Posted Fri, 03/07/2014 - 07:57 by David Barrett Admin
Our style of music is vocabulary driven, and the best way to implement great sounding high end licks in our vocabulary is to harvest them from great players. Check out "Say What You Mean, Baby" by Paul deLay on the Greasy Kid Stuff release from Kid Ramos https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/greasy-kid-stuff/id626224731 This is a KILLER solo (and the entire album is great), with tons of great high end licks for you to use. He's playing a G Harmonica in 2nd Position in this tune.
Posted Thu, 03/06/2014 - 08:02 by David Barrett Admin
Though only one of the blue notes in the blues scale is available from holes 6+ to 9+, it's still a viable way to play, especially when you add the 6 and 6' to round out the scale. Put on a more bluesy jam track (a "Box" is a good choice) and give it a try.
Posted Wed, 03/05/2014 - 09:05 by David Barrett Admin
Instead of taking just one lick and moving it up an octave, try it with an entire song. Use "Temperature" from Tongue Block Study 2 and move it up an octave. Though by now you've probably already memorized the notes on your C Harmonica, you can visit Music Theory Study 1 for a note layout. The process is simple. The first lick of the song is 3 4+ 3, which are the notes B C B. Move these notes up one octave to 7 7+ 7. Print out the sheet music for the song and write below the TAB the octave above version. continue reading...
Posted Tue, 03/04/2014 - 08:27 by David Barrett Admin
The Major Pentatonic Scale we started with in this series was 6+ 6 7 8 8+ 9+ 10. The same notes are found one octave lower 2 3" 3 4 5+ 6+ 6. These are notes we use all the time. Try making up some licks with these lower notes and moving them up an octave. This is called octave substitution and is a tool often used by improvisers to move up to the high end in a way that makes melodic sense, and commonly without the need of a slick transition lick. Take this lick for example: 2 3" 3 4 5+ 6+ 6+ 5+ 6+ and then repeat it at 6+ 6 7 8 8+ 9+ 9+ 8+ 9+. I use this in my instrumental study song "Blow! continue reading...
Posted Mon, 03/03/2014 - 08:45 by David Barrett Admin
Our next step is to tip our hats to the V7 Chord in Bars 9 (the beginning of the V-IV-I lick) and 12 (the last piece of the turnaround). The V7 Chord is D F# A C, making 6 A, 8 D and 10 A from our scale available as notes of the V7 Chord. continue reading...
Posted Wed, 02/26/2014 - 08:07 by David Barrett Admin
In Improvising Study 2 you learned about Focus Notes. These are the most common notes to start a lick on, and are based on the I7 Chord (G B D F on a C Harmonica in 2nd Position). Now that you've worked on Focus Notes on holes 1 through 6, it's time to work them from holes 6 to 9. Improvise again to the jam track you played with yesterday and now play one chorus starting, or playing a pickup to, the 6+ G (Root). Then the next chorus on the 7 B (3rd). Another chorus on 8 D (5th). Then 9 F (flat-7th). And lastly 9+ G (Root again). continue reading...
Posted Tue, 02/25/2014 - 12:30 by David Barrett Admin
Now that you've dialed in playing up and down the scale, put on a jam track and improvise to it, ONLY playing the notes within the scale. It will be a challenge to stay within the scale, especially for those with more improvising experience (muscle memory will pull you out of the scale, so make sure to choose a moderate tempo jam track). Take mental note as to which notes within the scale sound really, and where, so we can further explore how to choose notes within this scale that will interact well with the three chords of our 12 Bar Blues progression.
Posted Mon, 02/24/2014 - 08:28 by David Barrett Admin
The passage I had you practicing Friday (6+ 6 7 8) contains the first four notes of the ascending G Major Pentatonic Scale. Those notes, in this order, represents one of the best licks to transition you into the high end of the harmonica.
Here's the complete scale...
6+ 6 7 8 8+ 9+
Add the 10 at the end and you get another usable note = 6+ 6 7 8 8+ 9+ 10
Practice this ascending and descending 100 times today and you'll be ready for our next step. continue reading...