Dennis Gruenling

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Moan A Chrome


Sixth Chorus Breakdown

Hello Harpers of Sonic Junction!

I hope you are enjoying this chromatic piece here, and this week we have some more blues scale style licks and more tongue-vamping that sounds so cool on the chromatic harp. Again with this section, I play around with the phrasing more than with varying the notes, so this will be good practice to start working on new phrasing ideas and rhythmic approaches to your phrases. If you ever lose your place while working on a phrase that is new for you, it may be a good idea to listen to the song and count the beats to yourself while I play the notes, and you can hear how the notes I play are connected to the beats and the timing. I know you can do this, so what are you waiting for - have fun with it!

- Dennis Gruenling

 

 

 

 

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chromatic Harmonica

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

C Chromatic Harmonica in the Key of D

Loop 0:14 Sixth Chorus Run-Through

Loop 0:58 Breakdown of First 4 Bars

Loop 2:36 Practice Loop of First 4 Bars

Loop 2:55 Breakdown of IV Chord and Back to I (Bars 5 - 8)

Loop 4:29 Practice Loop of First 8 Bars

Loop 4:59 Breakdown of V Chord and Turnaround

Loop 7:11 Practice Loop

Loop 7:58 Closing Thoughts

 

 

 

Comments

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Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 29, 2018

Thanks. I am always interested in players I have not yet heard but I also feel like the universe of blues harp holds more than I can explore in a lifetime. Plus it's what I really love. Looking forward to the next series.

Bill

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 29, 2018

Thanks! Yes, the blues harp world has a lot to listen to and learn from!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 28, 2018

Any particular jazz players, besides Toots, that you think are especially expressive?

 

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 28, 2018

Man, I'm not really on the up and up with jazz players nowadays. Most of the time I am turned off by their tone, sound, and cramped sense of phrasing. As far as players who are strictly jazz players, William Gallison I really like, and Hendrik Meurkens should be mentioned. I know there are other good ones out there, but I don't follow them much to be honest. However, for someone who plays a lot of jazz and other jazzy/world music, Bill Barrett is my favorite, and comes from a very bluesy standpoint.

 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 27, 2018

This all makes a lot of sense. I recently saw Hendrik Muerkel, a jazz harp player, and he played all single notes. He was great but the wide range of tones, sounds, percussive effects, etc. that you hear in blues playing was totally missing. 

Just to clarify, 10th position is the same as 3rd with the button in?

Thanks Dennis!

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 28, 2018

Hi - yes, I tend to agree that with almost all jazz lpayers I hear, the range of tone and expression of each individual note is not nearly as wide as with a good blues player. Not with all jazz players, but with most indeed in my experience. This also goes with the range of techniques used for express purposes as well...but having said that, most blues players can learn a lot from jazz players as far as harmony and melody are concerned.

To clarify, 10th position is NOT the same as 3rd position, unless you DON'T use the button in 3rd position and DON'T play WITHOUT the button in 10th position. If you don't want to utilize the "button" (in for 3rd position, or our for 10th), than they would musically be the same layout, yes. However, they are different once the use of the button comes into play, and I myself use the button quite often. So for me, and technically speaking, they are NOT the same unless you just want to take the "buttonless" approach, perhaps to start out with.

 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 22, 2018

Dennis,

Another question. Are there other positions used on the chromatic commonly to play blue's? Any good examples you can think of to listen to?

Thanks. I'm getting a lot out of this lesson. It's adding a whole new dimension to my playing and you're giving me a big boost up the learning curve.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 26, 2018

For blues, no. You CAN play any position you want (a few guys have used 1st position, starting with George Smith...and Charlie Musselwhite, Paul deLay, Steve Guyger, Rick Estrin and myself have used a few other positions, but for that blues sound including chords and chord techniques such as slapping and vamping, 3rd works the best by far because the chords work. In other positions the chords don't really work well (if at all!!). When you hear a blues player play chromatic 99% of the time (or more) it is in 3rd posiiton (or 10th position which is similar to 3rd, but with the root note and similar scale being with the button in).

 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jun 22, 2018

Dennis,

A bit of a scoop up on the 6-draw?

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jun 26, 2018

Since you can't really bend on the chromatic (not to the next musical note anyway) I have to be careful about mentionig and teaching "scoops" on the chromatic since it is VERY easy to scoop/bend too hard and start to fatigue the reeds on a chromatic, or make it not respond at all.

 
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