Billy Gibbons harp

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Billy Gibbons harp

Postby jeffl » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:34 pm

I'm discovering by learning some ZZTop earlier blues that Billy Gibbons wasn't too bad a harper. It's full tilt boogie harp,without the nuances,but he's got a heckuva "train" and real good tone,and can triple tongue well. He's got some riffs I've not used for a while;it'll be good for me to learn the tunes. The music itself has got me a little bored,'cuz it's "formulaic": they play these 4 measure grooves in repeated identical form,switch to another different groove,throw in a transition riff to another repeated groove,and don't change the volume or dynamics. It's very methodical,but played extremely well. It's just hard for me to get used to,after bein' involved in more traditional stuff. I'm doin' it 'cuz I'm takin' all the action I can get,and it's nice to be wanted. Of the 40 or so tunes the bandleader's laid on me, 13 of 'em have harp on 'em,and a buncha the rest of 'em can use harp,even jus' some rhythm compin' with a little riff here or there. This band is 3-piece (not including me),so the stuff from the recordings with boards and harp added will give me places to contribute. I might have to play some boards,which need some work.
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RE: Billy Gibbons harp

Postby oleman » Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:25 am

Three piece outfits need harp to fill that vacant space when the guitar is soloing. The bass tries but it's never enough. Ive started wearing a rack and playing harp along with my bass during the guitar lead parts. Good luck with your new gig!
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RE: Billy Gibbons harp

Postby jeffl » Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:15 pm

Listening to this rock/blues stuff lately has sent me scurrying back to all my Muddy Waters stuff,to pay a little more attention to the comping done by Muddy's harpers,and also to my Paul Butterfield band CDs and vinyls. There's even a coupla Butterfield tunes where he doesn't do much but comp,and lets the other instruments take the leads.
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