Countless musicians confess that they first learned to play music to help improve their eligibility in the dating scene. But even if you’re happily married, it feels GREAT when your friends and family are impressed by your harmonica playing!
HOW CAN you impress your pals even if you’re a total noobie?
Here’s my sneaky trick: simple but infectious grooves . A groove can get people dancing and smiling, and best of all it doesn’t need to be hard to play.
There’s a reason this Juzzie Smith vid has 1M views. Check out all the comments!
Want to test this yourself? Here’s the tabs for the main groove, with the syllables that I would say to accomplish this kinda groove:
Confused? Check out this short video of me breaking it down. And here are the secrets to making this GROOVE like Juzzie:
BEFORE you start playing, IMAGINE a drummer playing the groove. (You can tell Juzzie’s doing that in this vid.) Once you’re hearing it and feeling it, only THEN play it. This process will improve the feel of your groove X100!
In the tab written above the “Ka’s” should sound QUIETER than the “Ta’s”. Those microdynamics are part of what creates the groove.
If you aren’t familiar with these syllables (I call them The Harmonica Player’s Drumsticks ,) I cover them in detail in my Beginner to Boss course.
Move your body . Bounce your head, tap your foot, shake your tail feather, or do all three at once! Something - anything - to keep that pulse going - and ESPECIALLY do it through the 3 beats of rest in bar 4, just like Juzzie does. Rushing the entrance will kill the groove.
Moving your body to the beat will make sure you don’t come in early. The SILENCE is a HUGE part of what makes this GROOVE .
This song is infectious, fun, and very entertaining, but it’s also stupidly simple. As I always say, you don’t have to be complicated to be impactful .
If you own an A harmonica , you can play along with Juzzie in this vid. And if you’re feeling adventurous here’s the tab for that killer lick he plays which starts on beat 2:
-4’-4 -5 -4’ -3’ 4 -3’ 3 -2”
And the shorter one he does that starts on beat 3:
-4’ -3’ 4 -3’
Practice that - even if it’s just the chords part! Play the video and jam over it. Have fun with it. If you don’t have an A harmonica, you can play it on your C harmonica over a drum beat like this one. Once you know you’re REALLY FEELING IT, then the next time you get a chance whip your harp out and see how your buddies react when you start laying down that groove!