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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Digital Cheating, and Cream's "Sunshine"
Digital Cheating, and Cream's "Sunshine"
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665 posts
Mar 28, 2021
8:05 AM
I recently recorded a version of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" with my band. Playing the signature riff can be a tricky puzzle to figure out, because it uses the flat 3rd... readily available on the I chord, but not there for the IV (unless you want to jump up to the high end, which might sound out of place).

Some people overblow it (Adam), and some people might substitute the major 3rd. There are other positions to explore, but they all have limitations. My approach here was to play the major 3rd and then digitally adjust it in a DAW.

How would you approach it?

Marc Graci
YouTube Channel
1146 posts
Mar 28, 2021
11:24 AM
One way is to play the riff in the IV chord but one fifth above. Is just as easy as playing the riff in second position.

Another way is just play a complementary line, or maybe nothing and comeback strong in the one of the I chord.

Sorry for any misspell, english is not my first language.
271 posts
Mar 28, 2021
8:27 PM
Of course the other options include:

Harp switching - not so easy in this case, requires a fast switch

Special tuned harp - Tune the 2 blow down to the flat 3rd. This might make it harder to control the 2 draw bends required for the riff in 1st position.

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
666 posts
Mar 29, 2021
11:53 AM
Thanks for the ideas...

I think I like best the idea of playing a complementary line. Maybe just hitting the first few notes of the riff, and then backing off, over the IV.

Switching harps would be too quick, and it happens too often for this to be feasible. I could see a specially tuned harp, but I tend to avoid tuning a harp just for ONE song.
Marc Graci
YouTube Channel
6681 posts
Mar 31, 2021
12:38 PM
I like this version, which has the slow, greasy groove of the original. But I still think that overblowing for that particular note is the most efficient way to go.

734 posts
Apr 01, 2021
1:10 AM
You could try it in 5th. Bb in the key of D

You'd still miss the flat-fifth on the IV, but it's more of a passing tone than the flat-third.

Melody maker tuning works well for fifth
1679 posts
Apr 01, 2021
6:14 AM
Wouldn´t 3pos be an option -- if you´re reasonably comfortable with 3DDD?
2277 posts
Apr 01, 2021
6:47 AM
I like the third position solution. I think harp switching will work but you need a mike stand. You can get Clapton's vibrato on that one note would sound cool.
I don't like the harp distorted I think a natural good tone would work nicely.
695 posts
Apr 01, 2021
8:52 AM
Great job

when Cd remakes came out, the first Cd I bought was Cream.
667 posts
Apr 08, 2021
8:59 AM
3rd position would work for the riff, definitely. It would alter some of the octaves I use toward the end of each verse, though.

Adam, you still like the overblow? You must really like the character and tone of that overblown note. I can't think of another reason to prefer an overblown flat 3rd, over the pitch adjusted flat 3rd. (In a recorded setting.)
Marc Graci
YouTube Channel

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