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David's Tip of the Day: Repetition Found in Famous Songs - Examples

David Barrett Admin's picture

Last week's tip focused on how repetition is the key element in making your improvising and songwriting memorable. Here are a few examples of famous classic blues harmonica instrumentals... note that repetition plays the key role in making the head (the opening 12 Bars) memorable. This happens just as much with modern instrumentals, but you most likely already have these songs in your collection for convenience of review.

“Easy” Big Walter Horton (Bb Harmonica) - Each chorus repeats with variation (increasing in activity, volume and intensity). Melody is based on "I Almost Lost My Mind" by Ivory Joe Hunter

“Juke” Little Walter (A Harmonica) - Opening one-bar lick repeats 8x (for the AAB Chorus Form)

“Juicy Harmonica” George Harmonica Smith (Bb Harmonica) - Opening four-bar lick repeats 3x (for the AAA Chorus Form)

“Walter’s Boogie” Big Walter Horton (A Harmonica) - Opening one-bar lick repeats with variation (for the A B/A C Chorus Form). Based on "Tommy Dorsey's Boogie Woogie"

“Off the Wall” Little Walter (C Harmonica) - Opening two-bar lick repeats (for the A B/A C Chorus Form)

“Chitlin Con Carne” Junior Wells (D Harmonica) - Opening four-bar lick repeats 2x (for the AAB Chorus Form)

“Rocker” Little Walter (A Harmonica) - Opening four-bar lick repeats 3x (for the AAA Chorus Form)

“The Creeper” James Cotton (A Harmonica) - Motif repeats throughout the song. He also utilizes a consistent 12 Bar section with variation when the band plays.

"Christo Redempto" Charlie Musselwhite (C Harmonica) - Multi-chorus repetitive melody