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Harmonica Lessons: 2nd Position Cross Harp: Blues Licks

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[MUSIC]
I was just talking about
playing triplets as
an outgrowth of the warbles.
Once you start using
[MUSIC]
you can warble between any two reeds,
between any two holes.
So you can do a blues lick that consists
of triplet versions of the warbles, like.
[MUSIC]
All I'm doing is moving
up one hole at a time, like three draw,
four blow, four draw.
[MUSIC]
But I'm
doing a warble,
a triplet
[MUSIC].
That was in the first four bars of
a very boring Blues, [LAUGH] but
I was trying to show you how you can
use these triplet patterns very easily.
And it's just,
[MUSIC]
it's just that, but slowed down and
controlled.
Kind of like that exercise that I
showed you in first position where you
are going
[MUSIC]
but it's a triplet.
[MUSIC]
And then I was playing some blue's licks,
and there aren't that many blue's
licks you can do without
knowing how to bend,
but there are some, for example
[MUSIC]
that's
[MUSIC]
almost sounds like
the Beatles' Love Me Do.
[MUSIC]
Which was really
played on a chromatic harmonica but
won't talk about that too much.
But it's that flatted seventh is the
overriding, that's almost the definition.
When you hear that [SOUND],
it sounds like a train.
We're gonna talk about that too.
[SOUND] That means It's the blues.
[LAUGH]
>> And that's why,
if you pick up a harmonica and
just learn a few simple things.
[MUSIC]
Flap your hands around, even without being
able to bend,
people will recognize it as the blues.
[MUSIC]
And I'm alternating between three blow and
two draw.
[MUSIC]
That's two,
three, four, draw.
[MUSIC]
Five blow, five draw.
[MUSIC]
And then back down.
Five blow, four draw, three draw.
Just like a shuffle bass line,
or a boogie-woogie.
[MUSIC]
Start on three blow or
two draw, ending on
what you want to do.
And those are the specific notes.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And then you can also start
some blues licks at six blow.
[MUSIC]
or
[MUSIC]
When you learn how to bend,
you can do some much bluesier ones,
but this is six blow.
Five draw four draw, remember,
just make them smooth.
[MUSIC]
Four blow.
[MUSIC]
Four blow, three draw, two draw.
[MUSIC]
Triplets, see?
[MUSIC]
And you can also sweep up to them.
[MUSIC]
Just let the air go through your mouth,
through the harmonica.
[MUSIC]
It's not hard to do.
[MUSIC]
Sometimes I'll grab
a little bit of
[MUSIC].
I'll have the air going in through
the notes that are before the main note
I wanna hit.
These are all things that
are really authentic blues playing.
[MUSIC]
Very easy to do.
[MUSIC]
I bent a note,
I'm sorry.
[LAUGH]
[MUSIC].
As long as you keep your embouchure firm.
You can do
[MUSIC]
all these fast sweeps.
It sounds very impressive to people, but
it's the easiest thing in the world to
do on the harmonica because you're
not changing your breath ratio.
[MUSIC]
It's wow.
It's hard to do on a saxophone or
a flute or something but on a harmonica,
you just put your mouth on it and go,
[MUSIC].
Nothing to it, just
[MUSIC].
As long as you don't go
[MUSIC],
and then you go, wow this is really hard.
You have to keep the embouchure firm,
like I said in the very beginning of this.
This is the thing that you have
to exaggerate this position.
Also by keeping your embouchure this way,
your jaw comes down, and the inside
of your mouth gets more resonate and
your tone will actually improve.
[MUSIC]
And when I'm playing,
my tongue is almost always
behind my bottom teeth, and
that makes the volume of air
inside your mouth is larger.
And it's not the most natural position,
but it's the one that sounds the best
when you play the harmonica,
especially if you're playing blues.
[MUSIC]
See, a little bit of a digression,
I'll get into this later but,
your tongue is your controller
between bass and treble.
If you go woowee wee, if you do that
while you're playing the harmonica.
[SOUND] You can really hear
the harmonica talking.
It's going woowee, and
if you have your tongue way in the front
[MUSIC]
you'll sound very very shrill and trebley.
If you have your tongue back on the bottom
[MUSIC]
you'll sound very thick and round.
Just want to mention that to you,
because when you're playing blues later,
you're gonna wanna have a nice fat tone.
That's the idea.
[MUSIC]