the last jam our keyboard/vocalist wanted to do Rollin`and tumbling`....I tried to do filler harp riffs like jack bruce did with cream.....but when mr keyboard called on me for solo I struggled for air......too many draws with no blows on filler.....never got the air out.....any tips for next time?
The version you did was probably much rock-ier than what Jo and I do as a duo. You were maybe doing the more Elmore James version ala Cream. I'd have to hear that version to be sure but what position were you playing? The James version I had on cassette those many moons ago would be a good one for 3rd position I think. ---------- Music and travel destroy prejudice.
it was second position......just going back& forth on 2 draw and the blue third on fills between vocals.....tempo very fast with no time to catch my breath....on solo I tried to use 3blow 4blow 6blow just to get the air out
Tom Ball tabbed it out and demonstrated it in his Little Walter & Big Walter Licks book. I learned it from his example, but then when it came to playing it with a band I used an example posted here by Martin as my model. This was subtly different and I found it easier to sync with the band; once I had that going, suddenly the Little Walter licks I’d learned (as per the Baby Face Leroy Trio record, above) started to flow. I’d quite like to do the song now, but it was something of a specialty of our former guitarist and the current one not so much.
In my buddy Richard Hunter's book, Jazz Harp, he points out a common problem with many diatonic players is that often their draw breath is considerably harder than their blow breath is from holes 1-6 and the blow breath is harder than the draw breath from holes 7-10 and getting an even breath force DOES take a lot of woodshedding and most players often are completely unaware of this happening and the problem shows up whenever they're playing phrases that require rapid fire breath shifts (rapid fire alternating blow and draw breaths) and so it's not uncommon to feel completely winded when you play like that.
@groyster1 -- I think this may be what the real problem is. ---------- Sincerely, Barbeque Bob Maglinte Boston, MA http://www.barbequebob.com CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
What barbequebob said. This isn't a particularly tough tune to play. Use space. If you're playing too fast that you can't breathe, you're doing something wrong. Figure out a different solo and use that. Try playing it like Junior Wells. It's far cooler sounding and he makes effective us of space. It's important to breathe.
Last Edited by Joe_L on Mar 12, 2020 12:32 PM
Good to keep in mind that 2 draw and 3 blow are the same note so you can rely on 3 blow to exhale as you play that riff, or other licks...it sounds like Walter is doing that a few times on the Baby Face Leroy recording, but I'm not certain. If you want to play off the riff, you can play it starting on 1 draw and if you are imitating the vocal line, you can lean into the 2nd syllable of "tumBLE" (as in "I roll and I tum-BULL")on 3 blow. You could tongue slap it too to add some interest. Then you have emptied your lungs to play all the inhale notes to finish the riff.
One of the things I figured out after way too long a time is that in some tricky songs like this I need to work out not just the notes and spaces in my playing, but also to include opportunities to release excess air. Just one more element in the mix.
@groyster1 -- Since you're playing it at a jam, I know that tune is on the uptempo side. However, as I said, in jams, you also deal with musicians who have absolutely HORRIBLE time and also quite a lot of rock musicians kinda pretending to be bluesmen for a day and rock musicians RARELY play ANYTHING behind the beat, which is how blues is REALLY played and if they're playing it like rock musicians, there's an 80-95% chance that they're playing FAR ahead of the beat and so everything is a lot more rushed, sloppy and feels considerably faster than the true tempo really is. If you're not fronting the band and calling out the time, in most jams, you're going to deal with this headache quite often. If you were fronting the band and you already had a taste of what they were doing when playing one tune before playing this tune, from personal experience dealing with musicians who play ahead of the beat would've been to call the tempo out slower so you don't feel like you've been run over by a truck on drugs.
The other thing to remember is where the phrase come off of. Is it off the 2 and the 4? Most rockers tend to do everything off the 1 and the 3 and almost automatically will play ahead of the beat doing that and totally ruin the blusiness of the groove in a heartbeat. ---------- Sincerely, Barbeque Bob Maglinte Boston, MA http://www.barbequebob.com CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
@bob you were exactly correct..they played it just like you said they would/did......next time instead of resolving on 2 draw I will resolve on 3blow....not rocket science.....so easy a caveman can do it
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