[Harp-L] Looking for Guidance

Rick Dempster rickdempster33@xxxxx
Wed Jun 13 21:28:23 EDT 2018

And don't forget Blues Birdhead and Gwen Foster!

On 14 June 2018 at 06:27, Joseph Leone <3N037 at xxxxx> wrote:

> I like to try to play along with Tuba Skinny, Asleep at the Wheel, the
> Quebe sisters. But I don’t have your chops. :)
> smojo
> > On Jun 13, 2018, at 12:45 PM, Mick Zaklan <mzaklan at xxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >   I've been playing since '69 and have ignored 1st position for most of
> > those years.  A couple of years ago I decided to try to learn the
> position
> > for blues.  I first sat down and moved my cross harp licks over to 1st.
> > Very useful.  I think most guys would tell you to listen to Jimmy Reed
> > records.   I think Kim Fields once told me a great starting point would
> be
> > Big Walter Horton's "Hard Hearted Woman".  Not bad advice, especially for
> > the high end bends.  Most 1st position players tend to spend a lot of
> time
> > on the last 3 or 4 holes of the harmonica, then swing down to the first 4
> > holes for dramatic effect.  I make a point of trying to incorporate the
> > middle holes.  If I learn something, I always attempt to duplicate it up
> > and down the harp.  Helps me play my way out of jams if I get stuck for
> > ideas.  I try to listen to bands like Tuba Skinny on YouTube, who are
> > coming at the blues from a New Orleans Dixieland jazz direction.  Which
> > works well with jug band stuff.  I particularly like the turnaround
> phrases
> > those folks use, so different from Chicago blues.  And the very melodic
> > song "heads" they play.
> >   I mean, if you're looking for hip phrases, try listening to trumpet
> > players and replicating their stuff on the high end.  Or highly
> > sophisticated first position players like Rhythm Willie, Joe Filisko and
> > Don Les.
> >   First is still a pretty wide-open position with plenty of work to be
> > done.  And once you get comfortable in it; 12th position (another very
> > melodic position) is a natural transition.  Because you've already been
> > dabbling in it by playing the blues in 1st.
> >   Good luck and kudos for pursuing a neglected area of American roots
> > music.
> >
> > Mick

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