Author Topic: 9. Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?  (Read 11308 times)

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Offline A.J. Fedor

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For those who play other instruments, do you feel the Chromatic harmonica was (or is) easier or harder to learn than other instruments you may have tried?

Take all the space you want but, as always, no discussion please.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 12:19:02 AM by A.J.Fedor »

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 09:23:43 PM »
Quick answer: the in and out of it is that it's harder. Inhale and exhale, that is.

It's been a long time in between harmonica and the other instruments that it's hard to remember the first struggles thirty and almost 60 years ago for my other two main instruments (dulcimer, flute) I was just a kid of 10 when I started flute; my progress has continued, not in finger speed but in musicianship and expression, but that comes from general musical growth.

Dulcimer, from 1975, was (reportedly) painful in the beginning to my (then) wife until I got better. I got pretty good after awhile.

Harmonica! I didn't start (restart) until 2004, and admittedly haven't devoted the time to it to get up to par. The breath patterns still give me fits, which means I need to spend more time with it to get any good. Seven years puts me behind where I should be.

I think all the other things are there; expression and musical ability and sensitivity, which gives me a leg up, thanks to my previous experience. But I've plateaued.

Tom
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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 11:00:27 PM »
Chromatic harmonica is like guitar; easy to play poorly and very difficult to play well. When we start, we don't expect to encounter all the variables - blowing, drawing, finding the holes and intervals, pushing the button, NOT pushing the button, having several alternatives available for some notes but not others, all the while carefully controlling the power of the airflow so as not to change pitch or timbre. I've played woodwinds for most of my life. Except for double-reed horns, there probably is no harder wind instrument.
P.S. I wouldn't know how to answer this question without discussing it. Sorry. Delete the entry if it's out of line.

TomC/

Online Gnarly He Man

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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 12:25:22 AM »
I have played a few instruments in my time, not brass or reeds, but guitar, keyboards, and a variety of stringed instruments.
Chromatic harmonica is hard! And it's harder when the instrument malfunctions, as it is prone to do. Windsavers are the worst.
Of course, I want to play in keys other than C--if that's all you want, it's pretty straightforward . . .
Granted, fiddle was harder--and I don't play it anymore  :P
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 03:46:03 AM by Gnarly He Man »

Offline rootboy

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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 11:26:41 AM »

 I've found the chromatic easier to get my head around than mandolin, guitar and fiddle. I'mm better after five years than I was after five tears playing those instruments.-Greg

Offline McManus

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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 02:49:56 PM »
Hard question: The accordian; age 5-8 and the trumpet age 12-16; I took lessons each week; mom there to be sure I practiced.

The Chromatic?  I play every day, more faithfully than I ever did the first two.  However, I'm certain that I'm not disciplined through structured lessons. 
Last night I was playing with Doris Day while Ann watched Tea for Two; this morning with Judy Garland while we watched Meet me in St Louis. 
I DEFINITELY enjoy my chromatic like no other instrument I've ever played.
"Music is the medicine of the mind." John Logan

Offline grstatdoc

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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 01:36:15 AM »
I'm not sure if it is a wash for me
Some respects easier in that I don't have to worry about embouchure to reach the upper register on tuba...
Some intervals are more challenging
Blowing/drawing are friends at times, foes at others...
Mike Dean
Harmonica and tuba: tough to make ends "meet"

Offline A.J. Fedor

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Re: Was/is the Chromatic is easier or harder to learn than other instruments?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 03:16:32 PM »
As my only instrument for the first 18 years, the Chromatic wasn't especially hard (mostly fun) Mystery: My high school friend Dave played piano as well as about dozen other instruments, but became so frustrated with the Chromatic, he gave the 270 he couldn't learn to play. I still have it somewhere around here.

For me, it was about as easy (or difficult  8)) as the guitar for the basics; after the basics, I don't know cuz I never persued the guitar past that.

Offline A.J. Fedor

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