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Harmonica Lessons: "Moon River"

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[MUSIC]
Well I'm gonna play for you and
teach a little bit about Moon River.
Moon River is one of those songs that is
very much identified with the harmonica
because the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's,
that starred the very
beautiful young Audrey Hepburn,
featured a performance of this tune which
was composed by Henry Mancini,
by the great George Fields on harmonica.
Now George lived in Hollywood for
many years, and
was first call for movie soundtracks.
He played on many of them.
He also put out a fantastic record,
that I got way back when,
called the Pocket Bach on Angel,
that featured him performing...
Many wonderful compositions of Bach
from the Well-Tempered Clavier and
other places on the chromatic harmonica,
and many of which were
over dubbed where he had multiple tracks
of himself performing these pieces.
It's a great album if any
of you can get ahold of it.
But Moon River is a piece that is
very easily played in first position.
[MUSIC]
I'm playing it in G on a G harp, so
it starts on six hole blow.
[MUSIC]
You have to jump from
four blow to seven draw.
[MUSIC]
Doing
a
little.
[MUSIC]
Six and seven, very easy to do.
[MUSIC]
Of course
playing it
in the bottom
octave
[MUSIC].
Or
[MUSIC]
you can harmonize it.
[MUSIC].
Octaves.
[MUSIC].
So melody's very simple.
I recorded kind of a jazzy background
track, backing track of fake strings.
I'm sorry I didn't have
the orchestra here today.
With the right hand and
a little bit of bass in the left hand.
So it has a little bit of a swing to it.
There are many different versions of
this you can find in band in a box and
any karaoke tape, but this is just
the one that I just laid down for ya.
And I'm going to play along with it, very
straight the first time, and playing it
more like a jazz musician the second time,
so anyone can play this melody,
whether you're a beginner, an intermediate
player, or an advanced player.
So I'll try to throw in things
as I go that are more advanced,
more what jazz musicians would play,
but I'll start out simple.
[MUSIC]
A
few
little
arabesques
there
at
the
end.
So enjoy yourselves playing it
at whatever level you play.
And you notice that sometimes I'll use
[MUSIC].
I'll slur over and over blow.
[MUSIC]
five overblow to six blow,
because you can't band up to six blow
unless you go [SOUND] with an overblow,
which is a little inappropriate.
[MUSIC]
There's a lot of ways to give expression
if you know how to do overblows,
in the middle octave.
Just thought I'd mention that to you.
Some of you might have wondered
what's that little grace note he's
throwing in there?
I slur over an overflow the way
a chromatic would go [SOUND] or
the way a guitar player
would slide on a fret.
Okay, good luck,
enjoy yourselves, play nice.
[MUSIC]