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Harmonica Lessons: "Sittin' on Top of The World"

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That's an example of an eight bar blues.
That's kind of a combination
of about four different ones.
Key to the Highway,
which is usually done a lot faster.
Come on in my Kitchen,
Robert Johnson, It Hurt's Me Too, and
the one that I like the lyrics of most,
which was Sitting On Top Of The World.
Now these are older blues.
These predate the urban blues when
the 12 bar form became standardized.
A lot of the early blues was eight bars.
So if I do it slow it's one [SOUND].
And the second bar is also a one.
[SOUND] The seventh chord.
And the third bar is a four.
[SOUND] And then it can also
be a four in the fourth bar.
[SOUND] And then the fifth bar is one.
And the next bar is five.
And the seventh bar is one.
And then [SOUND].
Sometimes that can vary.
[SOUND] Gonna use
a diminished chord.
[SOUND] And then sometimes
you can add a little bit of
an extra tag on to the end.
[SOUND] And that ends up being
nine bars or, or ten bars.
But, a lot of that is just the feeling.
A lot of the older blues.
They didn't care so
much about how many bars long the form was
because they didn't have
a whole band playing with them.
A lot of these guys were just solo guitar
players or maybe just two guys and
so they could feel each other out.
The Muddy Waters being from the Delta,
even his 12 bar blues ended up being
14 bar songs, 13 bars, whatever.
You had to watch him real careful because
he would play the phrases as long
as he felt like.
So these eight bar blues,
they don't have the format of the 12
bar blues where you sing one line, and
you sing again, the basic 12 bar blues.
And then you resolve it
with the second line.
It's a little bit of a different thing,
like this one.
Sitting on Top of the World [SOUND]
Was all the summer and all the fall.
Just trying to find my little all in all.
But now she's gone.
But I don't worry.
Lord, I'm sitting on top of the world.
They usually add an extra bar.
So this song is kind of ironic.
I mean, the guy's saying he's sitting on
top of the world like it's the greatest
thing in the world.
But maybe it isn't.
[LAUGH] And maybe it is.
And you have to figure
out what he really means.
it on
So that's the idea of the 8 bar Blues.