Posted Wed, 01/27/2016 - 11:32 by David Barrett Admin
When this song first crossed my path at a jam session I found it challenging to find a part to play that didn't conflict with the bass or guitar (two strong hooks are played). Going home after the jam and listening to what the horns and guitar played helped feed me some ideas. Here's what I play now (D harp in 2nd Position)...
Posted Tue, 01/26/2016 - 08:18 by David Barrett Admin
The next tune on our standards list is Junior Wells' "Messin’ with the Kid." This is another rock beat with a strong guitar hook and thematic hook in the opening (played once) and ending (played three times). Here's the opening thematic lick played on the harp (assuming the band is in the key of C)...
2nd Position (F Harmonica)
6+ 5 4 4+ 3' 3" 2 2" 2 - Be careful to play the 3' in tune, it's a challenging note in this passage and it sounds bad if you don't play it in pitch.
Posted Mon, 01/25/2016 - 08:36 by David Barrett Admin
The next song on the School of the Blues House Band Standards List is "Baby Scratch My Back" by Slim Harpo. The lazy groove of this song (commonly called a Swamp Groove) makes it a unique addition to a set. For the harmonica player this song offers two great thematic choruses that are playable at the intermediate skill level. It also offers a good rhythmic challenge due to the pickup nature of all of the licks. The vocals of the song are doable for anyone to sing due to their spoken nature (this is one of the main reasons this song is chosen by new bands).
Posted Sun, 01/24/2016 - 23:12 by David Barrett Admin
In Beginning Student Hob Bosold's latest lesson he plays the Tongue Blocking Study 1 study song "Walk with Me" to the jam track, learns about the slap and lift technique in the study song "Temperature" and receives his LOA-L1 pin.
Posted Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:09 by David Barrett Admin
Another tune with a strong hook by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The hook is presented below, but harp players don't commonly play the entire hook, just the last two notes (same pattern as the common Charleston rhythm, but with straight eighths for this rock beat).
Posted Wed, 01/20/2016 - 08:21 by David Barrett Admin
It's always a good idea to include a Jr. Parker tune in a set... he was the man, both on vocals and harp. This song was chosen due to its hook-driven nature, which is the main reason why a song is chosen in a set. Hook-driven songs are unique, helping your set to not get old. The hook of this song is also very playable on the harmonica. Below is the hook on your G Harmonica in 2nd Position.
Posted Tue, 01/19/2016 - 07:55 by David Barrett Admin
"Rock This House" was chosen as the swing to be on the list. It has the typical ii-V-I found at Bar 9 (replacing the V-IV-I) and guitar fills by Hollywood Fats that's so integral to the West Coast Blues sound. You can find this cut on the classic "Hollywood Fats Band" CD and has some great vocals and harp by Big Al Blake (there's an interview with Big Al on BluesHarmonica.com if you want to learn more about him and Hollywood Fats).