[Harp-L] Looking for Guidance

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Thu Jun 14 10:08:35 EDT 2018

Mick Zaklans advice below is good stuff:
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
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.
I will only add that I transcribed and notated in arrow style Don Les's
terrific first position solo on the Harmonicats' "Harmonica Boogie" for my
book "Jazz Harp."  That solo is a great example of how to use 1st position
in a swing style, with lots of great high and middle register work.

AND I must add that my own introduction to 1st position was the J. Geils
Band's first release on Atlantic records (1970), with Magic Dick's
brilliant solo on "Cruisin' For A Love."  I practiced that solo hundreds of
times in my youth, and stole from it hundreds more.

Regards, Richard Hunter

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