Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 508 #522)


Performance class has declared their recording tunes for our December 18th recording date and the next few weeks we'll focus on polishing things. Don't hesitate to talk about arrangement or work on beginnings and endings with the band.

Someone asked Joe about the process of transcribing last night and he gave this outline and advice:

  1. Determine the harp being played, the key of the song and the position. Remember that vintage recordings may not be exactly in tune with your harp. (Hint: this is where Amazing Slowdowner comes in handy to shift the key a little to align with your harp.)
  2. Determine the form - count it out! How many bars are there and of which chords? Keep your ears open - this may be where you'll run into fragments of bars missing due to a recording or editing clip or maybe just the player's choice.
  3. Determine the groove. How many eighth notes are there per beat? Two, that's a straight eighths tune; three, that's a shuffle.
  4. Pick out licks and phrases to work on now. What beat does the phrase start on? Where is beat one? What is the melody of the phrase? Then what are the colors and harp-specific techniques being applied - vamps, dirty notes, tremolo?
  5. Write it down! You'll learn better; you'll have something to come back to later; and you'll have to hold yourself accountable to getting it right when you write it down. 

Speaking of learning and technique, have you seen all the new technique and breathing videos on Filisko's Harmonica Method & Instruction YouTube channel?!

Class Notes

  • Joe's next Harmonica Party at the Harlem Avenue Lounge is November 21.
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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