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Harmonica Lessons: "The Sinister Minister" by Bela Fleck

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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
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
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,
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.
And, I move up the scale and
I'll perform it after this.
Then, I don't do it there,
And then, there's times when I play,
Which is 8 draw, 7 over-draw,
8 blow bend, it's D, C-sharp, E-flat.
then I go down here.
And, I just discovered recently,
it's better if I play
the G as a three blow.
So, it's a pretty chromatic
use of the bends on the third hole draw.
That's B flat,
A, B flat, A, G sharp,
or A flat, G, F, D.
So now, I'm gonna
perform it for you.
Little introduction, now here we go.
over the.
first hole over-blow.
then I
take a
then I
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.