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David's Tip of the Day: Transcribing Series, Part 1 - Key and Rhythm

David Barrett Admin's picture

It's now time to get to work. Take a listen to the first four bars of Little Walter's "Rocker." I would like you to figure out: the key of harmonica; the key Walter and the band are playing in; where he starts in time; and how you would count this song in.

I'll get you started...

1) He's playing in 2nd Position

2) He starts with a 2" (2 draw whole step bend) that quickly goes to 2 (2 draw)

Here are your challenges in regards to timing...

1) The band does not start with Walter. Is Walter playing an intro (before the 12 Bar Blues form begins) or is he starting from the one chord (Bar 1) and then band is entering after that?

2) Is the 2" a pickup, or is the first beat?

3) How would you instruct the musicians you play this song with to enter in this same manner?

4) Is there an alternate way to play the entrance of this tune to make it more standard?

Have a great weekend!