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Learn to play 'Don't start crying now' on harmonica

Here we are today with a new tongue blocking harmonica lesson, in which you’ll learn to perform a great solo by Slim Harpo; the song name is ‘Don’t start crying now’ and we are going to study the double blues chorus that forms the solo. This time the song speed is quite high!

In case you need, here you can find a good harmonica.

I enjoy playing and teaching this stuff, and I think it represents a great example of essential but useful blues harp playing. Slim Harpo style is often about playing a few notes, but with an excellent full tone and showing a strong timing sense. This particular song is a quite fast blues.

Join me in the video lesson and practice the licks and the tongue blocking slaps, pulls, and all the features that make this technique a potent tool for your harmonica playing. Follow the tabs and enjoy.

We are going to play a Bb harmonica in 2nd position, since the song is in the key of F major.

Today I’m using a Seydel 1847 classic harp, and as usual in these harmonica lessons, no talking! Just playing, learning, and having fun.

Song analysis:

Playing difficulty level: Intermediate level harmonica players.

Note bending skills: Draw bending on holes 2 and 3 and 4.

Lesson focus: Playing fast licks, playing the blues scale with bent notes on the first four harmonica holes, tongue blocking articulations, vibrato, and tremolo effects.

How to read the video lesson tabs:

One plus symbol means to blow the harmonica hole.

An apostrophe means to bend the note of a half-tone.

A double apostrophe means to bend the note of a whole-tone.

A triple apostrophe means to bend the note of three steps.

A dot before the notes means to use tongue blocking articulations.

^ means playing the note with a ‘dip’ bending.

R before a note means reaching that note with a glissando effect.

Sh means ‘Shake playing’ or ‘warble.’

Ft means the ’Flutter tongue’ technique.

P means ‘Pull technique.’

V means ‘Vibrato effect.’ 

Tr means ‘Tremolo effect.’ 

Here is the tablature of the solo:

.4' 4 5, 4 4+ 3' 2

4' 4 5, 4 4+ 3' 2

2'' 2'', 2, 2

.2 3' 2, 2 3' 2

2'' (1 1), 3' 2 2'' 1 p

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2'' 1 1

r5 .5 .5 .5+ 4

r5 .5 .5 .5+ 4

r6+ .6+ .6+ .5+ .6

r5 .5 .5 .5+ 4

(2’’ 2 2'') 1

3' 2 2'' 1 p

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2'' 1 1

In this lesson, you learned how to perform ‘Don’t start crying now’ by Slim Harpo. I think you should have enjoyed practicing with me today, and if you want to improve your harmonica playing, enroll for free in my online harmonica school and have a look at the courses here. I hope to see you soon on these pages!

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