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David's Tip of the Day: Repetition - Tips from Observations at the Harmonica Masterclass Workshop

David Barrett Admin's picture

Use more repetition. Students have a tendency to play lick-after-lick, not presenting a central idea for each chorus. This gut reaction is from the feeling that a solo should be exciting and full of fireworks. This may create an exciting solo for one or two choruses, but by the third chorus, or third song in that set, it gets old. Repetition is the only tool we have to tell the listener that something is important. By not using repetition, you're telling the listener that nothing you're playing is worth remembering. A solo that's not memorable is forgettable, and who wants to play something that's forgettable! The first lick you play in a chorus is by default the theme of that chorus. By repeating that lick via the use of the Chorus Form phrasing options I teach you in the Improvising Study lessons, you not only create music that's more musical via good phrasing, it's more memorable. Lastly, since you're using more repetition, your lick vocabulary lasts a lot longer. Repetition is good in many ways.