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Not content to simply make music, however, Barrett is Proud to be your recycling dedicated to parsing out the mechanics of the interaction and garbage service provider between this simple instrument and the human mouth that makes the music happen, in order to better explain it to his students. “Everything happens in the mouth,” he said. You can’t see the process by which the pitch and notes change like you can with someone plucking the strings of a guitar. We control the pitch 1351 Pacheco Pass Hwy Gilroy, CA 95020 on the harmonica by tuning our mouth to the reed we’re playing (408) 842-3358 and every reed’s different.” He explained that the reed vibrating Remember to in the slot doesn’t create the sound, but the puffs of air that the Reduce, Reuse person’s mouth releases, making the musician a living part of the and Recycle! Proudly Employee Owned instrument. “It takes a long time to learn how to shape the mouth so you can get a pleasing tone.” Smiling, he pointed out that an unpracticed harmonica note is as sharp to the ears as the screech of an untrained violin player. His desire to understand the mechanics behind the harmonica RSV_Ad_3-2015.indd 1 3/27/2015 technique known as “bending,” which he called “a very mysterious technique,” led him to collaborate with physicist Thomas Rossing, a professor at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Together they published a study to look more closely at this technique. In the study Barrett wrote, “Players bending notes change the pitch of a vibrating reed by precisely locating their tongue in their mouth, tuning their mouth to the desired pitch—each reed and bend requiring a different tuning position.” These details, which might seem complex to the layperson are just exciting information to Barrett. Eagerly he explained, “Another neat thing about the instrument is that everything that happens is invisible, so like a vocal coach we’re using strange exercises to come into contact with what’s going on with the body when you can’t see it, the kinesthetics of it.” FREE DELIVERY NEW PIANO STORE with this AD Barrett’s enthusiasm is clearly a part of the success of his SALES • RENTALS • LESSONS musical empire. Simple workshops eventually turned into a series Digital Hybrid Pianos of six annual Harmonica Masterclass workshops beginning in KAWAI • YAMAHA 1994, which he and other musicians would teach around the Large Selection of Used Pianos country: on the east coast, west coast, Texas and “other pockets Open Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri 10 am to 3 pm of harmonica here and there.” He feels this really put his name Saturday 10-5 • Sunday 1-5 Closed Wednesday on the map of blues harmonica. By 2002, riding on the wave 408-767-2990 • 8401 Church Street/Welburn of energy in this little corner of the world, he started School of the Blues, which he said, “is the first and only school focused on See Our Website for Bargains & Inventory Lorem ipsum WWW.GILROYPIANOOUTLET.COM blues in the world that I’m aware of.” People come from as far as Sacramento and King City for blues workshops in harmonica, guitar, bass and band training with Barrett and other established musicians. He also offers an online component,, where participants Come Downtown… can sign up for monthly access to lessons, courses, and even guest-instruction from great musicians. This website attracts and be tempted by people from all around the world. He lists Portugal, Germany our many wonderful and Iran as just a few recent homes of origin. “This last month garlicky condiments, alone we had 4000 new people per month on the website,” sauces, seasonings, he revealed proudly. gifts, gadgets and However, locals who have an interest in blues harmonica need look no further than the greater Bay Area, which he said, décor items. “has the largest concentration of the greatest blues harmonica 408.767.2434 • 7550 Monterey Street • Gilroy players in the world.” 2:52:02 PM GILROY PIANO OUTLET Garlic City Mercantile GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 47