Dennis Gruenling

Lesson >

Buffle Off to Shuffalo

Second Chorus Breakdown

Hello Sonic Beings - this week we dive into the second chorus of my “Buffle Off To Shuffalo” study song. As with most of this song, you will be working on keeping a rock solid sense of rhythm with this chorus, but there are some great little licks thrown in, in between the rhythmic bursts. You will be hitting some distorted notes (namely the 3 draw half bend distorted, and 4 draw distorted), and making sure you can control a nice scoop up on the 4 draw. Remember, the main goal with this study piece is to really work on your rhythmic chops and your timing….so if you find yourself losing the rhythm or struggling with the timing of it all, just take a step back and bite off a smaller piece of it and make sure you get it down correctly at a slower tempo. The beauty of working on your timing & rhythmic chops is that once you get it down correctly, it’s ok if it’s slow, you can just build up your speed with a metronome as you practice it. That is the best way, and believe me, I know from many years of doing it myself.

So get groovin’ and I’ll see you next time!

- Dennis Gruenling




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
C Harp
Key of G
Dennis Gruenling
Dave Gross
Buffle Off To Shuffalo

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

C Harp in the Key of G.

Loop 0:00 First and Second Chorus of Buffle Off to Shuffalo

Loop 1:01 Introduction to Lesson

Loop 1:22 Second Chorus Acoustically

Loop 1:55 The Importance of Rhythm

Loop 2:16 Breakdow of First Riff

Loop 4:04 Breakdown of First Riff Variation

Loop 4:40 Practice Loop of First 4 Bars

Loop 4:56 IV Chord Breakdown

Loop 5:51 I Chord Riff (Repeat of First Riff)

Loop 6:55 Slow Practice Loop of First 8 Bars

Loop 7:30 V Chord / Turnaround Breakdown

Loop 13:00 Practice Loop of V Chord

Loop 13:18 Practice Loop of Second Chorus

Loop 13:53 Closing Thoughts 






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Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jul 20, 2016

I practice your mantra to play softly, but it's good to have the reminder.  Also your advice to go easy on that 4-hole bend lest we blow out the reed seems particularly appropriate for this chorus.





Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 20, 2016

You may want to think of a rubber band in your head. Rubber bands usually last a long time, as long as they are not stretched too far beyond their capacity. If you stretch it just far enough as you need, it will hold something together or you can shoot it just far enough. If you stretch the rubber band too much (and keep doing this) it will eventually fatigue from too much pressure and break eventually. The only difference is in how much you push it. This may be a good analogy to keep in mind when you are bending! 

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jul 19, 2016

Yeh, I was feeling like a total spazz for about two days but it's starting to feel natural now.  Got me going back and listening to Big Walter too.  What amazing tone and attack.

One of the biggest challenges for me on this piece is breath control.  Keeping all that rhythm going keeps filling me up, even though there's a mix of in and out.  It's easier to see where you're breathing on the slo-mo's.  Is that reliable for the full speed?



Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 20, 2016

Yes the breathing is KEY. But keep in mind, it's all about relaxing and not using so much breath. You only want to use as much breath as you need to make the sound. You do not ever want to play harp acoustically loud, at least 99% of the time you don't. Keep that in mind 😎

Terry Church
Terry Church Jul 19, 2016


Every chord with a T.  It's great to be able to ask the musician himself when questions like this come up.  I'm getting it...gradually.... 

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 20, 2016

It takes time but not that difficult once you get the hang of it...and makes a HUGE difference. 

Terry Church
Terry Church Jul 17, 2016

Dennis, I'm enjoying these rhythm lessons so much.  One quick question about the chording in the IV: Between the 3 half step bend and the 2, and then between that 2 and the next 2--are those rhythm chords articulated with the tongue TAing on the roof of the mouth or are you just rhythmically lifting the tongue off the tongueblocked notes?  Sort of the same question I had once before about the first chorus, but even though now I can plainly hear the TA TA ing at the beginning of the first chorus, I'm not sure here.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 19, 2016

Every rhythmic chord I am playing here is being articulated with the "T" sound. Never just merely lifting my tongue off the harp. If it is not articulated, it will not have the same attack. Thanks for asking! 

Boyd R
Boyd R Jul 15, 2016

great song. getting a lot out of this. a backtrack would help


Mike Caren
Mike Caren Jul 18, 2016

Hi Boyd --- backing track is up.  Enjoy.

tim james
tim james Jul 15, 2016

TOP TUNE Dennis !!!!!!!! yep for me it's a coool tune and lesson mate!   cheers

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling Jul 19, 2016

Thanks Tim!!

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