Dennis Gruenling

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Boxed Up


Intro & Performance

This week I'm introducing you to Dennis Gruenling who is one of the very best of today's touring players. It's important to hear, study, and listen to a variety of approaches to blues harmonica as exemplified by the greats of the past and present. Dennis is a terrific player in all aspects of blues harmonica and in this week's video he will demonstrate some wonderful 3rd position playing. In the subsequent lessons to follow he will break down the specifics of what he is doing in this song. Enjoy!

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Technique
key of E
A Harp
3rd Position
Boxed Up
Dennis Gruenling

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of B.

Loop 0:00 Jerry's Introduction of Dennis Gruenling and 3rd Position

Loop 4:44 Dennis Gruenling and David Gross playing Boxed Up

 

 

 

Comments

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George
George Oct 03, 2019

 tribute to Mr.Jerry Portnoy

ET Reed
ET Reed Jul 30, 2018

I love the way that you two guys are playing off of each other, so light hearted and fun. I'll be bouncing for the rest of my day....                                                                                                                                

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 30, 2018

Thanks!! Making this kind of music should be like having a conversation and dancing at the same time!

ivan
ivan Jun 04, 2018

Thank you so much Dennis! I still have some problems in making a good cup with my hands but I guess it's just a matter of confidence and a lot of practice! It was a real pleasure to learn Boxed Up and I will continue to study it!

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 04, 2018

Yes, cupping is a separate talent, but you're getting there! Lots of practrice!

ivan
ivan Jun 02, 2018

Mike and Paul, thanks a lot!!

Paul W
Paul W Jun 01, 2018

Well done Ivan, excellent tone.  

ivan
ivan Jun 01, 2018

Thank you so much Andre and Klaus!

klaus meyer
klaus meyer Jun 01, 2018

Ivan - Sounds Great !

 

ivan
ivan May 31, 2018

ivan
ivan May 31, 2018

Sorry for the audio, unfortunately the tablet does not record much good, however, I hope you like it!

andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle May 31, 2018

Wow Ivan !! to me ... it s very good !!

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Jun 01, 2018

Great playing and tone!  It's inspiring to watch.  Thanks for posting.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 04, 2018

Great Job!!! Real nice work on this Ivan! Nice articulation, phrases are great, and good grasp of the groove while you execute everything. Very good job, I hope to see more of your videos here! 

joe markey
joe markey Nov 23, 2014

Thanks Paul.  

Joe

Paul W
Paul W Nov 23, 2014

I believe Dennis said It's a box shuffle, hence the name of the song.  Ascending, vs a descending box shuffle.

joe markey
joe markey Nov 22, 2014

Is there a word or terminoloty to describe the guitar  beat or pattern  in Boxed Up?  I am hoping to reference it to guitar players.  

Thanks. 

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

Paul W
Paul W Oct 18, 2014

On the 4-5-scoop6 I find I have to really press my toungue down & get a tight seal to grap that scoop since I'm fairly relaxed moving over the 4 & 5...seems like one tricky part. 

I also don't don't seem to be able to do the left/rt tongue thing (not without it sounding like a slot machine)...Shake or tremolo are fine

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Oct 18, 2014

Hi Paul - with each of those things (the 6 draw scoop/bend, and the tongue trill), just treat those as totally seperate things to work on and practice individually. Those are each techniques, that once you have down, you will be able to use at will. I always tell my students work on one technique at any given time, and when you get it down, then you can work on utilizing it in context and work on another technique you may not be comfortable with yet. 

The 6 draw scoop is a bend, so I would work on bending the 6 draw more first. Practice it until you can get it smooth and comfortably. Any kind of "technique practice" like this should be done in short doses, but multiple times a day if possible. It's just a matter of muscle/brain memory. Then tackle the tongue trill. Also keep in mind you can always utilize a shake/trill, vibrato, tongue trill, etc, pretty much interchangeably. Though they are all different, they all mainly add texture and variation to the primary note you want to play. 

Mike Shannon
Mike Shannon Oct 16, 2014

I learned to tongue block from the leaflet inside the first Hohner harmonica I bought many years ago, and it hasn't been until recently from Jerry and Rick's lessons that I've incorporated chords and "slop" into my playing. I'm not really a fan of traditional blues, but it is important to utilize all of the tricks of the trade into my playing.

I learned third position, "slant" style from Jon Gindick, and I'm a big fan of William Clarke, and Jr. Wells. I also tend to write a lot of my originals in minor keys, so I

play a lot in that position.

I see you play some in Sarasota, Fl. with Doug Deming and The Jeweltones. I live in Barcelona now, but for many years I had a group, Dan Electro & The Silvertones, and The Five O' Clock Club was one of our venues. 

Thanks for the lesson, I'm sure I'll be able to "rob" something.

Mike

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Oct 18, 2014

Hi - 3rd position is great for minor key songs, but just remember that there are plenty of "major" notes in there too, so it is not foolproof for just minor keys. Lots of possibilities in there. And William Clarke and Junior Wells are two of my favorites too...very cool!

Mike Shannon
Mike Shannon Oct 15, 2014

Sorry, Adam, but I'd have to agree with Dennis. Tongue blocking is boss tone.

Mike

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Oct 15, 2014

Hi Mike - Yes, tongue-blocking is very important for anyone playing harmonica, but I know many people don't do it, or they struggle with it (understandably so - especially if trying to figure it out on their own). However, there is definitely a difference in tone and techniques that can be advantageous to you as a player if you start incorporating tongue-blocking. This is why I use it basically all of the time... thanks!

Paul W
Paul W Oct 13, 2014

Dennis, great to see you up on SJ!  looking forward to the breakdown...

Paul

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Oct 15, 2014

Hi Paul - thank you! I'm very glad to be here, and I think this is a great format for learning tunes.

joe markey
joe markey Oct 11, 2014

I really enjoyed the performance. I look forward to hearing Dennis' commentary, ecpecially 6:35 to 6:40.  Thanks. Joe 

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Oct 15, 2014

Hi Joe - Thanks! Breakdown and commentary coming soon, and I'm more than happy to answer questions about the performance. Glad you dig it!

Jussi
Jussi Oct 11, 2014

Hi there!

Great tune. It keeps me busy next weeks.

But I think its  Key of B and A harp in 3rd position. ?

Jussi

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Oct 11, 2014

Hi Jussi --- yes, exactly.  A Harp in the Key of B --- 3rd position.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Oct 15, 2014

Thanks Jussi! Yes, as Mike said it is 3rd position on an A harmonica, in the key of B. 

 
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