Tommy Harkenrider Blues & Roots

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    Hey guys last week I ran into Jim Crockett, publisher and editor of Guitar Player Magazine when the articles were good. As it turns out a friend of mine dropped off a box of old Magazines from the late 60’s early 70’s. I thought I would post columns and interviews regularly. It’s gonna be good discussion. This one is great, I love How Barney tells this guy to go on a diet.

    Ask Barney 1 photo askbarney_zps3f28aedd.jpg” alt=”ask barney” />


    I think I might man. I’ll go through the stack and take a look


    Hey guys. Mike Mc, loaned me a guitar player with a great Tiny Grimes article. The article confirms that Tiny used shapes that could be applied for quite a number of chords. His example doesn’t sound right, the idea is clearly conveyed. I think I’ve figured out a few of his most used chords. I’ll email anyone interested in the article pretty cool.


    If you have the article scanned, I would love to see it!


    Okay guys i got most of it on genius scan on my phone it will be coming to ya today. I have learned little three note chords have infinite possibilities. I would think that it’s easy but it is really frustrating.


    Hey Tommy, Thanks for sending that scan out on email. I never made myself a copy and now I have one. I couldn’t get much on what Tiny was saying about his chord and inversion technique but on the hi 4 strings I’m limited to closed triads then adding accents. After many years playing with the caliber musicians he was with he probably had it down as second nature but he does mention he had to wood shed a lot to keep up. I can see how it would get frustrating trying to figure it out. I was wondering if you have a lesson vid planned in the future on his most used chords. That would be cool. Mike

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Mikemc.

    Part of the confusion on his chords could be a typo. When he mentions using a D9 chord for a F#maj7b5,, that is a typo. The D9 is used for a F#min7b5. This is a very common chord sub shape for that. So the notes that are being played are F#,C,E,A the way Tiny would play just having the top 4 strings of the guitar. Those notes in that order give you the 1,b5,b7,b3 for the F# min, and give you the 3,b7,9,5 in that order for the D9.

    Something else that confused me, because I noticed I was misreading it, was when he was talking about the F7 chord and with that he has A, Eb, and F. I first mistook this as him talking about the A, Eb, and F as chord shapes he could use for an F7 chord. The reason being was he just mentioned using the D9 shape for an F#min7b5 right before this statement. So I thought this was just a continuation of that same train of thought. While in racking my brain to try and figure out how in the hell you can use an Eb chord for an F7, I realized that if you make an F7 with a 6th string root and then just look at the notes that are left for Tiny having just the 4 strings those notes are Eb, A, F. He just left out mentioning the C. So if that confused you for the same reason it did me, maybe that will clear that up.

    Very good article though. I learned a lot of history on Tiny I didn’t know before. Thanks for sending that to us Tommy.


    That explains alot. I’m gonna work up a video mike. Funny thing is that even though the chord shapes are easy to execute, stringing them together is a challenge. Way to many options. I think I’ll be using tiny examples, but really see that his ear was his guide.


    One thing I found interesting was that he says in 1937 he locked him self away for 3 months with his first 4 string guitar and studied sheet music for ukulele using the chord charts printed above the music. He learned all the songs then went right out and started playing with some big name musicians of the day. By him making that statement I’d have to assume he had a REALLY great ear. Ukulele standard tuning is G C E A.


    Tommy and I were nerding out on Tiny grimes the other day and were discussing some 3 note voicings. Tommy was showing me, explaining some ideas he had. This got me doing some experimenting based on some ideas that Tommy triggered in me. This is a quick video breaking down some of the ideas I came across. These are different than what Tommy was showing me, so I figured if Tommy makes a video of his ideas the two videos together may really help jump start some ideas in everyone. I am in no way tying to say that I am in the same level with Tommy as a guitar player, or teacher. I just thought the two ideas together may spark some creativity, or understanding.


    Bryan’s video is awesome! That’s all I got to say.


    Agreed Tommy. Thanks so much Bryan.


    Great video Bryan, many thanks for putting it together.


    favorite records of the pros photo guitarplayersfavoritealbums_zpsca038ad0.jpg

    Check this out boys. Favorite records of the pros. I’m wanting to find that Thumbs record. I love what Les says about his own records.

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