This post is from a series that shares the “Final BEGINNING Projects” from my winter 2015 “Blues HarpStyle”  online course for harp players. students created  short videos based on what they learned in the course, and answered 5 questions about what they got from the challenge of this project.

HUART-Valerie-exportValérie SAYS:

That was difficult to get through but at least I made it! Here is my “NoName Blues”…it doesn’t have a specific theme, and no words to go with!  It is a Blues in E.

I hope it is not too full of notes, but as I play alone and don’t sing here, I tried to do bass, comping and solos…tell me if it is too much. As an intro I took a little bit of a Frank Zappa song played by George Duke (pianist) “Eat that Question”.

Valérie’s Answers to DHC’s 5 Questions

1. Give a short description of what it took for you to get to the place of being able to play what you did – both logistically and emotionally:   

A lot of hesitation for choosing “things” to put together knowing that as I don’t have  (by choice) a music sheet and mostly want to improvise with some marks on paper (key chords/chords patterns) to be safe, the explorations to find what sounds and ambiances I like open more exploration and even more questions about choices and simplifying things… second it made me really focus on the tight precision of the rhythm that is still difficult for me to keep on a long run, I need to practice!!

2. What freedoms and blocks in yourself did you connect with (or struggle with) in the process?

Freedom: the exploration of the patterns and sounds in pentatonic scales, gave me marks on my strings I didn’t have before, I mean I understand better where I want to put my fingers, and listening to what I play on recordings makes me realize more clearly what I have to work on. even if facing the camera is really uncomfortable for me.

Listening to what I play on recordings makes me realize more clearly what I have to work on Share on X

3. What challenges did you meet to connect with your own freedom of expression in this project? 

Relaxing as I already said is always a challenge for me in front of camera.

To relearn keys and modes, and understand scales in Blues.

I made a swing drum loop to rely on as a underlying time limitation and structure, and also to train myself to be regular in the tempo. I had to really work on my bassline regularity to free the right hand improvisation, and I chose to keep the same bassline all along (simplify) to be able to do that.

4.What were your personal “Aha’s”?

The Blues structure gives the freedom to improvise, and most of the things above. And also that my electric harp could sound like an electric piano!

5. Is there anything else you’d like to tell people who are watching your video?

Thanks to everybody to share their experience through the video/homeworks and questions, cool comments, it helped a lot, and gave me ideas to play with!

And most of all thank you very much Deborah for this incredible course, ESSENTIAL to all harp players!

Thank you very much Deborah for this incredible course, ESSENTIAL to all harp players! Share on X

[DHC says: You are welcome, welcome, welcome! Sometimes I wish it could last for a whole year – but I love that you just get the basics and then go off and discover more!]



Hey, thanks for reading this example of what it’s like to go thru a course with me! Did you have A-ha’s or revelations watching the video & reading the answers she wrote? Add your comments below. Please – no critiques – just share what you learned from someone courageously sharing a project that’s the BEGINNING of a lifelong learning journey.

Check out the beginning of a lifelong #harp learning journey Share on X

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