Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 250 #293)

Fifth Position!!!

Acknowledging he has a lot of harmonicas, Joe also said he doesn't like to carry them all. So for that moment when you suddenly find yourself sitting in with a grumpy guitar player who calls out a tune in, say, Db, what are you going to do?

Most of us carry an A harp, so there's your answer! Learn to play some fifth position and save yourself some embarrassment (and maybe even put that guitar player in his place!).

Joe has been writing tunes for his level Three classes the past few years and now announces that those songs are available for purchase on his website: Filisko Store. 5 P Blues, the scary good fifth position tune he played last night, is not up yet, but will eventually land there. In the meantime, check out all the other great material and note that you can listen to demos of each song.

Also, Joe has developed terrific teaching guides in his 20 years teaching at Old Town and at workshops and festivals around the world. These are great practical guides you should refer to often and they are FREE downloads on his Store site.
                Ron Sorin Next Week!!!

                We have a world-class harmonica playing guest in class next week - Ron Sorin! Ron logged time with Big Shoulders years ago and took some time off to raise triplets! This hasn't dampened his harp chops any though - he was terrific at our Chicago Blues Harp Bash this past fall and now he is releasing a solo CD, Lake City. If it happens that you're in the Chicago area and haven't been in to visit us in a while, this is a great opportunity to hear Ron play and get in on his brand new disc.

                See you in B1 next Monday, January 16 at 8pm!

                Joe asked Ron to note the harp keys and positons he's playing on the Lake City tracks, so line this chart up with your new purchase:

                Harp Keys "Lake City"

                1. "7 Years" B flat harp 3rd Pos. intro. Rest of tune F harp 2nd Pos.
                2. "Hang Tight" B flat harp 2nd Pos.
                3. "Straight and Narrow" B flat harp 3rd Pos.
                4. "Chump Change" B flat harp 2nd Pos.
                5. "Gimme Dat Harp Boy" D harp 2nd Pos High end fills - middle of tune A harp 1st Pos. Shuffle section to end of tune - over dub with Polyphonia harmonica.
                6. "Good Gal Blues" E flat harp 2nd Pos. on the head. B flat harp 1st Pos. solo.
                7. "Hey" D harp 2nd Pos.
                8. "I've Got No Strings" A harp 1st pos.
                9. "Northeaster" A harp 2nd Pos.
                10. "Tell Me" B flat harp 2nd Pos. intro - over dub and accent line (twice) in mid section of tune - low F harp 1st Pos.
                11. "Trouble" C chromatic key of D
                12 "Autumn Rush" C harp 3rd Pos. into and first solo G harp rest of tune. Over dub C harp 3rd Pos. on head after solos.
                13. "Back Pocket" G harp 1st Pos.
                14. "City Slicker" B flat harp 3rd Pos.
                15. "On My Way Home" C harp 2nd Pos.
                Harp Eases Heavy Heart!!!

                Our friend John Schaman of Harmonica MD checked in with us recently and shared this wonderfully touching note. We highly recommend you listen to this tune at his YouTube link - congrats, John, on the terrific work you do!

                Happy New Year Joe, Grant, and all the great people at the school,

                I received this very touching email entitled "My little piece of music using the Schaman Harmonica," with an audio attachment entitled"Edmée's Last Train":

                "Dear Sir,
                Because of a sad moment in my life (the death of my wife's mother called Edmée), I've tried to imagine she has gone by train ...
                the Schaman harmonica obviously can also help to cure the sorrow!
                Hope that you'll like it!
                Benoist Busson (Salon de Provence - France)"

                Benoist resides in the south of France and recently purchased the Schaman medical chord harmonica. Many thanks to Benoist for the amazing train composition and great harmonica playing.

                I very much enjoyed creating a video to go with Benoist's "little piece of music"! I hope it does justice to the great playing!

                The 1st edition of the harmonicaMD Newsletter was launched into cyberspace just before Christmas.

                If anyone would like to subscribe to the newsletter (and I would be delighted if you would), I provide the following quick link:

                Best of health and happiness in 2012 (as Benoist mentioned to me: "In southern France, we say: For 2012, if we won't be one more, hope not to be one less".)
                Class Notes
                • Recital #17 is out on disc! Get your copy in class soon and make a donation to the class fund - this goes toward paying a terrific band to back you up at Recitals as well as toward arranging our wonderful class guests. Also, big thanks to Highway Rickey for another great piece of art for the cover!
                • For those who made it out to Ginny Morin's for the pizza party Sunday you know it was a huge hit! It was a fun hootenanny jam session and terrific pizza made by the amazing Rickey Boy-Ar-Dee. Thank you Ginny and Rickey for all your hard work!
                • Joe is renewing the call for the Bring A Song concept. If you have a song you're working on or would like professional help with, bring it to class so Joe, Shoji and Rickey can help you understand it. We'll discuss the harp playing but also give you a solid understanding of what the other instruments are doing, what the groove is and how you might arrange the tune for yourself.
                • The afternoon Rhythm & Chording class continues to be a fantastic experience. Remember that it is open to all playing levels and focuses on country/rural blues. There is even still space open this session!
                - Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew