Rick Estrin

Lesson >

Sonnyboy's Groove

Intro Breakdown

This week we'll be focusing on the intro verse. You'll want to get this one dialed in because the intro is going to be your first and best opportunity to grab the listener's attention. It starts out with octaves, makes a rare (for crossed position blues harp) brief excursion up to the 8th hole draw, and when it comes back down we're alternating between single notes and chords with some hand effects. The 5 change uses a 3 draw, bent all the way down to the 2 of the scale (a whole step). It's a little challenging, but we'll keep using it throughout this series, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to work on perfecting it.

As always, the main thing is - Have fun with it!

Rick Estrin



Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
key of E
A Harp
Rick Estrin
Sonnyboy's Groove
Rice Miller

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

Loop 0:00 Rick and Robert Performing the Intro and First 4 Verses

Loop 1:35 Overview and Goals of the Series

Loop 3:27 Rick Playing the Intro At Tempo

Loop 3:54 First Octave Riff

Loop 4:07 Breakdow of Whole Octave Section

Loop 4:35 Practice Loop of Octave Section with Wah Wah's

Loop 5:16 Breakdown of Wah Wah's

Loop 6:24 Breakdown of Turnaround

Loop 8:17 Practice Loop of Turnaround

Loop 8:51 Practice Loop of Intro

Loop 9:32 Closing Thoughts




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Eric Betts
Eric Betts May 08, 2017

I frickin' love this song and Robert can hardly keep his pleasure contained. Me too! I'm smiling with him. I followed this series when it first came out now it's time to try again. Love yer work, Rick!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin May 08, 2017

Thanks Eric - This kinda stuff is a lot of fun to me too.

harvey kail
harvey kail Jan 09, 2015

I'm working on my New Year's resolution to learn Sonny Boy's Groove.  Man, I hope I didn't reach too high.  This tune takes a lot of harmonica playing. Rick, would you comment on the turn around?  I'm trying to get that down before I take on each verse, since the turn around repeats pretty much the same way throughout.  First question: are you tongue blocking from the 5 chord on through the turn around?  Second question, does that Sonny Boy tag at the end of the turn around (3 blow, 2 blow, 1 draw x3) also appear-- but very quickly and without the repetitions on the 1 draw--right before the wah wahs and then the tag at the end?  

I heard what you said about how it takes all the little things working together to make the groove. I'm still trying to figure what all those little things are!

Do you think Sonny Boy would have shard all this?


harvey kail
harvey kail Dec 27, 2014

Well, I can see what I'm going to be working on for the next few months! I can hardly wait to dig into these lessons in the new year.

Welcome back, Rick.


Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jan 02, 2015

Thanks Harvey - I'm real happy if I can inspire somebody to want to learn this kinda stuff.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 25, 2014

I love this. It's a fun tune but for Me it's going to take time

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jan 02, 2015

Hi Boyd - I'm glad you're hangin' in there - If you keep working with it, the piece will start to come together for you - And, if you feel stuck or have any specific questions about any of this, feel free to ask - I'll do my best to provide whatever clarity I can.

Boyd R
Boyd R Dec 19, 2014

I love it thanks for doing this nice to have you here

Jim Wood
Jim Wood Dec 19, 2014

Good to see you back. Thanks a lot.

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