Reply To: Which pars of a song should a harmonica be playing?

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#10605
Mitch GraingerMitch Grainger
Keymaster

Hey Craig!

Thanks for posting this here! It’s a great question.

The blues is a specific style of music, based on an old slave vocal music known as “call and response”. This is where a lead singer will sing a phrase and then the other singers in the group would answer with a similar or complimentary phrase. In modern blues the harmonica has replaced the part of the other singers and mostly follows the main singers lead, providing the response.

Then the harmonica is also well equipped to be the lead melody instrument in popular tunes, replacing the main vocal. Anything with a single melody line is possible, as we are limited to (mostly) one note at a time. This is what Paul will be doing, playing the melody line of a piece. They call that carrying the melody.

So the harmonica can either carry the melody or act to embellish the melody, by providing an answer (inbetween melody).

I hope that helps! I’m I’m very glad to hear the course is treating you well!

Cheers,
Mg