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Harmonica Lessons: First Position Jazz: The 2-5-1 Progression

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Now that we've learned how
to bend all the notes and
we're comfortable playing the scale in the
key of C major up and down the instrument,
I thought this would be a good time
to introduce you to just the very
beginnings of playing jazz and
I'm not even gonna play a tune.
I wanna let you know that you shouldn't be
intimidated when you here the word jazz
and start to get scared.
In first position, all I'm gonna have you
do is just play notes like in the scale.
Because when you're playing blues,
you're playing in rifts and licks.
You're playing things.
When you're playing jazz on the other
hand, you're trying to play
streams of eighth notes.
And a very simple jazz chord progression,
just a two, five, one.
We're in the key of C and
I'm just gonna play D minor, [SOUND] G, C.
I'll just play it a few times.
I'm playing
extremely square,
but I'm just showing
you that it's
just the notes of
the major scale.
It's two, five, one and a sixth chord too.
Two, five,
one, six.
I'm playing very,
very square, but
just to get you used to the idea,
if you do this on the harmonica.
I was trying
to swing a little bit,
just playing the notes
in the major scale
pretty much.
So there aren't too many bends.
I'm exaggerating
the swing now.
You can
recognize some
of the exercises.
I'm just
playing the most
boring stuff, but
it's sort of almost
sounds like jazz and
that's what I want
you to get into.
It was a preparation for playing swing and
jazz tunes to get used to the idea of
playing things that just keep going.
Just play
it in first
Of course, we're gonna get much more
elaborate, fancier and bluesier and
play jazz in 2nd position,
in 3rd position and 4th position,
in 12th first flat position, also in
the eleventh position, which is B flat.
We're gonna get into playing
all different kinds of things,
if you really stick with it a and
wanna take it to those levels, but
just something just tell you to impart to
you that it's not impossible to play jazz.
It's not like, my God, I'll never do that.
If you just start with letting it
go a little bit, letting it fly.
Just playing these notes that are all
along the major scale, experiment,
play some of those exercises.
The one, two, three, four.
Two, three, four, five.
Three, four, five, six.
That's why I give you the exercises.
It's so that the scale will be familiar
territory that you can traverse from
many different angles, you can jump
over notes, you can go backwards,
you can go in zigzags.
Because that's what it'll take for
you to be a jazz improviser is
a familiarity with scales and
a little later in this
course here with arpeggios.
While I play this very simple [SOUND] two,
five, three,
six [SOUND] progression for you,
pretty much all the notes in
the major scale fit over it.
In C major and
that's why I did it is because its
kind of hard to make a mistake.
I mean, there's some notes that are gonna
sound a little wrong against some of
the chords, but the important thing
[SOUND] is not worrying about that at
first is to try to keep your rhythm going.
I mean,
if you hit that note
really loud.
Gee, maybe it's not right and
maybe you'll remember it next time.
That's one of the things about jazz is,
it's an experiential thing.
It's in the moment and
you learn from your mistakes in jazz,
because things are moving quickly and
so it's almost like being
a football player running down field,
open field runners and
these chords are coming at you and
you have deal with them on the fly.
There's no time to think because
they're coming at you pretty quickly.
So, if you get used to moving quickly.
And having any
kind of groove and a swing.
Then when you start to play jazz,
at least you'll have the feeling for this.
And right now, like I said, don't worry
about mistakes or wrong notes and
that's why I gave you
these chords to play over.
Matter of fact, maybe I'll just
play over them a little bit for
you and
you can play along with me right now.
Hows that?
One, two, one, two, three, four.
So, if any of you try to play along
with this simple little two, five,
one, six chord progression, and
feel pretty good about what you've played.
Feel free to send some videos in to me,
and I'll let you know what I think.