Sugar, Sugar (Part 1)

I’m gonna make your life so sweet!

Time for some Bubblegum Pop. This is a style of music that was first enjoyed by children and teenagers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Bubblegum music mixes catchy dance beats with sugar-sweet lyrics to make easy-listening, fun-time songs.

In 1969, a cartoon pop group called The Archies had a number one Bubblegum hit called Sugar, Sugar. It’s a great groove for the harmonica. So let’s put the pick’n’mix on hold and work on some real ear candy.

Honey, ah sugar sugar

Just before we start, remember it’s not a good idea to eat and play harmonica at the same time. We don’t want sweets (candy), food or drink to get stuck in you or in your harmonica!

Grab your C major diatonic harmonica and some harp friends, and let’s check out the chorus (main groove or head).

Decide whether you are going to follow the main line or the harmony line. Be careful though; sometimes the parts swap over. We’ve underlined one example. You just need to follow the same colour – pink or green. Or why note play both notes together (which is what we call double-stops)?

Remember, D means draw (breath in) and B means blow (breath out). The numbers shown are for a 4 hole harmonica. For ten holes change 1, 2, 3 and 4 into 4, 5, 6 and 7. Tracking the words should help guide you through the rhythm. If you see X, this means remain silent and let the beat, or the accompanying part (Fills) take over.

You are my candy girl

Here’s the pink part

Here’s the green part

And here they are together

2D3D    2B3B          Sugar / Honey

X-X   X-X   X   X          [Fill – see below]

1D2D   2B3B   2D3D..2D3D   2B3B          Ah, honey honey / Ah, sugar sugar

X-X   X-X   X   X          [Fill – see below]

1D2D   2B3B   2D3D   2B3B   1B2B   3B4B         You are my candy girl

1D2D   1D2D   1D2D   2B3B          And you’ve got me

1D2D   1B2B   1B2B    (2B3B)*       wanting you  *(use these notes second time)

And you’ve got me wanting you

And here is the short, but very important accompanying part. We’ll call this the Fill, because it fills the gaps in the first two lines of the Head (above).

The fills are for a separate group of harmonicas to the head, or just one harmonica playing double-stops. So once again, the notes can be played on one harp or as two parts.

2B3B   2B3B   3B4B   2B3B   2D3D   1D2D

Here’s the pink part

Here’s the green part

And here they are together

I just can’t believe it’s true

And that’s it for now. Just like the Candyman, you’ve made the world taste good! So take a big bow.

Now, be sure to practice everything until it feels right, then show all your friends, family and grown ups what you can do.

In part 2 we’ll look at music for the Verses and some more short fills.

Go to Part 2


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *