Re: Chromatic Blues Technique
- Subject: Re: Chromatic Blues Technique
- From: "Knapton" <sunday@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 23:28:37 +1300
Here's some things that have helped me with playing the 4 octave chromatic.
I tend to focus on single note playing over guitar or piano chords.....one
day i'll get into chords.
1. My mind-set and approach to the chrom is very different from the
diatonics. Although the chrom is marked in the key of 'C', it is in reality
in all 12 keys. So, my approach is similar to a sax or trumpet player.....12
keys and one instrument.
2. A good book is 'Blues in all keys' (vol.42), by Jamey Aebersold. Its
focus is on Jazz Blues. Its got good info on blues forms, blues scales,
chord tones, beats, approach to practicing etc etc. The book is sectioned
for concert, Bb, Eb and bass instruments. The book i have has a vinyl
record. Sorry, no harp tab...just written music.
3. Play well practiced riffs or melodies in other keys. Use the circle of
5ths to move to the next key.
4. Stay calm and allow some years.
Recently i played a gig with a very fine sax player (Fred). Some of the
material i didn't know, so i asked Fred if he'd mind calling the key for me
(like a lot of harp players). He's response floored me. He said, "I'm sorry,
I don't think in keys anymore, I've gone past keys". It was true! This guy
had learnt and applied all the theory until he didn't need it anymore. His
solos were mind blowing...pushing the boundaries of a 'scale'....quirky
notes that command your attention. He never asked what key we were in, not
once. He just played his instrument.
I thought about Fred's playing.....it inspired me to learn and made me
appreciate the qualities of my own playing....Its not what you've got, its
what you do with what you've got.
Hope this helps.
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Scorcher" <s_c_o_r_c_h_e_r@xxxxxxx>
To: "! [HARP-L]" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 23 November 2003 5:27 PM
Subject: Re: Chromatic Blues Technique
> John "Whiteboy" Walden responds:
> IMHO Blues on a chromatic tends to be played in "third position "...
> That is if using a "c" chrom, playing in the key of "d".
> So if you want to play "chrom blues" in other keys (like Walter Horton
> or Bill Clarke), you need some chroms in various keys.That is just the
> way it is....
> Yes, I'll agree that it "tends" to be in 3rd, for a lot of
> players...but I "tend" to think outside the box. I don't want to be
> just another diatonic player with too much harmonica in his mouth - I
> want to PLAY the d*** thing in several keys. My twisted way of
> thinking is that if I have all the notes, I oughht to learn how to use
> I love to play blues on chromatic, it sounds NICE.... I think the
> "secret" is to put the harp well into your mouth, and play big
> chords.... "tongue block", don't "pucker"...
> Thanks for the tip. I tend to always play TB on chrom- I need it for
> the slaps, pulls, stops and octaves.
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