Hesitation Blues Lesson 3 Homework

There are over 3,000 harmonica lesson videos on BluesHarmonica.com, with more being added every week! Below is a complete listing of what's on the site right now...

LESSONS

Most studies have full-length study songs to develop your skills. MP3s are provided for download (original tempo, 15% slow, 30% slow and jam track) as well as PDFs of the music notation, tablature and reference sheet for that lesson. Videos cover how to: perform the techniques taught; place them into the context of music; play each chorus of the song; play the song with a band; and take the licks out of the context of the song and place it into improvising.

Blues Harmonica Fundamentals
This lesson presents an introduction to blues harmonica. You’ll hear about the blessings and curses of the harmonica and how the harmonica has an amazing ability to make different sounds. I’ll walk you through care and maintenance as well as setting good practice habits. And finally we'll quickly walk through how to hold the harmonica and play a single note in preparation for your first study sing in Tongue Blocking Study #1, "Walk with Me.” This study is for beginning skill level players or those new to playing Blues. You'll need the A Harmonica for this study. Videos include: Introduction to the Harmonica: Introduction; Harmonica Construction and Care; Harmonica Note Construction, Chords and Embouchure; Understanding Positions; Blessings and Curses: Harmonica’s Blessings; Harmonica’s Curses; The Harmonica’s Greatest Asset; Practice Habits: How Long to Practice; What to Practice; What to Have in your Practice Room; How To Practice – How to Learn Songs Lick-by-Lick: Getting Started: Holding the Harmonica; Playing Single Notes and Articulation; Tremolo; Instruction Approach at BluesHarmonica.com

Cupping & Hand Effects
This lesson covers how to hold the harmonica (acoustic and with a microphone); techniques such as Hand Tremolo and Wa Wa; how to achieve killer tone playing through a mic and amplifier or through the house vocal mic. This lesson is an essential study for all students. This study is for all skill level players. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.

Bending Study 1
There are two main techniques to study on the harmonica: Bending and Tongue Blocking. Tongue Blocking provides you many textural options in which to present the notes you play on the harmonica and Bending provides you with new pitches and the ability to slide in and out of pitches, giving the harmonica it's bluesy mournful sound. In this study I'll show you the mechanics/physics of how the harmonica, mouth and tongue work together in the bending process. This study is for beginning skill level players or those new to bending. You'll need an A and C Harmonica for this study.

Bending Study 2
In this study you'll work on the song "Feelin' for the Blues." This song will work all of the bends you've been studying into the context of the blues. This study is for beginning skill level players or those new to bending. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.


Bending Study 3
In this study we'll work your bending skills at a faster tempo and on a higher-keyed harmonica. Work with the slowest version of the song provided; speed is our enemy in the beginning. You'll also find the D harmonica to be a good challenge in regards to bending control (higher-keyed harmonicas tend to bend farther and quicker than you may want). So, give yourself some time on this song, it's a real rocker! This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a D Harmonica for this study.

Bending Study 4
In this study you'll work on starting licks in the bent position as well as focusing on how to play really bluesy on the harmonica. Now that your tongue blocking skills are strengthening you'll see much more integration of tongue block techniques in this and the next level bending study. Get ready for a killer slow blues! This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.

Bending Study 5
This is your final level of study for draw bending on the harmonica. Our focus here is to develop your ability to hit all bends (including half steps) from all directions. "Half Steppin'" is a swing tune in the key of F, and contains very high-level licks and phrases. Expect each chorus to take at least a month to dial in. Good luck and have fun! This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a B-flat Harmonica for this study.

Bending Study 6 - Blow Bending
Blow bending is the natural next step to continue your mastery of the harmonica... in this case, the high-end. Work with me here and develop your blow bends for a bit and then move on to 1st Position Study 2 where you'll place these blow bends into the context of music. This study is for intermediate and advanced skill Level players. You'll need a D and G Harmonica for this study.


Bending Study 7 - Overbending Interviews
Our series on overbending starts with instructor Ross Garren interviewing the harmonica players that have pioneered the use of overbends in the blues. Our original intention was to do a written article, but it quickly became apparent that we should video record these Skype interviews for you to watch. Skype video quality is not the best, but we thought you would appreciate seeing and hearing them over just reading an article. After watching these interviews Ross will start to walk you through the art of overbending in the blues.

Bending Study 8 - Overbend Study 1, Technique
In this study we’ll define what an overbend is, what notes are available on your harmonica with overbends, how to perform an overblow and provide you with exercises for you to practice overblows on holes 4, 5 and 6. The focus of this lesson series is to show how traditional blues harmonica players can incorporate overbending into their playing. The exercises and etudes in this study will not sound bluesy at this point—they are exercises to develop technique. You’ll have an opportunity to use these overbends in a bluesy context in Overbend Study 2, where we’ll provide you with a blues harmonica instrumental to study. We’ll be using the Bb Harmonica for this entire study. As Ross Garren states in the video, a well set up harmonica will help you greatly in the performance of overbends. You can do this yourself by modifying your Bb harmonica (reference the Harp Tech series with Kinya Pollard in the Equipment section, most specifically Studies 4 and 6) or purchase a custom harmonica that’s specifically setup to overbend.

Bending Study 9 - Overbend Study 2, Study Song
The focus of this study song is to show you how to begin incorporating the 6OB in your second position playing. One approach that is particularly emphasized is taking licks from the lower octave of the harmonica that use the 3’ Bb and move them up an octave to 6OB Bb. Taking licks from an area you’re already very comfortable with and moving them up an octave is a great way to develop familiarity with how the 6OB can be used. As you find licks that you like in this study song, make sure to apply them to the Chorus Form process to incorporate these licks into your vocabulary.

Bending Study 10 - Overbending Study 3, Scales and Arpeggios
The goal of this lesson is to continue advancing your overbend skills while simultaneously filling in the harmonic/theory knowledge that’s required of a traditional blues player to be able to apply/execute overbends well in our common three positions (1st, 2nd and 3rd). This will be achieved by studying chords (arpeggios) and chord scales (a combination of chord tones and scale tones), all to give you more material to play while improvising. If you’re not already doing so, you should be working through the Music Theory Studies on the site (especially Studies 3, 4 and 5) to get the most out of this instruction. Though I’ve not taught you how to overdraw yet, I’ve included them in these exercises so that you’ll have a single point of reference for your scales. Skip these overdraws for now, but make sure to come back to this study and practice these exercises again once you can perform the technique.

Bending Study 11 - Overbending Study 4, Study Songs 2 and 3
In this study we apply overblows on holes 4, 5 and 6 to two study songs. “Highway 456” is in 2nd Position minor and “Swing It” is in 3rd Position. You’ll need a Bb Harmonica for this study.



Bending Study 12 - Overbending Study 5, Expression Exercises
In this study we dig into expressive techniques to use with your overblows, specifically dips, quarter tone bends and “false fingering.” You’ll need a Bb Harmonica for this study.



Minor Playing

Harmonica players will not commonly choose to play in minor due to the fact that there's not much historic precedence of our instrument doing this (in other words it's very rare and there's not much out there for us to copy). It is common though to play with other musicians and a song to be called in a minor key. What is the harmonica player to do? What position(s) are best suited for this and how do we approach it? In this study we answer those questions. You'll need three harmonica: G, A and C. This study is for intermediate and advanced skill level players.

Tongue Blocking Study 1
The tongue blocking embouchure is at the foundation of great blues harmonica playing. Many players tongue block all of the time (you will if you're learning with me from the start), with others adding it to their playing as they become aware of the vast array of sounds this embouchure offers. It gets down to two main techniques in the journey to becoming a great blues harmonica player... bending and tongue blocking... and this is where you start for tongue blocking. This study is for beginning skill level players or those new to tongue blocking. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.

Tongue Blocking Study 2
In this level we continue your tongue blocking study with the first of the three most important tongue blocking techniques, the SLAP (pulls and octaves being the other two). Our study song "Temperature" uses the shuffle rhythm and continues to add more challenging licks to your soloing vocabulary. This study is for beginning skill level players or those new to bending. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.

Tongue Blocking Study 2.5 - Tongue Block Trainer
Join me for a lesson where I present all of the common tongue block techniques in one place. Though these techniques are presented in a logical order in your Tongue Block Study Songs, this offers you the opportunity to reinforce your technique with further explanations, demonstrations and a progressive music example and accompanying MP3.

Tongue Blocking Study 3
In this level we continue your tongue blocking study with the second of the three most important tongue blocking techniques, the PULL (slaps and octaves being the other two). Our study song "Gary's Blues" is written in the style of Gary Smith and continues to add more challenging licks to your soloing vocabulary. This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a G Harmonica for this study.

Tongue Blocking Study 4
  In this level we continue your tongue blocking study with the third of the three most important tongue blocking techniques, the OCTAVE (slaps and pulls being the other two). Our study song "The Split" continues to add more challenging licks to your soloing vocabulary. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a B-flat Harmonica for this study.

Tongue Blocking Study 5
In this level we continue your octave tongue blocking study with five-hole high-end draw octaves. Our study song "Blues for Paul deLay" continues to add more challenging licks to your soloing vocabulary. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a Low F Harmonica for this study.


Solo Harmonica Study 1
“Solo Harmonica” is when you’re entertaining someone without any other instruments… unaccompanied. Solo Harmonica playing takes advantage of the choral nature of the harmonica and imparts a great rhythmic feel to the music. Another advantage of studying this style of playing is that it can be used to accompany another harmonica player, guitarist (in a duo setting) or in the band setting due to its twelve bar blues structure (differing from chugging, which does not commonly have chord change). In Study 1 I’ll present a whole bunch of cool rhythmic patterns for you to play. Each of these patterns will then be the basis of a full-length twelve bar blues example in Study 2. Study 3 adds bending to make the IV and V chords more robust. Study 4 I’ll present you an entire song example to study in this style. This study is for all skill level players. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.

Solo Harmonica Study 2
In Study 1 you learned a whole bunch of cool rhythmic patterns to play. We’ll now be placing all of these patterns within the twelve bar blues progression. This study is for all skill level players. You'll need a G Harmonica for this study.


Solo Harmonica Study 3
In Study 1 you learned a whole bunch of cool rhythmic patterns to play. In Study 2 you placed all of these patterns within the twelve bar blues progression. In Study 3 we’ll add bending to these patterns as well as more advanced usage of the IV and V Chords. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a G Harmonica for this study.

Solo Harmonica Study 4
In Study 1 you learned a whole bunch of cool rhythmic patterns to play. In Study 2 you placed all of these patterns within the twelve bar blues progression. In Study 3 we added bending to these patterns as well as more advanced usage of the IV and V Chords. In this Study 4 you’ll study a full-length study song called “Quiet World.” This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a G Harmonica for this study.

Tremolo and Vibrato
One of the most important tools a harmonica player has to express emotion through their music is the tremolo and vibrato. In this lesson you’ll learn the differences between tremolo and vibrato as well as where and how to use it. I’ll also give you a playing example for you to experiment with the different types of tremolo and vibrato all in one song. This study is for all skill level players. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.

Understanding Position Playing
Position playing is one of the most difficult areas of study to understand—yet it’s at the heart of blues harmonica playing. In this lesson I’ll define each position, explain where and why they’re used, and give you some playing examples to explore these differences. I’ll also explain and give a playing example on how advanced players can use position playing over chord changes. Positions covered are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 12th. Level: Sections 1 and 2 are good for all levels to watch. Section 3 is for advanced players. You'll need your whole set of harmonicas for this study (a set commonly consists of: Low F, G, A, B-flat, C and D).

3rd Position Study 1
Third position is one of the three most common positions used by blues harmonica players. Its dark sound (great for playing songs in minor) and range (more usable range than second position) makes it a favorite among top-level players. Third position is also wonderfully suited for jump and swing blues (as well as a great primer for learning how to play blues chromatic, since the chromatic harmonica is most commonly played in third position). In this study we'll dig into the mechanics of what makes third position work; figure which key you're playing in; start by learning how to intuitively move around third position; as well as a full study song to start your journey in developing a vocabulary for playing in third position. This study is for all skill level players (as well as beginners). If you're coming to this study from the Beginning Study Outline, skip all the prep videos and just jump right into learning the song. This study is for beginning skill level players or those new to 3rd Position playing. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.

3rd Position Study 2
In this study we'll add tongue blocking to our previous song example "Rollin' Rhumba." This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.



3rd Position Study 3
In this study we'll add articulate bending to our previous song example "Rollin' Rhumba" Version 2. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.



3rd Position Study 4
In this study we'll dig into jump and swing blues playing with a faster tempo and tons of arpeggiated passages. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the A-flat Harmonica for this study.



3rd Position Study 5
In this study we'll dig into the darker, more bluesy sound of third position playing with the study song "It's Right." This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.



3rd Position Study 6
In this study we'll dig into how to play in minor for third position (which is a great position choice for minor playing). This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need both the C and G harmonicas for this study.


3rd Position Study 7
In this study we'll continue our minor playing in third position to develop more valuable lick vocabulary. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need both C and G harmonicas for this study.
 

1st Position Study 1
We have three common positions that we play in as blues harmonica players: 2nd Position, 3rd Position and 1st Position... studied in that order. 1st Position offers great low-end (think Rice Miller's "Trust My Baby") and high-end playing (think Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do"). In this lesson you'll learn how to navigate the lower four holes of 1st Position with the study song "The Tub." This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.

1st Position Study 2
In this lesson you'll learn how to navigate the upper four holes of the harmonica in 1st Position. This is also your first study song to use blow bending... each chorus progressively working your blow bend skills. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the G Harmonica for this study.
 

1st Position Study 3
In this lesson you'll learn how to navigate the entire range of the harmonica in 1st Position with our slow blues study song "The Stretch." This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.
 

Blues Chromatic Study 1
The chromatic harmonica is a very intuitive instrument to play the blues on. In this first of five lessons we'll focus on: embouchure, cupping (acoustic and electric), models available, tuning, positions, what the slide does, care and maintenance, an intuitive approach to playing the chromatic and the study song "No Sweat." This study is for all skill level players (as well as beginners). If you're coming to this study from the beginning study outline, skip all the prep videos and just jump right into learning the song. You'll need a standard solo-tuned C Chromatic Harmonica for this study. I recommend the Hohner Super Chromonica 270 Deluxe (12-hole). If you already own a solo-tuned chromatic that's 10, 12 or 16-hole in size, these will also work just fine.

Blues Chromatic Study 2
In this study we'll take your blues chromatic skills to the next level with the use of the flutter tongue and pull. Our study song "Cool Blue" is a shuffle in the key of D and is a real rocker. This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a C Chromatic Harmonica for this study.


Blues Chromatic Study 3
In this study we'll take your blues chromatic skills to the next level with the use of the fake octave and dips (bending). Our study song "Easy Baby" is a slow hook-based groove in the key of D. This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a C Chromatic Harmonica for this study.


Blues Chromatic Study 4
In this study we'll take your blues chromatic skills to the next level with the use of the octave and learning how to play in minor. Our study song "So Blue For You" is a slow blues in the key of Dm. This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a C Chromatic Harmonica for this study.


Blues Chromatic Study 5
In this study we'll use all of the techniques you've learned so far for the chromatic at BluesHarmonica.com! Also included is a solo section on the G Diatonic Harmonica in 2nd Position to show how you can switch between the chromatic and the diatonic in the same song. Our study song "The Big One" is a rock beat in the key of D. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a C Chromatic and G Diatonic Harmonica for this study.

Improvising Study 1 - Chorus Forms
We study songs to gain technique, movement, vocabulary and of course to be able to play a song we enjoy. The ultimate goal of all music studies though is self-expression... to improvise solos and write memorable instrumentals. In these studies I demystify the art of blues improvisation... teaching you how to organize licks within the twelve bar blues progression, basically how we use repetition to create memorable solos called Chorus Forms. Videos Include: Introduction to Improvising and the Chorus Form Process; The Principle of Chorus Forms, Part 1; The Principle of Chorus Forms, Part 2; Review of the 12 Bar Blues Form; AAA Chorus Form - 4 Measure Lick; AAA Chorus; Form - 2 and 1 Measure Licks; AAA Chorus Form with Variation; AAA Chorus Form Homework; AAB Chorus Form; AAB Chorus Form Homework; AAA Chorus Form with Fills; AAB Chorus Form with Fills; AAA and AAB Chorus Forms with Fills Homework; A B/A C Chorus Form, Part 1; A B/A C Chorus Form, Part 2; A B/A C Chorus Form Homework; Homework Assignment #1, Part 1; Homework Assignment #1, Part 2; Homework Assignment #2, Part 1; Homework Assignment #2, Part 2; Homework Assignment #3; Final Words and Closing

Improvising Study 2 - Focus Notes, Textures & Rhythm
In your last study you learned how to use repetition to create memorable solos and instrumentals. In this study you’ll learn the art of Focus Notes (helps in your lick decision process and in moving you around the range of the harmonica), Textures and Rhythm. Videos Include: Introduction; The Focus Notes Concept; The Focus Note Process; 1 Focus Note; 2'' Focus Note; 2 Focus Note; 3 Focus Note; 4 Focus Note; 5 Focus Note; 6+ Focus Note; 7 Focus Note; 8 Focus Note; 9 Focus Note; 9+ Focus Note; Focus Note Context; Homework Assignment 1 Analysis Temperature; Homework Assignment 1 Analysis Temperature Answers; Homework Assignment 2; Summarizing Focus Notes; Using Textures; Homework Assignment 1 Analysis The Split; Homework Assignment 1 Analysis The Split Answers; Homework Assignment 2; Using Rhythm; Homework Assignment; Closing

Improvising Study 3 - Dynamics
In Study 1 you learned how to use repetition to create memorable solos and instrumentals. In Study 2 you learned the art of Focus Notes, Textures and Rhythm. In Study 3 we focus on the most important and most underused element in conveying emotion... dynamics. Videos Include: Section 1 - Introduction; Section 2 - Exploring Dynamic Range, Parts 1 and 2; Section 3 - Tools for Adding Dynamics into your Playing: Changing Volume each Chorus; Changing Volume with Chord Change; Changing Volume within a Phrase; Speed and Decay; Embouchure and Hand Tone; Section 4 – Review & Final Homework Assignment

Improvising Study 4 - V-IV-I Transitions
In Improvising Study 1 you learned how to use repetition to create memorable solos and instrumentals. In Improvising Study 2 you learned the art of Focus Notes, Textures and Rhythm. In Improvising Study 3 we focused on the most important and most underused element in conveying emotion... dynamics. In this study we develop your V-IV-I lick vocabulary by building up your chord knowledge and studying almost a 100 licks from great players of the past and present. Videos Include: Section 1 - V-IV-I Introduction; Introduction; V-IV-I Transition Licks Defined - Part 1; V-IV-I Transition Licks Defined - Part 2; Section 2 - V-IV-I Chord Tones; V-IV-I Chord Tones - Chord Tones; V-IV-I Chord Tones - Chord Tones and Improvisation; V-IV-I Chord Tones - Multiple Chord Tones; Section 3 - V-IV-I Arpeggios; V-IV-I Arpeggios; Section 4 - V-IV-I Transition Licks; V-IV-I Lick Intro; V-IV-I Licks - Examples 1 through 25; V-IV-I Licks - Examples 26 through 34; V-IV-I Licks - Examples 35 through 51; V-IV-I Licks - Examples 52 through 59; V-IV-I Licks - Examples 60 through 82; II-V-I Licks; Section 5 - Homework; Homework

Improvising Study 5 - Turnarounds
In this study we’ll develop your Turnaround lick vocabulary as well as learn how to utilize this area of the 12 Bar Blues to help lead into the next chorus of a solo. Videos include: Section 1 - Turnaround Introduction: Introduction; Review of V-IV-I Transitions (Improvising Study 4); Turnaround Definition; Section 2 - Approaches: Classic Turnaround; No Turnaround; Pickup to Next Chorus; Buildup to Next Chorus; Start Next Chorus Early; Section 3 - Turnaround Chord Tones: Example 1 - I-V Turnaround Chord Tones; Example 2 - I-IV-I-IV Turnaround Chord Tones; Example 3 - I-VI-II-V Turnaround Chord Tones; Section 4 - Turnaround Lick Vocabulary: Classic Turnaround Licks - Examples 1-17; Classic Turnaround Licks - Examples 18-34; Buildup Licks - Examples 1-12; Classic Slow Blues Turnaround Licks - Examples 1-17; Sections 5 & 6 - Song Analysis & Homework: Song Analysis & Homework; Closing

Improvising Study 6 - Endings
All great songs have to come to an end, and they should be finished with a great ending lick! In this lesson you'll study the art of how to approach different ending types and study 30 killer ending licks to add to your vocabulary. Videos Include: Section 1 - Common Ending Types: Introduction; Ending Types; Section 2 - Rhythmic Approaches: Rhythmic; Approaches; Section 3 - Ending Licks: Ending Examples 1 through 9; Ending Examples 10 through 17; Ending Examples 18 through 30; Section 4 - Homework Assignments: Homework Assignment #1; Homework Assignment #2; Closing

Improvising Study 7 - Heads, Hooks, Bridges & Soloing Themes
In this Improvising Study we dig into the two most important elements of instrumental song writing-the Head and Hook. I also share with you how bridges, hooks and soloing themes can be used to help keep an instrumental interesting, even in the most basic of grooves. Videos Include: Section 1 - Introduction; Introduction; Section 2 - Head, Hook & Bridge; Definition of the Head; Head Examples; More Head Examples; Hook Definition and Example; Bridge Definition; Bridge Example; Section 3 - Breaks; Breaks - Bar 1; Breaks - Bar 12; Breaks - Off The Wall; Section 4 - Soloing Themes; Soloing Approaches; Building in Pitch; Building in Activity; Building in Texture; Positions; Final thoughts on Soloing Themes; Section 5 - Song Analysis & Homework; Song Analysis; Composition Checklist & Homework

Improvising Study 8 - Soloing Blocks & Chord Tone Soloing
In this study we get to know each range of your harmonica with the concept Soloing Blocks as well as dig into how the knowledge of chords will take you to the next level in your improvising skills and understanding of music. Videos Include: Section 1 - Understanding Chords and Your Harmonica: Introduction; Memorizing your C Harmonica; Memorizing the 2nd Position Chords; Section 2 - Soloing Blocks: Holes 1-2 Soloing Block; Holes 1-2 Soloing Block Chord Focus Notes; Holes 1-2 Soloing Block Hole Changes - Part 1; Holes 1-2 Soloing Block Hole Changes - Part 2; Holes 1-3 Soloing Block - Part 1; Holes 1-3 Soloing Block - Part 2; Holes 1-4 Soloing Block; Holes 1-5 Soloing Block; Holes 1-6 Soloing Block; Holes 6-10 Soloing Block; Final Words on Soloing Blocks; Section 3 - Chord Tone Soloing; Chord Tone Soloing - Part 1; Chord Tone Soloing - Part 2; Closing

Improvising Study 9 - Approaches
In this improvising study we dig into how to approach different playing situations. The feel of a song (light, bluesy and mixture) heavily influences your note choices on the harmonica. Modal blues is where there's no chord change... though very liberating, it can be challenging to play to when you've been developing your phrasing based on chord change all these years. I give you a plan of attack for improvising to very fast tempos... no doubt a challenge for all skill level players. Finally, I briefly cover the approach to slow blues. Videos Include: Section 1 - Playing According to the Feel of a Song: Introduction; Light Feel - Major Pentatonic Scale, Part 1; Light Feel - Major Pentatonic Scale, Part 2; Bluesy Feel - Blues Scale; Mixture of Light & Bluesy Feel, Part 1; Mixture of Light & Bluesy Feel, Part 2; Review, Section 2 - Modal Blues: Modal Blues, Part 1; Modal Blues, Part 2; Modal Blues, Part 3; Section 3 - Speed Playing: Speed Playing - Approach #1; Speed Playing - Approach #2; Speed Playing - Approach #3; Speed Playing - Approach #4; Speed Playing - Approach #5; Speed Playing - All Approaches in a Solo; Section 4 - Slow Blues: Approach to Slow Blues; Closing Thoughts

Improvising Study 10 - The Improviser’s Mind: The Big Picture
In this last improvising lesson I review the concepts taught in Improvising Studies 1 through 9 and go into detail about: theory; chorus form usage versus free-form soloing; memorized solos versus improvised solos; perspective for each skill level of player on improvising; perspective for other styles of music; recommendations on how to organizing your licks and the value of transcribing. This is for students who have finished Improvising Studies 1 through 9 or for those who like to read the last page of a book first ;-). No harmonica is needed for study. Videos Include: Section 1 - Introduction (Imp Study 10): Introduction; Section 2 - Review of Studies 1-9 (Imp Study 10): Review of Improvising Studies 1 through 9 Introduction; Review of Improvising Study 1 - Chorus Forms; Review of Improvising Study 2 - Focus Notes, Textures & Rhythm; Review of Improvising Study 3 - Dynamics; Review of Improvising Studies 4 through 6 - V-IV-I, Turnaround & Ending Licks; Review of Improvising Studies 7 - Heads, Hooks, Bridges, Arrangement & Tribute Writing and Soloing Themes; Review of Improvising Studies 8 - Soloing Blocks & Chord Tone Soloing; Review of Improvising Studies 9 - Approaches; Section 3 - Discussions on Improvising (Imp Study 10); Theory: Acquisition of Knowledge; Chorus Forms versus Free-Form Improvising; Memorized versus Improvised Performing; Learning Another Instrument; Improvising Focus for Different Skill-Level Players; Closing Thoughts
Improvising Study 11 - Melodic Development
In this lesson we'll study the melodic devices used by trained songwriters and how those ideas can be used for your instrumental songwriting. The greats of blues harmonica use these devices subconsciously in their improvising. Our focus is to identify these devices, study them, and practice them so that you too can use these ideas in your songwriting, and eventually in your improvising. This lesson is for advanced skill level players (or those generally interested in the art of songwriting). You'll need the B-flat harmonica for this study. Section 1 - Lick (Motif) Analysis: Introduction to Improvising 11; Primer to Improvising 11; Lick Analysis - Part 1; Lick Analysis - Part 2; Section 2 - Melodic Treatments: Melodic Treatment - Part 1; Melodic Treatment - Part 2; Section 3 - Textural Development: Textural Development; Section 4 - Harmonic Development: Harmonic Development; Section 5 - Blow! Blow! Blow! Study Song: Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 1; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 2; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 3; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 4; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 5; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 6; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 7; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 8; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 9; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 10; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Choruses 11 and 12; Blow! Blow! Blow! - Chorus 13; Closing to Improvising 11

Harpboxing
Join Brandon O. Bailey and I for a lesson on the new harmonica style called Harpboxing. This is outside the traditional blues focus of BluesHarmonica.com, but I thought you would enjoy this journey into something completely different! Videos include: Introducing Brandon O. Bailey: Introduction; Basics of Harpboxing: History of Harpboxing; Elements of Beatboxing; Elements of Harpboxing; Harmonica Tuning Options; Harpboxing Patterns: Harpboxing Pattern #1; Harpboxing Pattern #2; Harpboxing Pattern #3; Harpboxing Pattern #4; Harpboxing Pattern #5; Harpboxing Patterns Mixed; Harpboxing Equipment: Harpboxing Microphone & Technique; Closing Harpboxing & Looper Performance

Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player - Study 1
Join me for the Basics of Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player. In this lesson you'll learn: how pitch is produced on the harmonica; music notation; sharps; flats; naturals; half steps; whole steps; key signatures; the construction of the major scale; how the harmonica received its note layout/tuning; how to move melodies up or down the harmonica's range; and how to take any sheet music, written for any instrument, and figure out how to play it on the harmonica. This lesson is for all skill levels players. No harmonica is needed for this study, though a C Harmonica is used for demonstration purposes if you would like to play along. Videos include: Section 1 - Basics of Pitch: Introduction to Music Theory Study 1; Pitch Defined; Octave and Half Step Defined; Sharps and Flats Defined; Examples 1.2 and 1.3 - Chromatic Scale; Examples 1.4 through 1.5 - Notes on the Staff, Part 1; Examples 1.6 through 1.9 - Notes on the Staff, Part 2; Section 1 Questions; Section 2 - The Major Diatonic Scale (The Harmonica’s Scale): Example 2.1 - The Major Mode; Examples 2.2 and 2.3 - Harmonica TAB on the Staff; Example 2.4 - Harmonica Note Layout; Examples 2.5 and 2.6 - Bends on the Harmonica; Example 2.7 and Section 2 Questions; Section 3 - Scale Degrees & Tuning System: Examples 3.1 through 3.4 - Scale Degrees; Example 3.5 - Major Scales; Why there are multiple Major Scales; Section 3 Questions; Section 4 - Review & Application: When the Saints Go Marching In song Example; Song Transposition Exercise; Section 4 Questions; Music Theory Study 1 Closing Comments

Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player - Study 2
Join me for our second lesson on Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player, where we explore modes and positions. In this lesson you'll learn: what modes are associated with each position; how to figure out what key you and the band are playing in for the various positions; and how to make your own harmonica position chart. Videos: Section 1 - 1st Position (Major Mode): Introduction to Music Theory Study 2; Examples 1.2 to 1.8; Section 1 Questions; Section 2 - 2nd Position (Mixolydian Mode): Examples 2.1 & 2.2 - Mixolydian Scales & Finding Key for 2nd Position; Examples 2.3 to 2.7; Section 2 Questions; Section 3 - 3rd Position (Dorian Mode): Examples 3.1 & 3.2 - Dorian Scales & Finding Key for 3rd Position; Examples 3.3 to 3.7; Section 3 Questions; Section 4 - 4th Position (Minor Mode): Examples 4.1 & 4.2 - Minor Scales & Finding Key for 4th Position; Examples 4.3 to 4.7; Section 4 Questions; Section 5 - Position Quick Charts; Position Quick Charts

Music Theory Study 3 - Intervals, Chords & 12 Bar Blues
Join me for our third lesson on Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player, where we explore the intervallic relationship between notes of the scale, chords and our familiar 12 Bar Blues Progression. In this lesson you'll learn: interval names; the three triad chord qualities; about 7th and 9th Chords; the notes of the 12 Bar Blues Progression; about minor keys and chords; and how to play the notes of each chord within the 12 Bar Blues Progression. This lesson is for intermediate skill levels players. You'll need a C Harmonica for this study. Videos include: Section 1 - Intervals & Triads; Introduction to Music Theory Study 3: Examples 1.1 and 1.2 - Intervals; Examples 1.3 to 1.5 - Chords; Section 1 Questions; Section 2 - 12 Bar Blues Progression & Triads:; Examples 2.1 to 2.5 - 12 Bar Blues; Examples 2.6 to 2.9; Section 2 Questions; Section 3 - 12 Bar Blues Progression & 7th Chords: Examples 3.1 to 3.4 - 7th Chords; Examples 3.5 to 3.9; Section 3 Questions; Section 4 - 12 Bar Blues Progression, One Hole at a Time: Examples 4.1 to 4.3; Example 4.4; Examples 4.6 to 4.19; Section 4 Questions: Section 5 - Minor Blues Chords: Minor Chords and Key; Section 6 - Extended Chord Tones: Upper Extensions and 6th Chords; Section 7 - Another Look at Harmonica Construction: How the Harmonica is Built from the Chord Perspective; Closing for Music Theory Study 3

Music Theory Study 4 - Melodic Development, Part 1
Join me for our fourth lesson on Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player, where we explore melodic development… how chords and scales work together to create great solos. In this lesson you’ll learn about chord tones, scale tones, outside tones, active tones, non-active tones, passing tones, upper and lower neighbor tones, appoggiatura, the hierarchy of note selection, chord scales, sequences and chord-tone soloing. This lesson is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a C Harmonica for this study. Videos include: Section 1 – Chord-Tones, Scale Tones and Outside Tones: Introduction to Music Theory Study 4; Examples 1.1 to 1.7 - Review; Example 1.8 - Chord Tone Soloing; Examples 1.9 to 1.11 - Scale Tones (Passing & Neighbor); Examples 1.12 and 1.13 - Appoggiatura; Example 1.14, Part 1 - Chord Tone & Scale Tone Soloing; Example 1.14, Part 2 - Chord Tone & Scale Tone Soloing; Examples 1.15 and 1.16 - Hierarchy of Note Selection; Examples 1.17 to 1.19 - Chord Scales; Section 1 Questions, Part 1; Section 1 Questions, Part 2; Section 2 – Perspective: Section 2 Examples - Perspective; Section 3 – Sequences: Section 3 Examples - Sequences; Section 3 Questions; Section 4 – Chord Tone Soloing: Section 4 Examples - Chord Tone Soloing; Closing to Music Theory Study 4

Music Theory Study 5 - Soloing Scales
Join me for our fifth lesson on Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player, where we explore Soloing Scales… scales specifically designed to be playable over all chords in the 12 Bar Blues, guaranty a specific feel when adhered to (Major for the Major Pentatonic Scale and Bluesy/Minor for the Blues Scale), and lay extremely well on the entire range of the harmonica. Videos Include: Section 1 – Major & Major Pentatonic Scales: Introduction to Music Theory Study 5; Example 1.1 - C Major Scale; Examples 1.2 to 1.5 - G Major Scale & Major Pentatonic Scale, Part 1; Examples 1.5 to 1.8 - Major Pentatonic Scale, Part 2; Example 1.9 - Major Pentatonic Scale, Part 3 (Playing Example); Section 1 Questions; Section 2 – Minor & Blues Scales: Examples 2.1 to 2.6 - G Minor Scale & Blues Scale; Example 2.7 - Blues Scale Playing Example; Section 3 – Context: Context Review; Section 4 – Memorization: Memorization and Closing

Music Theory Study 6 - Beyond 12 Bar Blues
Join me for our sixth lesson on Music Theory for the Blues Harmonica Player, where we explore how to deal with non-12 Bar Blues Changes. In this lesson we cover Chord Voicings, 12 Bar Blues, 8 Bar Blues, 16 Bar Blues, 20 bar Blues, 24 Bar Blues and how to figure out and deal with songs that are outside the standard form. For your convenience I've pulled some of the audio from the video examples and saved them as MP3s for you to practice with on your own. I hope you enjoy and get as much out of this lesson as I did! Videos Include: Section 1 – Standard 12 Bar Blues: Introduction to Music Theory Study 6; Chord Scales and Chord Voicing Options; Chord Arpeggios, Chord Fragments and Stylistic Approaches; Example 1.1 - Long Changes; Example 1.2 - Quick Change; Section 2 – 12 Bar Blues Variations: Example 2.1 - No IV Chord (Bars 5 and 6); Example 2.2 - IV Chord in Bars 1 and 2; Example 2.4 - Bar 9 Options: Long V (Bars 9 and 10); Example 2.5 - Bar 9 Options: ii-V-I; Example 2.6 - Bar 9 Options: Flat-VI Chord; Example 2.7 - Turnaround Options: None; Example 2.8 - Turnaround Options: All of Bar 12; Example 2.9 - Turnaround Options: I-IV-I-V and Overuse of Root Note; Example 2.10 - Turnaround Options: I-VI-II-V; Section 3 – 8 Bar Blues: Example 3.1 - 8 Bar Blues: Key to the Highway; Example 3.2 - 8 Bar Blues: Walkin’ By Myself; Example 3.3A - 8 Bar Blues: Just Your Fool (Verse); Example 3.3B - 8 Bar Blues: Just Your Fool (Bridge); Example 3.4 - 8 Bar Blues: It Hurts Me Too; Example 3.5 - 8 Bar Blues: Nobody's Business; Section 4 – Other Forms: Examples 4.1 to 4.4 - 16, 20 and 24 Bar Blues; Section 5 – Transcribing Chords: Transcribing and Soloing to Key to the Highway Chord Changes, Part 1; Transcribing and Soloing to Key to the Highway Chord Changes, Part 2; Transcribing and Soloing to Stormy Monday Chord Changes, Part 1; Transcribing and Soloing to Stormy Monday Chord Changes, Part 2; Final Words of Advice from John Garcia

Movement Exercises Study 1 - Patterns
In this lesson you'll learn how to move around the entire range of your harmonica using your home scale (A Major Scale on your A Major Harmonica). We'll dig into Movement and Breath Patterns as well as how you can use your jaw to facilitate greater ease of motion and speed in your playing. This is lesson will benefit all skill levels of players. You'll need an Harmonica for this study (advanced players will also need the B-Flat Harmonica). Videos Include: Section 1 - Breathing, Movement, Ear Training & Mental Model: Introduction to Movement Patterns; Recognizing Breathing and Movement Patterns in Music; Developing a Mental Model; Ear Training; Section 2 - Movement Scale: Example 1 - Middle Octave; Example 1 - Upper Octave; Example 1 - Lower Octave; Example 1 - Entire Range; Section 3 - Movement & Breathing Patterns: Example 2 - Jaw Movement, Part 1; Example 2 - Jaw Movement, Part 2; Example 3 - Movement vs. Pattern; Example 4; Example 5; Example 6; Section 4 - Application; Section 4 - Application; Closing to Movement Patterns

Movement Exercises Study 2 - Essential Scales
In this lesson we'll dig into the Essential Scales for the blues harmonica player... our C Major Movement Scale, Major Pentatonic and Blues. Video Include: Section 1 - Scales Discussion: Introduction to Essential Scales; What is Essential and for Whom; Section 2 - Essential Scales: C Major Movement Scale; C Major Pentatonic Scale; C Blues Scale; Grouping Scales for Practice; G Major Pentatonic Scale; G Blues Scale; D Major Pentatonic Scale; D Blues Scale; F Major Pentatonic Scale; Section 3 - Closing Words: Closing Words for Essential Scales

Movement Exercises Study 3 - Arpeggios
In this lesson we'll dig into the Essential Arpeggios for the blues harmonica player. This lesson is for Intermediate and Advanced skill levels of players. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study. Videos include: Introduction to Arpeggios; Arpeggios Based on C Major Movement Scale; 2nd Position Arpeggios; F and A7 Arpeggios; Closing Words for Arpeggio Study

Movement Exercises Study 4 - Summed Practice
In this study I sum the most important movements, scales and arpeggios into one daily exercise. The recording is played to a metronome to help you keep in time with me and runs from the first example through the last without stopping, creating a 5-minute warmup for you in your daily practice.

Accompaniment Study 1
In this lesson I'll discuss the mindset required for accompaniment playing and demonstrate the common ways in which great blues harmonica players approach this art. No harmonica is needed for this study, though make sure to download the example songs for you to listen to and study in preparation for future lessons (if you would like to jam along to them after studying them, you'll need an A Harmonica). Videos Include: Section 1 - Accompaniment Approaches: Introduction to Accompaniment Playing Study 1; Accompaniment Principles; Approaches to Accompaniment Playing, Part 1; Approaches to Accompaniment Playing, Part 2; Section 2 – Accompaniment Study Songs: Homework for Accompaniment Playing Study 1; Closing to Accompaniment Playing Study 1).

Accompaniment Study 2
In this lesson you'll learn the basics of 12 Bar Blues and how to play the most important note of each chord... the root note. This lesson brings your first study song, "I Want You With Me," a shuffle in the key of E with vocals and guitar solos for you to play under as well as two solo sections where we apply choruses from your Tongue Blocking Study 2 study song, "Temperature." Make sure to use this opportunity to memorize your C Harmonica and the root notes of our three chords in 2nd Position. Videos include: Section 1 – Root Notes for 12 Bar Blues: Introduction to Accompaniment Playing Study 2; 12 Bar Blues & Root Notes; Example 1.9 – Long-Held Root Notes; Example 1.10 – Charleston Rhythm; Example 1.11 – Lower Octave for IV (C) and V Chords (D); Example 1.12 – Longer Hold for V-IV-I and Turnaround; Example 1.13 – Octave Jumps for V-IV-I and Turnaround; Example 1.14 – Shake for V-IV-I and Ascending Turnaround; Example 1.15 – Slow Blues with Quick Change; Section 2 - Accompaniment Study 2, Study Song: “I Want You With Me” Study Song Explained; “I Want You With Me” Study Song Played; Closing Comments to Accompaniment Playing Study 2

Accompaniment Study 3
In this lesson we'll complete the basic three-note chord (called a triad) used by accompanying musicians in the blues. 
This lesson also brings your second accompaniment study song, "Blues Creapin' Over Me," a slow blues in the key of E with the classic blues break and vocals (Gary Smith) and guitar (Jon Lawton) for you to play under, as well as a solo section. Videos Include: Section 1 – Building Chords (Triads = 3 Notes in 3rds): Introduction to Accompaniment Playing Study 3; 12 Bar Blues Triads Defined (Examples 1.1 thru 1.5); Chords and the Harmonica (Examples 1.6 and 1.7); Section 2 – Applying Chords to the 12 Bar Blues (Hole Changes): Hole Changes (Examples 2.1 to 2.3); Chord Arpeggios (Examples 2.4 and 2.5); Section 3 – Acc Study Song 3: the Blues Break: The Blues Break; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Part 1; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Part 2; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Played without Vocals; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Played with Vocals; Closing Comments to Accompaniment Playing Study 3

Accompaniment Study 4
In this lesson we dig into how to play fills between vocal phrases, as well as more dynamic ideas to play under vocals and instrumentalist solos. "I Want You With Me" is again our study song, but written in a more advanced way… the way a pro player would approach this song. The solos will apply choruses from your Tongue Blocking Study 3 study song, "Gary’s Blues." This intermediate skill level players, though bending is moderate (if you’ve finished Bending Study 3, then you’re ready to take on this challenge). You'll need an A Harmonica for this study. Videos Include: Accompaniment Study 4 Intro & Review: Accompaniment Study 4 Introduction; Accompaniment Study 2 Review; Accompaniment Study 3 Review; Accompaniment Study 4 – Section 1: Transitions: Transitions into Chord Change – Example 1.1; Transitions into Chord Change – Example 1.2; Transitions into Chord Change – Applied to Vocals; Accompaniment Study 4 – Section 2: Vocals with Fills: Vocals with Fills – Example 2.1; Vocals with Fills – Example 2.2; Vocals with Fills – Example 2.3; Vocals with Fills – Example 2.4; Accompaniment Study 4 – Section 3: Chording Under Vocals; Accompaniment Study 4 – Section 3: Chording Under Vocals; Chording Under Vocals – Example 3.2; Accompaniment Study 4 – Study Song: I Want You With Me, Version 2: Chorus 1; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Verse 1; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Verse 2; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Guitar Solo; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Second Vocal Section, Verse 1; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Second Vocal Section, Verse 2; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Third Vocal Section, Verse 1; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Third Vocal Section, Verse 2; I Want You With Me, Version 2: Played; Closing Comments to Accompaniment Study 4

Accompaniment Study 5
In this lesson we continue our studies of Hole Changes, this time with the use of bending to make our harmonica more complete across its range. We'll also spend time on how to use the bluesy flat-7th of each chord... as well as the less-common 6th. "Blues Creapin' Over Me" comes back again, this time as Version 2 with very bluesy bends, fills and a solo influenced by our Bending Study 4 song, "My Blues." This lesson is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need an A and C Harmonica for this study. Videos include: Acc Study 5 - Section 1: Building the 7th Chord: Accompaniment Study 5 Introduction; 7th Chord Construction; When the Flat-7th is Appropriate; Examples 1.6 and 1.7; Acc Study 5 - Section 2: Hole Changes with 7th Chords: Exploring Holes 1 and 2 with 7ths; Exploring Hole 3 with 7ths; Exploring Holes 4 through 6 with 7ths; Examples 2.3 through 2.6; Acc Study 5 - Section 3: Arpeggios and the 12 Bar Blues; Arpeggios and the 12 Bar Blues Example; Acc Study 5 - Section 4: Study Song: Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Version 2: Choruses 1 & 2; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Version 2: Solo & Chorus 4; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Version 2: Verse 1 Played; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Version 2: Verse 2 Played; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Version 2: Solo Played; Blues Creapin’ Over Me, Version 2: Verse 4 Played; Accompaniment Study 5 Closing

Accompaniment Study 6
In this lesson we study how to approach playing horn lines and organ padding on the harmonica. This study brings a new slow blues jam track and full-length study song, this time a uptempo boogie with vocals and extended solos (solo based on Little Walter-style phrasing). This lesson is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need an A Harmonica for this study. Videos Include: Acc Study 6 - Section 1: Exploring Hole Changes in Octaves: Accompaniment Study 6 Introduction; Exploring Octaves: Examples 1.1 to 1.4; Exploring Octaves: Examples 1.5 and 1.6; Acc Study 6 - Section 2: Long-Tones & Organ Padding: Organ Approach: Examples 2.1 to 2.3; Organ Approach: Organ with Fills; Acc Study 6 - Section 3: Horn Lines: Vertical Approach to Horn Lines; Horizontal Approach to Horn Lines; Acc Study 6 - Section 4: Harmonica Harmonies: Harmonica Harmonies: Examples 4.1 and 4.2; Harmonica Harmonies: “It Takes Three” Example Song; Acc Study 6 - Section 5: Study Song – Used to Be My Baby: Used to Be My Baby: Head; Used to Be My Baby: Verse 1; Used to Be My Baby: Verse 2; Used to Be My Baby: Vocal Chorus; Used to Be My Baby: Guitar Solo Backing; Used to Be My Baby: Verse @ 1:52; Used to Be My Baby: Vocal Chorus @ 2:07; Used to Be My Baby: Harp Solo; Used to Be My Baby: Vocal Chorus @ 3:08 to End; Accompaniment Study 6 Closing

Accompaniment Study 7
In this lesson we study how to approach playing bass lines on the harmonica. Bass lines not only sound great on the harmonica, they also help to intuitively teach the chords of the 12 Bar Blues. Videos Include: Section 1: Root Bass Lines; Accompaniment Study 7 Introduction; Example 1.1 - Lump; Example 1.2 - Lump: Transitions; Example 1.3 - Lump: Pulls; Section 2: Root-5 Bass Lines; Examples 2.1 & 2.2 - 2-Beat: Descending & Ascending 5th; Examples 2.3 & 2.4 - 2-Beat: Mixed with Pickups; Section 3: Root-3-5 Bass Lines; Examples 3.1 & 3.2 - Slow Blues & Shuffle; Example 3.3 - Rhumba; Section 4: Root-3-5-6 Bass Lines; Example 4.1 - Rhumba with 6th; Examples 4.2 to 4.5 – Shuffle with 6th; Section 5: Bass Lines with Flat-7ths; Example 5.1 - Shuffle Pyramid with Flat-7th; Examples 5.2 through 5.8 - Bass Lines with Flat-7ths; Examples 5.9 through 5.12 - Bass Lines with Flat-7ths; Section 6: Bass Line Transitions; Examples 6.1 and 6.2 - Transitions; Accompaniment Study 7 Closing

Accompaniment Study 8
In this lesson we study killer hooks that can be played on the harmonica. In songwriting, heads and hooks are the main elements used to make a song different, unique, exciting and memorable. When a hook is used, it makes sense that we should play it as well (doubling with the other instruments). Videos Include: Acc Study 8 - Section 1: Bass Line Hooks; Accompaniment Study 8 Introduction; Hook Defined; Bass Line Hooks: Examples 1.1 to 1.5; Bass Line Hooks: Examples 1.6 to 1.10; Acc Study 8 - Section 2: Hooks: Examples 2.1 to 2.4; Hooks: Examples 2.5 to 2.10; Hooks & Fragments: Examples 3.1 to 3.5; Accompaniment Study 8 Closing

Accompaniment Study 9
In this lesson we dig into the art of duo playing. We'll study three songs with guitar and vocals from John Garcia, focusing on what we'll do in that duo setting, utilizing the tools you've learned in our lessons to this point. Videos Include: Acc Study 9 - Introduction: Accompaniment Study 9 Introduction; Approach to Duo Playing; Acc Study 9 - Study Song 1: Baby What You Want Me To Do: Baby What You Want Me To Do - First Listen, Part 1; Baby What You Want Me To Do - Opening & Verses; Baby What You Want Me To Do - Full Playing Example; Baby What You Want Me To Do - First Listen, Part 2; Acc Study 9 - Study Song 2: How Long Blues: How Long - First Listen; How Long - Chord Identification; How Long - Roots & Fifths; How Long - 3rds & Flat-7ths; How Long - Arpeggios; How Long - 2nd Position Approach, Part 1; How Long - 2nd Position Approach, Part 2; How Long - 1st and 3rd Position; Acc Study 9 - Study Song 3: She's My Baby; She’s My Baby, Part 1; She’s My Baby, Part 2; Accompaniment Study 9 Closing

Accompaniment Study 10
Join me for our final lesson on accompaniment playing where we take Monster Mike Welch's CD "Cryin' Hey!" and dissect it for how we can approach playing harp on it. This lesson is for Advances skill level players and you'll need your entire set of harmonica, including your Chromatic. Videos Include: Accompaniment Study 10 Introduction; All the Love in the World: Cryin’ Hey, Part 1; Cryin’ Hey - Part 2; Cryin’ Hey - Part 3; A Thrill to be Alive - Part 1; A Thrill to be Alive - Part 2; Joaquin Riley; My Father’s Son; They Call Me Monster Mike - Part 1; They Call Me Monster Mike - Part 2; Everybody; One of Those Days - Part 1; One of Those Days - Part 2; Searching for an Angel; Just Like a Fool; Give Me Time; Acc Study 10 - Gary Smith's Approach: All The Love in the Word, Part 1 (From Submission 40); All The Love in the Word, Part 2 (Sub 40); Cryin’ Hey, Part 1 (Sub 40); Cryin’ Hey, Part 2 (Sub 40); A Thrill To Be Alive (Sub 41); Joaquin Riley (Sub 41); My Father’s Son (Sub 41); They Call Me Monster Mike (Sub 41); Everybody (Sub 41); One of the Those Days, Part 1 (Sub 42); One of the Those Days, Part 2 (Sub 42); One of the Those Days, Part 3 (Sub 42); Searching for an Angel, Part 1 (Sub 42); Just Like a Fool (Sub 42); Give Me Time and Closing Comments (Sub 42); Accompaniment Study 10 Closing

Rhythm Training
Rhythm training is already part of your lessons at BluesHarmonica.com, very specifically contained in your Bending and Tongue Blocking study songs. If you would like to dig deeper into the meaning of the rhythm notation used in your sheet music, or are having difficulty with a particular passage within a song you're studying and would like the notated rhythms to help you dial it in, then you're in the right place. We'll also spend time on how to better feel the beat and use a metronome. This lesson is for all skill level players and does not require a harmonica. Videos Include: Section 1 - Introduction to Rhythm Training: Rhythm Training Introduction; Feeling the Beat: Sway and Tapping Feet; Setting Beat 1 on the Metronome; Music Notation Basics: Section 2 - Rhythm Training; Example 1 - Whole Notes; Example 2 - Half Notes; Example 3 - Quarter Notes; Example 4 - Eighth Notes; Example 5 - Syncopated Eighth Notes; Example 6 - Triplets; Example 7 - Swing Eighths; Example 8 - Sixteenth Notes; Example 9 - Tied Rhythms; Example 10 - Dotted Values; Example 11 - Staccato; Example 12 - Accents; Example 13 - Triplet Quarters; Example 14 - Ritard & Fermata; Rhythm Training Closing

Recording Study 1 - Handheld
In this study we look at the value of quick handheld recording (smartphone and portable digital recorder) for both self-assessment and submission of your work to me. This study is for all skill level players and no harmonicas are needed for this study. Lessons include: Section 1 – Introduction to Handheld Recording: Handheld Recording; Section 2 – Smartphone Recording: Recording with a Smartphone; Listening to your Recording for Self-Assessment; Transferring your Recording to your Computer; Submitting Recording for Feedback; Section 3 – Portable Digital Recording Devices: Portable Digital Recording; Section 4 – Closing to Handheld Recording: Closing to Handheld Recording

Recording Study 2 - Software
In this study we look at software recording. I'll be using Garage Band, but the principles taught in this lesson will help you with whichever computer program you use for multi-track recording. This study is for all skill level players and no harmonicas are needed for this study. Videos include: Introduction to Software Recording; Setup to Software Recording; Reference Recording; Recording; Editing and Exporting; Closing to Software Recording

Recording Study 3 - Home Studio
In this lesson I'll show you how to record acoustic harmonica, mic a harp amp, do punch-in recording and edit multiple takes into one cohesive track. Many of the techniques I'll share with you are common to professional recording studios, just on a smaller scale. As a bonus, you get to follow fellow student Bill Bussell as he records his current study song ("The Tub"). This study is for all skill level players and no harmonicas are needed. Videos include: Section 1 – Introduction to Home Studio Recording: Introduction and Purpose of Recording; Section 2 – Home Studio: Recording Setup; Components and Mics; Mic Placement; Amp Setup; Pro Tools Setup, Part 1; Pro Tools Setup, Part 2; Section 3 – Recording Tracks with Bill Bussell: Recording Tracks with Bill; Editing Bill’s Recording, Part 1; Editing Bill’s Recording, Part 2; Editing Bill’s Recording, Part 3

Recording Study 4 - Professional Studio
Your lesson begins with an overview of what's involved in recording at a studio and then we cover a bullet-point list of what's needed to prepare for the process. In Section 2 we sit down with students Joel Saal and George Bisharat and listen to their recording process. George has provided you a song from his new CD. If you would like to pickup his entire project visit http://www.bigharpgeorge.com for links to iTunes, Amazon, Bluebeat, and CD Baby. Thanks to Joel and George for their time. In Section 3 Aki Kumar and Gary Smith share their recording experiences and how they would like to approach this project. We also rehearse our harmony tunes and I provide you with scratch tracks and charts to play along with us. In Section 4 master blues guitarist and recording engineer Kid Anderson shares tips with us on how to achieve a great sound in the studio for blues harmonica. I'm now releasing Section 5 footage (one video a week... as it's edited) of the actual studio recording session. Thanks to volunteer cameramen Marc Graci, Gleidson Sousa and John Rafferty.

 

REPERTOIRE BUILDERS

Repertoire Builder Study 2.5
This Repertoire Builder song "Take It Easy Now" does not teach you any new techniques, but places into context what you've worked hard to learn in Bending and Tongue Blocking Studies 2. This song will continue to work these techniques along with giving you a fun song to play that contains valuable lick vocabulary for your improvising down the road. This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need a C Harmonica for this study. Videos include: Section 1 - Technique Review: Introduction to Lesson; Bending on the C Harmonica; Bending in Context (Bending Down & Dips); Tongue Block Review (Slaps & Flutter); How to Practice a Lick - Part 1; How to Practice a Lick - Part 2; Section 2 - "Take It Easy Now" Repertoire Builder Song: Chorus 1 - Take It Easy Now; Chorus 2 - Take It Easy Now; Chorus 3 - Take It Easy Now; Chorus 4 - Take It Easy Now; Chorus 5 - Take It Easy Now; Chorus 6 - Take It Easy Now; Chorus 7 - Take It Easy Now; Section 3 - How to Play with a Band & Closing Thoughts; How to Play with a Band & Closing

Repertoire Builder Study 1.5
I know that folk songs have nothing to do with playing blues, but they provide a great opportunity to develop skill on your instrument via simple melodies that you’re already familiar with (you can focus on movement and breathing since you already know the rhythm and melody).

 

 

ARTIST STUDIES - Unlocked by participating in the Levels of Achievement Program

William Clarke
William Clarke was one of the greatest blues harmonica players of all time. In this artist study we'll dig into his slow blues "Lonesome Bedroom Blues" from his Live Bootleg Cassette Anthology. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a C Harmonica for this study.


Jerry Portnoy
Jerry Portnoy is one of the great classic blues harmonica stylists. Jerry is best known for his work with both Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton. In this artist study we'll dig into his slow blues "Blues for Big Nate" from the release Red Hot & Blues, The Legendary Blues Band. This study is for intermediate skill level players (though the opening chorus is doable for the beginning player). You'll need an A Harmonica for this study.

Gary Smith
Gary Smith is one of the great classic blues harmonica stylists in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have a full interview with Gary at bluesharmonica.com, so make sure to check that out. In this Artist Study we dig into his great harmonica instrumental "Minor Mambo." This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a C Harmonica for this study.


James Harman
James Harman is one of our great multi-instrumentalists and songwriters of today. In his instrumental "Skeet-A-Little Taste" James gives us a fun taste of playing the Low-F Harmonica in a super-cool shuffle groove. Bending and tongue blocking are at a minimal speed, so this is a perfect study for our intermediate players.


Steve Guyger
Join me for an artist study of tone monster Steve Guyger with his instrumental "Snake Oil." An added bonus is that this instrumental is minor and played in 2nd Position.




Little Walter - Phrasing
Join me for a study of one of the four great post war Chicago blues fathers, Little Walter. In this lesson we dig into his hugely influential approach to phrasing. Most of the licks used in the study song "Walter's Mood" are Little Walter's, providing you with great vocabulary for you to study and draw upon for your own improvising. You may record yourself playing to the provided jam track and submit it to me for review if you wish. This study is for advanced skill level players. Videos include: Introduction; Little Walter's Approach to Phrasing; Chorus 1 - Walter's Mood; Chorus 2 - Walter's Mood; Chorus 3 - Walter's Mood; Chorus 4 - Walter's Mood; Chorus 5 - Walter's Mood; Chorus 6 - Walter's Mood; Closing Thoughts

Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) Artist Study - Chording
Join me for a study of one of the four great post war Chicago blues fathers, Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II). In this lesson we dig into his hugely influential approach to chording. Almost all of the licks used in the study song "Sonny's Bird" are Rice Miller's, providing you with great vocabulary for you to study and draw upon for your own solo harmonica playing. You may record yourself and submit it to me for review if you wish. This study is for intermediate skill level players. You'll need the Low F Harmonica for this study. Videos Include: Introduction; Technique (Pull-Slap); Chorus 1 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 2 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 3 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 4 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 5 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 6 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 7 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 8 - Sonny's Bird; Chorus 9 - Sonny's Bird; Choruses 10 and 11 - Sonny's Bird; Performance Thoughts for "Sonny's Bird"; Closing

Big Walter Horton Artist Study - Shuffle
Join me for a study of one of our four great post war Chicago blues fathers, Big Walter Horton. In this lesson we dig into what Big Walter Horton is really known for... his killer shuffles. All of the licks used in the study song "Shakey's Shuffle" come from Big Walter, providing you with great vocabulary for you to study and draw upon for your own improvising. You may record yourself playing to the provided jam track and submit it to me for review if you wish. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need an A Harmonicas for this study. Videos include: Introduction; The Writing Process of Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 1 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 2 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 3 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 4 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 5 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 6 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 7 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 8 - Shakey's Shuffle; Chorus 9 - Shakey's Shuffle; How to Play Shakey's Shuffle with a Band; Closing Thoughts

Andy Just Artist Study - Shuffle
Andy Just is one of the great rockin' blues harmonica players in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have a full interview with Andy at bluesharmonica.com, so make sure to check that out. In this Artist Study we dig into "Misery," a great shuffle in the key of A that really showcases his rockin'-fast style. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need a D Harmonica for this study. Videos: Introduction to Andy Just Artist Study; Head to "Misery"; Solo, Chorus 1 "Misery"; Solo, Chorus 2 "Misery"; Call & Response "Misery"; Final Chorus (Head) "Misery"; How to Play "Misery" with a Band; Andy Just Artist Study Closing

George "Harmonica" Smith Artist Study - Swing Chromatic
Join me for a study of one of our four great post war Chicago Blues fathers, George "Harmonica" Smith. It's generally accepted that George was the greatest Blues chromatic harmonica player of his time, and that's what our focus is for this lesson. The majority of the licks used in the study song "Swingin' with George" comes from George Smith, providing you with great vocabulary for you to study and draw upon for your own improvising. You may record yourself playing to the provided jam track and submit it to me for review if you wish. This study is for advanced skill level players. You'll need the C Chromatic (12 or 16-hole) for this study. Videos include: Introduction to Swingin' with George; About George Smith; Technique for Swingin' with George; Chorus 1 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 2 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 3 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 4 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 5 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 6 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 7 - Swingin' with George; Chorus 8 - Swingin' with George; How to Play Swingin' with George with a Band; Closing


 

EQUIPMENT

Harp Tech Studies 1 - Getting to Know Your Harmonica
In our first study harp tech expert Kinya Pollard, aka The HarpSmith, will walk you through the different components of the standard diatonic harmonica. He'll also present the differences in material and construction between manufacturers as well as custom component options available in the marketplace. This lesson video is for all skill level players. No tools are required for this lesson. Lesson includes: Introduction to Kinya Pollard, Opening, Basic Harmonica Construction, Cover Plate Options, Comb Options - Part 1, Comb Options - Part 2, Temperment (Tuning) and Closing

Harp Tech Study 2 - Maintenance & Tools
In our second study harp tech expert Kinya Pollard (aka The HarpSmith) walks you through the tools used for tuning and adjusting your harmonicas. Kinya demonstrates tools currently available through harmonica manufacturers as well as some specialized tools made by third parties. Kinya also walks you through proper lighting for your shop as well as the magnification needed to work with the small parts found on our harmonicas. Lastly Kinya shares with you different cleaning methods for keeping your harmonicas in pristine shape. Videos include: Introduction; Lee Oskar Tool Kit; Herring Tool Kit; Hohner Tool Kit; Final thoughts on Tool Kits; Introduction to Cleaning; Cleaning Basics; Ultrasonic Cleaner - Plates on Harp; Ultrasonic Cleaner - Plates off Harp; Cleaning Cover Plates; Lighting; Magnification

Harp Tech Study 3 - Tuning
In our third study harp tech expert Kinya Pollard (aka The HarpSmith) walks you through the fine art of tuning on the harmonica. Videos include: Introduction, iPhone Tuners, Analog Tuners, Peterson Tuners, Tuning on plates intro, Isolating the reed and where to take off metal, Three ways to tune, Raising the pitch of a reed and using the Tuning Table, Draw reed tuning on Tuning Table, Draw scraper tuning tool, Tuning off the comb, Tuning off the comb with Special 20, More Richard Sleigh tools, Temperment, Point 1 - Embouchure and tuning, Point 2 - Can a harmonica be out of tune right out of the box?, Point 3 - How many times can you tune?, Point 4 - How condensation affects tuning, Closing

Harp Tech Study 4 - Reed Gapping
In our fourth study harp tech expert Kinya Pollard (aka The HarpSmith) walks you through the fine art of reed gapping on the harmonica. This lesson video is for all skill level players. Videos Include: Introduction to Reed Gapping; Getting Started with Reed Gapping; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Increasing the Gap; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Decreasing the Gap; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Documentation; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Reed Symbiosis; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Hearing a Gap Too Large; Reed Gapping, Level 1: Hearing a Gap Too Small; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Method 2; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Method 3; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Method 4; Reed Gapping - Level 1: Closing Comments; Reed Gapping - Level 2: Clearance at the Rivet End; Reed Gapping - Level 2: Setting the Zero-Point All at Once; Reed Gapping - Level 2: Setting the Zero-Point with One Reed; Reed Gapping - Level 2: Light Box Intro; Reed Gapping - Level 2: Using Light Box to Adjust How Reeds Enter the Slot; Using CD Security Strip as Feeler Gauge; Reed Gapping Closing Words

Harp Tech Study 5 - Reed Replacement
In our fifth study harp tech expert Kinya Pollard (aka The HarpSmith) walks you through how to change reeds on the harmonica. This lesson video is for all skill level players. Videos included: Introduction to Reed Replacement; Why Replace a Reed?; Identifying a Bad Reed; Finding a Donor Reed; Reed Remouval - Method 1; Reed Remouval - Methods 2 and 3; Preparing the Reed Plate and Tapping - Method 1; Preparing the Reed Plate and Tapping - Method 2; Preparing the Reed Plate and Tapping - Method 3; Preparing the Reed Plate - Level 2: Setting up a Work Station; Preparing the Reed - Level 1: Wood Block and Hand Drill; Preparing the Reed - Level 2: Hand Vice; Installing the Reed; Reed Alignment and Cutting Bolt; Sanding Reed Plate Pad Area; Reed Replacement Closing Words

Harp Tech Study 6 - Reed Slot Sizing
In our sixth study harp tech expert Kinya Pollard (aka The HarpSmith) walks you through how to size a reed slot on the harmonica. This lesson video is for all skill level players. Videos include: Introduction to Reed Slot Sizing; Principals of Reed Slot Sizing; Reed Slot Sizing with UST (Ultimate Sizing Tool); Reed Slot Sizing with UST and Light Box; Fixing the Reed Slot if You Go Too Far; Tip Scooping; Adjusting the Reed’s Profile after Reed Slot Sizing; Reed Slot Sizing Closing Words

Bill Bucco Interview - Hohner Diatonic Service Tech
Join me for an informative interview with Bill Bucco, the diatonic harmonica service technician for Hohner Harmonicas. In this interview we cover what a normal day at the Hohner Service Center looks like, common repairs and how to care for your diatonic harmonicas. Videos include: Getting to know Bill Bucco, Tell us about read failure and gapping, What causes a reed to buzz?, What type of maintenance should we do on our diatonic harmonicas? What type of services does Hohner offer?, Why are there different models of diatonic harmonica and why are their different temperaments?, Closing.

Interview with Harmonica Customizer Joe Spiers
Join me for an interview with respected blues harmonica player and customizer Joe Spiers. In this interview we speak of what's commonly done to a harmonica to make it play better, the levels of customization and the "do's and "dont's" of playing a finely adjusted instrument. Joe also speaks of being certified by Joe Filisko through the HOHNER AFFILIATED CUSTOMIZERS PROGRAM. This interview was held in August of 2012 in Dallas, Texas. Videos Include: Introduction to Joe Spiers; What Makes a Good Playing Harmonica, Part 1; What Makes a Good Playing Harmonica, Part 2; Tuning Stability and Double-Thick Reedplates; How to Care for a Custom Harmonica; Levels of Harmonica Customization; Hohner Affiliated Customizer Program and Closing

Sissi Jones Interview – Hohner Chromatic Service Tech
Join me for an informative interview with Sissi Jones, the chromatic harmonica service technician for Hohner Harmonicas. In this interview we cover what a normal day at the Hohner Service Center looks like, common repairs, how to care for your chromatic harmonica and how to deal with sticky slides and wind savers.

Interview with Tuning Table Inventor Rick Trankle
Join me for an interview with the inventor of the Tuning Table. In this video Rick shares with us the reasons for its invention and how to use this tool.


Alternate Tunings with Brendan Power
Join me and Brendan Power for a discussion and examples of different tunings for the diatonic harmonica. Brendan also covers his new POWER tuning system (PowerBlow, PowerDraw and PowerBender).


Amps - What You Need to Know
In this video lesson you'll learn the important elements of choosing, setting up and using an amplifier. We'll cover: amp choice (small, medium & large); adding delay and/reverb; mic choice (which mic is appropriate for which amp); common tube subs; setting your amp up on the stage; and finaly how to dial in your volume settings.

Amps - Amp Tone Settings
In this video lesson you'll learn how to dial in the tone settings on various amp sizes and ages.




Interview with Amp Tech Dale Laslie of MegaTone Amps
Join me for an interview with leading harmonica amp repairman, customizer and manufacturer Dale Laslie, founder and CEO of DJL Vintage Audio and designer of the MegaTone Amp line. In this interview Dale defines the role of each element in the tone chain and discusses how these can be changed to maximize their potential for the harp. Co-designer Mike Wezolowski of the MegaTone WEZO-45 also shares with us the story of the building of this amp.

Mics - What You Need To Know
In this video lesson you'll learn about the most common blues harmonica microphone bodies, elements and output connectors. Also included is an audio recording test of the microphones shown in the videos.


Grant wasn’t hungry, but he knew he should order something. His knee was throbbing, and he hadn’t eaten all day. The calamari, his usual go-to, reminded him of the last time he was at Noni’s, the last time he’d seen El, so he ordered a Caesar salad and picked at it. Beside him, Eliot’s notebook and cell phone waited, still codes he couldn’t crack.

They’d sat at the far end of the bar, the last time he saw her, by the windows. His back to the room, he remembered the sloshes of traffic on Edgewood, the smeary red of brake lights. Against the fogged glass, Eliot had been like the sun in how she warmed him. Her soft gray eyes, sleeves tugged to her fingers. A head shorter than him and half his weight, she was still one of the safest places he knew. 

He thought again of that moment when Eliot’s face had tightened, her gaze fixed on someone or something behind him. He scanned the room, searching for any clue in the black-and-white photos, the wood booths, the pulsing old TV. But every surface stared back at him, blank.

Grant’s phone buzzed, and he grabbed for it, knowing he shouldn’t hope for anything but hoping all the same. 

We got estimates for new linens. Need your ok.

It was Allen Roberts, the restaurant’s head investor. A nice enough guy, with his pocket squares and heavy silk ties. He started the Phoenix Group more than a decade before, and in that time, every restaurant they’d opened—the Thai fusion place on the Beltline, that Italian steak bar in Buckhead—had won Best of Atlanta more than once. They were careful investors, thorough too, so Grant knew he should jump whenever they said to, lucky as he was for their backing. But today he couldn’t imagine talking about tablecloths, or tasting menus, or sous chefs. So he left the text unanswered and put his phone away.

The patio door opened behind him, and he turned hopefully. On the phone, he’d described himself: black, late 30s, bald with a beard. But he had no way to recognize her. He wasn’t even certain she was coming, or what she might do to him if she did.

“Whoever you are” she had said, when he answered El’s phone. “I am tracing this call and contacting the police.” Her words had been spiky, as if spoken from gritted teeth.

“What?” Grant had answered. “Who are you? Is Eliot there?”

The woman went silent for a second, and he’d been afraid she’d hang up, but then her syllables came back harder, open-mouthed. “If you hurt a hair on her head, I will personally—”

“Wait,” he said. In one breath, he explained who he was and how he got into her apartment, leaving out the bits about Frank’s stroke or coma. He’d played enough poker to know that even with a bad hand, you didn’t show all your cards.

“You’re at her place? I’m coming over.”

“No,” he’d said, more alarmed than he would have expected. The apartment walls felt suddenly close, the scar down his knee starting to burn, so he suggested Noni’s. She agreed and hung up before he could ask her name.

The woman in the doorway didn’t match that voice, but she walked toward him. She was thin-wristed and wispy, gleaming from the light on her blue-black hair. She wore a man’s tweed blazer and blue high-tops, but Grant could pick her up, giant messenger bag and all, with one arm. The tangle of nerves in his gut loosened a little.

“Are you?”

“Grant Maxwell.” He reached out his hand.

She didn’t take it.

“Have a seat.” He nudged the stool out with his foot.
 
She perched on the edge but held her bag with both hands in her lap.

The bartender approached. The woman shook her head at the offer of a menu. “Water’s fine.” She eyed Grant’s beer.        

“It’s been a rough morning,” he said, as he swigged the last of his Tropicalia and ordered another. “Are you going to tell me your name?”

“Jules,” she said. 

“That’s a start.” He noticed a slight shake to her fingers as she lifted her glass. “How about another easy one? How do you know Eliot?”

“She’s my girlfriend. You?” Grant’s surprise must have registered on his face because a wry smile seeped onto hers. “You didn’t know she’s gay?”

“What? Of course I did” Grant said. “Who do you think took her to her first topless bar?” he laughed, but Jules didn’t. He coughed and continued. “I just didn’t know she had a girlfriend.”

Jules faced forward and started to weave a napkin between her fingers. “Yeah, well, it’s still new. We haven’t really defined it or anything.”

“Did you know about me?”

“A pudgy Luther wannabe who sometimes breaks into her place? I think I’d remember if she’d mentioned you.”

Grant couldn’t help but smile. “That’s El for you. She likes her worlds separate.”

Her eyes sliced to him. “And which ‘world’ are you, exactly?”

He took another sip before answering. “I’ve known Eliot 20 years—wait, no, 21. Did she ever tell you about—” Grant pointed above his ear, roughly where the shrapnel had hit her. “We met in the hospital.”

Jules peered at his head, skeptical.

“I was hit here.” He tugged up his pant leg to show the scar, from ankle to knee cap. “Couldn’t walk for weeks.”

He didn’t usually lead with this backstory. Even with El, it wasn’t a topic he liked to discuss. He’d drive ten minutes out of his way just to avoid passing where it happened. Last year, he didn’t watch TV for a month after accidentally catching an anniversary documentary on ESPN. He’d come closer to actually dying a few times in the last 21 years, and he’d surely been the target of far more personal hate, but there was something about the spray of metal that night, flakes of fire like confetti. It never felt far away.

“I’d be happy to cut it open and show you the screws—”

“No,” Jules blanched. “I believe you.”
 
“Sorry,” Grant said, swallowing another sip. “It’s just—I’m kinda freaking out here. Where is she?”

Jules shook her head. “I’ve tried calling, like, 100 times. I’ve gone by her place, tweeted her.”

“That was you today. That message about her door key?”

This time, her smile was softer. “It’s from a Little Tybee song. Our first date, we went to see them.”

Grant knew the band, had even taken El to one of their shows when she first moved back, but there was something about Jules’s tone that sounded like the rattle of a chain link fence, as if marking how far he could go. He changed the subject. “Do you know this person?” He scrolled through his phone to find the name. “YAWPmusic?”

She barely glanced at the screen. “Oh, him. Eliot’s not-so-secret admirer.”

“Who is he?”

“A DJ. She interviewed him for that music blog, maybe a month back? He’s been trying to woo her over Twitter ever since.”

“Doesn’t he know she’s gay?”
 
Jules looked up flatly. “Have you been on the internet? The world’s full of creeps who think all lesbians need is one good roll in the hay with a ‘real man.’”

“Is he crazy? Do you think—” Grant said.

“He’s harmless. A delusional, egotistical puppy dog, but a puppy dog all the same.”

Grant lowered the phone, unconvinced, but before he set it face down on the bar, he tapped a finger on the screen so quick, he was pretty sure Jules didn’t notice. “So, when did you see her last?”

“Monday night.” Jules patted the bar. “Here, actually. We were supposed to go to this DJ showcase at the Music Room, but she was all stressed. Said she had a deadline coming. So we rescheduled.”

“And?”

Jules shrugged. “It’s been crickets since. She could be ghosting on me or whatever, but, I don’t know. She just didn’t seem like herself on Monday.”

“What do you mean?”

She tucked her hair behind both ears. “It’s probably nothing. But she just seemed, I don’t know, depressed or something. She kept talking about how as kids, we think we can grow up to be anyone we want, but then we make all these choices, go to school, move places, and suddenly we don’t have that freedom anymore. We’re stuck.”

Grant felt a tightness spread across his body, seizing him in place. Eliot, for all her renewable energy, wasn’t the Energizer bunny. She never used the “D” word, explaining her days in bed and that semester she took all Incompletes as times she wasn’t “well,” but Grant had seen the bottles in her medicine cabinet. He’d read the spines on her bookcase. She always bounced up after a few weeks, at most, and could go months or even years before another spat of existential questions sent her to the Tom Waits Spotify station. So he’d never really worried about her. But now, with the unanswered calls, the reminders of her mother in that Polaroid and even the scar beneath her hair, Grant felt the panic in his fingertips.

Jules was still talking. “It was probably nothing to worry about. She’s probably on assignment somewhere and forgot to tell us. I just…I don’t know. I don’t like it.”

Grant reached for the notebook.

Jules recoiled. “Where did you find that?”

“In her apartment.”

“She wouldn’t—”

“I know,” Grant said. “And her place was spotless. You could eat off the floor.”

“Are you sure you were at the right apartment? I’ve seen Eliot leave an apple core on her toilet seat for, like, days.”

“Something isn’t right. I just know it.” He pressed the phone to light up its screen. “I’ve tried cracking her PIN, but no luck. You don’t know it, do you?”

“Yeah, right.”

“Ok, then, look through the notebook. There’s about ten pages there, some notes, numbers. I can’t make sense of it.”

The bartender checked in, and Grant saw Jules eyeing the bottles.

“Go ahead,” he suggested. “It might help.”

“A Bullitt. Neat.”

“That-a girl,” Grant said. He went to the bathroom and then paced behind her for a few minutes. “Anything?” he finally asked.

“That could be a phone number.” Jules pointed to a string of digits on the third page.

“It’s too short.”

“That ‘1’ could be a slash if you look closely. So the 4 before it—”

“Area code.” He fumbled for his phone, but Jules was faster.

“I’m going outside. I need the air,” she said, standing. She downed the rest of her drink in one shot and started to move toward the door but turned. “What about her compu—” Jules froze. Her eyes sharpened at the wall of frames by the window.

“What?” Grant asked. “What is it?”

“Monday night, when Eliot and I were here?”

“Yeah?”

“She ordered food, but the place was crazy busy. I still wanted to go to the show. She told me to go on, she could do work while she ate. At the door, I looked back to blow her a kiss. She was taking one of the frames down.” Jules looked at Grant. “She snapped a picture of it.”

Grant stood up and moved toward the wall. “Which one?”

Jules shook her head. “I don’t remember.” Her dark eyes flitted across the wall. “Wait,” she grabbed his arm. “It was that one.”

Together, they reached for the frame.

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