Monday, February 8, 2010

Harmonicas & Ducks

I've been unimpressed with my gutsiness of late, so I thought I'd pick up a new instrument. I don't have the money to go buy something new, so I went digging through my drawers of randomosity (courtesy of a disorganized mind) and found...lo and behold...a harmonica.

A harmonica in C. One of those fantastic metallic blue Sousa Band dealios from elementary school with the portrait of John Philip in gold leaf on the front and "1912" underneath, as if the harmonica itself is that old. Good stuff.

The nice thing about such harmonicas is you can't make them sound bad when you're playing solo. I mean, the chords are all laid out for you. All you have to do is inhale and exhale. I had no real trouble with that. I just noodled around for a bit, tried out "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and stuff to prepare myself for the real test of my gutsiness...playing the harmonica with a recorded song.

The first song I elected to play along with was Copland's Rodeo, because the music in that makes me thrill inside. However...I neglected to realize that Rodeo is in D, and my harmonica is in C. The ensuing noise was...interesting.

Hmmm. What else do I have in C that goes well with a harmonica?

After trying and failing a few other songs in which the keys didn't match, I had a brainwave and played along to a song called "Images of Camilla" written by a very talented friend I met in Ireland. That song--and his others--can be found here.

The bad news? I don't have a mic on my laptop, so you'll have to take my word for it that I accomplished what I said I did. The good news? For a little while, I made the harmonica sing. And that's exactly what I wanted.

In other news, do you ever get embarassed at the lyrical unoriginality coming out of the speakers on your stereo that you actually find yourself ENJOYING?

My example: "Nice Weather For Ducks" by Lemon Jelly. Heard it for the first time on the radio, today. The lyrics consist of this: "All the ducks are swimming in the water. Falderalderaldo, falderaldoraldo."

That's it. Over and over.

And yet, I turned it up so loud I thought my ears might bleed and LOVED EVERY MOMENT OF IT.

There might be something wrong with me. But because it's music...and because I have a weakness for good music...I think I'll let it slide.

For today.

-The GLS

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