Posted Fri, 09/19/2014 - 08:11 by David Barrett Admin
The use of tremolo/vibrato is greatly emphasized in your lessons and submission critiques. It's used so much that it can be a dramatic effects to not use it. Listen to the opening of "Blue Midnight" by Little Walter and notice how hounting it sounds to not use it in the opening lines.
I'm off to camp through Sunday afternoon and then come in to do a lesson with Ryan Walker and record the last of the Masco Chronicles with Mark Overman. Have a great weekend everyone!
Posted Thu, 09/18/2014 - 06:55 by David Barrett Admin
Focus Notes and Texture go hand-in-hand. As each chorus passes, you're keeping track of what you've played. You're not trying to remember every lick, it's more of a simple scorecard of what focus notes and the textures you've used.
Let's say you've played three choruses so far. Chorus 1 focused on the 1 draw and you used single notes. Chorus 2 focused on the 2 draw and you threw in some dips, slaps and pulls. Chorus 3 you focused on the 3 draw, mostly emphasizing the bluesy sound of the 3' and didn't use any new textures. continue reading...
Posted Wed, 09/17/2014 - 07:07 by David Barrett Admin
I stated yesterday that once you play a focus note for a chorus that it should be mentally crossed off... not to be started on again for the rest of the song. BUT, you can use it again after a number of choruses if you present it differently. For example, if you played the 4 draw earlier using the standard slap, you can present it later with a flutter, shake, octave or powerful two-note combination. So, presenting notes with different "textures" (combining a focus note with other notes) you expand your ability to keep your solo fresh and interesting. More on textures tomorrow.
Posted Mon, 09/15/2014 - 16:15 by David Barrett Admin
Not only does the use of a focus note answer the "what do I play next" question, it helps us to move around the range of the harmonica. A common trap new improvisers get into is overplaying their comfortable note range, commonly holes 2, 3 and 4. If you play a 2 draw focus note one chorus, then cross it off in your mind and don't start on that 2 draw again for the rest of the song. If the next chorus you play a 4 draw focus note, then it too is no longer an option in subsequent choruses. continue reading...
Posted Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:16 by David Barrett Admin
A new house band rotation is starting at School of the Blues in a couple of weeks and in their prep email they're asked to watch this video. This work provides a great perspective for new players getting ready to play with others. Below is an annotated transcript for your reference.
Posted Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:30 by David Barrett Admin
One of the most common questions posed by students is, "How do you know what to play next?" The answer is that we usually don't... it's very rare that we know what we're going to play next... it's what hole we start the new chorus on that determines which lick from our vocabulary is played.