Jim McLean's Profile

About

Hi, I'm Jim, and if I may, I'd like to speak briefly about the lesson videos I preload on my handmade, patented FlashHarp® harmonica USB. All 10 of them take place in my backyard. Nine of these draw on my oversized FlashHarp replica. Much more than a teaching tool, the Big, Honkin' FlashHarp illustrates that even tho FlashHarp's USB seems small, it's actually HUGE—because it keeps you from quitting. How? Well, the temptation to quit is often the greatest once one realizes the harmonica's pocket size doesn't mean it's easy to play. Fortunately, FlashHarp's utility promotes continued playing by keeping the instrument close at hand. Next, the downward spiral that starts when critics make demoralizing cracks about your "Beginner's Sound" can also make you want to quit. Thankfully, FlashHarp's sheer novelty so delights critics they're often rendered SPEECHLESS. Result: You escape their barbs and play on!…

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  • Male
  • Joined August 27, 2009

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music and memory, the marriage of which is the miracle that makes the lyrical physical

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BackyardBrand
Harmonica USB Flash Drive, Personalize,...

About

Hi, I'm Jim, and if I may, I'd like to speak briefly about the lesson videos I preload on my handmade, patented FlashHarp® harmonica USB. All 10 of them take place in my backyard. Nine of these draw on my oversized FlashHarp replica. Much more than a teaching tool, the Big, Honkin' FlashHarp illustrates that even tho FlashHarp's USB seems small, it's actually HUGE—because it keeps you from quitting. How? Well, the temptation to quit is often the greatest once one realizes the harmonica's pocket size doesn't mean it's easy to play. Fortunately, FlashHarp's utility promotes continued playing by keeping the instrument close at hand. Next, the downward spiral that starts when critics make demoralizing cracks about your "Beginner's Sound" can also make you want to quit. Thankfully, FlashHarp's sheer novelty so delights critics they're often rendered SPEECHLESS. Result: You escape their barbs and play on!

Experience FlashHarp's great sound quality:
www.etsy.com/shop/backyardBrand/about

Two of FlashHarp's nine "Play-Along" Song videos, in their entirety:

"Happy Birthday To You" (played "crossharp" style): www.etsy.com/shop/USBHarmonica/about

"Rock A Bye, Baby" (played "straight" harp style): www.etsy.com/shop/HarmonicaUSB/about

I make FlashHarp with custom-U.S.-made and imported parts and I pack (in excelsior straw) and ship all items myself. I have 100% 5★ feedback. www.etsy.com/your/shops/BackyardBrand/reviews

My backyard resides in the Village of Riverside, Illinois, a National Historic Landmark designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, also designer of New York City‘s Central Park. Deemed one of America's 10 most influential towns by PBS, Riverside sits on the very out-routes that carried the harmonica to the Old West and down to the Seat of the Blues: Namely, Highways 41, 66 and the Burlington Northern (Santa Fe) line.

PBS's "10 Towns That Changed America" describes Riverside here (@:54 sec.): www.pbs.org/video/2365632813

Get a taste of modern-day Riverside here: vimeo.com/75615729

The folk style of harmonica-playing called crossharp emerged out of the rubble of the American Civil War and ultimately became the heart of the "American Sound." Blues, Rock and C&W music all derive their authoritative voice from crossharp's soulful, human-sounding vocal qualities.

Slightly more difficult to play than straight harp, crossharp draws on a different tonal center than the one the instrument is created to be played in. FlashHarp is in the "straight" key of "C" but, when playing crossharp-style, is played in "G." Make sense? (See FAQ#9 for more on the technical difference between straight- and cross- harp: www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand#more-section )

Here's an original work of historical harmonica fiction I wrote to fill-in the missing human story of how crossharp came to be: www.etsy.com/listing/273512590


Below are a few answers to less-frequently asked questions (LFAQ's)...

"Who is FlashHarp for?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Abe Lincoln would have loved it. After all, his stovepipe was no style statement—it was a stash for notes on everything from the Gettysburg Address to his patent for a barge-sized buoy. Who couldn't use more room for cool stuff like that? (Call it your "Plan B.B.") Did you know Lincoln is our only patent-holding president? Yep.

Buy a FlashHarp today. It's the only playable harmonica USB. www.etsy.com/listing/37438292

"Can you help me figure out which FlashHarp is right for me to buy?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Yes! Just tell me a little about who you're thinking of buying one for: www.etsy.com/conversations/new?with_id=7959656

"Where did your idea for FlashHarp spring from?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
It came to me in a flash one day as I struggled in my backyard to fit my life's work inside a harmonica box. When I discovered I actually could marry the miracles of music and memory, I saw also in a flash that harmonica-playing could once again be taken up and enjoyed by everyone. That's why I still offer it to this day—to increase the inclusivity of the harmonica world.

"What does FlashHarp mean to its inventor?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
I don't cotton to the idea of the harmonica being all serious and grown up as tho it were the exclusive domain of aficionados in mirror sunglasses and biker garb. FlashHarp supports my personal belief that we are all better off with our ‘nothin' special’ status restored. Combining the harmonica with a flash drive removes the harmonica from its current lofty pedestal of perceived seriousness and once again puts it on a plane everyone can relate to. (That said, FlashHarp is still right up there in terms of musical sound quality: www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand/About )

"What will carrying a FlashHarp say about ME?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
The harmonica speaks with an authority that can only emanate from souls who are free. If that describes you or someone you care for, blow your dough now on the only brand flash drive you can blow "Oh! Susanna" on. It's liberating! www.etsy.com/listing/98606845

"Do you have a YouTube channel?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Yes. youtube.com/BackyardBrand

"Is FlashHarp available in 'quantity?'"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Yes. Sufficient lead times required.

"What does 'COPD' mean?"
♡▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬➤♫
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease www.etsy.com/listing/62488686 and playing harmonica can help:
http://youtu.be/IdHrrA-BYQQ
http://youtu.be/deZXu3fbfqI

"Do you enforce your intellectual property rights?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Vigorously (U.S. Pat. Nos. D602,940 & D624,550). "FlashHarp" is a registered trademark of FlashHarp Music. Registered Copyright Number PAu- 3-577-937.

© James McLean

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