Hey Sonic Junction -
It’s Rick Estrin, and this week I’ll be breaking down verse four of my latest study piece. The first eight bar section of this fourth verse consists of a repeated riff with some slight variations. The lick is a first position version of a familiar, simple, and 100% bluesy riff - My personal frame of reference for this lick is the 2nd position head to the song “Lightnin” by Otis Spann and James Cotton, but in this case, we’re playing it in first position. The repetition serves as a setup, creating a kind of hypnotic, snake charmer effect until we get to bar nine of the verse. That’s when we abruptly kick in with a semi-startling V lick, en route to resolution. During the first eight bars, try to pay particular attention to the way I’m taking advantage of having the same note available in both the second hole draw, and the third hole blow - Because we’re in first position, in this case it’s the V note. Having the same note adjacent and accessible as both a blow note and a draw note can open the door to a whole world of breath saving and groove enhancing, push/pull possibilities.
Have fun, and I’ll see you next week!
Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
A Harmonica in the Key of A.
Loop 0:00 Fourth Chorus Amplified
Loop 1:30 Verse 4 Acoustically
Loop 2:14 Breakdown of First 8 Bars
Loop 6:44 V Chord Breakdown
Loop 8:20 Slow Practice Loop
Loop 8:57 V Chord Breakdown Part 2
Loop 10:43 Closing Thoughts