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Harmonica Lessons: Blues Vamps

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[MUSIC]
Well now I'm going
to show you some blues vamps.
Which I showed you in
the beginning section.
But now that we know
how to bend some notes,
I'm going to put some
of that stuff into it.
Which is what you'd want to do anyway.
So instead of just doing a, and
with the tongue,
[MUSIC]
I'm going to throw some blues
licks in the middle of these things.
Now this is not a blues progression,
I'm just going to do it on one.chord.
Just the G seven chord.
[SOUND] Even that simple lick.
[SOUND] I played four blow, five blow.
And then three blow, and then three draw,
four draw, bending down a little bit.
Back to two draw.
[MUSIC]
Just start showing
you some licks with some
tongue block rhythmic
playing in the middle.
Okay, now
I'm just
going to
get into
a more pure
[MUSIC].
And it almost has a country sound to it.
[MUSIC]
And I'm using
both the G's.
The two draw and the three blow,
alternating between them.
I'm kind of imagining
a snare drum with brushes.
Sometimes I do this,
I imagine other instruments.
I'm not consciously thinking about it.
I'm trying to evoke that feeling.
[SOUND]
So
it's draw,
[SOUND]
blow,
[SOUND]
draw,
[SOUND]
blow,
[LAUGH]
[MUSIC]
And see,
if I keep time
with my feet
I can do all
these syncopated
rhythms on
the harmonica.
I'm just tapping my right foot right now.
[MUSIC]
So what I
was doing
there
was.
[MUSIC]
Tongue block octaves and
sevens with the tongue flapping.
[SOUND] Bending the three draw.
[MUSIC]
And then just little phrases and
little answer.
It's kind of like a little question and
answer.
[MUSIC]
It's like
a little dialogue.
You're having conversation with yourself.
So on that little softer part,
[MUSIC]
I was bending the two draw.
[MUSIC]
Now I'm on
the off beats with
my right foot.
Sometimes I'll be on the down beat.
Sometimes I'll be on the off beat.
It's a good way to practice tapping
your foot, either to the down beat or
the up beat or the off beat,
as you would call it.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
This is kinda like
Smokestack Lightning
by Howlin' Wolf.
And of course,
whatever key they're playing harmonica, in
you have to find out, if you wanna copy,
play along with the record,
you have to get the right key harmonica.
Which I'll get into that next, but
[MUSIC]
and there's all these Blues tunes like
Parchman Farm, Smokestack Lightning
that don't have any chord changes.
I'm gonna get into what the chord
changes of the Blues are next, but
these are just repetitive
things in one key.
They just keep going, and
it's kind of a hypnotic.
It's kinda like a spellbinding feeling.
[MUSIC]
And there, so
I'm just playing that Blues Lick.
[MUSIC]
Just those
simple notes.
It's
[MUSIC].
It's one, [SOUND] the flat third,
[SOUND] the fourth,
[SOUND] the flat fifth, [SOUND] the fifth,
[SOUND] the flat seventh,
[SOUND] and then the one again.
[SOUND] It's like somebody said one
time that i heard talking about
a drummer about the way he played.
He said, it's like scrambled eggs.
It's not the eggs, but
it's how you scramble those eggs.
So, there's just a few little basic
ingredients, but it's how you mix them up.
[MUSIC]
And use the percussive potential
that switching from two
draw to three draw,
to three blow gives you.
[MUSIC]
And we get that shuffle
rhythm that swings.
[MUSIC]
It's only
two breaths.
[SOUND] But within each breath,
I'm breaking it up.
[MUSIC]
[LAUGH]
[MUSIC]
I went up to
the top of
the harp,
and I could
bend down
that ninth
hole blow,
using that
it in cross harp.
[MUSIC]
And a tenth hole.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And then we have a little trouble unless
we get to the next level which
is overblows and overdraws.
But we can't really hit the flat
fifth up on the top of the harp, or
the flatted third.
So you do other things.
You kind of go around the problems and
you create characteristic
sounding blues licks up there.
[MUSIC]
Now that's the first time
I've connected a blues lick
from the top of the harmonica
to the bottom of the harmonica.
And so that's a very important
thing to know that you can do that.
Because most of the time when
blues harmonica players play,
they play on the bottom of the harp
[MUSIC].
Or maybe they'll have a few
[MUSIC],
a few things like that, but
they usually don't connect.
So if you could
connect
[MUSIC].
They're not two foreign
countries that are unconnected.
You can connect the top and
the bottom of the harp to each other,
playing these licks.
[MUSIC]
It's nine blow, nine draw, eight blow,
eight draw, seven draw,
six draw, six blow.
[MUSIC]
It's one idea that I'm
following down the harmonica,
from the top down.
So these are these blues
vamps along one chord, and
I'll do the triple tonguing thing for
you too.
[MUSIC]
[LAUGH].
[MUSIC]