Thursday, March 2, 2006

Weekend Assignment #101 -- Your Hidden Talent

Name a hidden talent you have, or wish you had. 

I wish I could play the harmonica. Lord knows, I try.  I took eight lessons at the senior center in Blue Springs, Missouri, about 1995. At that time I could play one song, Oh Susannah. On my one harmonica. 

I learned to play a scale: do, re, me, fa, sol, la, ti, do, in the key of C.  Encouraged I added another harmonica in the key of G.  A scale in G sounded just like a scale in C, only a little higher. I learned another song or two. Home Sweet Home was one.

One by one I added to my collection of harmonicas.  My cousin Paul gave me my first Chromatic harmonica.  You know, with a gear shift to play another adding the black keys on the piano... the half notes.

Then I had a revelation: blow on a harminica and you get a chord.  the major chord that the harmonica is made for.  Draw, inhale, on the upper end and you get a different chord... the second chord of most songs... and draw on the lower end and you get a still different chord, the third chord of most songs and tunes.

Most songs use those three major chords.  Now, as if by magic, by blowing and drawing I could play along with other musicians.  I began to "sit in" with the musical groups that came to play at the old folks home.  I got a set of twelve harmonicas, one in each musical key.  Now I could accompany them whatever they played if they but told me the key they were playing in.

I still cannot solo, I can't carry a tune, but I can play along hitting the right chords from time to time and make an accompanyment that amuses me, at any rate. 

From time to time I get on e-bay and buy more harmonicas... and my collection now numbers sixty or more.  In fact I buy low cost harmonicas by the dozen to give away to people who are interesting in trying to learn as I did... a note at a time in the key of C.

That's my hidden talent.



jckfrstross said...

Very interesting:)


garnett109 said...

I would love to hear you play my friend, I actually think i can sing but being in the artillery for twenty years i'm tone deaf in one ear, so what i thing is good singing the dog is howling !LOL

plieck30 said...

Nice talent and nice collection. My talent is just a "wanna be" because I can't carry a tune in a bucket. I would like to be a country music singer and wear all the pretty western clothes. Paula

mavarin said...

The only harmonica I ever had completely flummoxed me. - Karen

lv2trnscrb said...

I like your hidden talent and I bet the recipients of your hidden talent enjoy it too! Great picture. I'm tone deaf and always wanted to sing good so I can understand having trouble playing the harmonica


mymaracas said...

Hi -- decided to come out of Lurk mode for this one, I'm so impressed that great big harmonica. I had a harmonica once, as a kid. I never could play it, but I enjoyed the daylights out of it anyway. It disappeared one day. I always suspected my mother had something to do with that, but really, it could have been anyone within earshot of the house.

Love your journal!

jevanslink said...

Hey -- you cracked the chord code -- and now I can do it too -- Thanks a bunch!!!  Mrs. L

mtrib2 said...

A musician friend of mine many years ago talked about the difficulty of playing the harmonica and he said one day he just got it right, and felt like he had just climbed a tall mountain.    mark

monponsett said...

In what sounds like a dirty comment but isn't, you should pick up a few J. Geils Band albums and listen to Magic Dick play the harmonica.