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harping technique

 
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robert(original)
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:56 am    Post subject: harping technique Reply with quote

so, i have been playing the harmonica now for about two months. I have a c,a, and an e, both the c, and a are marine bands and i love em! The "e" is a special 20 and its pretty decent but the number ten reed doesnt like to sound sometimes, i thoight it was dirty or something but no, it just likes being a bitch. Can anyone give me some good tips on bending and really getting the best sound possible out of harmonicas? I can play them well enough to accompany my guitar playing and can hasb out vocal melodies but i would like to learn how to really rip on it and become good enough to play it as a stand alone instrument.
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George
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Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are loads of awesome youtube tutorials out there that are well worth a watch

its hard to describe but somethings are cool, like speaking syllables like TUKKA-TOODLE while playing it

draw on TUKKA, blow on TOODLE

that can give you a nice chugging rhythm. things like that made it the harmonica really interesting
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found it easiest to learn to bend on the number 4 hole. Learn to do it on one harmonica first, then try other holes, then try other harmonicas.

Bending's really weird and hard to describe or do. Think of it like pulling the back of your throat downwards to make a bigger shape out of your mouth and throat.
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George
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

speaking of harps

i'm thinking about getting a Gmaj or Emin harp today after work. the music i'm playing is mainly fingerstyle folky stuff in g major

would E minor be a good fit or will it colour the feel and be too insipid?
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Johno
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen to Little Walter
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:
speaking of harps

i'm thinking about getting a Gmaj or Emin harp today after work. the music i'm playing is mainly fingerstyle folky stuff in g major

would E minor be a good fit or will it colour the feel and be too insipid?


I thought that harps only came in major keys?

Anyway: G Major and E Minor are the same key, sort of.

Look at the notes in G Major: G, A. B. C, D, E, F#, G

Now look at E Minor: E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E.

So the only difference is how you phrase things and whether you're using the E or G as your tonal center.
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johno wrote:
Listen to Little Walter


YES!
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George
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BacchusPaul wrote:
George wrote:
speaking of harps

i'm thinking about getting a Gmaj or Emin harp today after work. the music i'm playing is mainly fingerstyle folky stuff in g major

would E minor be a good fit or will it colour the feel and be too insipid?


I thought that harps only came in major keys?

Anyway: G Major and E Minor are the same key, sort of.

Look at the notes in G Major: G, A. B. C, D, E, F#, G

Now look at E Minor: E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E.

So the only difference is how you phrase things and whether you're using the E or G as your tonal center.


you can get all sorts like harmonic minor and even "melody makers" for a complete scale

natural minor harps are a bit different although they do share the same key centre as their major counterpart but the end result is ragging out the formative notes of minor chords instead of the majors, so the feel will be sort of different, sort of not, depending on what music you're playing along with. different flavour though which i think might add something

anyway, bollocks to it, the music shop has an e minor in stock so i'm picking one up after work. will report back
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robert(original)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the music shop near me has pretty much every key but some of he keys are the bluesband hohner, and thats little more than a toy, its not tuned perfectly and its hardly airtight. The marine band has the feel and sound i like the best. I can sorta get a bend sound, but i know im not doing it right, im just able to mimic my fav bluegrass style, i will have to try to tooka thingy today when i go out to busk, i have been pulling 20-30bucks in a lunch hour.
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cur
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to get special 20's all the time, but they are not all handmade anymore so not quite as good, but still good. Probably lee oskar are your best bang for the buck right out of box harp now. Bending is kind of like riding a bike, once you get it it comes naturally. One thing you can do to get the feel of it is tilt the harmonica downward in your mouth and it will naturally bend. Also you can blow bend on the higher notes. you can also hot rod your harp to make things work easier. you can burnish the slots to make the gap between the reeds smaller. that way it takes less air to do things. I am not much of a tongue blocker so you kind of have to figure things out on your own as to how you play. I like the plastic combs over the wooden ones for consistency and taste and longevity. The horner blues and lee oskars are probably the easiest to bend on. Don't eat oreos and then play your harmonica.
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robert(original)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i noticed that my marine bands(wooden comb) were starting to warp a bit, ya see, they got some sand in them so i had to wash them out, that made the wood swell, really bad with my :A: tuned harp. so i sanded it back and noticed that the bits wobbled back and forth and realized "shit, this 45 dollar harp isn;t going to last as long as i thought" so i was thinking of sticking with special 20's only, i have one in "E" that is rather nice, but i swear the 10 slot is sharp, i haven't put it up to a tuner, but for fucks sake, i have been playing music for... 15 years now, and i know a sour note when i hear it. literally its only good for a fast hard blow lasting .0001 seconds(yea, i just said, fast hard blow)
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