Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 492 #537)

Lots of Fun in B1!!!
We had Lee Kanehira as a guest in B1 last night and it was terrific to hear her keyboard magic on all of the performances! Shoji Naito was there as well, playing some great harp and guitar while filling in for Grant Kessler who had to leave early.

Dennis Gruenling Visit
Last weeks visit by Dennis was one of the best attended in B1 history. The place was packed, with attendees from all over Chicagoland, as well as Japan, Argentina, Belgium and Netherlands.

If you haven’t already done so, take a look at the You Missed Monday Newsletter for last week to get the details.

What Did We Learn
After recapping a few of the “best practices” mentioned by Dennis, Joe went on to make a few observations:

  • No matter what you play, always be musical and tasteful. In other words, don’t use “improvising in my own style” as an excuse to be lazy and not develop the necessary skills and knowledge to play good music.
  • Singing phrases and then attempting to play them on the harp is a great study technique.  However, be aware that some things just don’t play well on a 1-½ octave blues scale. Also be prepared to choose the right position to make it work.

Working on Improvising
Joe is available to work out a specific practice plan for anyone in the Performance Class who wishes to incorporate improvisation in his or her performances.

In anticipation of continued interest in this topic, Joe suggests students take a good look at Top of The Harp, by Louis Myers. We will be reviewing it thoroughly in the upcoming new session at Old Town School.

Class Notes

  • New Session at Old Town starts next week, so be sure to get registered.
- Al Taylor, B1 Blues Crew

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