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Harmonica Lessons: "Mr. Bojangles" G Harp

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For all of you who checked out the Mr.
Bojangles lesson on a C harp,
here in the basic just
getting started area.
Now, I'd like to show
it to you on a G harp.
Now, you notice, the first thing I'm
doing here is picking up the harmonica.
[SOUND] And I picked it up backwards.
I just wanna let you know that this
is the only instrument in the world,
that I know of, that you can pick
up backwards without realizing it.
Think about that for a second,
[LAUGH] I do it all the time.
So, here's a G harp.
We're in the key of C on a G harp?
Now, this sounds a little funny, but
why would you play in
the key of C on a G harp?
There are more than one ways to
skin a cat on the harmonica.
C on a G harp is the fifth hole draw.
now the fifth hole draw becomes
the key that you're playing in.
And the melody of Mr.
Bojangles goes like this.
On a C harmonica,
we started on the third hole blow.
Same notes.
It's a totally different blow and
draw pattern,
when you play the same melody
on a different key harmonica.
Now, instead of blow,
its blow
instead of blow draw,
blow draw, Blow, draw, blow.
[LAUGH] It's backwards because we have to
go up to the sixth hole draw [SOUND] from
the fourth hole blow [SOUND] on
the same hole, six draw, six blow.
Then five draw, and then we have to jump
up to eight draw, [SOUND] and
then seven blow, [SOUND] and
that G chord works with
the chord that I'm playing on
the backing track,
the chords that are in the song.
So, even though this harmonica
isn't in the key of C,
you get that big G chord
that works really nicely.
And then the chorus,
you have to go up to the eight hole draw,
[SOUND] eight hole blow,
[SOUND] seven blow, [SOUND] six draw.
So, you're up on top of the harmonica,
and you'll discover that the top of
the harmonica is different from
the middle of the harmonica.
When you learned how to play a scale
in the middle, in the key of C.
You go
blow draw blow draw blow
draw,and then draw blow.
And from there on, to play any kind of
scale, you have to play draw blow, and
then go to the next hole, draw blow.
So, this is where that invisible
instrument thing gets a little
tricky because you think, God I'm lost,
where is that other note?
And then also, if you pull in hard on
the draws of the top of the harmonica,
sometimes those notes won't sound, and
you think you have a broken harmonica.
You just have to breathe through the draw
notes on the top of the harmonica.
Believe me your notes,
the reeds aren't broken.
It's the exact opposite.
On the top you can put
pressure on the blows.
[SOUND] And you just have to
breathe through the draws.
and then Mr. Bojangles, the chorus,
you can play it,
[SOUND] you can't play it down there,
sorry, because you need a bent note.
[SOUND] You don't know how to do that yet,
so you have to do it up here.
So, the only notes you
need to play this tune are,
there are six notes of the major scale.
It's C D E G A B
it's !st 2nd 3rd 5th 6th and
notes of the scale.
You never have to play the fourth.
Just trying to find tunes
that will work easily
on the diatonic harmonica,
not just in first position for you.
So, now I'm gonna play it for
you, along with the track.
Play a chord,
and then,
[SOUND] another,
[SOUND] it's
amazing that these
chords work, and
now the chorus,
[SOUND] sorry,
I bent the note.
you can sweep.
I'm doing
that hand vibrato.
Now, I'm gonna bend it a little bit.
Six draw, very easy to bend,
try it by feeling.
Bend four,
play it down here.
I bent the eighth hole
blow cuz you can bend the blows on top.
Now, the eighth
hole blow bend, and
the six draw bend.
Those are just
holes next to each
other that make thirds,
isn't that great?
So, with the G harp, you can accomplish
quite a bit with a simple tune like this.
And it's a key that people
really didn't play in much for
many years,
because the old diatonic harmonicas,
that fifth hole draw reed was tuned very
flat to make chords sound more in tune.
But now, if I used a special 20 in
the key of G it would sound pretty good.
That's what's called compromised tuning,
and it'll sound pretty good.
Maybe a little bit flat.
If you played it on a Golden Melody
harmonica which is a tempered tuning,
which is like what a piano is or
a guitar, then the melody will
sound absolutely in tune.
I just wanna let you know that
all diatonic harmonicas are not
tuned exactly the same,
there's different tuning systems.
You can look on the forums and
learn a little bit about that too.
Good luck.