Posted Mon, 11/28/2016 - 15:33 by David Barrett Admin
Your tip today comes from fellow student Thomas Toussaint. After seeing the latest video interview with Lee Sankey he was inspired to share his approach to understanding chord change relative to position playing.
Posted Wed, 10/05/2016 - 07:59 by David Barrett Admin
Today's tip is a simple one, but an important one for learning material. For most people, the first thing they do when digging into learning a lick or solo is to play along with the recording. When playing along with the recording there's a percentage you'll miss... rhythm, notes (notes that you'll miss or replace with incorrect ones), nuances (such as pulls and other articulations that help speak the notes) and dynamics. This can easily be fixed by listening to the lick you're trying to copy once and then playing along with it once. continue reading...
Posted Wed, 06/15/2016 - 06:42 by David Barrett Admin
Today I'll start a series to help you understand, and eventually use, the common opening types found in blues that are safe to call in a sit-in (you sitting in with an established blues band) or jam session (mixture of skill and experience level of musicians) situation.
Let's start with the basics of what generally needs to be stated for a song...
1) Key - "E," for example. Avoid drawn-out phrases like "Okay, we're going to play a song in the key of E." Keep it succinct... "E" continue reading...
Posted Wed, 05/11/2016 - 07:58 by David Barrett Admin
Sometimes students change the angle of their harmonica to perform a technique, feeling that the change helps them. Resist the urge to do this, your goal is to use the same angle of attack on the harmonica pretty much all the time.
Posted Wed, 03/23/2016 - 07:37 by David Barrett Admin
There's a tendency for new benders to push their tongue hard on the face of the harmonica, using it as a type of anchor for the humping of their tongue. Tension in the front of the tongue, or the pushing of the tongue forwards onto the face of the harmonica, commonly causes thin and airy tone while bending. continue reading...
Posted Wed, 03/02/2016 - 06:17 by David Barrett Admin
Here are some tips to help you relax when playing the harmonica. Attention to these elements will improve your tone (tense muscles create a restricted airways = poor tone) and speed (tense muscles are slower, especially in regards to drag when pressing your hands, mouth or tongue onto the harmonica).
1 - Take a couple deep breaths. This relaxes your entire body, importantly your neck and shoulder muscles, which tend to hurt after extended play. continue reading...
Posted Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:05 by David Barrett Admin
In the Bobby Bland version the V7 is followed by a bVI7, which is simply the same as the V7 with all of the notes up a half step. The V7 is D F# A C, so this up a half step is Eb G Bb Db. If you think in sharps better, then you get D# F## A# C#. The F## is the same note as G, so it may be easier for you to think D# G A# C#.
The V7 Chord is D F# A C and is found here: 1+ 1 2' 3" 4+ 4 6
The bVI7 chord is Eb G Bb Db and is found here: 1' 2 3' 4' 6+ continue reading...
Posted Wed, 02/17/2016 - 09:38 by David Barrett Admin
With Root (G), 2nd (A), 3rd (B), flat-3rd (Bb), the descending chromatic movement of B to Bb is moving to A for Bar 9. The A could be the root note of the ii7 Chord as in the Allman Brothers version or to the 5th of the V7 Chord as in the Bobby Bland version.
Play to the Allman Brothers version starting with Bar 7 a root note progression of (two beats each) 2, 3", 3, 3', 3" and now that you're on the ii7 Chord play this 3" and the rest of the ii7 Chord for a line of 3" 4+ 5+ 6+ in eighth notes to hear the chord. continue reading...
Posted Fri, 02/12/2016 - 07:27 by David Barrett Admin
Using the information below...
G7 = G B D F = 1 2" 2 3 4 5 6+ 7 8 9 9+
Am = A C E = 1+ 2+ 3" 4+ 5+ 6 7+ 8+ 10 10+
Bm = B D F# = 1 2' 3 4 7 8 9'+ 10'+
Bbm = Bb Db F = 1' 2" 3' 4' 5 9 10"+
These are the lines I like to play (one note per chord... two beats each)
Example #1 = 1 2+ 2' 2" (leads to 2+ in Bar 9)
Example #2 = 2 3" 3 3' (leads to 3" in Bar 9)
Example #3 = 3 4+ 4 4' (leads to 4+ in Bar 9)
Example #4 = 5 5+ 4 4' (leads to 4+ in Bar 9)
Example #5 = 6+ 6 7 9 (leads to 4+ in Bar 10) continue reading...
Posted Fri, 12/11/2015 - 09:04 by David Barrett Admin
Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me To Do" is the first song on the School of the Blues House Band Standards List. This laid back shuffle is the most common shuffle chosen by harmonica players due to its relaxed feel. It's a really easy groove to play to, so if you're new to soiling, choose this groove! To generically call for this feel say "Jimmy Reed Shuffle."
The song opens with two bars of the I Chord (one chord) to establish the feel (some musicians say "two for nothing"). The 12 Bar Blues form start with the vocals.