Playing other than blues, and talk about positions
> CHRIS PIERCE <pierccm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> Also, does anyone out there on our list play anything other than
> Blues. Surely someone has to, other than the likely possiblity of
I also play (or attempt to play) jazz on chromatic harp. It's
difficult, to say the least. Studying jazz has forced me to pick
up some music theory, which in turn helps me to play the blues.
Some great jazz is based on the blues, just as some blues players are
In a previous post, someone mentioned being disappointed on hearing
Toots Thielemans play. I can understand that. Toots has been playing
jazz harmonica since the forties, and has a style all his own. He is
very highly regarded in jazz circles, but if you don't like jazz, you
probably won't like Toots. His technique is masterful. Nobody gets around
a chromatic better than Toots. Personnally, although I love the way he
plays, I find his choice of material and arrangements sometimes tends
to be saccharine.
Another excellent player in the light jazz/pop stream is William
Galison. I only know of one cd, "Overjoyed," by him. It is worth
owning, if you want to play chromatic.
Here's something I kind of knew, but didn't really understand before I
learned some theory. When you play harp on a 1-4-5 blues progression,
you are actually playing in three different positions, although we
usually refer to it as second position playing. Let's say the song is
in G, so you're playing your C harp. While the guitar player is on the
G chord, you're playing in 2nd position. That is, all the notes that
sound good over that G chord are notes from the G scale. When the
guitar switches to the C chord, you play in 1st position, or C scale.
Over the guitars D chord, you play in 3rd position. It's a bit
confusing, I know. Fortunately, you don't have to think about it while
you are playing. If it sounds good, you're doing it right.
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