I suppose I've been playing harmonicas since I was first able to lift one. That's one reason I like them. They're portable. It beats carrying a piano around. Harmonicas are especially nice around a campfire, where you have a few people who feel like singing.
I learned from my father. He was an entire orchestra by himself. he played all the dances here in town, and us kids slowly picked things up from him. I still have one of Dad's old harmonicas, "The American Ace."We kids formed our own band eventually. In fact, back before Norman Bangerter was governor, we played for his mother's birthday party. I wish we could have kept that band going.
Harmonica music is changing. The young kids aren't picking up on our music too swell. We were invited to play for a group at the college, and the kids there had no idea what we were trying to do. People who play harmonicas nowadays don't play the old hand-me-down music we play. I'm traditional. Why, I've never even gotten around to getting a chromatic harmonica.
People have different styles, that's all. But beginners have all the same problems. "Tonguing" notes is hard to learn. Your mouth takes a beating. Some people swish their harmonicas in a glass of water to help make the notes bend, but I'm afraid all that water would sour me up in a hurry.
I still play. I have three or four harmonicas here at the house. One of them is so small I play it without any hands. They used to kid me that I'd swallow the thing and come up with the lost chord. Of course, I tend to pick harmonicas that take a little less wind to play these days. The older I get, the less wind I have.
It's fun. A gal called the other day. She was having some doings for her father, and so I ran off a tape for her. She seemed to like it. My brothers are in poor health now and can't perform in the band, but as I said, I sure wish we'd kept that band going.