A couple of months ago I played one of my favorite songs, Mountain Dew, for Joe Filisko and my harmonica practice crew. It was quite nerve wracking but a great experience. I felt really good afterwards. Being nervous is a good sign and by stepping out of your comfort zone is good for you.
Getting Mountain Dew up to speed
The first thing I had to really focus on was playing and singing in the same tempo. To do this a lot of metronome practice was needed. Without the metronome I was playing quite a bit slower than I was comfortable singing at. In the end it had to be a compromise where I could play with enough precision. The next goal is to play it faster. If you listen to Joe’s version with Eric Noden it is a whole lot faster.
Getting the speed up is a gradual process with a lot of metronome practice. Using both low tempo and high speed is tempo. When practicing at low tempo the focus is precision. Higher tempo practice is to then use that precision. Practicing at really high tempo is also valuable as the target tempo then will feel quite slow. I don’t really care how long this process will take, it is just fun playing the song.
Challenge and repetoire
Playing classic songs like Mountain Dew is a great way of challenging yourself into becoming a better player. It is also a great way of building a repertoire. Songs like these are often very well appreciated by audiences.
What song are you eager to learn, comment below! I would love to find more cool tunes to learn.
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