Dennis Gruenling

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Lookin' Sharp

Fifth Chorus Breakdown

Hi Everybody!

This week we break apart Chorus Five of my George “Harmonica” Smith tribute Lookin' Sharp. We're now in 3rd Position on a G harmonica which means that even though we are playing the same groove and the same key, we need to get in a different mindset for this new position. For those of you that are unfamiliar with 3rd Position, it’s always a good idea to spend some time jamming with this new position before you try to tackle this head-on in context. Remember your are now rooted around the 4 draw and 1 draw, and we will be using more of those high 5-hole draw octaves.

Have a good time with this!

- Dennis Gruenling




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Key of A
G Harp
Dave Gross
George Harmonica Smith
Lookin Sharp
Dennis Gruenling

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

G Harp in the Key of A

Loop 0:00 Fourth and Fifth Choruses of "Lookin' Sharp"

Loop 1:06 Introduction to the 5th Chorus Breakdown

Loop 2:04 4th to 5th Chorus Harmonica Switch

Loop 2:38 I Chord Breakdown

Loop 3:47 Practice Loop - Harmonica Switch and I Chord

Loop 5:35 IV / I Chord Breakdown

Loop 7:12 Practice Loop of IV and I Chord & First 8 Bars

Loop 7:46 Breakdown of Last 4 Bars

Loop 9:44 Practice Loop of Last 4 Bars

Loop 9:56 Practice Loop of 5th Chorus with Harmonica Switch





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Eric C Rodenberg
Eric C Rodenberg Sep 28, 2015


Thanks Dennis,

I get what you're saying: Go to the woodshed and kill the bleating goat.

Will do.

Thanks again for the guidance. I really like that burr you put on those notes.


Eric C Rodenberg
Eric C Rodenberg Sep 28, 2015

Hi Dennis:


Around 6:10 - it's as near as I can tell the 1 draw. To my ear it has a rough, or a burr, on the edge.  I hear it elsewhere (at 9:43), but this time on the 2 draw, going to the vibrato 1 draw.

no doubt, I need some work on the g harp. I've been playing a lot of d lately - a big switch.

the problem probably is a wimp factor. At the present my low end g notes sound anemic compared to yours. Any recommendations?


Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Sep 28, 2015

OK, I gotcha, haha! As far as I can tell, these are both 2 draw whole step bends that you are referring to...and I am bending them far down (further than the necessary whole step), which causes a little "burr" as you refer to it as. There is a very thin line between bending far enough (and forceful enough) to get this sound, and bending TOO far and forceful which will seriously fatigue the reed and shorten it's lifespan. That line becomes more clear with experieence, and of course by feel...and every player plays differently, so it must be felt out.

And I believe - as you point out - the tone and comfort at which you can play those notes/bends greatly affects the ability to make that sound, as subtle as it is. Remember, the goal for good tone and bending is not to bend forcefully, but to find the deepest resonant air chamber for that note (whichever note you are playing and/or bending) and to really control your breath, shape of air chamber, and throat movements while doing so. Hope that helps!

If you want to get better and more comfortable on the G or lower harps, spend more time practicing on them. Sounds obvious, but it's the best way. It may not sound great at first, but the more you allow your body and technique to get used ot it, the better you will get at it! Keep Rockin'!!

Eric C Rodenberg
Eric C Rodenberg Sep 27, 2015



This a monster harp piece - really digging it. You're a great teacher on this stuff. Any tips on getting that "burr" on the end of those 1 and 2 draws? 



Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Sep 27, 2015

Thanks Eric!

I'm not sure exactly what you mean...can you give me a time in the video so I can hear exactly what you mean and tell you...? Thanks!!

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