Another winner is a jazz standard by George Gershwin called Summertime. It was composed as an aria for the 1934 opra Porgy and Bess.
Here’s a lesson for beginners. It’s in 4th position but in the upper octave and avoids any bent notes.
Here’s an incredible lesson on Summertime from Tomlin Leckie. If you haven’t signed up for his free email lessons, do it! They’re awesome!
He plays this in the lower octave in 4th position. There’s only one bent note. He explains the tune hole by hole as he goes.
Here’s a backing track video you can practice with (on your C harp in A minor)…
There are tons of harmonica versions on Youtube. Here’s one more…
Looking forward to yours!
Embed your videos, audio clips, questions, and comments here so the thread will grow into a handy online resource. Continue adding even when the month is over.
8 7 8 -8 7 -8 8 7 -6 5
Summer time and the living is easy.
8 8 8 -8 -8
Fish are a-jumpin'
7 -6 7 -6 7 -7
and the cotton is high.
8 8 7 8 -8
Your daddy's rich and
7 -8 8 7 -6 5
your mama's good-looking.
5 6 5 6 -6 7 8-8 77 7-6
So, hush, little baby, don't you cry.
Here's tab for the low octave...
''--means bend full step
5 4 5 -4 4 -4 5 4 -3’’ 2
Sum-mer-time and the liv-ing is ea-sy
5 5 -44 -4 -4 4 4 4 -4 4 -3
The fish are jump-ing and the cot-ton is high
5 5 -4 4 5 4 -4 5 -4 4 -3’’ 2
Your dad-dy is rich, and your ma is good look-ing
2 3 2 3 -3’’4 -45-4 4 -3’’
So hush lit-tle ba-by, don’t you cry.
The tab and lessons above are in 4th position. That means on a C harp, you’ll be playing in the key of Am. This is the natural minor or Aeolian mode.
Without getting too bogged down in theory, on a C harp, the Aeolian mode has A as the tonic note—the note of resolution. But the notes in the scale are the same as in the C major scale. To check out how this works, just find a piano and start on an A then play all the white keys up to the next A. To hear how the Aeolian scale sounds, noodle around with those white keys, but make sure the tune is drawn back to resolution on that A note. It should have a minor or kind of haunting feel.
If you want more info on the modes and positions, here’s a link…
Here's an early version of Summertime. I really like Andy's idea of recording a few clips to see the progress. Hopefully those bent notes will show signs of improvement over the month. I just started working on bending notes this summer, so there's a ways to go. That's my talented husband Jeff on the ukulele.