Short version: Weak pitch for you to take up playing an instrument to add more fun to your life.
When I was young, I sang in the school choir. When my voice started to change, it was hard to keep an interest in choir when you sound like a frog. I wanted to do keep something musical as I love music.
I decided I would join the school band. I went to the band room, and the teacher was busy in his office with another student. I thought playing with the drums would be a fun way to kill a few minutes. Wrong! Playing with the school drum set was the end of any chance of my playing in the band for the rest of the school year.
Over the summer I bought a Harmonica. I did not know anything about Harmonicas, never heard one played, or what you would play on it. It came with a few pages of information and a few simple songs. I almost mastered Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and maybe one or two other songs before I set it down. That was the end of the Harmonica for the summer as school started.
I was admitted into the school band around October of that year. I wanted to play the Saxophone. The only seat open was Clarinet. I swallowed my pride and tried my best. The next fall I was still struggling. Playing the clarinet was not coming easily. We had a new band teacher, and when I started to play in my first lesson, he broke out laughing.
I had been playing with my hands backwards for over a year. That explained why I was finding clarinet so difficult. It was a struggle to press the right buttons to create the correct sound. It may have been the old band teachers idea punishment for touching his drum set and he never stopped his joke on me. At any rate, I never caught on to correct play, and I left the school band.
Over the years the music bug would bite me, and I would head off to wherever they sold musical instruments. All I could afford would be a Harmonica. The new Harmonica came with the same four little pages of instruction, same lack of knowing what a Harmonica could really do.
Recently the music bug bit me again. I talked with a friend of mine who is the best guitar player I know about buying and learning guitar. You know sitting around the campfire strumming and singing Kumbaya. In five minutes and five simple questions he convinced me Guitar was not for me. Not enough time to learn it, and lack of any real passion to play it.
I was ready to head off to the music store for yet another Harmonica, when I thought I should check my drawers to see if I had any Harmonicas tucked away. I found one, two…a total of five harmonicas forgotten in as many different places. Finding so many Harmonicas, I decided maybe Harmonica is the instrument I should be playing.
Getting on the net, a whole world of Harmonica opened up for me. Web pages galore, videos, and so much more. So much information. I discovered that over half of my Harmonicas were little more than kids toys due to poor quality construction lending to awful tones and difficulty playing.
Once again I found myself driving to the closest music store, this time armed with a list of good harmonicas, and about forty dollars. Ten minutes and forty-two something dollars later, I was walking out of the store with a Harmonica almost any pro would play on stage if he plays that brand of harmonica.
It is worth mentioning that with Harmonicas there is no need to throw a lot of money at them. Less than sixty dollars is all you need to spend for a quality Harmonica.
A whole new world has opened up for me! A whole new way of expression, a hobby I really enjoy and laugh over. I never realized there was so much music in me waiting to get out! My music is mostly off key noise right now, but it is so much fun!
“Mary Had a Little Lamb”, and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, are pretty sorry to hear, and that is okay. This time I am approaching the Harmonica like a child does. Playing with the Harmonica. Not trying to force the Harmonica to do what I think it should do and getting frustrated in the process. What a difference in both what I am learning and how much I am enjoying the Harmonica!
Everything will come together at some point in the future, and I will be okay with someone hearing me play a blues riff, Amazing Grace, or a popular song. Right now however, I am enjoying playing around and learning proper basic technique. Playing a song and having it sound as it should is a low priority. This will happen when I am comfortable with the basics.
I am putting this out here to interest you in taking up some simple musical instrument for your own pleasure. Your voice and whistling are free. A good quality harmonica can be had for less than sixty dollars.
I put up a separate page with a few harmonica links I have found helpful. My harmonica experience is less than 21 days, so take my list for what it is, links to a few web pages and youtube videos I enjoy. I am overwhelmed by how many world class harmonica players are out there with youtube videos and web sites offering instruction for very reasonable fees.
So if you are like me, and find yourself with time to fill and a music void, I recommend you do a little reading, and decide what fits your needs for a beginning Harmonica. Your Harmonica will pay for itself in no time, rewarding you with more fun than you thought possible from something you can drop in a pocket.
You too can master, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, in almost no time.