Re: [Harp-L] Pete Schmidt backing tracks (or others)

Thanks for the advice and the tips! I know my post was long but I've found when I don't lay it all out I notice some folks make assumptions and you get the "learn to read music" or "first get good tone" type of flip responses. Not helpful. Maybe my post erred on the other extreme, though.
Anyway, I will check out this cd. It is one I don't have yet.

Bill Hines wrote:

First, great post! Second, my main piece of advice to you is to use
paragraphs :^)  When many folks open a message like yours, it's just
intimidating to them and they will delete it or go to the next one.
Break it up into more absorbable chunks and you'll get more folks'
attention. You're not the only one! I've been guilty of this on occasion
too. Of course, less words work better also :^)

Anyhoo - to answer what I think your question is (i.e. something like
the pete schmidt tracks but a more 'band like' setting) I think a great
answer is the "Sittin' in With the Greats" cd. It has some great
musicians like Willie Kent, John Primer, Magic Slim etc on it. I too
loved the Schmidt CDs but found them lacking in preparing me to go to
jam sessions because it was one long instrumental. There were no vocals
and places where I'd have to insert my own 12 or 24 bar solos. This cd
I'm talking about has exactly that. Some classic blues songs with the
space for you to jump in and do your thing, like a real jam might. Check
it out, just google and you'll find it but try to buy from harp stores
first to support them like Coast2Coast Music and Best Lil Harp House.

Bill Hines
Hershey, PA

-----Original Message-----
From: harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Jonathan McAnulty
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 12:37 PM
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Harp-L] Pete Schmidt backing tracks (or others)

I had a question for the list, maybe some of you have worked this out already. First some background so you know where I'm coming from with this question. I have been working diligently for the past 4 years on getting more proficient at harp. I have taught myself music theory, I have worked hard on technique and tone, I have taken lessons, learned riffs and rhythm shuffles, worked on improv within different song structures although mostly within the more typical blues structures and I have learned quite a few songs (mostly blues but also different stuff like Ozark Mtn Daredevils and Charlie McCoy songs) pretty close to note for note to try to absorb part of what the masters of the genre have done. I have all of Pete Schmidt's backing track CDs and like them for improv. I also have other backing tracks I have picked up along the way

from various sources. I also have various great books like Tom Ball's on

Little and Big Walter licks. I practice about an hour a day. I have also

been delving deeply into many new artists (new for me, not necessarily contemporary), blues and otherwise, that I had never previously heard of

to expand my musical universe. Its all been a lot of fun, continues to be so (almost to the point of addiction) and I think I have steadily improved. So, on toward my question, in learning specific songs I have either obtained the tab or worked it out myself and then usually play along with the songs on CDs of the original performances to help me work

out phrasing, timing, etc. This is fun but has limits. Lately, I have found it very instructional to play these same songs without the CD while keeping the time and rhythms going in my head as if I was listening to the CD. This is really helpful in actually hearing what I am playing and upping the quality of my playing, adding more tone and nuances than before, as it is much easier to be critical of what is coming out without the harp on the original recording covering some of my errors. Same goes for amplified playing. This also has limits and it would be nice to play these same songs with a backing rhythm track (rather than just doing improv) as that would help timing and is more interesting than using a metronome. So, what I am asking is does anyone have specific songs (especially blues) that they know fit well with the Pete Schmidt backing tracks (specific tracks) that are either well known

or more obscure but would be fun to learn or to other tracks that are available? I'm not in a position to pursue a band or jam sessions right now so this would be a nice intermediate step to develop.

As a side note, it seems like this type of product (combined jam track with harp tab for a specific song) would be a nice product to market on a per song basis on the web to create one of those diversified income streams Tom Ball wrote about. The tracks would not have to be as lush and full as those put out by Pete Schmidt. In fact, in many blues classics the bass and drum lines are often quite spare which would markedly simplify their production.
All thoughts and input welcome.
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