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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Anyone been to a workshop?
Anyone been to a workshop?
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Luke Juke
Apr 04, 2008
7:44 AM
Sir Gussow is coming across the pond to my humble lil' England in the summer for EuroBlues week. I really want to go but am a wee bit nervous of it all. Firstly I'm in that in between stage of sometimes sounding reasonable, and then a bar or 2 later sounding god-damn awfull. Secondly I haven't a clue what goes on at these workshops. Thirdly, I've only got 2 harps. C and a Bb harp and the last reason is I get soooo nervous playing in front of peole that I start tensing up then technique goes to pot. Any advice, knowledge, tips from any1 would be most gratefully received.
1 post
Apr 07, 2008
1:17 PM
Hi Luke:
Most workshops, if they actually get down to real instruction,
use a C harp since it's a nice middle key (low G-F) and it's
easiest to talk notes with a major C scale, no sharps or
flats. That said, if you want to really progress get a few
more keys (A,D,F, maybe G) so you can play along with just
about anything.
A lot of these workshops turn out to be the "instructor" just
talking and demo'ing concepts, riffs, songs, etc. You won't
be doing any actual playing. Bring a recording device of any
sort so you have a record of what was discussed to refer
back to later.
As far as preparing yourself, I'm not clear what level of
player you are but remember, often simple is better. Have
Adam's lesson 18,19,20 on the 12 bar structure burnt into
you brain. Practice just repeating simple licks or phrases
but within the structures and following the key changes.
If you can get to where you can just drop little riff hits
with good tone and know where you are at all time...you'll
be miles ahead of most beginner/beginner intermediates (and
even some more advanced players.) It will just be a matter
of adding more complicated riffs and changing up the AAB
pattern a bit to sound really competent. Confidence level
will go up and you won't panic as often.
Identify one or two techniques you can't do or have
difficulty with and focus your workshop questions on those.
Better to come away with a couple solid pointers than get
overwhelmed by everthing.
Listen and have fun.

4 posts
Apr 08, 2008
9:38 AM
By all means meet Mister Gussow and record the workshop! There will be too much to take in all at once... just accept that fact, and you can go back to the recording numerous times later. And a workshop is not a performance setting. If you do end up playing a bit, trying to get a clear draw 2 for example, you'll hear other players struggling also. It's part of the communion of the blues harp. We're all working on something.

If you can only get one more harp, get an A harp; E is a very guitar-friendly key, and a lot of blues tunes are in that key.

If you've seen Adam on YouTube, what you see is what you get. It's a fun couple of hours.

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