Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 595 #641)

Hearing the need in class to strengthen peoples' fills game, Joe spent some quality exercise time last night building that foundation. He urged people to start with some rudiments we've been hearing in call and response - the root (2 draw), the full 2 draw bend (b7) and the dirty half step draw on the 3 (b3).

With the exception of over the V chord, you should be proficient using these three notes to build powerful fills behind a singer.

A couple notes on the b3 note. For one, if you are going to err, do so to the sharp side. A slightly sharp half step bend is arguably more dissonant and bluesy than the correct pitch. And secondly, remember that it's powerful too to add that dirt on the b3. It's a full, rich, bluesy sound you need to master and milk in your fills.

Class Notes

  • Harmonica Hoedown 2020 tickets now available! The show is Feb 18 at Martyr's featuring Joe Filisko & Friends, James Conway, Bob Kessler & Graham Nelson Trio, and the Lucky Ducks. 

Westmont to Chicago: Tribute to Eddy Clearwater
Shoji Naito's new CD is out now in tribute to the late Eddy Clearwater. This disc features Eddy himself and members of his band, along with B1 member Ginny Morin and our good friend Lee Kanehira and more! And of course, great harp playing by Shoji.



Available at CD Baby now (and in the Old Town School's Different Strummer store if you want to pick up a hard copy so you can enjoy the graphic design work of our own Grant Kessler!)

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 594, #640)

2020 in B1 kicked off with a dynamics tweak to call and response as well as a new commitment from Joe to address the "Foundation" harp players need.

You'll notice dynamics in Joe's playing as he dishes up call and response phrases to you. Play back to mimic his notes, phrasing, timing and now also volume. (Hint: you shouldn't be blowing hard anyway and this will just get you that much closer to the 9 second inhale target!)


And as you build upward in your playing, adding things, it's important to keep fundamentals in mind to have a firm base that holds it all up. This foundation work is something Joe's going to be working with us on this year. More soon!

Class Notes

  • Register now for the new session!
  • Harmonic Hoedown 2020 tickets now available! The show is Feb 18 at Martyr's featuring Joe Filisko & Friends, James Conway, Bob Kessler & Graham Nelson Trio, and the Lucky Ducks. 
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew