Rick Estrin

Lesson >

Getting Out of Town

Introduction and Performance

Hi - I'm Rick Estrin. I'll be Jerry Portnoy's guest on Sonic Junction for the next few weeks.

The song we're going to be working on is the Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II) piece "Getting Out Of Town". It's based on a European recording of that song from the mid-1960s and is very loosely interpreted by me. It's also similar to several of Sonny Boys' different solo, European versions of "Bye Bye Bird".

The main point of these lessons is to help you develop your internal groove and also to get you thinking about and employing more dynamics in your playing. It'll also give you a piece of music you can play and with practice, perform without a band.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Sonny Boy II
Rick Estrin

Print Print Chords & Tab

G Harp in the Key of D.

loop 0:00 Introduction

loop 1:20 Performance 




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alex Mar 25, 2020

Rick you are such a monster on the harp. I hope to be able to entertain with just a harmonica, my voice and a strong sense of groove. Hope you're doing well. 

I spent a lot of time with your videos about a year ago and got as much as I could then. Now I'm going back through and picking the fruit that used to be out of reach. Kingsnake was transformative for me. I polished every note and beat of that tune. Sinking my teeth a little deeper into this one now. 

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Mar 25, 2020

Thanks Alex - I'm glad you're catching on to what I'm trying to show you. That groove can make whatever you play, feel right.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 20, 2018

Hello 'Bron, I hope you're settling into your new life in L.A. ;-)

I played that on a G, because that's the lowest harp most people would have. Normally I do it on a low C. 

I've never tried a Rocket. I generally prefer a wood comb, and a Rocket (I believe) has a plastic comb. I use a key of C, Hohner Marine Band 364 when I want to play a low harp. Hohner also makes (or made) a harp called a Thunderbird, and that one comes in many keys. Most music stores don't carry low tuned harps, so you'll need to find them online. Feel free to ask me anything, anytime.

Lebron James
Lebron James Aug 20, 2018

Hello sir:

I'm just getting into this harmonica stuff but I find I'm realy digging solo harp. I think this song probably sounds great on a low harmonica, but not all brands have low tuned harmonicas. Do you have a recommendation for low tuned harmonicas? How about the Hohner Rocket?

Kind regards,

Lebron James (#23)

Boyd R
Boyd R Jan 17, 2018

You got some great lesson's  here. Have to go back and study them

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jan 17, 2018

Thanks Boyd. It’s always good to go over stuff. There’s always something to learn.

Boyd R
Boyd R Jan 17, 2018

I'm going back to the lesson's and start over. It will do me good to get much as I can. it will really help me 

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jan 17, 2018

Hi Boyd - That sounds like a plan! I’m always going back and re-learning stuff - making little adjustments myself. The main thing is, you’re spending time playing. That’s always going to be helpful.

Douglas Avery
Douglas Avery Oct 01, 2017

insane solo great viedo ....unreal what harp were you using ? what key ? thx





insane solo  what harp were you usingand what key thanks





Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Oct 01, 2017

Hi Douglas - Glad you like it!  I was using key of G, Hohner, model 364, Marine Band. Everything I'm playing can be played on any normal, 10 hole, G, diatonic harmonica.

Tominou Apr 30, 2017

Vertiginous... Increasing more and more... I finally got my rocks off. Thanks Rick.

jerry tyler
jerry tyler Jan 06, 2015

you killed it love the groove you put in everything you do and that is entertaining love it thank you so much Rick


Leandro Apr 17, 2014

Simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. The Groove is the soul, and without it no inspiration.

Thank You Rick!!!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

You're absolutely right, Leandro! Everything starts from the groove.

Steve Marinak
Steve Marinak Mar 26, 2014

Rick Estrin is in the house!  Now this is a party.  Great to see you up there on the big screen Rick.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

Thanks Steve! I'll be back at the party with some new stuff pretty soon!

Boyd R
Boyd R Mar 22, 2014

This is great blues

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

Thank you Boyd! Just playin' 'em like I feel 'em.

Daniel James
Daniel James Mar 09, 2014

Oh Man! Those are some AMAZING Blues! Thank you for that Rick!


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

Thank you Daniel! Keep working at it - You'll be surprised what can happen once that groove is embedded in your brain!

Robert Feb 21, 2014

I'm liking my chops Rick.....Can't wait to get started.....I saw you last year at Challahans in Metro-Detroit. Let's do this Rick! Put some groove in us....lol  I have your DVD you signed it...but now...hot damn!....in detail, lessons..Ive I gone to harp heaven....?

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

Thanks Robert! How's it goin'? Hopefully you're still workin' on it - Believe it or not, it's still a work in progress for me too!

Paul W
Paul W Feb 16, 2014

Rick, loved the performance, that was awesome!  Looking forward to the breakdown...


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Feb 19, 2014

Thanks Paul - Like I said I'm not a traditional teacher but I'm hoping I'll be able to help get some harp players get a slightly different take on groove and dynamics. 

B---K Feb 15, 2014

You mentioned "Bye  Bye Bird" in your introduction.  Here is a 1963 video of Sonny Boy II performing that piece:


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Feb 19, 2014

Yeah man! He was untouchable on that stuff!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

I can find new stuff in Sonny Boy's solo work practically every time I hear it!

DenisF Feb 14, 2014

Alors là...Great...

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 09, 2014

Merci' Denis!

Iorrandy@me.com Feb 14, 2014

BAM! That was awesome!!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Feb 19, 2014

Thanks Randy - I'm looking forward to the lesson portion of this thing - It should be fun. 

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