This is a public version of the members-only Harmonica with Howard Levy, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Harmonica with Howard Levy.
Join Now

by level
This groups the Lessons by level according to difficulty.
by style
This groups the Lessons by musical genre.
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Harmonica Lessons: "Song for My Father" by Horace Silver

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Harmonica with Howard Levy.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Harmonica with Howard Levy. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Harmonica Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
I'm gonna show you how to play
a very bluesy jazz tune written by
Horace Silver called Song for my Father.
And he started writing music like
this in the early 60's I believe.
And they used to call it soul jazz, and
he introduced the straight
eight rhythm into jazz, which
previously almost all jazz was played
swing and then there was some Latin jazz.
And this was using rhythms that
were sort of early funk rhythms,
but they were combined
with some Latin elements.
This tune is in F-minor, and it uses
a bassline, it's kinda like a Brazilian,
like a misunderstanding [LAUGH]
of Brazilian basslines.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three.
And that's the way it starts.
he has some very specific
piano lines in here too.
But the basic melody of this tune
is just the F minor pentatonic.
It's like a blues lick.
If you were playing it
on a B flat harp in F.
That first part you could do like that.
Except the way that the things
written out for saxophone and trumpet.
They play
if you're playing a cross harp,
this gets a little harder.
It's not as natural
as it is on a saxophone or
a trumpet, cuz you go.
There's all sorts of bluesy things that we
wish we could play in a natural way on
this instrument that are just not as
easily accessible.
So, you could try to knock yourself out.
And that is a fourth hole over blow.
And that quick little.
Involves a fourth hole draw
bend to the fourth hole blow.
Real quick.
And the same thing,
four blow, three draw bend.
You have to have a lot of facility and
not blow real hard so
that these things can just pop out.
So a lot of times if you wanna
play something like this,
you might just want to
learn the basic lick.
Which is real easy to play.
So it's up to you how authentic
you wanna be playing that lick.
Of course,
we can try it on other key
harmonicas in F minor.
You could try it in fourth
position on an A flat harp.
It's a little
easier to play, or.
It involves lot of real
quick in and out breathing.
It requires studying some of
my rhythmic breathing rudiment
lessons to really get quick at this.
But you could play that
lick on the A flat harp, or
you could play it in fifth
position on a D flat harp.
And it's actually very easy on there.
Except it's a very high pitched harmonica.
So then you have your choices to make of,
you know,
how high do you want this harmonica to be?
Or if you wanna play it in third position,
you can go for
an E flat harmonica,
which I have sitting right here.
Again if you play it on a high E flat
it's pretty high.
If you have a low E flat harmonica,
a lot of guys don't.
And then the melody
goes to the next part.
What I will do now is show you what
the chords are, of this piece.
And then deal with entirety of the melody.
I'm gonna use that B flat harmonic.
So it's just F minor
to E flat 7, to D flat, to C, to F minor.
And this is kind of like Latin music.
it's like Spanish flamenco.
So this tune, its' got blues,
its' got funk,
its' got a latin feeling to it too.
It's actually a more complicated
tune than it first seems
to be at first glance, and
since it's bluesy you can play
blues licks over all those chords
in the same key if you want.
you could
follow these
Going down
from cross harp.
then a whole step below cross harp
which is 12th position.
And then down there to what
would be E flat on a C harp.
With the first hole overblow key
or fourth hole overblow.
And then to the five chord.
And then the rest of the tune
just hovers between these two cords
E-flat, F, E-flat, D-flat, C, F.
Oops, missed that and
the form of the tune is a little
unorthodox too because it
never goes back to the beginning so
it's A-A-B.
It's not A-A-B-A, which is what most jazz
tunes are, where there's an eight bar
phrase that's repeated for the A section
and then an eight bar bridge.
But this is a little bit different.
This is just the A section twice,
and then this B section.
It's not really a bridge,
it's just a B section.
So what I'm gonna do is
I'm gonna play along
with this tune in cross harp, okay.
With a track that I
recorded here on piano.
So you get a chance to hear me play
the melody and the solo over it.
The drums are there you can't here them.
Second A
now I'm going to pick
up the A flat harmonica and play.