Junior-Wells - fun on the frets

My old band mate Warren Hall was telling me a story before he passed away about his experience of playing with blues harmonica legend Junior Wells. The first thing Wells said to him was “How do you tap your foot”? Wells believed that by tapping his foot from toe to heel gave him a better feel for the music, he felt it right through his body.

No matter which way you tap your foot, to me it is important that you do. In the scheme of things the foot keeps the pulse, the underlying beat of the music. The rhythm, groove or strum if you like can then be set up with your pick hand. Strum patterns as such are not so important to me but it is vital that your picking hand stays in motion and keeps the groove, from there you can’t go wrong.

Check out Tommy Emmanuel, that left foot of his really gets a workout when he plays. When you watch Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles you can see how they feel the music right through the body, the way their heads move from side to side, they are totally engaged with what they are playing.

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