Some Thoughts On My Mind

Discussion in 'Tall Tales & Fabrications' started by Bill Boggs, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    As I sit here writing I am also playing my harmonica. I suppose you could call that multi-tasking. And what is it said of multi-tasking? Generally speaking a person who multi-tasks does neither task as efficient as would have been done had this person given his or her whole attention to a single task. That fits me whether I’m multi-tasking or working on a single endeavor, I don’t do anything well. I do things ‘just good enough’. I’m sure you know what that means.

    It has occurred to me from time to time as I was playing the harmonica, “I wish there was someone in my lineage, some grandchild or great-grand child who fancied the harmonica and wanted desperately to play them, I would see that person got my harmonicas Why? Growing up I wanted so badly to play an instrument with my friends, with my cousins, and later on, with my brother, and with my son.

    I’m a long shot from the best but I do play well. I have good control of the little instrument, make it sound happy or sad. The harmonica is best when it accompanies another instrument. I have never played with another soul but I could, it’s a matter of timing and listening. My only limitation is my short windiness caused by COPD and I have over come most of that by learning to breath small intakes as I play.

    Most people look at a harmonica as a toy or something coming from a cracker Jack box but the harmonica has undergone numerous tuning changes and upgrades and these have been adapted by all the major manufacturers. I have played them all, have eliminated some, gathered in others. Many people swear by the Hohner harmonicas, made in Germany and the first hit our shores. They were tuned and made to play German waltzes and German folk songs but when they got to America some found their way into medicine shows, and a few eager beavers learned to play some simple English and American folk songs but the harmonica didn’t really catch on until black musicians started messing with it.

    Black players played it a different way. Instead of blowing air through the harmonica, they reversed it and did it backwards, and drew air into the harmonica. The harmonica seemed to be suited to their root music. Blues were invented by Blacks and the harmonica enhanced what they were doing with their music. They got sounds out of the harmonica no one knew was in there and it has evolved until now, virtually some of most music can be played on this cracker jack instrument.

    True, it is no piano, it is no horn, you will not find it in many classical sittings. I can’t play jazz, I can’t play classical, but what I can play gives me pleasure. I try at times to emulate the violin, I have practiced with the saxophone and doing both make me a better harmonica player. And that’s something; an old man good for nothing else, finding pleasure in such a contemptible little gadget. As I type this with the fingers of one hand I am conscience of the notes of Faded Love being tapped out by my diaphragm. What will become of these personal treasures when I am gone.
     
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  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bill Boggs, what you need to do is find a song you like, and search for a Karaoka version on YouTube. Then you can play along with the video as accompaniment. I did that with a song trying to learn the guitar. Here is Neil Young's Harvest Moon, with a man playing along on the harmonica.

     
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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  3. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Thanks, Nancy. Yes, I have done that many times with various guitar players and sax players and with blue grass bands but I have never played with a live band or an actual human being. I remember one of Neil Diamond's songs I played along with and practiced with was "Heart of Gold." I have played with rhythm tapes. My son who is a musician and a very good guitar player I won't play with because he is a perfectionist. He does his thing and I do mine. I play well. I just started playing late in life.
     
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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Its a shame you don't have a neighbour with a child, they would love to hear you play
    I was a musical child, but never mastered an instrument. I would sit and listen to my Grandpa play a small
    accordion and when he went back to Ireland, he handed me that lovely instrument.
    In the process of trying to play, one night, the treasure was stolen from my flat. An awful experience :(
    If there was a child in your area that you could pass your talent onto, you would be forever loved and remembered :)
     
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