This course is part of the series of online courses focused on the great harmonica artists. We have designed these lessons to give you the opportunity to learn how to play some of the greatest blues harmonica classic tunes.
The workshop is intended for students of intermediate level, who know how to use the bending technique and the typical articulations of tongue blocking such as slaps and pulls.
On this particular workshop, we will work on the two-choruses intro performed by one of the great blues harp players of the past: Slim Harpo, in the song entitled ‘Baby, scratch my back’.
We will learn together the two choruses that form the song intro, analyzing its musical phrases, and you’ll practise with me first on the metronome and then on the backing track.
In addition, this time I present you also a ‘bonus chorus study’, and you can practise it with me as usual, learning many cool licks that I improvised keeping in mind the song style, and incorporating several very nice tongue block nuances like the tongue flutter technique and the use of octaves playing.
Do not miss this opportunity to improve your way of playing harmonica with the songs that made the history of this instrument; take advantage to learn using our training methodology ‘listen and repeat’
Introduction to Slim Harpo – Baby, scratch my back.
Slim Harpo was an American blues singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player who got his name from his proficiency of the last-mentioned instrument, which was also dubbed as “harp” among blues musicians and fans. Born in Lobdell, Louisiana, Moore began to play at Baton Rouge bars under the monicker Harmonica Slim, while working as a building and construction worker.
Now adapting the name as Slim Harpo, he started to record for the label Excello Records. He scored hit singles such as “Rainin’ In My Heart” (which would become inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall Of Fame) and a #1 R&B hit “Baby Scratch My Back.” Slim Harpo’s work would later influence many rock and blues artists such as the Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd, Gil Scott-Heron, and more, who would do cover versions of Harpo’s hit songs.
The song solo introduction :
The song introduction solo is formed of two choruses, both develop on holes 1 to 6. Slim Harpo, in this tune, didn’t push past hole 6 blow, how often happens in old style classic blues harmonica songs like this. He made extensive use of the notes of the blues scale as well as the bending technique. His execution, in addition, involves discrete tongue blocking articulations such as slaps and pulls, and yet the piece is played with a remarkable rhythmic sensation. A very cool tongue blocking nuance performed in this tune is the ‘tongue flutter’, and Slim Harpo used it in the second solo chorus. I personally consider this solo performance a good example of ‘simply but effective’ way to play the blues.
This classic wil be performed in this course in second position, using a A harmonica.