Joe took extensive time this week to go over bending. Techniques for hitting bends require two things: Technical understanding of mouth shape and tongue position and secondly, knowing what the target bent note sounds like. Practice both of these concepts while working on simple melodies (such as Christmas songs) that you know well. This way your ear will tell you whether you're hitting the bends correctly.
And remember, relax!!! Bending, despite the forceful sounding name, is not a forced, stressful, physical maneuver.
New Year, New Class!!!
Joe announced he will be teaching an additional group class at Old Town starting next week:
Harmonica Rhythm and Chording
This exciting new class will focus on chording, Fox Chases, train imitations and duo work. Come learn to accompany other harp players and guitar players so you will be welcome sitting in with other musicians.
This class will NOT be a blues class - it will be more country and folk oriented, but these techniques translate well to all genres.
Open to ALL skill levels.
Note this class is not yet listed at Old Town's site, but keep checking back or call them - it is a last-minute addition that should appear before next week in their system.
Chord Chart Apps!!!
- Our tech friend Highway RickEy highly recommends this app for your iPhone, iPad or Android phone:
iReal Book is full of existing chord charts, people are constantly adding more and you can create your own. Complete with audio playback!
Luddites and Blackberry owners, alas, you'll just have to get out your guitars and pencil and paper...
...or check out Finale's lineup of desktop based solutions, some at reasonable prices:
- Joe is excited to announce we'll have Matthew Skoller as our special guest in class Monday, February 28, 2011. It's a ways off, but mark your calendars!
- Recital highlight CDs from the 15th recital are now available. Take a CD and make any donation you can to the class fund which makes it possible for Joe to hire incredible musicians (Shoji Naito, Highway RickEy and Gavin Tun) to back us all at these recitals.
- We hope to make a Jim Liban junket to Milwaukee in January. Anyone interested in the road trip should check in with Grant Kessler (via email@example.com).
That cool Papa Lightfoot t-shirt you saw Joe wearing last night is a Dennis Gruenling offering and if you haven't been to his website lately, check it out. Dennis is constantly adding new material to Badassharmonica.com. Mostly informational and instructional, but he's got some cool t-shirts for sale there too.
"Friend" him on Facebook to get notice of his updates!
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew