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Blues Scale Study

These are songs that predominantly use notes and sounds from the blues scale.  My approach for teaching the blues scale is novel and I don't believe that it is taught this way anywhere else. Knowing how to stick to the notes of the blues scale increases your ability to get getting a deep, dark, lowdown blues sound.

Blues Scale Study

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B. S. Blues Part 1 DownloadB. S. Blues Part 1 DownloadThis song is a study in the six not blues scale. This is one of my more difficult songs due to the exacting bends needed on hole three. If your bends here are weak or sloppy, the minor key blues will not likely work as well for you as the standard blues, which is more forgiving of sloppy bends. Being able to confidently and accurately play the blues scale will add many possiblilites to your playing, including playing over minor keys. . . .
B. S. Blues Part 2 DownloadB. S. Blues Part 2 DownloadThis song is a study in the six not blues scale. This is one of my more difficult songs due to the exacting bends needed on hole three. If your bends here are weak or sloppy, the minor key blues will not likely work as well for you as the standard blues, which is more forgiving of sloppy bends. Being able to confidently and accurately play the blues scale will add many possiblilites to your playing, including playing over minor keys. . . .
Big Jim's Blues DownloadBig Jim's Blues DownloadIntermediate Instruction - This lesson is a five chorus instrumental designed for an intermediate player to help develop techniques and abilities that can put the player on a path to better understand the traditional blues harmonica sound. This piece is a slow, low-down, Delta type of blues that exclusively uses the 6 note blues scale and heavily focuses on full bends on holes number 2 and number 4.
Chicago Box Shuffle DownloadChicago Box Shuffle DownloadThis is a study of the riff often called the “Box Shuffle” by guitar and bass players.  It can be played decending or like this version, ascending.  The advantage of this is that it is highly recognizable . . .
Cubano Cha Cha DownloadCubano Cha Cha DownloadThis is a study of the Cha-cha-cha groove originated in Cuba and used by Muddy Waters in the head of later versions of his song, “Walking Thru The Park.” Slim Harpo’s “Buzzin” and Junior Wells’s “Cha Cha Cha in Blue” are other recorded songs using this type of riff driven groove. . . 
Down Low Blues DownloadDown Low Blues DownloadThis song is a study in how you can make your playing more bluesy sounding.  It is the result of a talk I give about how you can increase your Blues Horse Power (BHP).
Greazy BluezGreazy BluezThis is a study of two iconic riffs seen in the previous study songs, “Big Jim’s Blues” and “N P Blues.” I believe that both of these blues scale riffs radiate intense, dark, ornery blues. Folks know it within a few seconds of hearing. If you don’t like blues, this is not for you. 
Inhale Blues DownloadInhale Blues DownloadThis is a study of how inhaling is one of the secrets to where the deepest and darkest blues is to be found on the harp.  The inspiration came from the slow blues recordings of Little Walter and how, after carefully transcribing many of his recordings, I came to realize that frequently more than 90% of all the notes he played were only inhaling notes . . .
Jail W Blues DownloadJail W Blues DownloadLevel III -  This is a study of the style and techniques of John Lee Williamson (JLW) a.k.a. Sonny Boy Williamson #1. His largely acoustic playing style may be the most imitated acoustic blues style in the 1930's, 40's and 50's. Play all clean single notes using tongue blocking and switch for hole #1. John Lee was the master at playing dirty with great precision. He even applied it to the splits not shown in this study. You should first learn this piece clean and then slowly try to incorporate in the "dirt."
Mannish Blues DownloadMannish Blues DownloadThis is a study of the riff played in the Muddy Waters song, "Mannish Boy,' first recorded May 24, 1955 as a "I" chord tune. Certainly one of the most recognizable blues harmonica riffs of all time.
Minor Third Shuffle DownloadMinor Third Shuffle DownloadThis is a study of minor key blues and third position.  Minor keys are more challenging on the harp than standard blues keys.  Third position is one option worthy of study for minor keys.  It was first recorded by Little Walter on the Muddy Waters song Lonesome Day in 1951. . . 
N-P Blues DownloadN-P Blues DownloadLEVEL III - This song is a study of the technique that I call the Nose Push (NP). The simple explanation is
releasing air through your nose simultaneously to playing an exhale note, split or chord. Failing to use the (NP) will make this tune nearly impossible to play. Playing an exhale note in place of the notated inhale ones will make the song less bluesy sounding. . .
Westside Box ShuffleWestside Box ShuffleThis is a study of the riff often called the “Box Shuffle” by guitar and bass players. It can be played ascending, or like this version, descending. The advantage of this is that it is highly recognizable to any band that is familiar with blues . . . 
Wishing BluesWishing BluesThis is a study of the Jungle groove, blues scale and the riff used in the Billy Boy Arnold song “I Wish You Would,” but sequenced into a 12-bar form similar to the Ray Charles song, “What’d I Say?”. This groove is not a shuffle or swing. It is a straight 8th-note groove with a heavy use of the tom drums. The overall tonality is very dark blues and is also a study in tongue block switching . . .
Zulu BoogalooZulu BoogalooThis is a study of the Boogaloo groove, which got its name from the 1960s dance of the same name. Remember that this groove is not a shuffle or swing. It is a straight-eighth note groove, very similar to the “Tramp” groove. Check out the George Harmonica Smith song, “Avalon Boogaloo.” This is also a study in how to use the blues scale. This song requires solid tongue blocking and breathing skills and moderate bending skills. Everything except the chords should be played using tongue blocking . . . 
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