Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Turn Your Lamp Down Low

Yesterday, for the limited amount of practice I did, I did most of it on violin. I ran through what I have of the circle of fifths (C, D and now G!) on repeat a few times, then I put on Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". There are a few songs that are among the first melodic bits I learn on any new instrument. I don't say I can play an instrument until I can play "Redemption Song" and "Wish You Were Here", the radio part, to some recognizable point. I can do that. I instead tried to play along with the song. Mostly the vocals, as being fretless and bowed, the violin can be very vocal-sounding. (Remind me to work out "Great Gig In The Sky" sometime.)

Then I put on "Juke" by Little Walter. I grabbed the guitar to be sure of the key, which for all you at home, is E. So, play your A harps! Historically, the blues bands of Mississippi would have a guitar playing harmony but have the violin be the melodic instrument. It was eventually replaced by the harmonica, but the kind of playing we think of as blues harmonica has roots in violin playing, so it makes sense to try to do a fairly advanced example of blues harp on a fiddle. And try I did. Not that I succeeded, but it was a start.

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