Playing with classic rockers

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Playing with classic rockers

Postby eline » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:04 am

What I've learned on the harp has been mostly blues. However, recently I've had an opportunity to play with some individuals who play some blues, but mostly classic rock. I guess I'm still a little awkward, because I find myself a little hesitant to jump in on some of the non-traditional blues pieces. At times, I'm not sure when and where I fit in, and I don't want to be a non-participant member of the band. Do any of you have experience with this :?:
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Postby bosco » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:17 pm

I've found that the farther you get from blues you can't just stay in 2nd position (crossharp). For jazz and rock it often helps to try and play the rhythym in 3rd position and go back to 2nd position for your solos.

Here's a chart:

Song Key...Cross Harp...Third Position
Ab..............Db...............F#
A................D................G
Bb..............Eb...............Ab
B................E.................A
C................F.................Bb
Db..............F#...............B
D...............G.................C
Eb..............Ab...............Db
E................A.................D
F................Bb...............Eb
F#..............B.................E
G...............C.................F

This will require you to have your harps well labeled and be fast on your feet when switching back and forth during a song. Also be aware that you can't play all of the same notes in 3rd that you can in other positions. Have the band record some of their songs for you to experiment with so you are not wasting valuable band rehearsal time. It'll be well worth it when you get some of them to work with this technique. Have fun!

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Postby t bone bruce » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:58 pm

The most local and regular jam night near me is run by a band who mainly play classic rock. I've found jamming with them most informative and I think it's helped me develop as a player. Mostly they get me up for standard blues/blues rock: Hoochie Coochie Man, Crossroads, Red House, Let's Work Together, but sometimes we do some great stuff that's real fun.. Rocked up versions of "House of the Risin' Sun" which I play in 3rd Position, Old Georgia Satellites numbers, ZZ Top (which is just blues really!) Lynrd Skynrd, Rolling Stones "sympathy for the devil", Led Zep's "Rock and Roll" and even Wild Cherry's "Play that Funky Music" where I play "horn" parts. It's not all blues but it gets me thinking outside those standard blues riffs.
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Postby dblues » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:39 pm

There is lots of fun in that music. I played in a blues rock/funk band for several years and loved it. The funk stuff was great for me personally as it developed my rhythm skills far beyond where I had been before. And coming up with new melodic riffs for the rock stuff was also very helpful in increasing my skills.
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Postby jeffl » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:57 pm

I've done alot of it as well, but it ultimately got frustrating for me. Obviously, some rock tunes are great with harp, and others do stretch one's creativity-- which is nice--but there can be a tendency to try to force harp parts into tunes where they jus' don't add anything, and for the most part, there's not alotta room left in the tune for compin', if the guitar players are playin' their normal parts. Rock players tend to try to "set up" the harp player, instead of letting the harp player figure out where he fits. These attempts to set you up can be clumsy,since most rock players are not used to playing with harpers, and have a stereotypical (and limited) view of the instrument. After a while playing with them, they'll get to know you and your instrument, and things will improve at least a little. In the early stages, you may find yourself standing around for most of the tune and then jumping in for a 8- or 12-bar break,and then jumping out again. It can make for alotta doin' nothin'.
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Postby Erikjr21 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:48 am

My friend who i play with for the heck of it somtimes, is more pron to rock and i find he trys to follow me at times it can be strange, at least for me
(random songs mostly)
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