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David's Tip of the Day: Moving out of Time in Performance - Strategies, Part 1

David Barrett Admin's picture

It can be challenging at times to anticipate when chord change is going to happen in a song. Maybe the tune has very smooth transitions between chords (no telegraphing) or the volume mix of the instruments on stage is such that it makes it hard to hear the collective chord change.

David Waldman once said at a Harmonica Masterclass Workshop, "If you really want to sound like Little Walter, phrase like him... start your phrases on beat 2 of the bar," and then he played an example with the guitarist and sure enough, it sounded like the hip phrasing Walter would use. This is not only a hip way to phrase, but a great way to hear chord change.

When it's difficult to hear chord change come... in other words anticipate it coming so you can play appropriately (a pickup for example)... wait for the chord change to HAPPEN, and THEN start your phrase on beat 2. Not only does it sound hip, it's a great solution to not being able to play in time.