5 Popular Songs Made to Sound Like Legit Blues on Harmonica

By Alex Paclin

Written by Alex Paclin on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, Harmonica Tabs

Did you know it’s possible to make nearly any song sound bluesy with your harmonica? In this video Alex takes 5 regular chart hits and “bluesifies” the heck of them (includes tabs)…

1. Bad Guy (Blues Style)

This one has i, iv, and V chords and a melody in the pentatonic scale, so we just change it to shuffle and add short 1950’s like delay to blues it up.

C Harmonica, 2nd pos, key of Gm

-3’ -3’
-3’ -3’ -3’ -3’ -2 4 -3’ -3’
-3’ -3’ -3’ -3’ -2 4 -3’ -3’
-3’ -3’ -3’ -3’ -2 -4 -3” -3″
-3” -3” -2 -2’

2. I Want to Break Free (Blues Style)

This song already almost has a 12 bar progression, so we can turn it to shuffle and play blue 3rds in some spots (blue 3rd is a note in between major and minor thirds). Check it out.

A Harmonica, 2nd pos, key of E

-1 -2 -3” -3” -3” -3
-1 -2 -3” 4 -3
-1 -2 -3” -3” 4 -3 -3” 4 -3 -3″
4 -3 -3” 4 -3 -3” -3”   -3 -3” -2
-3” -3” -2 2 -1
-3 -3”   4 -3 4 -3 -2 -3” -2

-1 -2’   2 -2’ -2 -2’ 2
-3” -3” -3” -3” -3 -3” -2 -2 2 -3”
-2 -3” -3 -3” -2 2    -2 -3” -3 5 -3 -3” -2
4 4 4 -3 -3” -2 -2    -2 -2 -2 -2’ 2 -1 2
4 4 -4 -3’ -3” -2 -2

3. Happy (Blues Style)

For Happy I just made the sound grittier to make it more Sonny Boy Williamson like and added shuffle.

A Harmonica, 2nd pos, key of Em

-1 -2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 -2” -2” -2
-3’ -3’ -3’  -2” -2” -2” -2” -2
-2 -2 -2” -3”  -2” -2” -2” -2” -2
-2 -3’ -4 6 -5 6 -6 -5 -4     -36 -36

4. Black or White (Blues Style)

12 bar progression initially, so we have vast possibilities to make it sound more like blues, for example by adding a turnaround. Turned to shuffle.

Bb Harmonica, 2nd pos, key of F

4 4 -34 4 4 -34 -2
4 4 -34 4 4 -34

-1 -2 -3 4 -3 -2 -1 1 1 -1
-1 -2 -3 4 -3 -2 -1 1 1 -1
-1 2 3 3 2 -3” -2 -1 2 3 3 2 -3” -2 -2 -3
-1 -1 -1 -3” -3” -3 -3” -2 -2 -1 2 -2 -2 2 -3” -2 -2
-2 -2” -1 -1

5. Jingle Bells (Blues Style)

Used the major pentatonic and a blues scale on harmonica, turned it to boogie boogie and changed the V chord to V7#9.

Eb Harmonica, 2nd pos, key of Bb

-3 -3 -3   -3 -3 -3
-3 -4 -2 -3” -3
4 4 4 4 4 -3 -3
-3 -3 -3 -3” -3” -3 -3” -4

-3 -3 -3   -3 -3 -3
-3 -4 -2 -3” -3’ -3” -2 -3” -2
4 4 4 4 4 -3 -3
-3 -3 -4 -4’ 4 -4 -3 -2 2 -2

Breakthrough Blues

Are you ready to learn how to bluesify any song too, then check out Breakthrough Blues! It also includes John Gindicks “Bluesify” book and video lessons for all the techniques so you too can make any run of the mill song sound like legit blues too. Click Here.

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