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Harmonica Lessons: "Wildwood Flower"

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[MUSIC]
Wildwood Flower, this is a really great
old timey tune and
I believe it's a Carter Family song,
and it's got really beautiful lyrics too.
So for all you harmonica
players who can't bend notes,
but who can play,
this is a good tune for you.
It's in G, I'm playing on a G harp,
first position.
[MUSIC]
So it starts
on five blow.
[MUSIC]
It starts on the third note of the scale.
[MUSIC]
Go up to seven blow, back down to five.
[MUSIC]
And four, cuz it's in G.
And then it goes up to.
[MUSIC]
Up to eight blow.
[MUSIC]
Six draw.
[MUSIC]
Six blow.
[MUSIC]
And you notice,
like a lot of old timey tunes,
it has extra bars, it's.
[MUSIC]
Because they
hold the last note.
[MUSIC]
I think it's higher.
[LAUGH] It's almost
like church hymns where
the whole last note of the line over.
So it's five bar phrase.
[MUSIC]
They repeat it.
[MUSIC]
Two.
[MUSIC]
Three.
[MUSIC]
Four.
Five.
[MUSIC]
Four,
five.
[MUSIC]
Two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Five, and then there's a little.
[MUSIC]
And on the, when we can't bend,
we can't hit that flat third,
cuz these tunes,
even the old timey tunes,
all have Blues elements in them, and
it's a really amazing story how
Blues got into Appalachian music.
Bill Monroe talks about it quite a bit
in this wonderful documentary about him,
where he talks about the great black
musicians that he grew up playing with.
There was a guitar player named Arnold
Schultz, I believe was his name, and
he said that he was just about the most
influential instrumentalist in
the history of bluegrass, along with his
Uncle Penn who was a fiddle player that
he wrote that tune about, so
there's something real wonderful,
American story about this music,
the combination of the English,
British Isles culture, and the black
American culture coming together.
So, I believe the Carter family
collected this song, A.P. Carter.
So, this is the way it goes.
[MUSIC]
And I'm doing the tongue
vamping thing for rhythm.
[MUSIC]
Some tongue trills and sixths.
[MUSIC]
No
bending.
[MUSIC]
I couldn't
help myself.
[MUSIC]
So, first position.
If you're playing along
with old timey musicians,
you don't know how to bend notes,
you want to play a tune like this?
You can play it in first position,
and if you want to,
you can also play in second position
without knowing how to bend notes,
although I know you're gonna
want to know how to bend notes.
So let's assume it's in D now.
[MUSIC]
Some pretty
complicated tongue
blocking right there.
[MUSIC]
I'm staying in the right chords.
[MUSIC]
It brings out the bluesyness of the melody
differently when you
play it in cross harp.
[MUSIC]
Bending, look out.
[MUSIC]
I'm just trying as
hard as I can not to bend.
[MUSIC]
It's pentatonic scales.
[MUSIC]
First, second, third, fifth, and
sixth notes of the scale.
[MUSIC]
Six blow.
[MUSIC],
Six draw, seven draw, eight draw and
eight blow.
[MUSIC]
A lot of bluegrass licks are mostly
comprised of pentatonics.
[MUSIC]
Country licks, and
then you kind of mix
the pentatonics with the blues.
[MUSIC]
When you learn how to bend notes.
[LAUGH] So, that's a little bit of
Wildwood Flower just showing you how to
play it, and then if you look in the
intermediate section, for you beginners,
I'll have a version of it where I play it
in first position, and second position,
and 12th position, and that's gonna
be more for the intermediate players
to play in twelfth, I'll just
give you a little hint right now.
Twelfth position is the key
of the fifth hole draw.
[MUSIC]
It involves playing the melody,
it will involve over those too, but
it's playing the major
pentatonic scale in that key,
it doesn't involve any of that.
You just have to be able to play.
[MUSIC]
And the breathing sequence is all
different, it starts on
the fifth hole draw.
[SOUND] Six blow.
[SOUND] Six draw.
Seven blow.
[SOUND] Eight draw.
[SOUND] And then nine draw.
[MUSIC]
Go down to four blow, four draw.
[MUSIC]
Just a little introduction to
12th position, and you'll see,
if you look at the lessons, that I do
talk a little bit about 12th position
in intermediate section, as well.
I have some versions of some tunes.
So it's just something for
you beginners to check out, and
hope you enjoy playing the tune.
[MUSIC]