Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 132 #176)

Sad To Be Alone!
This week Joe taught the Rice Miller tune, "Sad To Be Alone" (transcription). This song is available on the disc, Sonny Boy Williamson II -- His Best. This song has great vocals and storytelling. As for harp playing, this song will help you work on both your "bright" tone and your blow bends. Working with an F harp will force you to shape the front of your mouth accurately and this carries over to blow bending because it's the same mouth shape.

Even with an F harp which is already high-pitched, Rice Miller has great examples here of playing with bright tone, a technique you also hear Walter Horton use masterfully. This song also highlights Miller's quick vibrato and his own very special explosive vamping.

Joe also passed out his "Flag List" which breaks down performance, technique and playing habits that are trouble spots. Review this list often to assess your own playing and know where you need improvement.

Shoji Naito Teaches Next Week!
Joe will be out of town next Monday, but Shoji will be teaching all three of Joe's group classes, so don't miss it! He taught for Joe a few weeks ago and the class was fantastic. Notes from Shoji:
  • Bring harps in as many of the twelve keys as you have. (no minor harps needed)
  • Level III players should bring transcriptions and play-along CDs for the songs they're working on.
  • Shoji's private lessons will meet as usual but they will be in B1.
Class Notes
  • Chicago Blues Harp Bash: tickets are available at the Bash website. Patron and Platinum reserved seating is now available. Get yours soon so you don't miss this great show!
  • Reader Rick Mason reports catching some great blues documentaries recently on Ovation TV. Check listings in your area!
Newsletter News!
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-- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew