Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 404 #449)

Lyrics and Scales!!!

Our own Jim Lucas wowed us last night with his rewrite of Call It Stormy Monday lyrics - a paean to our little newsletter. Here's a taste:

You Missed Monday

They call it You Missed Monday, it carries all the news
If it ain’t there on Tuesday, Lord, I get the blues.

Sometimes it comes on Wednesday, but that is oh so rare.
Never been as late as Thursday, not that I’m aware.

Friday, I check the listings for ev’ry weekend show.
See where Shoji’s playin’, and appearances by Joe.

This week, you'd better be checking the listings for Blues Fest harp players and all the accompanying gigs around town!

*  *  *

While on the topic of lyrics, Jim took some time last night too to speak to the original lyrics of Call It Stormy Monday, written by T-Bone Walker. For Jim's money, and we all know Jim knows a thing or two about writing lyrics, T-Bone did a masterful job on this song. The lyrics are rich in storytelling, metaphors and alliteration and they do a great job moving from narration to first person. Then the song culminates in prayer - "Lord have mercy." All in all, a great storytelling arc.

*  *  *

Given that past conversations pointed out you need command of the major pentatonic scale to get through three bars of Stormy Monday, it felt time for Shoji to speak again to the major and minor pentatonic scales. He walked us carefully through the construction of scales, focusing on these two pentatonic scales and how they're "built". It's crucial to understand that between the root and it's octave lies the other important note, the 5th degree of the scale. Also called the dominant, the 5th is part of all the scales we looked at (and it is a tone or harmonic that exists within the root note if you listen carefully) and is the focus of players' movement. To Shoji, you should always be aware that you're essentially moving between the root and the fifth - how you travel between them depends on the scale you choose.

Remember, we'll be playing and practicing these scales together in class soon, so work on them and practice staying within a given scale.

Class Notes
  • See ya at Blues Fest!
  • You never know who may stop into B1 after Blues Fest, so don't miss next Monday!

Hohner Contest

Hohner has a contest running:

You and your harmonica in the most unusual location!

You and your harmonica – that’s all we want. Be it on a backpack trip through Asia, on your vacation in the Caribbean, or in the middle of a desert. In fact, the more unusual the location is, the better!

What do you get in return? How does 1.000 Euros sound to you? That’s right: We’re giving away 1.000 Euros for the best photo and for the best video.

Details here.