Re: tounge blocking,low # holes

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Posted by Jeremy Steinberg on December 15, 2002 at 09:29:16:

In Reply to: tounge blocking,low # holes posted by bill on December 14, 2002 at 06:30:43:

: Do you use this technique on hole 1 and 2 also? The left side of the mouth seems empty.
: Also,it seems i have to learn how to bend all over again using this technique. Should a player pick one stlye and stick with it,whistle ,tounge block,or try to develope both? thanks bill

I tend to agree with David, that it is advantageous to get good at a particular style over time, and be able to CONTROL your playing with that style, which reflects EFFECTIVE use of it. I also agree that diversification (the ability to use more than just one technique) can only improve your overall playing abilities.

EVERY technique has its good points, and its bad points, i.e., its limitations. The most effective players 'switch' styles to utilize each style's strength, and advantages, to augment the effectiveness of the song/music he/she is playing - often, within the same song!

Styles can also 'cross-reference' with each other. In other words, a competent use of a particular style can help you to pick up on, and develop another style. It helps you to develop 'feel', or an instinctive sense of what you want to do with the harp at a particular time in the music you are playing, and WHY.

As a comparison, world-class athletes don't just train in one way; they implement 'cross-training' methods to enhance their overall abilities and performance levels.

One of the most important things you can do is also breathe from your diaphragm, or 'belly' while playing, not just your throat and mouth. Your entire breathing system should be as much a part of playing the harmonica as your oral cavity and tongue technique.

Take off your shirt while you practice, stand in front of a mirror, and watch your stomach while you are practicing! If you see your stomach moving in and out as you blow/draw, you are using your diaphragm. If you don't, practice this technique until you do, and try to be aware of it all the time.

Regards, Jeremy c/o

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