Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 285 #328)

Understanding Songs!!!

Joe's away this week but Shoji led a terrific class aided by our rhythm guy, Highway RickEy. Shoji handed out blank staff paper and played songs for us to listen to, really listen.

We learned to hear the component parts of songs, listening for the bass line, identifying the groove, hearing where chord changes happen (even if we may not know what chords they are right away) and counting out the structure of the song. There is so much to learn about a song just by listening and not even touching the harmonica. As Shoji says, he goes through this process daily with new songs he's working on. Listen, analyze, make notes and truly understand the song. What's the guitar doing? What's the second guitar doing? What's the hornline? 8 bar? 16 bar? Cut time?

Your challenge for next week is to identify a few songs you'd like to better understand. Listen to them on your own this week and take a stab at these things. Note as many things about the song as you can and then bring it to class for us all to listen to.

This was truly a valuable class for all - we need to think beyond the harp parts and hear and understand it all!

Class Notes

  • New session at Old Town starts October 29 so re-register NOW!
  • Joe will be out of town October 29 and November 5 - his private lessons will not meet but his group classes proceed as normal in the capable hands of Shoji Naito.
  • Grant and Al will be leading an informal jam session from 3:30-5:30pm on October 29th in B1. Stop by and play! Practice for recital!

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew