The Blues. Sad music. Old guys on porches playing guitars. Someone done me wrong. My baby done left me.
But here’s the thing.
What happens when we can’t express these things – the very things that connect us as human beings? When we can’t express, it gets bottled up inside.
When we have a way to let it out, we can share it – even if it’s with an old dog on the back porch.
And when we can express ourselves – even about what makes us sad – that’s the beginning of connection and connection is happiness.
I play the harp, and I love to play the Blues. And I don’t always play it sad. Neither does the rest of the world.
Blues is one of most powerful influences on popular music. Blues influenced Gospel, Rock ‘n Roll, Rhythm and Blues. It led to Bebop. It influenced classical music, like George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Heck, it even influenced Bob Dylan.
Blues was such a power influence in Rock and Roll and, in fact, many early rock songs were simply 12-Bar blues like “Shake, Rattle and Roll”( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B7xr_EjbzE ) or “Johnny Be Good” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFo8-JqzSCM ). Elvis’s “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog”- one of my favorite songs as a kid (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiY5yE3TBgA ).
Why is the Blues so influential? It lets you just sit down and play – lets me sing about anything I feel, anything I love – and the Blues lets me explore the hidden sounds my instrument makes when I’m not worried about the notes.
So what’s the real hidden happiness of the Blues? It’s got a simple form: a scale and a chord progression that SUPPORTS improvisation and expression.
If you play the harp, join me to make the happiness of the Blues part of YOUR life – check out “Blues Harp-Style” and register now!
Don’t play the harp? Check out these two free Blues MP3 Downloads, “Way You Are Blues” and “I’ll Be Your Sous Chef, Baby” at my FREESTUF page.
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Deborah Henson-Conant's "Hip Harp Academy" online learning community is open for self-paced learning yearlong. DHC personal guides each class in the Academy once a year. Access to each guided class is limited to students who register before the 2nd week of class. Registration for the Fall Guided course, "HIp Harp TOOLKIT" is currently closed.