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Mercy Mercy

For INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE players. A video tutorial focused on Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, a soul-jazz favorite composed by Joe Zawinul for the Canonball Adderly Band. Adapted for the blues harmonica by Adam Gussow of Satan and Adam.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy is a song that any contemporary blues harmonica player is sure to run into at jam sessions from time to time. It lays beautifully on the harmonica in second (cross) position and can be played at a range of tempos. Solos are played over a I/IV7 vamp. [Please search Mercy, Mercy, Mercy on YouTube. There are MANY terrific versions of this song. One of my favorites is by the Birdland Big Band.]

Technical challenges include a full-step bend on the 3 draw (held longer than normal), a somewhat untraditional 20-bar structure, and some tricky timing.

Harp key: C, although I use an E-flat (played cross harp) at several points for illustrative purposes, since the original recording is in the key of B-flat.

Note: a PDF tab for this lesson is also available.

Running time: 28:33

Another Modern Blues Harmonica production (
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