SlideMeister Forum's Featured Post
It goes without saying that there is an abundance of Chromatic talent and creativity on SlideMeister; but there's even more in related areas. We have some really great writers, story tellers, innovators, idea people, folks who ask the questions we want answers to, but never thought to ask, and so on. We also have the occasional "good post" from new players that make the forum look good. :o)
There are many diversely gifted SlideMeister members who benefit all of us in some way, but they usually just post something and let it go as that. Then the post gets "buried" beneath hundreds (yea thousands) of other posts so deeply the it might even require using the site's search feature to find them. However, if one has no idea what kinda "good stuff" might be hidden in there, how can they be expected to know what to search for? Hmmmm! ??? Well, here's where we're going to attempt to rectify that problem with this "Featured Post" page. If you see it here, it means SlideMeister thinks you'll find it to be interesting. ;o)
November 24, 2015
Thank you all for the great answers!
I'm picking up the chromatic harmonica later in life also... I'm 60. There are so many different "Methods" of music study. It can become confusing. I think using the circle of fifths and fourths is really the way for me to learn the key scales. I'm taking a key a month. Finding written songs in that new key either with tab or (new for me) sight reading. I use that memory trick with the circle of fifths: Can't Girls Do Anything Else But Flirt when studying the keys moving clockwise. Next month I start at the top of the cycle and move counterclockwise and study the flats. Then comes the practice, practice, practice. It seems to be working and I owe most of my motivation to this "University of Slidemeister Forum " Thank you AJ! The truth is I may never become all that great at the chromatic but I sincerely enjoy playing music and the whole new world the sight reading of music has opened up to me.
As a baby button pusher trying to learn the chromatic harmonica along with the sight reading of music it can at times become overwhelming. If you add memorizing the Major and Minor scales, the Blues and Pentatonic scales in all 12 keys along with the study of arpeggios not even getting into how I'm sounding... it can all just become too much. Like most things if I break it down into small parts and move along at my snail pace I always seen to find some musical success. Keeping my motivation up by reading how others study the chromatic is super beneficial for me!
With the help of this forum I'm confident I'm studying and learning the chromatic while headed in the right direction! This is a huge advantage to us beginners.
April 18, 2015
Barry "MuseChaser's" response to
"Just gimme speed" thread
Re: Just Give Me Speed« Reply #4 on: Today at 11:06:57 AM »
I'm far from a master harmonica player, but one of the concepts I use with my orchestral students may be helpful to you, Graeme.
Playing fast is easy. Anyone can play fast. It's just that most folks play fast and sloppy. It's playing fast cleanly and evenly that is difficult. However, if you are playing well, you are ALWAYS playing fast. To find out if you are playing well, you must play very slowly so your ear can hear exactly what is going on.
"What the heck are you TALKING about.. what is this Zen-sounding garbage?!?" ... lol... I can hear you thinking!
Here's what I mean. No matter how slow a given tempo is, if you wish to get from one note to the next note seamlessly with great tone and beautiful legato, you must make the transition from note to note very quickly, but in a relaxed manner. There's no other way to do it on ANY instrument. If you make the change slowly, the notes smear together, pitch suffers, and the sound of the transition is unpleasant. Ideally, there shouldn't be ANY sounds of transition... just one note, then the next note replaces it.. more like one long note that just happens to change pitch suddenly. That's the goal.
When you play "fast," you're really just stringing together a bunch of frequent pitch changes, but ideally nothing else has changed. Practicing playing slowly, evenly and cleanly with beautiful tone IS practicing to be be able to play fast.
Once your head is wrapped around that concept, here's an excercise you can apply to specific runs that can help a lot because it breaks runs down into smaller chunks, giving ever note an opportunity to be a long tone interspersed with tones that are increasingly less long (I don't really even like to use the word "fast" for "notes of limited length"... just the word "fast" seems to instill a lack of calm in players).
Assuming you have a run of sixteen notes, practice them like this..
Dotted eighth, then sixteenth, dotted eight, then sixteenth... do a few measures like that, until you can do that pretty much perfectly and easily. You've just practiced every other note quickly, or half the run quickly.. make sense?
Then, reverse the rhythm... sixteenth followed by a dotted eight. Now, you've just practiced the other pairs of notes quickly.
THEN, play a dotted eighth followed by a 32nd note triplet and repeat that pattern... "Daaaaahh.... da-da-da Daaaaaaahh... . da-da-da-Daaaaaaaaa"... etc. Now, you're playing four notes in a row quickly, and mentally regrouping and planning on a long note every four notes.
Then, reverse THAT rhythm ... "da-da-da-Daaaaaaaah..... da-da-da-Daaaaaahh" Now, a different note gets the chance to the the long, "status check" note. Check those "status" notes for accurate pitch and tone.. don't scoop into'em.
Next.. assuming it's a long lick... try a quarter note followed by an eighth note triplet followed by 8 32nd notes ...
"Daaaaaaaa............. da - da - da dee-dle-dee-dle-dee-dle-dee-dle" (lol.. sure wish there was a way to type actual notes!)
Then, switch the order of those three rhythmic elements so that each of the three rhythmic values gets to be the first, second, or third beat.
It's amazing how fast that type of practice can clean up runs.
Good luck! Remember, good slow playing IS fast playing.
April 7, 2015