Goodbye Online Harpin’

This is my very last post for my learning project! I’m sure my boyfriend also wishes it was my very last time playing harmonica. He isn’t so fond of my practicing, especially in the passenger seat on road trips. I found that my harmonica often came with me wherever I went. As I learned, I read everywhere that this is a great pocket instrument, which I found to be true! It followed me on roadtrips, to campgrounds, and to the homes of friends/family!

My accomplishments aren’t quite where I would like them to be, but that is not what is important here. What is important, is that I have learned many things about learning from online sources. I also found professional harmonica players like Aiden & Evelyn, who are world famous, award winning harmonica players that look younger than me. Most of the teachers I found on YouTube were older men who have been at it for years and it was refreshing to see a young duo promoting an old instrument by playing new music!

I found that there are many, many, many, YouTube tutorials for playing the harmonica. There are the very beginner amateurs, to the professional harmonica players. Let me tell you, I discovered a whole new world ( 😉 click on the link, you won’t be sorry!) of networked people that love the harmonica. It is a passion for so many people and I did not expect that. I was able to find so many tutorials online that I had a hard time figuring out which ones to use. I had to leave some behind that I originally chose, mostly Adam Gussow, because he was too technical for me. He was catering to professional players who have multiple instruments and are interested in making it a career. He taught me a lot about the industry, but he wasn’t what I needed to learn from; regardless of the fact that he was very entertaining!

It was kind of nice to find so many different harmonica players and teachers, because I could sort through them all and find a personality that I liked and was able to constructively learn from. Using online sources to learn showed me a different side of myself that I didn’t know before. I need to be entertained in order to learn online. I skipped past so many tutorials because they were too long, too boring, and therefore too much not working for me. Online tutorials need to be engaging! Everybody has their own teaching style, regardless if the format is in person or online. The nice part about learning online is that you get to choose a teacher who works well with your learning style; that choice isn’t always available in person.

Another thing I noticed about learning online is that you need to be aware that anybody can post online even if they don’t know what they’re talking about. When I was having difficulty playing Draw 2, I watched/listened to many people tell me how to play it properly. Some people were way off!! It pays to be cautious when learning online to make sure you have a reputable source with lots of reviews. The guy I ended up liking the most has been teaching harmonica since the 1980’s.

 

Because of my new discoveries during my learning project, I actually changed lanes with my learning a little bit. I had this idea that I was going to learn blues harmonica, but I let it go (thanks Aiden & Evelyn 😉 ) and moved on to pop music, which I was actually much more interested and engaged in learning. However, for the grande finale of my learning project, I decided to go back to the original blues riff tutorial that I wasn’t engaged in (because I couldn’t make it sound good) and see if my skills have grown enough to make the blues work. I found a way to modify these practice blues riffs so that I could avoid the holes I can’t play yet.

Listen for yourself and see how much of a beginner I am. I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a harmonica player after all!

So this is goodbye for my official learning project, but I do plan to keep harpin’ on my harmonica and see if I can get any better!

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