playing in tune on diatonic

Iceman wrote:

>Now, how many of you can honestly
>say that you consciously address this
>when you play?

Me, for one.

Rosco is right on, as usual.  (Did I mention that I greatly admire Rosco?)
What the musician has to say is more important than matters of technique or
execution.  To a point.  If the technique or execution is too rough, it is
hard for me, and perhaps for others, to remain open to receive the music's
message or emotional content.

I was impressed by the comment of a musician friend concerning a local
performance by a jazz and swing fiddle player.  "He's so present in every
note he plays."  To me, that is an ideal.  And in my mind, inhabiting every
note means being able to affect each note in different ways to serve the
music or its emotional message.  Timbre, volume, vibrato, different shadings
of emphasis and deemphasis...all possible parameters including the difficult
one of pitch.

This does not mean that I strive to play each note at a precise pitch.  Far
from it.  But I would like my ear to be trained well enough that I know at
all times whether I am in the pocket or stretching the pitch in some way for
tension or some other effect.  And for my technique to be good enough to
achieve the pitch I want without hunting and without straining.  Yeah, I
know, these are immodest goals.  I do not claim to have achieved them, but I
believe worthy goals are important in themselves.

I do not think this discussion is at all irrelevant for blues players.  As
just one example, Sonny Boy II had an absolutely masterful control over the
pitch of the hole 3 draw bends and used that control to stunning musical


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