From today you’ll begin your training to learn 6 harmonica licks in minor, playing in third position on a heavy rock backing track. A harmonica is a versatile instrument and can be used to play several musical genres and styles, explicitly. If we talk about hard rock, this instrument may yield us the best result in the form of a great piece of music on third position and the fifth. The exercises included in today’s lesson recommend using a C harmonica so that we can play a pretty fast D minor tune on it.
Don't you own a harmonica yet? You can find a good model here.
The licks I’ve created for you in this lesson make effective use of the notes belonging to the minor scale as we’ll be playing important notes in the key, particularly 1st degree, the minor 3rd and the fifth, however, without neglecting the other notes of the scale.
I added the diminished grade 6, note A flat – which is part of the D blues scale actually – to the note set. This note sounds very good in this context and you’ll soon experience it when you’ll start practising licks together with me through the interactive videos.
Let’s now analyze the exercises as usual:
In the first exercise we’ll play some octaves, on the root note D and on the 7th note C. In measure two, a ‘dip’ will be performed on the A note, hole 6 draw. We’ll hold this note for a while.
In lick 2, we’ll start playing a triplet and soon after it, we’ll take benefit from the notes D and F, i.e. root and minor 3rd of the D minor tonality. Measure 1 shall end with a fast two-note combination comprising C and D. The C note is the minor seventh of the scale – another important tone. We’ll play a small but fast lick in measure 2 ending on the note F.
Though the third exercise starts with a triplet but it’s going to be 5th degree note A, which we’ll include this time, playing it with a ‘dip’. In measure 2, I’ve introduced the A flat note (borrowed from the D blues scale) in order to run the small descending passage.
In lick 4, we’ll play on the low side of the instrument. The phrase shall start on the upbeat with the root note D, then after playing F with a double-bend on hole 2 draw, we’ll run a triplet 4 times where the same bent note will be involved. The triplets are going to be played quite fast here.
In lick 5, we are going to play the root D on hole 4 draw, holding it for almost the whole first measure. Then, we’ll play the Ab note again in the following measure, but this time it shall be on the low-side of the harp. In this last part of the lick, we’ll also play a double-step bend on hole 2 draw to get the note F.
In the last lick, we’ll practise some octaves on the minor 7th C and on the root D in particular. In measure two, we’ll play again F on hole 2 with a whole-tone bending. We’ll end the exercise with a new note: i.e. the C sharp: available on hole 1 draw with a half-tone bending. This time, the lick will end on the lowest instrumental root note D hole 1 draw.
In the following video, you can practise the whole harmonica licks sequence:
If you managed to follow the instructions carefully and practised sincerely together with me via the interactive video lessons throughout, your potential to play harmonica well would have been pretty much raised by now. Congratulations! See you soon again, on the same site!