Dennis Gruenling

Lesson >


Horton Shuffle


Intro and First Chorus Breakdown

Hi Everybody -

Now we will start to take apart my tribute to Chicago Blues Harmonica great Big Walter Horton in my “Horton Shuffle”. This lesson will start with an explanation of how to play a shuffle rhythm like all the great blues harp players of the past. This is one of the most important and foundational techniques to know if you really want to play serious blues harmonica and do it the way the masters did. Then we will will take apart the first chorus which includes some intervals and octaves while playing some of the rhythm in between. 

Get ready to get real on the harp!  Dig into this and enjoy it!

- Dennis Gruenling

 

 

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Blues
key of E
A Harp
Big Walter Horton
Horton Shuffle
Dennis Gruenling

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E

Loop 0:00 Dennis and Dave Playing the Intro and First Two Choruses

Loop 0:58 The Tongue Block Shuffle

Loop 4:27 Intro Breakdown - V and IV  Chord of V IV I I Intro

Loop 7:48 Intro Practice Loop - V and IV Chord 

Loop 7:58 Intro Breakdown - Last 2 Bars

Loop 9:01 Intro Practice Loop -  Entire Intro

Loop 9:26 First Chorus - Breakdown of First 4 Bars

Loop 12:20 First Chorus - Practice Loop of First 4 Bars

Loop 12:32 First Chorus - Breakdown of Bars 5 - 8

Loop 13:36 First Chorus - Breakdown of Bars 9 - 12

Loop 15:05 Intro and First Chorus Slowly

Loop 15:52 Intro and First Chorus At Tempo

 

 

 

Comments

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Daniel James
Daniel James Dec 03, 2016

 I had some trouble finding a backing track I could play with, but this is where I am at today:) This is a very fun song to play Dennis! Thank you!

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Dec 03, 2016

VERY nice! Great job with this here. The only thing I can comment on is, and I know this will take a little time, but work a bit more on the articulation and making it a little more staccato while you are doing the rhythmic stuff. Meaning, chop off the airflow a bit more, similar to making a "T" pronunciation...but a fine job on that. Thanks!

Daniel James
Daniel James Dec 05, 2016

Will do. Thanks so much Dennis:)

Marcel Kamst
Marcel Kamst Aug 28, 2016

Hi Dennis, how do you articulate the upbeat chords after playing holes 4 and 5? Do you simply take your tongue of the harp without attacking the chord or do you play it with a new attack? It is these little details that are so hard to hear for beginners but seem so crucial for getting that great sound.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Sep 02, 2016

Each downbeat and upbeat is attacked separately. That is the only way to get the sharp attack and percussive style ala' Big Walter Horton.

Marcel Kamst
Marcel Kamst Sep 04, 2016

Thank you Dennis for your answer!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Oct 25, 2015

I'm having technical difficulties.  I can play and hear the lessons but at some point, not consistent, the sound cuts out while the video continues.  If I close the browser, reopen and log in again, the sound comes back...until it stops again.  This is happening on both Firefox and Chrome.  When I use an IPad with Safari it doesn't happen, at least not yet.

I'd appreciate any help.  This is frustrating.

Thanks,

Bill

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Oct 25, 2015

Hi Bill --- thanks for letting us know.  My guess is that it is an interaction issue with your computer.  Can you email me at --- mike@sonicjunction.com --- letting me know a bit more about your computer

1. pc or mac

2. how old / new is it

3. have the videos ever worked wiht your computer (i.e. is this a new issue)

I will stick with you until we get it solved.

 

Boyd R
Boyd R Mar 26, 2015

Got any advice on making my 3'' Bend better, it does not sound to good

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Mar 26, 2015

In reality, it's one of the toughest notes on the harp to play (in tune). Practice bending in general more to get more muscle control, and then work with a tuner to try to hold the note. I always work with students (even rank beginners) on bending immediately when lessons start. Not because it's easy, in fact it's frustrating, but it takes a while to really build good muscle control with bends. Consistent practice will certainly pay off...allow yourself time to work with it for a while and get more control, then it will definietly be easier. Also, the better the harp (more airtight) the easier the bends will be.

Taylor
Taylor Mar 13, 2015

 

 

Taylor
Taylor Mar 13, 2015

I tried two different browsers.  I'm able to record, then preview my video and hear sound but when I submit it here, I'm not hearing any sound from the video.

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Mar 13, 2015

Hi Taylor --- thanks for letting us know.  We will look into this ASAP and let you know what we find.

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Mar 13, 2015

Hi Taylor --- this issue was likely your "noise reduction" on the microphone input.  The first seconds of your original video were silent --- which triggered our "transcoding system" to think the whole video was silent.  We will look to fix it in the next week or two. 

Nice playing by the way.  You got the groove!  I'm sure Dennis will enjoy seeing it.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Mar 13, 2015

Very nice Taylor!! Phrasing is great and really got a good handle on the groove there, which is key with this tune, especially with the way he (and you) play the shuffle rhythm throughout. Very nice...looking forward to hearing you tackle more of this tune....

Joel
Joel Jan 12, 2018

Awesome! I bet if you use your hands to open and close at key spots in what you just played, it would be even awesomer! :)

Dave
Dave Feb 20, 2015

Love the rhythmic bounce of the chords but have never hit my single-note tongue blocks as clean as I'd like. Any tips on the mechanics, like whether to block with tip of tongue, top of tongue or side of tongue? How to keep out air from the other side of the mouth?

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Feb 21, 2015

Hi - thanks! 

Blocking with the tip of your tongue will give you the most precisiona nd control. Just allow yourself time to get comfortable with it. Your airstream is basically the side of your tongue/mouth, so it's a matter of getting used to that approach.

Boyd R
Boyd R Feb 20, 2015

I love this

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Feb 21, 2015

Thanks again!!

 

Taylor
Taylor Feb 20, 2015

On "Blues Harp Shuffle" on the Background Listening, how is he making that sound at 00:17 sec?  I hear him do that a lot and like it.  Is he trilling his tongue and snorting at the same time or something?

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Feb 21, 2015

He is rolling his tongue at that point. He does that on several recordings.

Boyd R
Boyd R Feb 20, 2015

nice tune

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Feb 21, 2015

Thanks!

 

tim james
tim james Feb 20, 2015

i think i'm addicted  to tongue blockin!!??

 

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Feb 20, 2015

....welcome to the club Tim!! We can have regular TB meetings and confess how much we love the sounds & textures we can get, haha! :)

 

 
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