Rick Estrin

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Sloppin' and Slidin'

Second Verse Breakdown

Hey Sonic Junction -

This week we’ll tackle verse two of Sloppin’ and Slidin’. Verse two is all slidin’. (Trust me, there’s some slop on the way.) With this verse, in addition to the slides or glissandos, there’s a lot of volume swelling and bent note scooping, both quick and gradual. When you’re working on the gradual swells and scoops, pay close attention to how they develop. In other words, notice exactly where in the lick, the bends begin to occur, and how the bend gradual releases work in conjunction with the subtle volume swells. Nothing contained in this week’s lesson is actually that technically difficult, but conceptually, it might take a little time to grasp. The main key to this verse is “feel”. It may take some work before you really own the “feel”, but if you’re playing blues, and you want to be effective, “feel” is what you need the most. It’s the one indispensable component.

Rick Estrin




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chicago Blues

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

Loop 0:00 Introduction to the 2nd Verse

Loop 1:20 Breakdown of First 4 Bars

Loop 3:40 Breakdown of IV Chord and Back to I (Bars 5 - 8)

Loop 5:11 Breakdown of V Chord and Turnaround

Loop 8:10 Practice Loop of 2nd Verse

Loop 8:38 Slow Practice Loop 2nd Verse

Loop 9:12 Closing Thoughts





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Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Nov 02, 2017

Well thank you for checking.  It really feels like time well spent trying to reproduce all the sutleties.  There's definitely a distinct change in tone when I go from the grip of bending to the completely unbent note.  It's almost like it's being held, held, held and then it suddenly floats free.  I go back to past lessons of yours sometimes just to listen to the three-hole sounds.  So much to mine there.  Thanks again.

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Nov 02, 2017

Hi Bill - Thanks! That “held, held, held, and then it suddenly floats free” is a perfect description. I never thought of it in words like that, but that’s exactly the impression I’m trying to convey.

Gagi Oct 30, 2017

Mr.rick we are waiting your the most advanced technic: "No Hands"...I'ts amazing 


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Oct 30, 2017

😂‼️ Hi Gagi - I didn’t start doing that until I had already been playing about 20 yrs. I think everyone should get a good command on the harp WITH their hands first, before they start messing around with tricks.

Gagi Oct 31, 2017

yes yes , know it... previous comment is little joke :DDDDD

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Oct 28, 2017

I can play all the notes, but your tone and especially the way the last note in each phrase ends is so expressive when you do it. I have a tendency to play those notes too hard I think.  Probably because the notes sound aggressive, but actually playing too aggressively blows my control.

Also, on the first two licks, when you do the drawn out bend on the 4-draw, it doesn't just get louder.  The tone changes.  It seems more pronounced on the performance than in this lesson.  Are you changing the shape of your mouth cavity, or maybe it's just when you land on the unbent note there's a more relaxed resonance.  Hard to describe in words.

Thanks as always.


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Oct 30, 2017

Hi Bill - Once again, you made me go back and take a closer look at some of the things I just automatically do and don’t really think about when I’m playing. When I release the bend, I do open up a little and slightly increase the size of the oral cavity. Hopefully that‘ll help. Keep the questions coming! You help keep me honest!

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