Honest I Do!!!
With Honest I Do in mind, Joe talked some this week about the high end blow bends in first position. He notes the blues scale is available to you there with all exhale notes. Remember that in this era the just-tuned harps meant the fourth scale degree, though available as a draw note, was more often played as a 9 blow bend. This quick chart shows the blues scale as well as the major pentatonic scale in first position. The chart also shows the equivalents for you to practice your blow bends. You should have firm command of the five draw bend on your E harp, for example, before you work on the 7 blow bend on your A harp. Then, keep in mind that you tune your mouth the exact same way for this blow bend as you do for the draw bend. Work on them in tandem.
Speaking of blow bend practice - all agree that it is brutal for others to be around while you're woodshedding. Heck, it's probably not much fun for you either! But the amazing, inventive Highway RickEy shared his practice technique that will help you maintain your friendships while improving your blow bend chops. As he demonstrated, it is possible to greatly muffle your playing by pressing the harp into a small pillow as you practice. Get a soft, malleable and very small throw-sized pillow and give this a try. We heard it and can verify that even RickEy can be held down in volume by playing this way!
Joe also shared one other small "trick" when working on your high end first position. He stressed how important it is to avoid bending the 7 blow at all. That is an extremely sour note and his advice to avoid that tendency is to always play the 7 blow as a small chord, letting in a little of the holes around it. You hear this slight chord from Jimmy Reed so it is an authentic sound, it beefs up your sound too and playing this way will also help you relax and avoid that dreaded bent note on the 7 blow.
We ended the class by listening to a couple other versions of the tune from James Cotton and Raful Neal and Joe will have other versions to share next week.
Mark Your Calendars!!!
Join Charlie Yost at a backyard house party/blues jam on July 19:
4922 N. Moody
Lots of food and beverage
July 19, 3-6pm
Bring instruments and amps
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew