Terry McMillan Kills it on This Shania Twain Song (Live)

Terry McMillan Killing it on the Harmonica
I became a big Terry fanboy recently…

But, why Luke?

Here are 12 reasons:

:arrow_right: Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams Jr., Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Kenny Chesney, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young…

…and that’s just a PARTIAL list of a FEW of the acts that he played and recorded with! :exploding_head:

My first exposure to Terry McMillan was the album he did with guitar great Larry Carlton called Renegade Gentlemen. I encountered that album because JP Allen cited Cold Day in Hell as his favorite harmonica song.

Next, I encountered this video of him playing Hand It Over with Garth Brooks and Keb Mo’. From there, I discovered his gospel performances like This Train, and this version of Amazing Grace which starts sweet and serene and ends with him absolutely SHREDDING. :metal:

So now…I’m a Terry fanboy for LIFE!!!

The special moment for me in his performance with Shania Twain :point_up_2: is actually after the last chord of the song when he plays this KILLER ending.

A couple things to note here.

:small_blue_diamond: On this lick, he’s playing a High G harmonica! :exploding_head:

…and here I have people complaining that the C is shrill! LOL. Recently I noted that Walk the Line sounds better on a Low F harmonica, rather than on a standard F which sounds very shrill by comparison. BUT, the standard F harmonica is used A TON in country music, most often in 2nd position, key of C. Why?

:one: It cuts through the mix

:two: Requiring less air to play, and smaller mouth movements to bend, it’s EASIER TO PLAY SUPER-FAST on HIGHER KEY harmonicas (like F, or even higher, all the way to High G).

:small_blue_diamond: One of the coolest features of this riff, which I talk about in my Ultimate Harmonica Solo guide, is the way that he creates a climax by holding and bending the -6. He also SLIDES up into the -6 for even more dramatic effect.

:small_blue_diamond: Aside from that, he’s pretty much playing the blues scale. Here are the tabs again starting with a slide up to:

-6 -6 6 -4’ -4 -5 -4 -4’ -3’ -2 -1 123

-3’ -2 -2” -1 -1’ 1 -1-2” -2 -3’ -3’ -2 -2” -1 -2” -2 -2” -2

And then on the final hit with the band he does a slide from -1 to -6.

Since you probably don’t have a High G harmonica, let me play it at like a quarter of the speed, on a C harmonica. Check it out here:


@KeroroRinChou I thought you might appreciate this post :point_up_2:t3:
Our BOY! :wink::notes::raised_hands:t3::100:


Todd actually tabbed out that song for me, including it’s ending. I had a lot of trouble on that ending because “it went by the seat of your pants” (as he would say). I’m honestly surprised that some people on Facebook hate Terry as much as they do and unfairly compare him to Charlie McCoy. He didn’t play like Charlie, but was very successful in his own right. I never got into Charlie’s stuff while I still love Terry’s soulful playing to this day. If they actually look pass their bluesman Ray Bans and view him as somebody to be respected, not mocked, they could understand that Terry was a good musician both from a technical stand point as well as from an emotional standpoint. But I know it won’t happen because they’re stuck in their own little world where somebody’s fame status and accolades rule above how good they actually sound.


This is one of my favorite harmonica riffs I’ve ever learned!! :metal:t3:


I like to compare Terry’s harmonica tone and playing style to Duane Allman’s slide guitar. Both were incredibly influential in their respected fields and both of their lives were cut short. It’s just that people on Facebook think you’re inexperienced if you like Terry. Yes, that has actually been said to me once. One guy said that Terry had no melodic structure, didn’t play complex melodies, and had licks that sounded very repetitious. Therefore he thinks that I love Terry because I’m inexperienced on the harmonica. So what does that mean for you and my buddy, Todd? Both of you are gigging professionals and teachers that actually like Terry’s playing. So does that make the two of you inexperienced? Hell no! So why should I get treated differently because of who I like music wise? I swear, Charlie McCoy simps are some of the worst people on planet Earth.


Correction: I DON’T like Terry.

I LOOOOVVVVEEEE Terry!!! :sunglasses::notes:

Cheee hoooouuuuu!

1 Like