Originally posted Nov 2013
A reader wrote in to request the harmonica part from “Timber,” the new single from Pitbull, featuring Kesha.
I hadn’t heard it yet, so I looked it up and threw together a little tutorial. It’s a short part, but it gets looped throughout the song, and it’s kinda neat to hear harmonica used in a current Top 40 song, doncha think?
Digging a little deeper, I found that the harp appears to have been played by Lee Oskar, the legendary member of the 70s Latin / Funk band WAR, and maker of Lee Oskar harmonicas. Way to go, Lee!
Knowing Lee’s style somewhat, there’s a good chance he’s playing an alternate-tuned harmonica, but I worked it out on a standard instrument, and I think it sounds pretty good.
Edit: Nov 18 – I’ve added a full video lesson at the Timber tab page, focusing on the lower octave version that requires bends, since it’s closer to the recorded performance on the Pitbull/Kesha track. For my tab transcription, plus a video demonstration, click here.