beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Tigerman: Kim Wilson
Tigerman: Kim Wilson
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SuperBee
6240 posts
Oct 31, 2019
3:46 AM
new project is Tigerman, as recorded on the KW album of that name.

its 2nd position, recording is in Eb, so Kim uses an Ab harp. Not the most commonly used key but happily for me, i have one. its a stock Marine Band i bought cheap from Rockin' Ron when they cleared the old stock of unsealed comb MBs. i hold it in affectionate regard as i used it to learn 1st position high end bend some time back

Ive loaded the song into amazing slow downer. Kim kindly counts it in on the record, so thats nice. The rhythm reminds me of the T-Bone Shuffle. Harp doesnt really come in until measure 9 but ive been getting in the swing right from the get-go.

this is a pretty sweet song to play along to. Kim plays that opening then fills between lyrics for 3 verses. the words are fairly silly imho, but when he gets to the first 2 chorus harp break its something of a classic.

ive just been catching what i can but now its time to start digging into the not-quite so readily captured things. i think i like this because i can hear the phrases are outside the zone of moves i am in the habit of playing.

ive already lined up Pontiac Blues as my project to follow this one, so i'd better crack on.
SuperBee
6241 posts
Oct 31, 2019
6:21 AM
This isnt exactly the first crack ive had at it, but deffo the most focussed session. i made it to the end of the 1st chorus of the first solo. that will do for tonight.

the fills are very cool. strange as it may seem this reminds me some of how sonny boy 2 played. the licks are different but the style is very similar i think. and the variety of licks

so kim comes in on the 9th measure of the intro and from memory its like a quick 3 draw-4 blow before a wailing dirty 4 draw with some vibrato and perhaps a little 5 draw sneaking in, and then descending via another hit on the 4 draw to a slapped 4 blow and (i think) a slap on the 3 blow to a full bend 2 draw and slide off to 1 draw

then the first vocal line. i'm the king of the jungle, they call me the tigerman
the fill here is 4 blow to a half step 3 draw which ends with a lift and then a gentle slap on 2 blow to 1 draw. you could try that without the tongued articulations and its ok. i know some people have a way of faking the tongue parts but i dont know how to do that
the second vocal line is basically a repeat; king of the jungle, call me the tigerman slap 4 draw 4 blow and a lift to a 123 blow chord to a little slap on the 3draw half step. im not really sure its a full half step, it may be just a scoop that rises a little and doesnt quite get to the full 3 draw...im running on memory here. and that blow chord..its just an articulation. you can do without it. in my experience i think these things help me with timing as much as anything. ridiculous as it may sound, when i'm slapping my tongue around its a bit like dancing or maybe singing is a better analogy. whatever, theres some timekeeping going on right there in my face and i think it helps me but im sure it can be done other ways
when you cross my path, you got your whole life in your hands and for me i think its a slap to 2 draw which is effectively 1 draw to 2 draw. then 2 draw full bend to 1 draw and 1 draw again, which is a turnaround i think bily boy arnold mentions on his teaching dvd as being one that was a little walter signature. BBA plays it and says something like 'i still like that'
verse 2 starts I get up in the mountain and call my bearcat back then the fill is a scooped 4 draw, 3 times follwed by a scooped of half step bend on the 3 draw. it kind of feels like he plays the 3 blow or 2 draw to follow but its kind of lost in the mix and maybe he doesnt play it at all because he may need the breath to deliver the next vocal which is a repeat of the get up in the mountain line...the fill this time is quite interesting 1draw bend released to 1 draw to 2 draw to 2 draw full bend. its possible this lick has a 1 draw before the 1 draw bend. again the mix makes it a little tricky to hear so i say whatever works for fluency and timing and breath
the bearcat comes running and the hounddog stay way back the turnaround this time is very similar but it begins with a sharp little hit on the 1 and 2 draw before a separate slap to the 2 draw which is then bent and rolled off to the 1 draw as before

verse 3 begins with you know the night starts to falling, thats the time i prowl around, the fill is virtually the same as the previous verse but this time its clearer that he just starts to play the 2 darw maybe but pulls out quickly to start the vocal, which is a repeat of line 1,. the fill this time has a nice symmetry 1 draw 2 blow lifted to slap a 3 draw whole step which is then lifted and slap to 2 blow and the slightest of lifts to a double hit on 1 draw. its a great lick which follows the rhythm of the song and just fits so well.
theres no turnaround on the verse, because Kim calls out instead, preparatory to his brilliant solo

the opening line of the solo is a held 3 draw half step with some vibrato applied rhythmically. i think he holds it for 5 beats then releases to 4 blow 3 draw half step to 3 blow (I find the 3 blow seems natural here but you know, could be done with 2 draw) to 2 draw whole step to a bent 1 draw which is held a little before releasing and as he releases he slides to 2 draw then to the unbent 1 draw and back to 2 draw whole step bend. such a great passage, all legato. then dirty 4 draw with a little bend and maybe some 5 draw, 3 times then sliding to the bent 3 draw and continuing down to 2 draw. then the same 4 darw bend thing but this time he hits it 5 times and does the same slide to 2 draw via the bent 3 draw but this time moves straight onto 2 blow and back to 4 draw which is bent and released in a wail before the most marvellous passage. 5 draw 4 draw 4 blow 3 draw half step 2 draw 2 draw whole bend release to 2 draw to 1 draw 1 draw bend release then 2 draw bend, release then 3 draw half step, and finally 4 blow, 3 draw half step, 2 draw and a tag on the end 2 draw bend, 2 draw.and just when you thought it was safe heres another 2 draw to set up the second chorus...which is even more marvellous.

wow! now that is a great workout for bending in a legato fashion. really bluesy and the timing and rhythm is so great and so characteristic of Kim Wilson.

it will take me a couple days to get that in the memory no doubt but i'll try to pick up chorus 2 of the solo asap. thats got a great little technical challenge straight off with a repeating triplet lick for 3 measures but i think im up to it, at least to the point that practicing it will strengthen my chops .
ok. bedtime
SuperBee
6243 posts
Oct 31, 2019
6:47 PM
i'm also trying a practice i read about for enhancing memorisation. i don't remember if i've mentioned this before (HA!), so please forgive me if i'm repeating myself more than usual.
i read something about practising soon before bed, and then again soon after rising. i tried it when i was learning Snake Oil and i must say i was somewhat surprised at how quickly and thoroughly i memorised that number.
last night i went through addition step of blogging the notes i'd been playing on Tigerman, and i went to bed immediately after. first thing on rising, while the jug was coming to the boil, i broke out the Ab harp and found i could recall the entire thing i'd been studying last night. that is the most dramatic bit of memorisation i've experienced i think, given the complexity of the piece. sometimes though, i think complexity helps rather than hinders. maybe it brings a greater intensity of focus
SuperBee
6244 posts
Oct 31, 2019
6:48 PM
i'm also trying a practice i read about for enhancing memorisation. i don't remember if i've mentioned this before (HA!), so please forgive me if i'm repeating myself more than usual.
i read something about practising soon before bed, and then again soon after rising. i tried it when i was learning Snake Oil and i must say i was somewhat surprised at how quickly and thoroughly i memorised that number.
last night i went through addition step of blogging the notes i'd been playing on Tigerman, and i went to bed immediately after. first thing on rising, while the jug was coming to the boil, i broke out the Ab harp and found i could recall the entire thing i'd been studying last night. that is the most dramatic bit of memorisation i've experienced i think, given the complexity of the piece. sometimes though, i think complexity helps rather than hinders. maybe it brings a greater intensity of focus
SuperBee
6245 posts
Nov 01, 2019
5:06 AM
i did not expect to be rehearsing this with my band today, and having it added to the setlist for next Wednesday. i still have a bit of work to do with it, and i'm not really confident that the band is gonna click. i just need to work on it and be as good as i can be on the night. i think thats all i can do. at least i got to practice some more
SuperBee
6302 posts
Nov 18, 2019
12:53 AM
Rolled this out at a gig. Was not a train wreck but I was not happy with the groove. The harp part was ok, but the band had no dynamics and the feel lacked the swing I wanted. I found it dull.

I’ve studied Wilson’s record further since, and practiced the vocal. Had the band rehearse it again last week and pinned down each instrument’s role. This is so important. There is a tendency sometimes for everyone to just play along and this seldom produces an interesting result. There is no point having the bass and guitar doing the same thing in these songs.
It’s far from the first time we’ve encountered this issue but it seems it continues to need pointing out.
I’ve been there with the harp too, when I don’t know the song and don’t have a plan; listen to the other instruments and play what they’re playing. Sometimes that is ok, more often it’s ok for short periods in a song, but mostly it’s just unhelpful and annoying.
We listened as a band, got the bass playing one part, the guitar playing it’s own part which complemented the bass and then added the harp fills and ‘voila’! Something more like a band and less like a junior high school lunchtime jam.

Next time we play it though, everyone will have forgotten. That’s part of the territory.


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