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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > John Lee's Blues - Filisko Store lesson
John Lee's Blues - Filisko Store lesson
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6931 posts
Apr 01, 2021
1:47 AM
I downloaded this a while back.
Joe has classified it as a Level 3 lesson.

You get 5 pages of tab, which involves 4 choruses plus a 4 bar intro.
Also a couple of pages of notes
You also get a number of tracks.
There are 2 tracks of the complete song at full speed. One is acoustic, one amplified.
There are sets of example tracks, one at 40bpm, the other at 60bpm, broken down page by page.
Then there are the backing tracks. I think these are broken down page by page, and also the complete song, plus page 1 and page 5 (the intro and the finish, so you can practice these without having to do the whole thing in the middle. All these variations come in 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 non. So its a lot of tracks and a lot of instruction you get for your $10.

And it's by Filisko, so it's about as legit as you can get.

I bought it then as its often the case, did nothing with it for months. I printed the notes, clipped it together and left it on my desk. At least I had it within view.

On Sunday I attended Dennis Gruenling's webinar with Portnoy, Estrin, and Branch. One of them, I don't remember who, said how Sonny Boy Williamson was the most important player in the history of the Chicago blues harmonica, because he laid the foundation for everything that happened afterwards. There was a lot of discussion about this but what I took from it is that there are a number of patterns, a finite number, that John Lee Williamson used to create the basis of most of his playing and that these are still in use today and that it's not a bad thing for a player to learn some of this because it's very useful in a lot of situations.
This sounds like its exactly up my street. I've studied the Adam Gussow lesson on John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson, and I did find some of that sneaks in to my playing, but I know this Filisko lesson is gonna have a bunch more stuff in it and it will be the genuine article. I think that should set me up with the skills to chase down more from the records.

Early days. I worked on the intro tonight while walking the dog. Learned a couple of moves already. It's going to take a little while but I think will be worth the effort.

They're all worth the effort really.
6935 posts
Apr 08, 2021
6:19 PM
There's one move where you slide from 5 or 4 draw (so 2 moves I guess but it's the same idea) down to 2 draw and then play 3 blow. I have been doing something like this for years but not playing the 3 blow. Instead I play repeats on 2 draw.
It's the same note right, so why bother doing it differently?
It's a different effect, it seems to me, plus it sets up breathing for the flow of the next passage, and there's a subtle timing aspect to it as well.
I figure Joe Filisko probably knows more about this than most so I am gonna go with his idea and leave mine. If I sometimes slip into my old habits it won't be the eotw but I'm gonna do it how Joe wrote it.

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