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
 ≡ 
+Music
 ≡ 
Video Exchange Archive
 ≡ 
«Prev of Next»

Harmonica Lessons: "The Sinister Minister" by Bela Fleck

Video Exchanges () Submit a Video Lesson Resources () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Music Theory
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Tools for All Lessons +
Metronome
Collaborations for
Submit a video for   

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

Join Now

Information
 ≡ 
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.
X
Log In
X
[MUSIC]
So now, I'm gonna
explain to you my hit song,
the Sinister Minister.
Now, I won a Grammy for playing on
this in 1997 with the Flecktones.
We recorded it first in 1990 on our first
album, which is called Bela Fleck and
the Flecktones, and
that's when I first played it.
At the time I was using a Golden Melody
harmonica, just straight out of the box.
I never adjusted anything.
I just found ones that worked for
over-blows,
and didn't know very much about adjusting
reed clearances and stuff back then.
So, this melody, it's in D minor,
it doesn't have that many chords.
It has sort of passing chords of
D minor and A7 with a flat 9, and
there's an E flat chord in there,
which is the flatted second.
And so now,
you see what's gonna happen here.
I have to play the note E flat and
the note B flat, it's a C harmonica,
and those notes are only available
in the second octave by overblowing.
So, the melody
[MUSIC]
I played that, we recorded it in 1989.
I played it, and
this confused a lot of harmonica players.
What kind of harmonica is he playing?
So, this is one of the first
tunes that really brought
me to the attention of the harmonica
world, because we had a video,
you can still find it on Warner Brothers,
and
that video was played on VH1 four
times a day for several months.
And, we were in America's living rooms,
and we also played on the Tonight show and
a whole bunch of other TV shows,
and we did this tune,
Arsenio Hall, who used to have a big show,
big network TV variety show.
And the melody of this tune,
it starts on the bottom.
[MUSIC]
And, I move up the scale and
I'll perform it after this.
[MUSIC]
And
then,
[MUSIC].
Then, I don't do it there,
[MUSIC].
And then, there's times when I play,
[MUSIC].
Which is 8 draw, 7 over-draw,
8 blow bend, it's D, C-sharp, E-flat.
[MUSIC]
And
then I go down here.
[MUSIC]
And, I just discovered recently,
it's better if I play
the G as a three blow.
[MUSIC]
So, it's a pretty chromatic
use of the bends on the third hole draw.
[MUSIC]
That's B flat,
A, B flat, A, G sharp,
or A flat, G, F, D.
[MUSIC]
So now, I'm gonna
perform it for you.
Little introduction, now here we go.
[MUSIC]
Slide
over the.
[MUSIC]
first hole over-blow.
[MUSIC]
And
then I
take a
solo.
[MUSIC]
And
then I
play
this,
like.
[MUSIC]
I always do that, and Victor plays his
bass solo,
while we run around the block a few times,
and so that's pretty much the way "The
Sinister Minister" goes,
oops, except for that.
And, in the early days I didn't play
a solo on it, and later I started to,
like when I recorded the thing for, the
Grammy winning thing is a solo on there,
and then I did my reunion tour with them
last year, I did solos on it every night.
So, the Sinister Minister,
written by Bela Fleck.
[MUSIC]