Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Backyard Brand® School of Backyard Blowin'

Here's why the playable, lesson-loaded FlashHarp® harmonica USB drive makes more sense than harmonicas that just make music.

A high-quality instrument handmade in Riverside, IL, USA, the FlashHarp uses specially-engineered stainless steel parts that are also manufactured in Illinois in very small quantities. In addition to these custom-designed and manufactured parts, FlashHarp's musical and flash-memory components are supplied by the world's market leaders.

There is no substi"toot" for a FlashHarp not just because it is the world's first and only harmonica USB flash drive but also because of what's inside. Namely, a harmonica lesson taught by the authoritative non-authority on "Backyard" Blowin', The Backyard Harmonica Teacher. You can hear this self-styled teacher's story straight from his own mouth if you search for the name on YouTube; but a brief summary of the school of thought follows below.

The Backyard School of Blowin' says anybody who can own a harmonica can set about to play the thing as well as or as poorly as they darn well choose. An independent, inventive and "nothin' fancy" approach that focuses on pickin' up your own style, Backyard Blowin' has no bias or barrier to entry whatsoever, other than owning your own first instrument. This is basically the same style of the original innovators of the instrument on American soil, i.e., the cowboys, hobos and newly freed slaves, all of whom picked out their tunes by ear under the tutelage of grandparents, general-store-style court-holders and farm-hand drifters more than 150 years ago. It's also the same one taken by Abraham Lincoln, Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. That being said, all of the more formal, long-since well-established forms such as Blues, or Country and Western, or Folk, can be played on the FlashHarp, and you may well decide to head off in and commit yourself to one of these directions at some point after you've gotten your "C" legs on a FlashHarp. That's up to you; and that's the true beauty part of "The Five Basic Steps to Playing" instruction video that comes inside your FlashHarp. It covers in great detail the five key points you'll want to know to keep from getting tripped up by the harmonica, no matter which direction you decide to go.

Speaking of detail, you should know that every FlashHarp model can be purchased with Personalization (gold-etched letters are applied to the side opposite the blow holes). This is especially nice to know if you have a particular person in mind as a recipient for a gift.

All that being said, if you're dead certain Backyard Blowin' is just not good enough for you or yours today, that's your prerogative. In which case, your tastes are probably already too high falutin' for the decent yet serviceable instrument that is the harmonica part of a FlashHarp, which, again, is supplied to its handcrafter, Backyard Brand®, by the widely recognized world leader in the manufacturer and distribution of harmonicas.

In sum, the FlashHarp is intentionally designed as an instrument of the people, for the people, its dual purpose serving to effectively take playing out of the hands of "pros" and put it back in the hands of "Joes" and "Floes" and everyone in-between. And that's just fine with its inventor, The Backyard Harmonica Teacher.

Now, if you are a would-be "pro," you should probably just go on ahead then to your local music store and blow your dough on, well, whatever fancier instrument you see that tickles your fancy. Just don't come crying to me when you come to realize later that, in fact, you are not a "Pro" but are just another of us "Joes" or "Floes," i.e., someone in-between. (This realization, btw, will come to you slowly, about the same time that that old-fashioned single-purpose harmonica of yours begins wending its way to the deeper back recesses of your dresser drawer.)

On the other hand, if you know yourself well enough to be able to admit you have a life outside the harmonica and accept that you'll probably never be the next Blues legend (subject to all the stylistic rules such schooled "freeform" playing engenders), consider yourself accepted just as you are right now to The Backyard Harmonica Teacher's School of Backyard Blowin'.

And, really, when you think about it, who doesn't have a life outside the harmonica? Right? That's the real beauty part about Backyard Blowin'. Your playable FlashHarp will hang in there for you as a true pocket companion even if and/or when someday you give up on the idea of actually playin' it as a musical instrument! I'm just sayin'! Should that time ever come (not that it necessarily will!), you'll find great relief in knowing you still have a highly useful device because its functional, stylish flash drive will always be dutifully available to you for storing pics, tunes or video—whatever your heart desires!

If you find that a liberating safety net to know about, well, you're starting to get Lesson One in the Book of Backyard Blowin'! In which case you should definitely check out the FlashHarp at Prices start at less than $45 for the 2GB model. At least spend some time thinkin' about all this before you plunk down dough on an old-fashioned single-purpose instrument. Ultimately you should make the right decision for you, which, I know, won't be an easy choice to make.

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