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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Under the Bridge
Under the Bridge
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Grey Owl
1078 posts
Jan 01, 2021
2:18 AM
I've always liked this Chilli Peppers song and have picked up my harp from time to time to have a go at it. Trouble was I couldn't figure out the part approaching the end. It just wouldn't work with the A harp I was using for the rest of the song. I finally got a work around by switching to a G harp. Don't think I've ever done that before. There must be a key change at that point and come to think of it at the beginning too, though I had no intention of playing along with that super intro by John Frusciante.

Grey Owl
41 posts
Jan 01, 2021
3:51 PM
Sounds great, nice playing. Not sure about the key change though.
731 posts
Jan 02, 2021
5:19 AM
Nice playing, especially the third position work over the key change (it is E major to A minor btw, so you were spot on)

Last Edited by GamblersHand on Jan 02, 2021 5:19 AM
649 posts
Jan 02, 2021
9:14 AM
Hey, great job on this! Nice articulation and tremolo on the bent notes.

Good technique on the harp change, too. It was very smooth. Although Dennis Gruenling remains the undisputed master of seamlessly transitioning to other harmonicas mid-song.

You know, the longer I play, the more I realize that one of the harp's real strengths is as a voice substitute. Playing vocal melodies with beautiful expression. So recently, I've been playing a lot of pop songs and vocal lines. I appreciate your videos because you pick different types of interesting tunes and don't always get stuck on traditional blues.
Marc Graci
YouTube Channel
Grey Owl
1079 posts
Jan 02, 2021
2:42 PM
Thanks Tony. btw that's an impressive body of work you have on youtube.

Cheers GamblersHand and thanks for the info on the key change.

Thanks Mirco. Yes, it's really catching when you get into it and that's a good point you make on the harp being a voice supplement. I dabble with a couple of other instruments and it's never occurred me to play through a song melody with them. It just wouldn't interest me. The diatonic harp is such a soulful instrument especially using bends.

Grey Owl
10333 posts
Jan 06, 2021
9:26 PM
Very nice. :)

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Soap Music
36 posts
Jan 07, 2021
11:08 AM
I always hated that song till l heard this harmonica on it. Excellent. Makes me wanna do a version. If only l can find a good camera angle under Putney Bridge so l don't get nicked by the river police or risking viles disease.
Grey Owl
1082 posts
Jan 08, 2021
7:11 AM
Thanks Nate.
Cheers Soap & :)

Gamblers Hand I found this on the net which gives some more info on the song structure.

Under the Bridge" is performed in 4/4 time in the key of E major. The intro changes between D and F? major chords before the first verse moves into E. The bridge and ending modulate to A minor.

Which doesn't mean a lot to me but explains why I was having trouble using one harp.

Grey Owl
194 posts
Jan 09, 2021
9:52 AM
It's like trying to play the Orange Blossom Special with just one harp. Most players use two like Charlie McCoy, some use three. I've found some songs that have as many as 5 key changes. Recently I tackled the Scorpions "Send Me An Angel" which I play using 3 harps. Frankie Valli was a good one for recording songs using as many as 6 keys with half step changes. "Don't Worry About Me" is a good example.
Grey Owl
1083 posts
Jan 10, 2021
12:03 AM
Cheers for the info Raven. Looking back there are a couple of songs where I have used more than one harp. On Broadway with 3 harps and Stone Fox Chase with 2.

The difference here is that with the above songs I could clearly hear the key changes and was prepared to use different harp keys. However with Under the bridge, I didn't detect the key changes and it surprised me that I couldn't play it on one harp and I had to find another harp that would work. I hadn't come across this before on the songs I've tackled.

Grey Owl
Honkin On Bobo
1537 posts
Jan 12, 2021
3:22 PM
I'd have been 0 help on the key changes, but that was some helluva nice playing Owl.

Blind Owl and Grey Owl. That might be the harp playing Owl pantheon right there.

Last Edited by Honkin On Bobo on Jan 12, 2021 3:24 PM
Grey Owl
1085 posts
Jan 13, 2021
3:18 AM
Hey, Thanks Honkin! & LOL

I've often looked to play this classic Beach Boys number as it's such a wonderful melody. The song seems to be simple to play but it's always foxed me. I've finally got to grips with it but it was challenging, as you will hear if you care to take a listen.

I'm still hanging in there with the blues. I've finally relented after a lifetime of pucker style to try tongue blocking:) This me is messing around with the slap technique on a Low D harp. The 1st part is a short Jam and then a one verse of 'Easy' (sort of), using slap again. Now to learn to bend/overblow TB. Oh Boy, it never ends Does it? So much to learn.

Grey Owl

Last Edited by Grey Owl on Feb 10, 2021 9:13 AM

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