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Harmonica Lessons: "Samba de Orpheus"

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Hi, this is a very famous Brazilian tune
called Samba de Orpheus by Luiz Bonfa.
And he's a famous guitarist who
wrote a lot of the music for
the classic Brazilian film Black Orpheus,
which is a retelling of the ancient
Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
And it's told in the setting of
Rio De Janeiro, in Carnival.
Fantastic movie.
And this is this happy, playful little
tune that runs throughout the movie.
It's in the key of C.
I'm gonna play it on a C harmonica for
starters.
It's just simple little,
[MUSIC]
something a little kid would sing.
[MUSIC]
That's what it's supposed to be,
a little innocent thing.
So it starts on four blow.
[MUSIC]
Outlines a C major 7 quarter.
[MUSIC]
And then the D minor 7.
[MUSIC]
Four, five, six draw,
seven blow, D, F, A, C.
[MUSIC]
And
it does that again.
So it's A, 16 bars of A,
or eight bars of A,
depending on how you're counting,
and then it does that again.
And then comes the bridge.
[MUSIC]
It's the two-five-one of F.
And then the two-five-one of E flat.
So from a little diddy,
all of a sudden we're dealing
with some actual chord changes.
It sounds sorta like a jazz tune.
And it gives us a problem on
our great little beautiful,
wonderful diatonic harmonica that
doesn't have no button on it.
So if you're an intermediate player,
right here all of a sudden shoot.
Here we go.
[MUSIC]
You have to hit that
[MUSIC]
the B flat.
[MUSIC]
And it's just a very short bridge,
either four bars or eight bars,
however you wanna count it.
Half the length of the A section.
And then it goes back to the last
A section with a little tag on the end.
The same length with just
a little bit of different melody.
So the easier way of playing this melody.
[MUSIC]
I mean it's easier
because you don't have to
know how to do over blows.
But, to get those notes in tune on
a C harmonica is very challenging.
So, the melody is hard to play
believably on the diatonic.
And whatever harmonica you use,
playing in C, G, we could pick up.
An F harmonica, we could pick up and
play it in cross harp.
[MUSIC]
And of course
I was doing some
other blows there.
It's got [SOUND].
It's got chord changes.
Jeez, I'm sorry, guys.
[LAUGH] Some rude person called me.
It's got core changes,
jazz musicians really enjoy this because
it's a long expansive one chord,
but you could fill it in.
You can play a lot of very creative
things within that expanse.
So you could use an F harmonic or
you can use the G harmonica
[MUSIC]
in 12th position.
[MUSIC]
And that feels really good, too,
except when you get to that B section.
It's not so
much that the chord changes are hard but
to actually make the melody sound
really great like you could do on
a chromatic harmonica or a saxophone,
a piano, a guitar, this is a challenge.
And this is one of the main challenges.
So if you call this tune at a,
if you wanna sit in and play this tune,
really practice the melody so
that the melody sounds good.
And then the soloing that's up to
your proficiency as a soloist.
So I'm gonna put on the track and
play solos for you.
Just give you a little bit of
an idea of how to play this tune.
And there are many recordings that
you can listen to as reference.
[MUSIC]
Oops,
too low, right?
[MUSIC]
Here's
a G
harmonica.
[MUSIC]
Here's
the F
harp.
[MUSIC]
It's
too high,
isn't it?
[MUSIC]
And that's pretty
much the way the tune goes.
Now one of the things jazz musicians
like to do with this tune is,
[MUSIC]
they'd like to take the two-five of
that second part of
the A section up a half step.
[MUSIC]
And added three
six two-fives.
So if someone does that to you,
[MUSIC]
you have to be able to snap,
make a little snap adjustment and
play two-five licks in D flat.
So,
[MUSIC]
and different jazz musicians
will do it differently.
Sometimes they'll go
[MUSIC]
or, sometimes
[MUSIC]
they even go up higher to the D.
Art Tatum used to do stuff like
that in the old days on standards.
So when jazz musicians get a hold of
a tune that has so few chords for so
little, for so much time they start
messing around with it, through it.
Put two-fives in other keys and
I'm just alerting you to that fact.
So this is really a lesson on this tune
for people who wanna just get started
playing jazz, with a fairly
simple tune to practice along to.
For advanced players,
who can do overblows and
overdraws, to be able to
play the melody well.
And to those of you who are take
the transition into playing jazz, to
understand some of the ground rules, some
of the themes that these jazz pianists and
bass players will throw at you and
they are not gonna tell you
about it before they do it.
So it's a multi-dimensional lesson.
Hope you enjoyed it.