Rick Estrin

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Mr. Lee's Mambo


First Chorus Breakdown

Hey Sonic Junction -

This week we'll be learning the remainder of the first verse of "Mr. Lee's Mambo". Last week we covered the rhythm chords and the licks that go over the I chord change. This week we'll learn what to do over the IV and V. The notes and licks we're playing in this first verse have a lot in common with many typical blues Basslines. Good news - because once you get this week's changes down, you can put 'em together with what we covered last week and you'll have some useful knowledge that can be applied to lots of other types of grooves.

Rick Estrin

PS. Keep the feedback coming! (By feedback I mean comments and questions, not the other kind!)

 

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Groove
key of E
A Harp
Rick Estrin
Mr. Lee's Mambo

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

Loop 0:00 Review of Last Week

Loop 1:04 IV Chord Riff

Loop 1:45 Breakdown of V Chord Riff

Loop 3:05 First Verse Practice Loop

Loop 3:34 Breakdown of IV Chord

Loop 5:20 Practice Loop of First Verse

Loop 5:52 Slow Practice Loop of First Verse

Loop 6:42 Review and How To Learn It

Loop 8:44 Slow Practice Loop of First Verse

Loop 9:16 Closing Thoughts

 

 

 

 

Comments

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andre Loiselle
andre Loiselle Oct 07, 2016

 My friend .... any comments ??

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Oct 10, 2016

Hey Andre! Really good! You're groovin' right in the pocket! The only suggestion I have would be on the V, try and articulate the bent note and the unbent 3 draw notes with a little more definition. Overall - great!!!

Davide
Davide Oct 01, 2016

Hi Rick,

i love this piece of music a lot, but I have some problems at playing it. First: it's seems much harder for me to play the third bent note, like it seems to me that I squeeze my mouth, a lot of air passes through it, and than some sound appears. the result is a very "airy" (meaning full of air) sound. it's far away from what you manage to play. 

second i don't get what you do when you play on the IV. first, second and third blow, then third bent ... and then? and I don't get how to put them together, linked...

and then I don't get much of the V. Basically when you do the bent notes, i don't know how to play them well.... how to improve the bending on the Third hole? thanks a lot, big hug from italy

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Oct 10, 2016

Hi Davide - On the IV, I'm blowing on the first hole, then blowing on the second hole, then I'm blowing on the third hole - after that, I'm drawing on the third hole bent and I'm quickly bending it just a little more before returning to blowing on the third hole. Also, if you're having trouble with the bends, Sonic Junction has a huge backlog of lessons. Go back and look for some of Jerry Portnoy's early lessons on bending and getting a clear, focused tone without sounding "airy". Most importantly don't become discouraged. You only have to put in the time practicing. It might not sound like you want it to sound right away, but trust me, If this stuff was really difficult, I couldn't do it! :-)

Tominou
Tominou Sep 26, 2016

I've been offered my first low harp, in the key of A for my birthday this week. So I just begin to discover it. As you guess, I'm not a "master musician", but I let my imagination work, and my pc did the rest to assemblate the 2 extracts. Probably basic, but I share with you my happiness to play!  ;))

Tominou
Tominou Sep 26, 2016

Hello teacher! I've so much to learn... I've worked hard on this one, and this is the result. A few seconds only, but many tricks to catch for me. I'm very happy you explained and you showed so clearly how to do ghost notes. And I'm happy to see I can reproduce some of them now! I feel it's usefull for my playing as you said.

On your video about the second chorus, i see it's hard for you to repeat and repeat the peace so slowly, but I ask you: don't give up! It's THE thing I prefer to get a max of informations (with my ears and with my eyes too cause your face is very expressive). Thank you for sharing all this with us. 

If you have any comment, i will be honored...hard to think at the same time about the  tempo, notes, altérations, breath etc... )

Thomas (from France)

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 28, 2016

Hi Thomas - You do a good job on the first verse too! The only real suggestions I might try would be to: 1) Pay closer attention to the way you're shaping 3 draw. Try to replicate the bends and phrasing a little more closely. And: 2) Sometimes you're using 2 draw when I'm using 3 blow. It's the same note of course, but often there's a reason why I'm choosing one over the other. They're both good choices in certain spots and the fact that the harmonica is laid out with 2 draw and 3 blow being the same note is something you want to take advantage of to your benefit.Usually the reason for the choice involves the best way to keep the phrasing flowing nicely.

But, once again, excellent job overall!

Tominou
Tominou Oct 09, 2016

 I worked on what you wrote to me: 3 blow instead of 2 draw (I didn't catch it firstly, thank you very much, the sound is better) and bending 3 draw closer to what you did (still not perfect but better I hope)... Your advices are efficient, don't you think? (please don't say no!)

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Sep 18, 2016

This has come up for me before when I was working out something from a record and I think I kind of worked around it because at the time I just couldn't manage it.  I've notice that when I've tinkered with 3rd position the transition from the 2 hole to the 4 hole has been kind of a black hole for me.  I can play licks and even improvise on the 1 and 2 holes or on the 4 and above but can't seem to connect across that gap.  Sounds like making the 2 bend to 3 bend move might be a key. I'll definitely keep working on it, with patience :)

Thanks,

Bill

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 18, 2016

That's the only moderately tricky part in the song. But as you're recognizing, learning to negotiate that transition is going to open up a whole bunch of cool new options for you - guaranteed

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Sep 17, 2016

Hey Rick,

The 5-chord part is definitely the trickiest for me.  I know I've asked this before but just to check - are you playing all those 2 and 3 hole bends tongue-blocked?  I want to make sure I work on whatever you're doing because, well, it sounds great..

Thanks,

Bill

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 17, 2016

Hi Bill - I'm tongue blocking it, but if you're more comfortable lipping it, that's ok too. Going from the half step bend on the 2nd hole to the full bend on the 3rd hole takes some practice, but once you get it, it'll be well worth it. Don't let yourself get too frustrated. I sometimes have to remind myself to calm down and try to be a little patient with myself. Some licks and techniques are a little trickier than others. This is a note transition that's going to be real useful on the V of any blues in crossed position and also on the I in 3rd position. 

 
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