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MJ Pettiford / Blog

Learning Chromatic Harmonica and using it finally

I've been playing harmonica ever since I started seriously playing music. I was inspired to pick up the instrument by listening to one of my favorite artists Stevie Wonder. I started on the diatonic and was able to pick up melodies fairly quickly and use it playing straight harp on the songs I was playing at the time. Fast forward to three years ago I finally was able to buy my own chromatic a la Stevie. I found it incredibly challenging. I thought I would be able to apply some of the piano theory I've learned over the years but the note layout on the instrument was something that I had trouble getting used to coming from playing a diatonic. You have to be constantly aware of where you are on the mouthpiece. Unlike the piano where a quick glance down can get a novice player back to a point where they know where they are on the keyboard, playing harmonica does not allow it and you have to rely on instinct and experience to know where you are on the instrument. Well, after picking at the chromatic for a few years and writing music I finally found a song I could use my limited skills on chromatic. My latest song "Forever" is in the Key of C which makes using the chromatic a little easier. I the harmonica solo was originally a guitar solo but I thought adding harmonica might add a little dynamic to the song. I hope you enjoy!!!

Sending out demos...

I guess one of the hardest things to decide is to decide what to do next. I've been sending out demos to various labels hoping someone will see some value and marketability in my music. Yet at this point all I can do is wait. Wait for someone to open an envelope, pop in a CD, listen to a whole track, log in to my site, etc. This process can take weeks, as hundreds of others like me are attempting to do the same, attempting to be heard. So what do I do next? I guess I haven't answered the question, but I think I should resume the artistic side of things and work on more music. It's hard though. Ideas for me come like monsoons, I'm inundated with thoughts and ideas that are difficult to collect cohesively and right when I've felt like I've been productive and created a good product...the ideas dry up. Here's to the next monsoon, whenever that will be...