Tag Archives: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder – Boogie On Reggae Woman (part 1)

It was Stevie Wonder’s birthday again this week, so I figured I’d work up a transcription of one of his harmonica solos again. Boogie On Reggae Woman is a classic funk groove, and Stevie plays two solos.

These are incredibly hard for me to notate because I try to be super precise in capturing what’s happening. Virtually every note is ornamented in some way – usually with a bend on the entrance or exit of the note. Sometimes it’s a clear grace note while other times it’s a bend.

I read about this solo from a harmonica player’s perspective here: http://www.harpsurgery.com/boogie-on-reggae-woman-harmonica/

You can see from the tab transcription on this page that it’s much simpler to read the tab notation for something like this, especially with dedicated shorthand for bends.

Stevie plays a diatonic harp on this track, which is very rare for him (he almost always plays chromatic). You would think that simplifies the transcription, but it doesn’t. He is such an expert at bending notes that he clearly plays notes that are not found on the diatonic harp. I slowed the recording way down to be sure!

I was hoping to have both solos done, but time got away from me this week, so I’ll post the second half later.

@SDartSax

 

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Stevie Wonder – I Feel For You

Happy birthday Stevie Wonder! Instead of waiting to celebrate these legends after they pass, I figure I should be celebrating them NOW while they are still with us.

So I grabbed this Stevie Wonder solo off of the famous Chaka Khan track “I Feel For You”. The song was written by Prince, so my Prince tribute streak is still intact 🙂 I love both versions of this song – Chaka’s version, which is probably much more well known, as well as Prince’s original studio recording.

But this track features an absolutely burning solo by Stevie Wonder on the chromatic harmonica. This track has peak 80’s production values: heavy reverb, delay, etc. so it can be hard to pick out what’s going on under the wash of effects, but Stevie’s playing is great. The harmonica has quite a range and really gets up there. I obviously took some parts down an octave, and arguably should have attempted a few more in the lower octave, but there’s no way to get better at your high chops without spending the time working stuff like this out.

The PDF contains the harmonica parts for the whole track, but the video only contains the solo.

Enjoy!

@SDartSax

P.S. Is this the first non-saxophone transcription that I’ve posted? I should do more of them, they’re harder!