Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What Did You Miss This Week (Week 474 #519)

Accompaniment - Train Whistle Sustaining!!!

Joe introduced a new accompaniment technique last night he calls train whistle sustaining. This is using one of many chordal effects predominantly around the 4/5 draw (in second position). Options include the head shake (be sure to make it "dirty"), tongue shake, rapid vamping (better to let one melody note such as the 5 draw sustain while vamping, and speed is not important), and the 4 draw (dirty - with a little of 5 draw) with a throat tremolo.

The key points to remember with this are that you are not playing a lick, you are playing a sound, a chordal effect, and that the 4/5 draw notes work over all three chord changes and create bluesy dissonance. The organ sustaining technique we talked about previously is about playing the right chord; train whistle sustaining is about dissonance.

For extra credit, knowing this technique will save you when you get lost while playing or forget your lyrics. Fall back to a train whistle sustaining option and you'll sound like a blues player while you gather your thoughts.

Practice these and we'll work on them in class next week!

Class Notes
  • Special guest - Seth Shumate will be in B1 next Monday, February 6 to give an Old Time Music demo from 2:30-4:00pm. All are welcome.
  • The Performance Class will record this session on February 20.
  • Special guest - mark your calendar for Feb 27 as we'll have PT Gazell joining us to talk about his jazzy approach to diatonic playing.
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew