Dennis Gruenling

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Third Is The Word

Fourth Chorus Breakdown

Hey There Harpers! This week we get into Corus 4 of my “Third Is The Word” song, utilizing the 3rd Position Blues Scale. To start out though, you want to work on your 3-hole draw octaves, and start thinking about the notes you are playing in the middle octave in reference to your comfort zone, which is most likely 2nd Position. During this section of the song we will work on repeating a few short licks, and also on our attack and articulation on holes 6 and 7 especially.

Don't forget to have fun with this while you’re at it!

- Dennis Gruenling




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
3rd Position

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of D.

Loop 0:00 The Blues Scale in 3rd Position

Loop 4:37 4th Chorus Acoustically

Loop 5:06 Breakdown of First 4 Bars and 2nd Verse

Loop 6:58 IV Chord Breakdown (Bars 5 - 8)

Loop 8:06 Breakdown of Last 4 Bars

Loop 9:00 Practice Loop From The Octave

Loop 9:37 Practice Loop of 4th Chorus

Loop 10:03 Closing Thoughts





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Marc Graci
Marc Graci Apr 30, 2018

Marc Graci
Marc Graci Apr 30, 2018

Chorus 4's timing was a challenge for me. I don't think I played it as Dennis intended, but I think it might work...

The last lick, in particular, was probably late.

What do you think? Do I need to work on timing?

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling May 03, 2018

You're doing great with the licks! The timing on the last two phrases is late. of course when you come in late with the nest to last phrase, it sets off the last phrase to be late as well. Listen to the chorus I play and count along...noticing the first note of those last two phrases is on beat "2". You can totally get this!!

garf May 02, 2017

3rd position is a blast and Dennis your phrasing is impeccable as are your lessons.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling May 08, 2017

Thanks Garf!! I love 3rd position and use it very often, it is great for blues!!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Apr 07, 2017

Hey Dennis,

Discussion of the parallels with 2nd position are really helpful.  Lots of specific techniques to work on for me here: 7-hole blow scoop, 4-8 octave. But I'm really psyched about this piece because it feels like I'm finally getting a feel for just moving around 3rd position.  I'm able to improvise in B with other players over a 12-bar shuffle.  Nothing flashy but it's getting comfortable.  For a long time moving across the 3-hole draw was just not working for me but I'm even starting to do that without having to think about exactly what I'm doing.  I hear the note in my head and I don't have to think about how low to bend.  So this lesson is really working for me.  Thanks.

Dennis Gruenling
Dennis Gruenling May 08, 2017

Great - that is great news! Just always be sure to practice your bends with a tuner in your practice time...each harp is different when you are bending, and different muscles are used from one key harp to the next.

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