Bill Blatner

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Lookin' Sharp Introduction and Performance Oct 30, 2019

Gagi!  You sound awesome!

Gagi
Gagi Oct 30, 2019

Thanks, I broked my G harp and thats why is missing 2nd part... 😞

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Little Walter Style Slow Blues First Chorus Breakdown Oct 23, 2019

Your demonstration of the turnaround for the first chorus starts at 4:10.

Thanks,

Bill

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 23, 2019

Yes, the 2/5 blow.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Little Walter Style Slow Blues First Chorus Breakdown Oct 22, 2019

Man, what a beautiful piece.

On the turn around, you scoop up to the 3-draw, then 4-draw, 5 blow,  - Are you playing the 2-5 blow there?  It sounds like more than a single note.

Thanks

Bill

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 23, 2019

Hi Bill, 

Which turnaround? Give me a time code.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Little Walter Style Slow Blues Playing Slow Blues Oct 14, 2019

Yeh,  on the Hate to See You Go CD it's definitely in F.  Must be something funny about the YouTube version.  Thanks.  Looking forward to working on this again. 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Little Walter Style Slow Blues Playing Slow Blues Oct 13, 2019

Hi Jerry,

The Little Walter recording sounds a little flat, like somewhere between E and F.  Do you hear it that way?

Thanks,

Bill

Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy Oct 14, 2019

I just listened to it. Must have been slowed down somew along the way because it seems to be in E here.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 9th Verse Breakdown Oct 05, 2019

Rick,

Well, thanks for giving us this piece.  You may have needed to come up with a another lesson but this was a great one.  And if anyone thinks they have this all wrapped up with a bow on it, they can check out the new record because you do a bunch of things differently on that so there's more to learn there.  Personally, I'm at the point where I've got the basic notes and phrasing figured out but there's so much dynamic and tonal variation to key in on and also just keeping that swing.  The rhythm is so infectious when you get it right, but if you slip and fall out of the pocket for an instant it stands out like a sore thumb.  Demanding piece if you ask me.  Thanks again.

B

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Oct 11, 2019

Thanks Bill, I'm glad you dug the series, and yeah there's always lots more to learn, for all of us. As you know these lessons are just a means to a never ending end - They're just vehicles for growth. 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 6th and 7th Verse Breakdown Sep 22, 2019

Yeh, while I still spend a lot of time trying to really master basic techniques, I'm learning a lot from you about swinging with style and pizzaz. You da man.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 6th and 7th Verse Breakdown Sep 22, 2019

Two things I particularly love: The 3-hole draw, "slightly bent" with vibrato.  That's just such a sweet sound and way to end the phrase hanging to set up the V change.  And then the second last note.  You kind of slide into the 4-hole draw bend to set up the blast on the 4-hole natural.  Ba-dat-dowww!  So cool.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 22, 2019

I'm glad you're diggin' the piece, Bill. With guys like yourself, who already know how to play, my hope for these lessons is that they can help your heighten your awareness of some of the little things - things that can make a big difference in the overall effect

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Things About Coming My Way Singing Sep 22, 2019

Hello Corey,

I spend most of my time on the harmonica parts of Sonic Junction but I wanted to say thanks for talking about singing!  So much in the blues that ain't western theory.  Your ideas resonate deeply with me.  Thank you again.

Bill

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Oct 03, 2019

Bill thanks so much for that, much appreciated. All thr best.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Moan A Chrome Performance and Introduction Sep 11, 2019

Hey Dennis,

You've been preaching the gospel of George "Harmonica" Smith for a long time but I finally, on a 5-hour solo car trip, got in deep.  I must have listened to Blues in the Dark 200 times, and am still listening.  There's so much to learn in this piece!  What is most impressive to me is how he defines and drives that groove - he's pulling the rhythm section along with him!  Swinging behind and ahead of the beat, which you've mentioned elsewhere, to remarkable effect.  So thanks for turning me on to GHS.  This piece is really moving my chromatic playing.

Bill

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Sep 11, 2019

Glad to hear that, thank you!

Yes, George was a phenomenal player, and a great musician. He knew how to build and release tension, and how to establish and play with a groove...on chromatic AND diatonic!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 4th Verse Breakdown Sep 06, 2019

I'm actually not seeing a backing track.  Could we get up on on the site Mike?

Thanks!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 3rd Verse Breakdown Sep 04, 2019

I've gone back to Jerry's instructional CD.  He has some great bending exercises that I  think are going to help a lot in the long run.  Jerry does a lot of the 3-hole bends puckered.  Are you doing that lick tongue-blocked?

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 3rd Verse Breakdown Aug 30, 2019

And thanks for the continued reminders of responsibility to the band of holding down the groove.  There's a lot to think about and remember but that's one to tattoo on the palm of your hand. 

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 03, 2019

All you can do, is do your best to be as deep in the groove as you can get at all times.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce 3rd Verse Breakdown Aug 30, 2019

Hey Rick,

The phrase on the 5-chord is kicking my butt.  You used a very similar but not identical phrase on the third verse of Half Steppin' and I never felt like I had that quite down.  This is maybe more challenging because it's a quicker tempo.  It's jumping from the 4 draw back to the three draw bent and having enough of a grip on that note to articulate the second half of the phrase that keeps tripping me.  When you play it slow you articulate the bent and natural notes on the 3-draw, almost staccato, both times.  But when you play it closer to speed it sounds like the second time it's a smoother transition between those two notes.  Getting it right seems to depend on nailing that bent note coming off the 4 draw.  It's a really expressive phrase that departs sharply from all the play on the 2-hole draw, but if it's not right it just doesn't have the impact.  I'm feeling like I get it about one out of five times.

 

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Sep 03, 2019

I hope you're getting the hang of that lick. These different transitions between different bent and unbent notes are gonna prove to be real helpful once you get 'em down.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Mr. Lee's Mambo Performance Aug 20, 2019

I always appreciate your advice and insight Larry.  If I'm working on a solo I usually start with some approximation of the vocal melody and see where that takes me.  Thinking about how you would play it if the backing was low and quiet, or if it's building up to a big splash, or maybe one chorus stays down on the first three holes and another moves up.  Then use the groove to experiment. Sometimes a lick you've learned or heard somewhere just suggests itself.  The repetition, elaboration and then departure that Rick talked about in one of these series is a helpful framework for me also.  After a while, you start doing things without thinking about it, but at this stage trying to doing things deliberately when they don't happen naturally or automatically is helping me make them part of my blues vocabulary.  It helps me to have frameworks and devices, as Rick calls them, rather than licks, as a way to "create them yourself from within."   Rick always says he doesn't know much theory but I think he's got the theory that matters for playing this kind of music.  Hey Rick!  Didn't mean to be talking about you like you're not in the room :)-

Bill

Larry "The Iceman"
Larry "The Iceman" Aug 20, 2019

From what you describe, Bill, I think you need "Miles Davis".....everything you need to learn about music and soloing you can learn by listening to how he deals with melodies/soloing. Believe it or not, Miles was totally a blues player in his orientation.

When asked how is it that he solos so imaginatively and wondering how he starts this process, he responded by saying "I think of a (starting) note, and then don't play it".

If you can understand this "Zen" statement after meditating on it, it may open a few doors in your imagination!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 20, 2019

🤣

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce First Verse Breakdown Aug 20, 2019

Sounds good.  I hope the rest of your tour goes well.  I'm going to focus on this piece so I'm sure I'll have some questions.

B

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce First Verse Breakdown Aug 19, 2019

Hey Rick,

It was great after listening to your records and all our online back and forth to finally meet you and see you play live at Chenango.  Fantastic show!  I really appreciate you giving a listen to the demos I dropped in your pocket.  I neglected to put my email address on the CD so please let me know if you'd like to contact me off this blog.

I love the swing of this tune.  It's not hard to get a first approximation but everytime I listen I hear new things in the phrasing. The vibrato on notes that aren't sustained long for example - it adds something I can't really put words to.  It all sounds so cool and casual but there are so many deliberate devices that make it sound that way I guess.  Lots of challenges for me.

Thanks,

Bill

 

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 19, 2019

Hi Bill, nice meeting you too! I'll listen to your cd after I'm home. The suv we're renting doesn't have a cd player. And yes, there're a lot of little things I do that I'm not thinking about at all. You've pointed some of that stuff out in the past - Sometimes it's been things I was entirely unaware that I was even doing. Thanks, Bill - Let me know how you're doing and what you think as the series goes on.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce Performance Aug 10, 2019

Will do. 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Bo Dee's Bounce Performance Aug 10, 2019

Awesome tune Rick!  Thanks again or sharing.  I'm planning to see you next Friday night at the Chenango Blues Fest - glad you made it out east!

Bill

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Aug 10, 2019

Glad you like the piece, Bill - Be sure to come up and say hi in Chenango.

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner commented on: Split The Difference Performance and Introduction Apr 07, 2019

Sounds like a good idea.  Not that I'm complaining but every series that you and Rick do is so packed with great stuff - techniques,  concepts, new positions... -  it can get a bit overwhelming by chorus number ten! There's several lifetimes worth of blues harmonica to learn from this site. I  am very appreciative to have it. 

arnold2
arnold2 Jul 11, 2019

I also appreciate!

 
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