We’re starting in on a new song this week - John Hartford’s unreasonably happy “Living In The Mississippi Valley.” To me this is a delightful piece of music from several different angles. But perhaps the thing that most distinguishes it is the irregular phrase lengths and how they make it feel like there are irregular numbers of beats and measures.
There are 2 ways to learn a song like this: you can do the brute force approach of just memorizing the way it all feels, irregular phrases and all (which is how I first learned it); or you can take a slightly more deliberate, analytical apprach (which for most people will probably be much quicker) where we count the different measures with different numbers of beats and try to create a structure that taps into our brains’ abilities to label and organize things. The latter approach is what I will be explaining in this lesson. So enjoy this new challenge and don’t be afraid to just sit back and count for awhile until the counting and feeling of the phrases become second nature.
Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Mississippi
Loop 2:33 Breakdown of Crooked Rhythm
Loop 16:21 Practice Loop