, G, A, B. The chromatic harmonica has the same notes as the diatonic major harp, but with a half-step between each major note.
Common brand names of harmonicas include Hohner, Hering, Suzuki, Bushman, Lee Oskar, and BTI. Tremolo and octave harmonicas are offered by Hohner. Different styles of orchestral harmonicas are also available for those who perform with orchestras.
Find Harmonicas and Accessories Online
There are many harmonica resources online today that sell harmonicas and accessories. There is free tablature (with tabs and symbols) to help beginners and experienced harmonica players learn new songs. Accessories such as amplifiers, cases, sheet music, microphones, CDs, and more are available online at reasonable prices. Beginners can research online to find out how to care for their harmonica. From tuning to cleaning, there are a few definite "dos and don'ts" to follow.
The beautiful music that flows from the harmonica can never be matched. Harmonicas are so diverse that they can be played alone while sitting on a porch swing, at a family gathering for singing and fun, or in a professional concert. They can be played around the world no matter what the country. These hand-held instruments bring joy to any setting!
Monday, September 18, 2017
What would you think about someone who wanted to become an awesome finger-picker but most of their practice was focused on using a pick? You'd think they were crazy right? And rightly so! But believe me, it's more common than you think. Heck...even I've been guilty of this more than a few times! I think we all sometimes fall into the trap of practicing things without thinking exactly WHY we are practicing them.
So what's the cure for this? I can give you the cure in three words...
|Picture from playing guitar with guitar pick by Babak Babali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Big Picture Thinking
What's this? Put simply it means looking at the WHYs and WHATs before looking at the HOWs. It's looking at the overall picture before becoming focused on the details. Let's take a look at an example to make it clearer...
Let's say that you would like to learn to shred. Rather than just jumping in and practicing some random exercises, let's go through the big picture thinking process.
**Step One** Why
In this step, you write down exactly WHY you want to become a shredder. Think of all the reasons and write them down. This is really important. Your reasons why help keeps you motivated and enthusiastic about working towards your goal. In fact, I can almost guarantee that without a strong, exciting and compelling why you will give up before you reach your goal!
**Step Two** Big Picture What
Write down WHAT you want to achieve. In this case, you would write down a detailed description of EXACTLY how you would like to play. What type of shredder do you want to become?
**Step Three** Detailed What
In this step, you'll write down the specific things that you will need to master in order to achieve what you wrote down in Step Two. Here are some example questions that you would ask yourself...
* What scales would I need to learn?
* What songs would I like to learn?
* What techniques would I have to master?
* What guitar tutors who live near to me teach shredding?
* What licks and exercises would help me achieve my goal?
* What instructional books, videos or DVDs will I need to buy?
The aim of this step is to get a detailed list of SPECIFIC things that you need to master in order to reach your goal.
**Step Four** How
This is where you write down a detailed practice schedule. This schedule will help you systematically learn what you wrote down in the previous step. If you're not sure how to put together an effective practice schedule then you may want to hire a good guitar tutor.
Can you see how this works? Rather than just jumping in and practicing, you start with the big picture first then work your way down to the small details.I guarantee that doing it this way will speed up your progress drastically. The main reason why is you will only be practicing things 100% related to your guitar goals.