[Harp-L] re: phrasing and spaces

Listen to stuff other than harmonica--Listen to the old soul tunes, the
folks backing up Aretha for example. Listen to how they can play a killer
riff that's very simple, and never, ever, steps on the vocalist or draw
attention away from the vocalist. Huge spaces in the music and it moves
beautifully. Bob Marley the same way, listen to the bass and drum
interaction, especially in songs like Stand Up for your Rights and I Shot
the Sheriff. That's the mark of the real musicians. I'm listening to Sara
McLaughlin right now. Voice like that, you don't want anything distracting
you from it. The band is there to support that voice, when she takes a
break, the band kicks in to notch up the tension, rock it a
little.Shestarts singing, everyone backs off again. Another good
example is the recent
Emmy Lou Harris CD with Mark Knopfler. Couldn't ask for a better guitarist,
but he stays way back, comes to the fore only when it's necessary.

So how do you do it? If I knew, maybe I'd be up there playing with
Aretha.These are my rules for faking it,. With a band--don't play when
anyone is singing. .Take a solo for a verse and a chorus, then shut up.
Trying leaving a hole for the snare on the two beat and the four beat. Use
some variety rather just relying on speed and power--alternate between
single notes, octaves and chords. Alternate slow and fast. Alternate the
rhythm--switch from triplets to eight notes, etc. Build it up and bring it
down. The Dead were experts at this.
So relax, breathe, and listen. It's a team effort to put out a song, it's
not a competition, it's not a showcase for one guy's blowing prowess.
Rainbow Jimmy

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