[Harp-L] Howard Levy 5th vid

Mick Zaklan mzaklan@xxxxx
Sun Aug 1 11:47:27 EDT 2021

   Watched it yesterday and was going to post it, then saw Randy already
had.  I think it's the best example of 5th position blues playing since the
Dave Therault cut that was posted many years ago.  My only quibble would be
Howard's choice of playing the blues in the key of B with a G diatonic.
Rarely, in over 50 years of blues playing, have I encountered anyone using
that song key in jams or setlists.  Though I get it.  When I studied with
Howard for a few months in the early 1990's, I believe the G diatonic was
his main squeeze for playing onstage and on jingle dates.  Perhaps it still
is.  And back then, there were no low diatonics.  So it might be his
natural choice for demonstrating something.
   For someone exploring 5th today and looking to play along with blues
standards; I'd recommend the low F for playing along with blues tunes in A;
the low Eb for tunes in G; the regular Ab harp for C; and the low F# for
Bb.  All practical, common blues song keys, though the harps might be a
little exotic for a regular blues player.  For what I like to hear, the
regular C harp is a little too screechy for E playing and the low C a
little too deep.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't try it, though.
   Kudos to Randy for posting.

Mick Zaklan

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