Tuesday, March 3, 2020

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 602 #648)

Fills are hard. They are an advanced accompaniment technique but one that everyone jumps right into without solid prep. It's easy to end up doing "blues lite" stuff with your fills, so Joe urges you to recognize that is accompaniment work you should not be tackling until you've mastered the other fundamental techniques.

So he started a review of those last night, filling in more detail on the first two, organ sustaining and train whistle sustaining.

Organ sustaining is low chords or splits, generally following the chord tones of the song form. You can easily play the I and IV chord and a piece of the V chord, or use a second harp to accomplish the V. And hey, the audience will be immediately impressed by your playing multiple harps! Play this chordal effect smoothly in long sustains, focusing on holes 1, 2 and maybe 3.

Train whistle sustaining are higher chords on the harp - splits, dirty notes - that are NOT chord tones. This is a technique that introduces dissonance and your chordal effect choices are shakes, tongue shakes, rapid vamping, throat tremolo, etc.

Next week - shuffle chording!

Class Notes

  • Register now! The new session started this week - don't wait to sign up. 
  • The Harlem Harp Party is tonight, March 3 at 8:00pm at the Harlem Avenue Lounge. Be there and play!
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew