Posted by Jeremy Steinberg on January 02, 2003 at 07:10:59:
In Reply to: Re: Bending while tongue blocking posted by james on January 01, 2003 at 08:25:04:
: : I can do draw bends fairly well using the "pucker" technique, but I can move around the harp and consistently get clean single notes better with tongue blocking. My problem is with bending while tongue blocking. I can't seem to get the two together. My bending technique seems to depend on drawing my tongue back. Any hints?
YES - try to bend from your diaphragm, below your lungs! It can be done. Your tongue will probably still get used, but the deeper the place where your playing originates, and the more you control your harp from there, the better your tone, the fuller your tone, the more control of your harp you'll have, and the more stamina you'll have! Mouth/tongue players will always face more severe limitations in every way. Extending into the throat equally extends capabilities, and going further down, to the belly, offers maximum return in terms of harp projection, tonal qualities, stamina, control of bends on blow and draw reeds, etc.
Visualize your complete respiratory system as the musical instrument (like a singer), with the harmonica just acting as the mouthpiece, not unlike the trumpet or coronet. Certainly the reeds are an integral - crucial - part of the 'instrument', but the more 'as one' you are with it, the more you can get out of the harmonica.
Regards, Jeremy c/o JSteinberg@ucwphilly.rr.com
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