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Harmonica Lessons: "Take Five"

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Hi, today we're going to deal with
the legendary composition by
Paul Desmond called Take Five.
The Take Five was very famously recorded
by Dave Rubick with Paul Desmond.
But also by the great harmonica
player Madcat Ruth, Peter Ruth.
Good friend of mine, and
this is one of these tunes
where the tune is in five four.
It was the first real
odd time meter Jazz hit.
And it was a hit song.
It was on jukeboxes.
It was played on the radio.
You've heard it many, many times.
No matter where you lived.
It's kind of an amazing tune,
because it transcends all categories.
But it's basically a blues lick.
No matter what rhythm it's in it's in E
flat minor so I'm using an A flat harp.
That's the beginning of it.
It's bluesy.
Starting on two draw and
then three draw bent.
And then four, blow.
Fourth hole draw bent, and let up.
Four blow.
Three draw bend.
One draw, two draw, bend, one, two draw.
See, it's just like
And then it gets a little bit more jazzy.
Where you have to bend the third hole draw
down a whole step.
does that.
And it's just a 16 bar phrase in
five four counted as three and two.
So it's one two three one
two one two three, one.
One two three one two.
I can't keep my fingers straight,
but you get the idea.
One, two, three, one, two,
one, two, three, one, two.
So it's like a waltz with
the second bar being short.
And then it has this vamp pattern
on the piano or on the drums.
One, two, three.
It's like a swing waltz.
One and two and three and one and two and
one, and two and three and one and
two, one and two and three and and
four and five.
And one and two and three and four and
five and one and two and four,
it's a very natural groove
once you get used to it.
Now what makes it harder
to play the melody on
the harmonica is that the B section.
All of a sudden
you hear this is more
jazz and less blues.
So if we're playing in a cross harp.
Immediately there's a bunch of overblows,
so I suggest that you get the music
from one of those jazz fake books.
it goes back
to the main
So it's A, B, A, as its basic form.
A, B, B, A.
So, you can also play it in E flat minor
in third position on a D flat harp.
Which demands that
very accurate playing of
the third hole draw bend.
But it's like a minor [SOUND]
third position blues lick.
Then the bridge.
It's tricky,
but you don't need
any over blows
So it fits very
well on this harp too,
and you can vamp
same way as you could on cross.
But you have to be careful not
to let that major chord.
So, the vamping
actually works better.
Unfortunately there's no low D-flat harp
so if you wanna play it in third
position in the original key,
you're stuck with this D-flat harp.
Of course,
you can play it in any key you want.
And then it can also be played in fifth.
Except you can't go
down to that fifth blow.
If this is a B harmonic and
the third note of the B major scale is D
which is E flat.
So if you started at the fifth blow hole,
Bending the overblows.
This one is
a little too close.
But then the bridge.
you see that it
works very well
on a B harp for
those of you who
can play overblows.
So that is my main
explanation of the melody and
the core changes such as they are.
But it's really soloing,
is really over just the E flat minor vamp.
So you can solo for example
in the Dorian mode.
the A flat harp.
You have to get used to counting
five the big five in
your head while you play.
So here it is on the D flat.
The Dorian stuff
works really well,
if you're playing it on the B harp.
You could
use the
The minor pentatonic.
Or just play it plain old bluesy on cross.
Sorry for
my left hand
not keeping
the exact correct
feel, but
I am in five.
You get
the idea,
just to
give you an
Part two I'm gonna actually
play it with a track.
As promised here's
Take Five, Part 2.
I'm gonna play along with the track.
There's a four bar intro.
Two, three, four.
I didn't
use any
Now I am.
Then you come
back in with the bridge.
a fade
there it is
on an A flat
harp for you.
Now I'm going to do
the same thing on a D flat.
Turn the volume down.
are two
that E
In cross harp and third position.
Cross harp minor and third position.
An A flat and a D flat harp.
Good luck.
Hope you enjoy it,
and if any of you want to send me examples
of you playing it, send me a video.