Jim McLean's Profile

About

Looking for my Etsy Shop BackyardBrand.etsy.com? Here to hear The Backyard Harmonica Teacher story? Either way, welcome! My patented, playable memory-enabled FlashHarp® Harmonica USB is happy to delight. A parched throat one hot day led to me inventing FlashHarp. It all began when so sated by a drink of water I once drew I blew a slew of Thank-You notes right on the spot to no one (I thought) but the hall's tile walls. But a voice shot back, “You should take that down the hall to the radio station.” So I did. Today, BackyardBrand embodies my passage out of establishment thinking and into my own brand of it. Every 8GB FlashHarp is Lesson-Loaded with my folksy, 10-minute lesson, "5 Steps to Playing" video. Also included are 9 Playalong song-videos: www.etsy.com/shop/HarmonicaUSB/about Make it into a Necklace and/or Personalize. Add a full-sized "Plug 'n Play" harmonica and I call that whole kit 'n caboodle, "The Musical Combo."…

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  • Joined August 27, 2009

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About

Looking for my Etsy Shop BackyardBrand.etsy.com? Here to hear The Backyard Harmonica Teacher story? Either way, welcome! My patented, playable memory-enabled FlashHarp® Harmonica USB is happy to delight. A parched throat one hot day led to me inventing FlashHarp. It all began when so sated by a drink of water I once drew I blew a slew of Thank-You notes right on the spot to no one (I thought) but the hall's tile walls. But a voice shot back, “You should take that down the hall to the radio station.” So I did. Today, BackyardBrand embodies my passage out of establishment thinking and into my own brand of it. Every 8GB FlashHarp is Lesson-Loaded with my folksy, 10-minute lesson, "5 Steps to Playing" video. Also included are 9 Playalong song-videos: www.etsy.com/shop/HarmonicaUSB/about Make it into a Necklace and/or Personalize. Add a full-sized "Plug 'n Play" harmonica and I call that whole kit 'n caboodle, "The Musical Combo." www.etsy.com/listing/55473256/the-musical-combo

FlashHarp is handmade by me of custom-U.S.A.-made and imported parts in Riverside, Illinois, a National Historic Landmark PBS calls, "one of America's 10 most influential towns."* Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (also designer of New York's City's Central Park) Riverside sits at the hub of the down-and-out routes (U.S. Highways 41, 66 and the Santa Fe rails) that carried the harmonica to the Deep South (the "Seat of the Blues") and the Old West.

Here's me demonstrating FlashHarp's sound quality (I'm playing Summertime): www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand/About

My 9 fun Song Videos display-and-play on my Big, Honkin' Cartop FlashHarp. Take a look...

"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 style of harmonica-playing called crossharp** emerged out of the rubble of the American Civil War. (Blues, Rock and C&W music derive their authoritative tone from crossharp's raw, human-sounding vocal qualities.) Because crossharp's power dwells deceptively innocently, inside the old-world harmonica, fast mastery is too-often expected; which is unfair. In truth, crossharp is an advanced style of play and a LOT of practice is needed to learn it (crossharp effectively redefines the tonal center of the instrument). Here's a fictional work I wrote about how crossharp sprang out of the rubble of the Reconstruction period following the American Civil War to become the signature American Sound: www.etsy.com/listing/273512590/champion-book-fiction


*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


**What's the difference between crossharp and "straight" harp? FAQ#9: www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand#more-section


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

LFAQs:
"Where did the idea for FlashHarp spring from?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
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. FlashHarp® springs from my belief that we are all better off with our ‘nothin' special’ status restored. Combining the harmonica with a flash drive performs the novel feat of backing the harmonica up a notch (not in sound quality www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBrand/About but in the perceived seriousness of the instrument). Perceived anew as a lowly commodity (a flash drive) the harmonica once again can be taken up more lightly by folks of all kinds so the simple pleasures derived from playing it can be widely enjoyed once again.

"What do folks think of FlashHarp players?"
♫▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ B•B ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
People are less critical of a FlashHarp player's musical ability because the novelty aspect distracts the watchdog critic's mind (the humiliating 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!

"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!

"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 ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬♫
Yes. I've sold in quantity to advertising agencies and the "Fortune 500." Private-label FlashHarp is also possible. (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 trademarks of FlashHarp Music LLC. Registered Copyright Number PAu- 3-577-937. ©FlashHarp Music LLC

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