Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dealing with the Blues.

It's not been a very productive summer for me so far this year. I've had a number of commissions that took some time and it threw me out of my normal painting regime. I'm hoping to get back to normal pretty soon but it really depends on the weather. Where would you rather be on a warm summers day? Struggling with the heat and humidity in the studio, or out on your bike in the countryside. I know what I'd prefer.

Anyway, as a number of you may already know I am a fan of Blues music, and in particular the harmonica which is referred to as a "blues harp" in blues circles. I've been playing for about three years now and thought I could pick it up in just a few weeks. WRONG! Being a simple instrument doesn't mean it's simple to play. The oral gymnastics you need to perform to get certain sounds and effects takes a long time and a lot of muscle memory training.

I belong to a blues forum where a challenge was raised to improvise over a backing track. This was my entry complete with a couple of mistakes which, to a pro, stick out like a sore thumb. The harmonica is in the Key of C but the backing track is in the key of G so I needed to play the harmonica in a way in which they were not originally intended.

I'm hoping to get back into the paint soon, it's so good to pick up my blues harp and wail when things on the paper don't necessarily go as I would like.


  1. She's right! You sound like a pro to me!

  2. Wow Mark! Coming from a musical artiste such as yourself, I take that as a compliment. Thank You.


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