To play along with blues songs do you play notes or try to addlive?
Thanks. Randy

both, if you are referring to Ad lib versus melodic playing. I play melody sometimes, harmony sometimes, both together sometimes…chords sometimes. In soloing, i try to develop a melody based theme and wander to and from it for 24 bars or 36 if i can get it…wrapping it up in the last couple bars to blend in with whatever is happening next musically in the band. I have also played harmony based solos and free-form solos based on a series of cool licks just strung together loosely around the melody or harmony of the song. One of my favorite things to do is call and response with a guitar player…it’s just a blast. We start with direct copies and then move on to actual call and response licks to wind up playing together with one of us as rhythm and the other as lead. There are many ways to skin this cat.

There are many ways to skin this cat.

As a member of PETA (People for Eating Tasty Animals) couldn’t have said it better and all right there, Conga Ron! :wink:

Laters, ya’ll!

Keep on jammin’!

I agree with Ron, Blues does not fit a formal music structure, it’s musical expression, a feeling at that moment and most of the time you can’t exactly repeat what you just played because that moment is gone. I believe the Blues is difficult to study or explain because it’s an emotional music expression based on the moment. It’s GREAT!


whats the difference in harmony and melody, i havent firgured that out and i should know,just curious.thanks

cool question, stubs!

harmony and melody are interchangeable terms…

like what’s the difference between riffs and licks? none

you say toma(y)to…i say toma(h)to…let’s call the whole thing off!

keep on jammin’, yo!

Hey Randy, there are several forms of playing the blues. You have James Cotton blowing the roof off and rapid single and cord playing and then there’s Sonny Boy Williamson II who makes more music just playing one note and bending it than a entire band can make.

I suggest to start with and get “that” feeling, watch a LOT OF SONNY BOY just to start playing the Blues right away, get a handle on the harmonicas ability and the importance of single slow note playing. He has a video on You Tube called “Don’t Start Me To Talking”, watch and listen to him play the blues in this video and see what I mean about one note slow blues. All of the greats started with him and he never changed, they did. Little Walter, James Cotton, Howlin Wolf, B B King and many others FOLLOWED Sonny Boy but remember where they started.


Harmony is notes sounding at the same time while melody is notes sounding in series.

Example: chords are played in harmony of eachother, but if you play a series of notes over a chord each note will be in harmony with the notes in the chord played for as long as they are played.

I think that’s about it.

I got my start in jazz at the ripe age of 13. In Burgundy and Bourbon St jazz, everybody plays his/her own melodic line which turns out to be everybody playing his/her own harmony line. Except for when the singer starts or the featured soloist steps forward, it’s all melody and harmony at the same time…no little chords in the background so the only decent player in the house can stand out. It is true that in many styles, harmony and melody can be the same. Many consider harmony as the framework to support a melody or theme. I say harmony is just how different musical voices blend, no matter what style you’re into. The melody sure better be in be in harmony with the band. LOL Just meandering and letting my mind wander. It does that a lot…gets lost sometimes.

SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON Don’t Start Me Talkin’ 1955

Harp on!!

Just meandering and letting my mind wander. It does that a lot...gets lost sometimes.

You don’t say… :o

Thanks for the info… :wink:

Am just saying… :smiley:

Laters… :slight_smile:

I would simplify melody this way…mary had a little lamb is a melodic musical line…or any main solo singing part would be the melody…in an instrumental piece, like Vivaldi’s “the four seasons” the violins typically carry the melody, with other instruments often taking a turn at it later. The harmonica can certainly do either one and should for variety.

Playing the melody in a solo can give you a “home plate” to wander onto and off of to keep a song recognizable and make all your solos sound different.

Harmony would be notes other than the melody that are played along with the melody…a harmony, if it’s recognizable enough or if you’ve been playing it along with the singer already, can be a cool solo base too.