Take your playing to the next level
Many harmonica players have mastered the basics but still struggle to bring the different aspects into focus in order to play with assurance and precision. In 2016, Steve's class will be aimed at intermediate harmonica players who want to tighten up their technique, broaden their repertoire and boost self confidence. As well as technical studies, we will be looking at melodic playing as one of the essential tools in learning to support a song and will work through some exciting and enjoyable tunes including a number of jugband classics.
Technique Studies will include:
Accurate intonation and GOOD TONE:
Tongue block / pucker
Control of the air column. Formants or silent vowels and how they relate to bending.
Accurate bending technique.
Playing with clear definition and groove - it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. But what makes it swing? Here are some of the elements involved:
Timing; learning to count; powerful and precise attack; clear phrasing; placing accents effectively; starting and finishing notes precisely; leaving space. Pickups, playing around the beat, staccato figures.
Melodic Playing - melodies as opposed to licks
The essential basis of any song is the melody. This can be the vocal line or lead instrument part, depending on the tune. Learning the melody is a huge aid to learning how a song functions. Some tunes are easier to play in 1st position, some in 2nd or 3rd, and many can be played in several positions. We'll explore different options here.
Steve will guide students through the practice tunes with a view to also grasping the harmonic relationships between melody and chord changes. This is an essential basis for melodic improvisation.
Melodic improvisation means letting go of the concept of just playing licks. Here melody is about appropriate musical reactions to the harmonic and modal character of the piece in question. This means you need to be familiar with the commonest modes and develop a good ear for chord changes. Learning to play the lead (or vocal) melody of a given song is the starting point.
Language: English and / or German
Workshop entitles you to the following:
o Minimum 11 teaching units of 75 min. Wed – Sat
o Admission to the sessions in the Kesselhaus on all days
o Admission to the Harmonica Masters Concerts on Friday and Saturday
o Admission to supporting program events on all days