Jim McLean's Profile

About

Hi I’m Jim, The Backyard Harmonica Teacher, and here's the story behind my Shop name. All 10 videos on my handmade FlashHarp® Harmonica USB are taught by me in my backyard on my Big Honkin’ Cartop FlashHarp (also built by my hand in my backyard). Patented FlashHarp is better than a plain old harmonica for beginners because it rivets audiences' attention on its USB plug instead of you. So instead of quitting* you make progress (see "The Shameless Plug"). Here I am in my backyard demonstrating FlashHarp's amazing sound quality: http://etsy.me/2oc6oV9 Get as a Necklace and/or Personalize. Want to play single notes? Get "The Musical Combo"—it's a FlashHarp plus a full-sized "Plug 'n Play" harmonica. FlashHarp is handmade by me of custom-U.S.A.-made and imported parts in a National Historic Landmark Village** designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (also designer of New York‘s Central Park). Called, "one of America's 10 most influential towns"…

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  • Joined August 27, 2009

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Handmade Harmonica USB Flash Drive Accessories

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BackyardBrand
Personalized Harmonica Necklace USB...

About

Hi I’m Jim, The Backyard Harmonica Teacher, and here's the story behind my Shop name. All 10 videos on my handmade FlashHarp® Harmonica USB are taught by me in my backyard on my Big Honkin’ Cartop FlashHarp (also built by my hand in my backyard). Patented FlashHarp is better than a plain old harmonica for beginners because it rivets audiences' attention on its USB plug instead of you. So instead of quitting* you make progress (see "The Shameless Plug"). Here I am in my backyard demonstrating FlashHarp's amazing sound quality: http://etsy.me/2oc6oV9 Get as a Necklace and/or Personalize. Want to play single notes? Get "The Musical Combo"—it's a FlashHarp plus a full-sized "Plug 'n Play" harmonica. FlashHarp is handmade by me of custom-U.S.A.-made and imported parts in a National Historic Landmark Village** designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (also designer of New York‘s Central Park). Called, "one of America's 10 most influential towns" by PBS, the town, coincidentally, sits at the hub of the routes that carried the harmonica south to the "Seat of the Blues," and out to the Old West—namely, U.S. Highways 41 and 66, and the Santa Fe rails. Riverside, Illinois, is located about 10 miles due west of Chicago, on the (Burlington Northern) Santa Fe line.

¶2 The Southern style of harmonica-playing called "crossharp" emerged out of the rubble of the American Civil War and ultimately became the signature American Sound. Blues, Rock and C&W music derive their authoritative tone from crossharp's soulfully human-sounding vocal qualities. Because crossharp's power dwells seemingly innocently inside the body of the old-world harmonica, fast mastery of it is often expected; which is unfair. In truth, crossharp is an advanced style of play and a LOT of practice is needed to learn it (because it effectively redefines the tonal center of the instrument). What's the difference between straight- & crossharp? See FAQ#9: www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand#more-section

In addition to my folksy, 10-minute "Five Basic Steps to Playing" video, my 9 fun Play-Along Song Videos include...

"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 build, pack and ship all items myself and have 100% 5★ feedback. www.etsy.com/your/shops/BackyardBrand/reviews



*The insults start with offhand cracks about, say, "the length of your noise." But the eyerolls and digs don't stop. They continue. And make no mistake. Each lands right where it hurts the most: smack on the ego. The good news is, would-be players needn't be the punchline of jokes like that anymore because now they can have in their hip pockets this perfect comeback: "Hey, Jack! Relax. It's a flash drive. (Sheesh.)" See? FlashHarp's USB plug seems small. It's not! It’s HUGE because listeners consistently respond to it with sheer, unadulterated delight. Which is a lot more motivating to bask in than the shame of being called out for one’s inevitable “Beginner’s Sound.” Listen to what experts say: youtu.be/xpyxJVsGZyA

**Preview "10 Towns That Changed America" (@:54 sec. mark): www.pbs.org/video/2365632813 Take a taste of Riverside, America's first planned suburb: vimeo.com/75615729



Keep reading for my answers to "LFAQs" (less-frequently asked questions)...

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

"What do folks think of FlashHarp players?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
People are less critical of FlashHarp owners' playing ability because the novelty aspect distracts the watchdog critic's mind (the undoing of most beginners). Plus quitting the instrument for a while—it happens—never feels like failing on a FlashHarp since it stays useful. It's the only playable harmonica that's also a USB flash drive. Plus, it's a great sounding little harmonica, to boot!

"Where did the idea for FlashHarp spring from?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Short answer: I set out to fit a life's work in a harmonica box. Handmade FlashHarp was the result. Long answer: I don't cotton to the idea of the harmonica being all serious and grown up, as though it were the exclusive domain of aficionados in mirror sunglasses and biker garb. So, philosophically, FlashHarp® supports my belief that we are all better off with our ‘nothin' special’ status restored. Combining the harmonica with a flash drive performs this novel feat delightfully. How? By bringing the harmonica down a notch—NOT in sound quality! www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand/About but in its perceived seriousness. Seen anew as a lowly common commodity (a flash drive) the harmonica can be taken up LIGHTLY once again, so the simple pleasures derived from playing it can be more widely enjoyed by folks of all kinds.

"Can you help me figure out which FlashHarp is right for me to buy?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Yes! Tell me a little about who you're thinking of buying one for and I'll give you my best assessment. www.etsy.com/conversations/new?with_id=7959656

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

"Is FlashHarp available in 'quantity?'"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Sure. "The difficult, I'll do right now. The impossible will take a little while." (Sufficient lead times required.)

"What's '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 ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Yes, 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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