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Harmonica Lessons: "Oh! Susanna"

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[MUSIC]
>> Yes.
Hello everybody.
It's me again.
This is gonna be Susanna, which is one of
the most played tunes, one of the most
widely taught tunes just because it's
kind of a nice tune, it's simple,
and it has a bunch of things about it that
make it good to use as teaching material.
And everyone knows it, I think.
So here's how the tune goes.
[MUSIC]
It's just begging for
a little rhythm, isn't it?
[MUSIC]
Just like what we did with Row,
Row, Row Your Boat.
All you have to do is play the melody
out of the top part of your mouth.
Starts on the fourth hole.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND] [LAUGH]
[MUSIC]
And you notice what
I'm doing here.
You don't notice it yet, but I'm gonna
tap my foot on the floor and keep time.
Cuz this is one of the things about
the harmonica, remember, I told you
it's a chordal instrument, a melody
instrument, and a rhythm instrument.
If you're gonna play rhythm,
you have to have good time.
And I think one of the things that really
helps you have time on the harmonica is
[SOUND] tapping your foot.
Your right foot, your left foot.
You can do your heel, your toe,
whatever's comfortable.
You can do this while you're walking,
while you're standing,
while you're sitting.
Hopefully not while
you're driving your car,
because then your car would
start going in very funny ways.
But [SOUND]
[MUSIC]
You can get
a rhythm going
with your hand too.
[MUSIC]
I'm having my hand go bum ba,
bum ba, bum ba, bum ba, kind of like
doing the rubbing your stomach and
your head at the same time.
But it's a very good thing to do.
It develops your sense of rhythm.
It sounds good.
[MUSIC]
and you can
even add a
[MUSIC]
you know do a little
bit of that.
Get a little bit of style going.
So, I played that with my right foot.
You can also practice it
tapping your left foot.
Because, the way that the human body is
wired is the left side of the brain and
right side of the brain, and it's very
different to tap your left foot but.
[MUSIC]
And now I'm doing
different things with my hands
[MUSIC]
You see, I didn't have to
articulate anything with my mouth.
I just did
[MUSIC]
You hear mu wa wa.
So sometimes you can play
things on the harmonica,
notes that you are not separately playing,
just by moving your hand around.
It's amazing all the different kinds of
sound effects you can get with your hands.
[MUSIC]
And then you can also do
some things with the tongue.
If you wanna do.
[MUSIC]
I was going chaka-chaka-cha
[SOUND], all on the inhale.
Chaka-chaka-cha.
If you vocalize these things first with
your tongue, without the harmonica in your
mouth, then you can put the harmonica
in your mouth and do it.
[MUSIC]
See it's.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND].
It's all inhale.
See this?
There's a lot happening on the harmonica
as a rhythm instrument, and
I'm keeping my foot tapping the whole
time so to make sure I'm in time.
[NOISE] It's a really good thing to do.
[MUSIC]
And now I was doing a little
[SOUND] on the breathing out.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND]
[MUSIC]
[SOUND].
These things work on the exhale
[MUSIC]
and on the inhale.
[MUSIC]
Out, in, out, in,
I'm not changing my breath very often.
It's all the articulation with the tongue.
And then the hand makes it
sound real interesting.
[MUSIC]
And if you want you can give it
kind of a back beat feeling.
[MUSIC]
The big chaka, and
you open your hand up on the chak and
then you get really a feeling.
[MUSIC]
It's some very
gratifying stuff, and
it's so easy to do.
This is one of the reasons for
the extreme popularity of the harmonica,
is that if you just want to get kind of
a groove going, and a body feeling going,
the harmonica's a great
instrument to do this with,
because you can play rhythms and
chords, as well as melodies.
So you're beginning to see the tremendous
versatility of this instrument.
And we're just playing in the key of C.
We're not dealing with playing in any of
the other keys that I'm going to show you
later on the harmonica.
[MUSIC]