Here I sit, practicing a solo version of “You Are My Sunshine” on my harmonica—the same instrument that my grandfather taught me to play. His was a unique style, a combination of single notes offset by a lower beat that traced the music but didn’t define it. A back beat, somewhat like a bass guitar.
I haven’t picked my harmonica up for over a year. Though I’d love to be able to play it better, it’s one of those things that take more practice than my patience allows. I suck and blow. The tune comes out all right, but it sounds like a standard mixture of solo notes and chords that any harmonica can produce. Mine is a Hohner Marine Band in the key of C that I bought from a 1-800 number for half what you’d pay anywhere else. I run through “You Are My Sunshine” once again. From another room, my wife exclaims that it sounds like it’s coming together. Whew. I’ve played in public only once before, and that time I messed up. This time it’s got to come together.