Posted Wed, 02/10/2016 - 08:51 by David Barrett Admin
The three most common versions of this song (T-Bone Walker, Bobby "Blue" Band and The Allman Brothers) all have different chord progressions. The T-Bone Walker version is pretty straight forward and most players can play this by ear without study. The Bobby "Blue" Band and Allman Brothers versions have more defined alterations to the 12 Bar Blues progression and study is needed to play them well.
Bars 7 and 8 are the same in both the Bobby "Blue" Band and Allman Brothers versions, so let's focus on those bars first.
Posted Mon, 02/08/2016 - 07:59 by David Barrett Admin
Over the holidays I listened to Jimi Lee's new CD compiled of live performances of jazz standards. On this CD he sings, plays guitar and on every tune plays tasty harmonica. If you like jazz standards (Fly Me To The Moon, Bye Bye Blackbird, etc.) then I think you'll love this CD http://www.jimileeband.com/shop/
Posted Thu, 02/04/2016 - 08:40 by David Barrett Admin
Stormy Monday is one of the most common songs to be played at jam sessions, or as the token blues song that a non-blues band knows how to play. It's so common that you'll see "No Stormy Monday or Mustang Sally allowed at this jam" hung on the wall at some clubs. With this disclaimer stated, you'll want to become familiar with this song due to it being so commonly played and for the fact that it's not a standard twelve bar blues.
Your homework today is to listen to the three most common covered versions of this song...
Posted Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:05 by David Barrett Admin
The first eight bars follow the standard 12 Bar Blues progression. In bars 9 and 10 where we expect a V7 to iv chord (it's common for a minor blues to have a major V chord), in this song it's a bVI (flat six chord) to V7. In 2nd Position (E Harmonica) this chromatically descending chord progression (by half step) works out well as 2 to 2', 3' to 3" or 3' to 4+. In 3rd Position (A Harmonica) 3' to 3", 4 to 4', 5 to 5+ (and its octave equivalent 2" to 2+) or 2" 2 (and 5 6+) works well. Experiment with these to see which sounds best to you.
Posted Fri, 01/29/2016 - 09:21 by David Barrett Admin
Roger "The Archivist" Trobridge (most known for his work with the National Harmonica League in the UK) asked that I put together a radio program based on the series of articles that I wrote for their magazine on playing the blues chromatic. In this program you'll hear George “Harmonica” Smith, Little Walter, William Clarke, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Paul deLay, Dennis Gruenling, Mitch Kashmar, Gary Primich, Paul Oscher, Steve Guyger, Lynwood Slim, Kim Wilson and Jean “Toots” Thielemans (my apologizes for the other great players that I didn't have time to include). continue reading...
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.