Rick Estrin

Lesson >

So Long

Sixth Verse, First Part

Hey Sonic Junction - This week we've got the first part of the 6th and last verse of "So Long". The keys to mastering this section will mostly be found in your ear. If you listen carefully and make use of the backing track, this lesson will be a lot easier than it may seem on the surface. All the techniques we'll be using are things you'll be familiar with from previous lessons. Timing and phrasing are the only moderately tricky parts, but they're also the parts that make this verse so cool.

Rick Estrin



Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chicago Blues

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

A Harp in the Key of E.

Loop 0:57 Verse 6 Acoustically With Commentary

Loop 3:18 Breakdown of First Part of Verse 6

Loop 8:47 Review and Practice

Loop 11:22 Practice Loop of First Part

Loop 11:54 Closing Thoughts and Review





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Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jul 09, 2017

Well, you can't have everything :)

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jul 09, 2017

Your comments about listening and speaking the same language are really interesting.  Countless hours obsessively listening to blues music AND practicing (that OCD tendency you mentioned once) have allowed me to begin to have those kinds of musical conversations.  In addition to your lessons, I'm grateful to have some way more experienced musicians who know that language to play with.  Keep it coming!

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jul 09, 2017

Those are the 2 main keys: Listening and practicing - The more obsessive your approach, over time, the better your musical results will be. It may not be the recipe for an ideally well balanced, everyday life, but you'll feel better about your harp playing!

Bill Blatner
Bill Blatner Jul 07, 2017

All the phrases end by going down, except that last one.  It feels like it could go the same way but then - surprise! - it goes up.  Beautiful example of what you talked about in the Chicago Shuffle lesson about developing an idea.

It's also interesting how you get that pleading feel out of that high note phrase without bending.  It has something to do with the timing - maybe playing just behind or front of the beat - I can't analyze it but I can hear it.  It's subtle but gives that phrase so much feeling and expressiveness.  Damn.

May I say also that, although you are totally holding up the groove on your own (as you consistently admonish us), the interaction between you and Robert adds something beyond the two performances.  How much are you listening to and playing off what he is doing?

Rick Estrin
Rick Estrin Jul 08, 2017

I like the way you listen, Bill! You're listening for details - Listening for the small things that make a big difference. In my opinion, time spent developing a finely tuned ear is as important as time spent practicing. As far as the interplay between Robert and myself goes, it works because our frame of reference is similar. I wasn't listening to Robert as much as I was just feeling what he was laying down, and feeling what I was doing - It's like a conversation. When people are conversant in the same language, communication is almost automatic. 

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