Corey Harris

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Bumble Bee Blues


First Chorus Breakdown

Corey Harris Lesson >

Bumble Bee Blues > First Chorus Breakdown

This week we will begin learning Bumble Bee blues, one of those classic blues tunes that we all dig. Many players have recorded this tune...who does your favorite version? I start out by showing you the basic licks/riffs of the tune and then I slow it down so you can see what is going on.

I hope to hear from you, so please send a message or post a video. I look forward to hearing from you all.

Thanks.

Corey

 

 

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Delta Blues
Mance Lipscomb
Bumble Bee Blues

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 1:20 Chords Used In Bumble Bee

Loop 1:55 Run-Through

 

Download the Sheet Music PDF

 

Loop 5:48 First Chorus Breakdown

Loop 9:08 IV and V Chord Slowly

Loop 9:45 V Chord Slowly

Loop 10:15 First Chorus Slowly

 

 

 

Comments

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rick sullivan
rick sullivan Jun 06, 2017

Corey,   On the bottom line of page 3 of the Bumble Bee Blues chart can you explain the notation above the E string, the 1/4 with the arrow pointing upwards?        Thanks,     Rick Sullivan

JD Krooks Crouhy
JD Krooks Crouhy Jun 06, 2017

Hi Rick, it's a slight bend. You bend the string and then the new note has a higher pitch. In this case it's around 1/4 of tone. A 1/2tone bend would have mean that the note bended is the same as the note in the next fret. In blues you often make little bend under the perfect third. This blue note is beetwin the minor third and the major third. Just keep in mind that the note on the guitar are separated with 1/2 tone (semitone) and a 1/4 bend is beetwin the fret. It's a slight pitch. That why guitar is cool ! we have all this inflexions. Hope i'm clear (i'm not english). Thanks JD

rick sullivan
rick sullivan Jun 06, 2017

Thanks JD!  Your response makes perfect sense.  Much appreciated.     Rick

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Jun 09, 2017

JD is exactly right!

JD Krooks Crouhy
JD Krooks Crouhy Feb 22, 2013

Thanks for the kind word in french Corey :) I'm now working the singing part as you said and focuses every note and phrases. I've made this video when i had the guitar OK for me and approximative singing. Now i'm getting deeper the singin. Singing and fingerpick is very hard ! And i've notice that in your record you sing an octave higher than this video !! The high G is too high for me and i'll stay at the lower register i think ;)

For the small change, i can do it at this point of my journey but if i improvise the guitar, i loose the singing ;) I just can make big change on the guitar solo part.

When i feel stronger in singin and playing, i'll get more personnal :) But it take time and now i'm in candy store with all your lesson here ! And i want to eat them and digest all before i find my style. But fingerpicking blues affects me a lot in other style : i play more with my bare fingers now :)

Bless you Corey and happy belated birthday !

JD

 

 

 

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Feb 20, 2013

@jdy...ca y est...you got it.  really the guitar sounds very nice and at this point you can feel free to make some small changes (if you hear them) and make it more your own version.  as foar as the singing, it is a journey.  just keep practicing and you will reach your destination.  you might want to try recording yourself without singing and then sing along to the recording.  this might help you focus more on your voice without worrying about playing guitar at the same time.  when i was learning how to sing i spent a lot of time singing without the guitar (driving, in the shower, anywhere) and slowing down the different parts of the vocals, really dissecting them to see if what I am singing MOVES me.  if it doesn't, then i make small changes over time to make it sound they way I want it to.  and remember that everyone's voice is different.  i always say that the best singers are those who know how to use the voice they have been given -- the voice doesn't have to perfect, just full of natural, believable emotion.  never give up and you will always progress.  bonne chance

JD Krooks Crouhy
JD Krooks Crouhy Feb 12, 2013

Hello Corey,

This my version of Bumble Blues, not perfect but i try my best. Singin was hard too. I'm 10 BPM points over you but i guess i'm going quicker after each take: it's the almost the 12th take. The first takes were slower but not good.

This the one of the last attempt. It was hard to remember all the parts ! I try do play close to you, and when i'll got the song in my pocket in few months (i hope) i'll take more liberty. It's was harder to sing and play than running and hidding but i like it a lot.

The singin on the A7 part is quite hard and i have to work the independance on this part. And singin but it will come one day ;)

 

Thanks Corey

JD

JD Krooks Crouhy
JD Krooks Crouhy Feb 12, 2013

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Sep 11, 2012

@Corey...for sure it would be...one colour, one tone, one opinion....it's not only boring...it's the portrait of totalitarism... :))) I was speaking with Gordon in Olmedo and I was telling him...Corey is stressing a lot how important is dynamics when you play...and then he started...oh yeas dynamics, very important...yes, you know, because....and he started talkin, talkin and talkin with so much passion....Troppo forte!!! It must be a key concept for any professional musician :))) I'll try to sing in the next video and pay more attention to the waves and try to surf them :)))

@Bruno....thanks for your comment....for the second time if I remember well :)))..what about you? Are you studyin it? 

William Angalik
William Angalik Sep 10, 2012

'Yellow Bee'. Charley Patton and Bertha Lee (1934) Delta Blues has to be my favorite version of Bumble Bee Blues.  I like the  riff that consists of a 5th string slide to E (an octave above low E).

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 10, 2012

I don't mind you going, ain't going to stay so long
Don't mind you going, don't be gone so long
You's my bumble bee and you're needed here at home

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 10, 2012

I can't stand to hear him buzz, buzz, buzz
Come in, bumble bee, want you to stop your fuss
You're my bumble bee and you know your stuff
Oh, sting me, bumble bee, until I get enough

Bumble bee, bumble bee, don't be gone so long
Bumble bee, bumble bee, don't be gone so long
You's my bumble bee and you're needed here at home



Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 10, 2012

Bumble bee, bumble bee, please come back to me
Bumble bee, bumble bee, please come back to me
He got the best old stinger any bumble bee that I ever seen

He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long
He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long
Lord, it got me to the place, hate to see my bumble bee leave home


Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 10, 2012

@Alex...I meant 'one tone', not 'boring'.  But if everything in the world was one tone it would be boring, wouldn't it? I think we should be trying to put various tones and vibes inside the music to keep it interesting.  For example, I like to start a song at a low or medium volume to draw the listener in and then raise the volume a little bit to get their attention.  When I sing, I lower the volume a little bit so that people can focus more on the words.  This is the same when you play with other people; you don't want to play so loud that the audience hears you more than the other musicians.  When it is one person's time to solo, the others should play a little more quietly so that the audience can hear the solo.  When the solo is over everyone can pick up the volume a little bit.  This is what I mean by dynamics...the same goes for somebody playing solo.

From reading the lyrics, I think the song is about sex and love.  I will post Memphis Minnie's lyrics to the song.  Men can change it slightly to make to make it about a woman instead....  If anyone knows who wrote the song, please let us know.

 

 

bruno
bruno Sep 10, 2012

@alex - just wanted to chime in and say you're sounding great! Way to go!

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Sep 09, 2012

@corey....in italian the word "monotono" (maybe also in French) has two meaning depending where the accent falls...if it's in the third O it means  1 tone....while if it's in the second...monòtono...it means boring........E' una persona monotona (noiosa)...literally....He's a monotonous person.....anyway the word is related to something that is considered boring....curious!! :))

Bumble bee???? Is it a metaphora used to define an annoying person???

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 09, 2012

 

@ Alex...yes its is a matter of making the guitar have different volumes throughout the song, just like when we are talking we sometimes say the words a little louder to emphasize our point, or when we say something a little quieter.  It makes the conversation more interesting as opposed to someone who talks at the same volume level (monotone).  

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Sep 09, 2012

@Corey thanks...sure it's like you say...It's all about right hand, isn't it? Touch the strings at different points of the guitar, with one finger or two fingers, muting them or not....combine all this things together it's what make the difference...I'm so fascinated about how different sounds you can get depending on how you work on the right hand...It's like driving a car....It's not only a matter of pushing on the accelaratore .

Bumble bee is really a nice song...It's even easier to sing...but what is the meanng of bumble bee?...I mean...for what it stands?

@Mike..thanks...I'm waiting for your video :DD

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 08, 2012

@Mike...thanks.  I look forward to seeing your video post of the song.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 08, 2012

@Alex...sounds good.  I would suggest trying to use more dynamics in the song.  For example, you could dig in more with your thumb at different points in the song.  Contrast this with a light touch on the strings and you will hear what I am talking about.  The idea is not to play the whole song at one volume level.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Sep 08, 2012

@Slughead...thanks a lot.  I look forward to seeing you here on the site.  Please post a video when you are ready.  Thanks!

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Sep 08, 2012

Love this tune Corey!  I'm getting the first line down now.  The run is next which is going to be a little rough!

Alex, you sound great as usual!

Slughead ... I totally agree, when I get the new tune from Corey and Duke, it's like a new gem is delivered and a window of possibility opens up!

 

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Sep 08, 2012

@Corey...I'm startin workin on it...

 
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