On the road to Blues harp
I came to
know about Blues Harp and Blues when I bought my first
blues harp record "Blues Harp" performed by the blues harp
Master, Jean-Jacques Milteau. After I listened to the record, I was
filled with queries and astonishment. I kept asking myself: Could
these beautiful notes come from harmonica? Or were they simply the
product of an electronic musical instrument? In fact, I have been
playing Chromatic Harmonica and Tremolo Harmonica for many years.
I always thought that my knowledge of harmonicas was wide and extensive.
But then I started to cast doubt about this. Driven by curiosity and
determination to resolve these doubts, I decided to embark on a journey
of Blues Harp exploration.
However, learning Blues Harp
was far more difficult than I had expected. At the time, it was hard
to find any related teaching materials in Hong Kong. Even if there
were any, they were old editions in English or others foreign languages.
Besides, it was extremely difficult for me to find a teacher. So,
my progress in the first few years was very slow. What I was learning
was not comprehensive but piecemeal. Usually, I just played after
the records for one or two phrases or sometimes I even played any
song I liked without caring whether it was properly performed. As
for my knowledge of the Blues Harp musical theories, it was smattering.
As the days went by, I became disheartened and I stopped playing Blues
Harp. Luckily, 'Moving On', the first record of William Tang, had
re-ignited my determination to pick up the Blues Harp again. Out of
admiration, I attended a few lessons given by William Tang.
That was the first time that I had ever watched someone playing Blues
Harp so closely. At that time, Internet was becoming popular,
so apart from attending classes and buying related learning materials
from bookshops, I also tried to search for information related to
this field on the Internet. Through these, my knowledge and experience
in Blues Harp started to build up. Eventually I had acquired a comprehensive
knowledge of the theories and my skills of playing Blues Harp were
Then, in the millennium,
my idol Jean-Jacques Milteau came to Hong Kong togive a recital. During
this visit, he had a gathering with the fellow blues-harp players.
From his recital and through our chat, I learned a lot. And it set
my direction of learning Blues Harp, which was to play after Milteau¹s
Believing that enjoyment and
fun come through sharing, I started to look for fellow
blues-harp players on the Internet. I also hoped that through our
experience sharing, we not only learnt from each other but also further
sharpened our skills. To my surprise, many people in Hong Kong have
affection for Blues Harp like me. They also have the same problems
that I encountered before , without proper learning materials, qualified
instructors and means for exchanging experiences. All these inspired
me to set up a Blues Harp website (http://www.jimmychanbluesharp.com.hk)
in Chinese to share with all the fellow players on what I know about
this instrument. More importantly, I hope that the website can provide
a meeting venue for all the blues harp fans.
Until this March,
my website has been set up for more than three years. Many blues harp
players keep visiting it every day. I not only have made any
good friends but also have popularized Blues Harp through it.
In fact, this is not what I anticipated.
At this point, I would like
to thank my family and friends for the support they
have given me. Especially, I would like to say many thanks to Mr.
Tommy Chung, he gives me chance to play with him and his wonderful
blues band TheTommy & The All Blues. I learn a lot everytime I
jam with them ! I am sure this is my new turning point in my blues
In the future,
I will continue to work hard to enhance my skills and to become a
professional player. I will also strive my utmost to promote Blues
Harp in Hong Kong. Please continue to give your support to me.