Thursday, October 29, 2015

Four days if one or two gigs per day

And most of them pay well.  It is so rare that you hear that in the small time, unknown, original music scene.  But some sets will be covers.  I think we do two hours of original then two hours of covers and spanish songs.  The spanish ones are my favorites.  At least some of them.

I have had little time to practice or even listen on my own. We did some at practice. The viola player likes to call it rehearsal, with practice being whatever you do on your own.  I'm sure I'm meant to have a doctorate in some odd branch of psychology.  Perfect subjects for my doctorate continually drop into my life.   I realize that I am no different, but I prefer not to dwell on that.

What makes it so fun, beside the fact that I like the songs, is that they all are so enthusiastic about my playing.  It always surprises me.  Last night I sat in with Chris and Emily and Richard resonator.  If you do not know who they are, they are the people with whom I sat in last night at Lakeside VFW.  It was on my way home from the house of dignitaries.

Country is actually very hard for me.  It will go along like I expect, then it either goes up when I go down or vice versa.  Country and blues have much in common, but there is that point where one goes one way, and one, the other.  It just takes doing it and before long it all makes sense.  It is still not first nature for the most part.  But I like playing with those guys.  Richard plays a mean Dobro, although his is some other make.  The generic term is "resonator".  

There were very few people at that VFW last night.  Apparently that is unusual. I suspect it was due to the debates. That clientele is the demographic that is interested and involved in some way; posters, bumper stickers, clipboards full of paper looking for signatures.  Even so, it was a good time.

I often feel guilty because all the bending and overblowing (causing the pitch to rise, as opposed to standard bends) that great players have always done seems secondary, at best, to me.  I don't really think about it. I just think the sound or something.  All my life I really focused mostly on single note play.  Now I do chords like crazy.  Lots of split chords. On harmonica that is when you block one or more holes in the middles and play some number of holes on either side. A real variety of sounds can result.  You can sort of imply a note you don't exactly have.  Somehow the chord works instead.

Depends on the texture of the thing whether you want to bend or not.

Still, compared to what lots of people can do, I am surprised at the ones who choose me on purpose. I think only some other harp players like my playing.  There is a harmonica culture to some extent, and little, or even large, cliques with impose these standards. Nothing official, just peer pressure I think.

I have seen forums with comments from people boasting of their ability to bend certain notes and how anyone who can't is a piker, blablabla.  I always feel bad because I rarely make any effort or even think I can do whatever it was they mentioned.  I must enjoy playing. I think it is because I like interacting with people.  I mean, I play a thing that is really not that much fun to play without people either playing, too, or encouraging enough that I take it back. I rarely like the solo thing, playing for a small crowd.  Much rather be jamming.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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