Rick Estrin

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Crawlin' Kingsnake

Chord Rhythm

Hey, Rick Estrin, back here at Sonic Junction with the first lesson of this Crawlin' Kingsnake. This week I'm gonna help get you prepared for the meat of the song by showing you a couple of the recurring chordal and rhythmic devices that keep coming up in various ways throughout the song. There'll be tongue slapping, some "dirty" or distorted notes, and some probably new, breathing and rhythmic patterns. This will probably turn out to be the most important lesson in the series because we'll be using these patterns and devices throughout the song.

So relax, have fun and feel that groove!

Rick Estrin







Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chicago Blues

Print Print Chords & Tab

G Harp in the Key of D.

Loop 0:00 John Lee Williamson's Style

Loop 2:26 John Lee Williamson Foundational Chord Riff

Loop 7:27 Second Chord Riff

Loop 9:32 Practice Loop

Loop 10:00 Adding Hand Effects

Loop 10:45 Slow Practice Loop

Loop 11:53 Closing Thoughts




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Samuel Gex
Samuel Gex Jan 28, 2019

That's exactly the lesson I need. I have a decent harp tone, some techniques but I still feel playing like an emulator or a bad pianola. I'm rediscovering the joy of breathing through the harmonica.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jan 28, 2019

That's great! That's exactly what I was hoping for with this lesson. It's a great beginning for learning to apply different types of chord support, at different volumes, to almost anything you play!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Aug 12, 2018

Knowing exactly what you're doing on the parts you demonstrate here makes the whole first verse kind of fall into place. I always felt that John Lee Williamson's playing had a kind of sloshing quality about it that made the groove.  Maybe a good example of what you call "intentional slop." You've really illuminated it here.  There are still some places in the first verse where, no matter how many times I listen and watch how your cheeks are moving, I can't quite tell what you're doing.  Hopefully I'll be 90% there and when you demonstrate that verse I can clean up the details.  It's also a blast trying to get the hand effects. Thanks.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 12, 2018

Give it a chance - work with it and see how it comes together for you. As always, I'll be happy to attempt clarification wherever I can. 

Robert Fox
Robert Fox Aug 11, 2018

This is just what the doctor ordered. Thanks, Rick!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 11, 2018

Thanks Robert. Glad you like it. Keep me posted on your progress, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me anything.

Boyd R
Boyd R Aug 10, 2018

I'm going to really like this tune, worth working on it

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 10, 2018

Thanks Boyd. Have fun with it!

Larry "The Iceman"
Larry "The Iceman" Aug 10, 2018

I've got big musical ears, but this stuff always eluded me.

Thanks for revealing a bit o' the inner secrets of this style of playing. Your teaching approach is easy to absorb.

Too many students are "show me a lick" when they should be more invested in learning how to groove.


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 10, 2018

For sure, this style is a pretty radical departure from your more modern, clean approach. I'm real glad you can find something interesting in this type of lowdown stuff.

Robert Aug 10, 2018

I almost think after "Getting out of town" your intro...this should have been your next lesson. Rick, I've been here just about since the beginning...Develop your ear cannot be over stated plus keeping it in the pocket....You and Jerry...old school..

create the foundation.  So I'm leading up to some thing....Jerry did his signature piece "Blues in a dream" I love your stuff...can ya do your materia on here ?  

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 10, 2018

Is there anything in particular you'd like me to do?

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