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Harmonica Lessons: 12th Position Intermediate: "Rhythm Changes"

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And yet
another tune that you can play in this
key is what's called rhythm changes.
And this is gonna be a little
bridge to playing jazz tunes,
and playing swing tunes on the harmonica
which I'm gonna get into great detail on,
in the more advanced
section of this website.
So I got rid of rythym.
This chord progression is something
that you've all heard many times.
And it is used as the basic material,
as the chordal
structure for
lots of jazz tunes and swing tunes.
Sometimes just the A section
of the tune is used.
Sometimes just the B section
is used in the middle.
Sometimes they'll use a different
middle section but the same A section.
And in the key of F it sounds like this.
It's like lots of TV themes,
I'm dating myself,
but the Flintstones and
all sorts of others.
Leave it to beaver,
I mean this is like public
domain chord progression.
It happens to have been
written by George Gershwin,
who wrote a whole lot of good stuff, and
in 1928 maybe, or something like that.
It just goes back and
forth between these chords,
and then it goes to the bridge,
which gets a little bit weird.
It's an A seven.
To a D seven.
To a G seven to a C seven.
It doesn't sound weird and
it isn't really weird but
on the diatonic harmonica
it can be a little strange.
then it goes back to the A section.
It's called
an AABA form.
Eight bars, and
then you repeat that eight bars.
And then you play the last section
again and it's another eight bars.
So 32-bar form.
So, if you're using the 12th
position on this instrument here,
you can play bluesy things on it,
jazzy things.
I didn't
use any overblows
there and it sounded
pretty jazzy.
So, now the bridge,
A7, so if you remember all your positions,
A is the fourth position.
So now,
I'm just gonna play the tonic notes.
And then D,
which is the third position.
And then G which is more familiar ground,
which is cross harp.
And then C,
which is first position.
And then back to the,
the bridge is the hard part.
So we can do the stepping
stones thing if we want.
You know if you play that
in a club full of people who are having
a good time, they'll love it.
All I did was I just played one note.
That one note worked
over those four chords.
Isn't that wild?
It's an A
because A is A.
A is the fifth note of D and
it's in the D seven chord.
And A is the ninth of G seven which
is in the mixolydian mode.
And then it's the sixth of C, which is
and then it's the third of F.
So I can hold it all
the way through there.
It's amazing, if you find the right
note it's like you've hit gold.
[LAUGH] And you can just,
with a very limited amount of technique
on the harmonica, you could survive
some fairly weird chord changes if
you use this stepping stones idea.
Now to get a little bit more elaborate.
To really learn changes,
you should learn what
the arpeggios of the chords are.
So if we have an A7 chord
the notes of that chord are A [SOUND],
C-sharp [SOUND], E [SOUND], and
G [SOUND], and A
And then D7 chord
is D, C, A, F-sharp, D.
And then G7
which you know.
you can lay into a blues lick on the G7.
And then C.
C7 has a B-flat in it.
So if I wanted to play academically
on the bridge here.
If you practice,
you can practice
playing like that.
There are very many, once you get into
learning jazz tunes, you can buy CDs and
also computer programs that
have millions of tunes on them.
I would say, Jamey Aebersold's CDs and
also Band in the Box,
which is a computer program.
I mean, thousands of tunes on them.
And you can practice along with those,
cause I can't possibly give you all
the backing tracks for you to practice on.
All the tunes that you're gonna
want to learn, on this website.
But this is I Got Rhythm, and
I'm playing it in the key of F.
Which is not the actual key
that the tune is played in.
The actual key, the standard key,
of I Got Rhythm is B-flat.
I'll deal with that in
a little while, but,
back to the bridge.
what if I want to play
a little lick in each key?
Just a little sorta hokey,
jazzy, bluesy lick.
Same thing in D.
Because we can't get E-flats yet.
That's another approach to playing,
is to find one lick that you can
play over each of the chords.
Just for beginning stuff, and
if you want to practice
the notes of the scales that go
with each of these chords,
you can do Mixolydian mode.
Whoops, we need an F-sharp.
You don't know how to do that one yet.
See what I mean?
It's a little strange if you're not
a fully chromatic, diatonic player yet.
But D
The D Mixolydian mode just requires
that you hit an F-sharp on the second hole
draw, instead of an F.
That's not very hard at all.
A G is Mixolydian.
And C on the bottom octave.
Instead of playing B, play B-flat.
So if you practice this stuff,
this is a little, sort of a preface,
to being able to play jazz.
This tune is such a common tune and
this bridge is something that is very
easy to play on most instruments,
except our lovely instrument.
But in 12th position, it's not too bad.
And the standard key,
like I said, is B-flat.
And we're going to playing it in B-flat
with the band a little bit later on.
So I think that's probably
enough at this time,
for rhythm changes in 12th position.
I think that's probably gonna close out
the intermediate section
of the website for now.
And if you guys decide to play
some blues in 12th position.
If you want to do it to a tape or
something in the key of F or
if you want to do it to the backing track
here in the key of G using your D harp.
I'd be really curious
to hear how you sound.
And if you pick out some sort of jazz
standard that uses major seventh chords,
whether it's in F or any other key,
if you figure out the equation for
how to play in 12th position.
For example, if it's in C and
you want to play in 12th position,
you go C, B, A, G and
you get to the G harp.
So you can send in those things to me and
I love to hear them.