Posted by Jeremy Steinberg on January 08, 2003 at 14:22:25:
In Reply to: breathing patterns posted by BLUs on January 07, 2003 at 19:05:39:
: everyone talks about how john popper uses only a couple of breathing patterns throughout his songs, does anyone know specific patterns that he uses. or just any good patterns to use
BREATHING PATTERNS are applied to particular riffs, or runs. But it's not simply a question of deciding on a breathing pattern, and then applying it. It's almost the reverse. You get a run, or riff developed that you want to play, and play faster. You get a sense of the draw-blow-draw-blow (as an example) PATTERN that you find yourself using during that riff. Has to do with embouchure, 'escape' notes where you can draw in, or blow out more air, as your 'reservoir' is getting low, etc.
You realize the breathing pattern that you are using, and then use it in other octaves as well. Or you realize the riff you want to play, and then figure out what breathing pattern can be applied, based on the most fluent - and fluid - playing of the riff. The POSITION you are in may very well affect your pattern(s). So, too, the kind of harmonica you are using, and the key, as well as whether it's diatonic or chromatic. And the type of music you are playing. Not everyone plays blues.
BREATHING PATTERN awareness comes with time, and practice, and experimentation. Howard Levy gives a really good explanation of it in his video, New Directions for the Harmonica.
You can also get alot more knowledgeable information, as well as much more expansive info, at harp-l, harp-on, and/or harptalk 'chat' groups, which are frequented by professional harmonica musicians.
Regards, Jeremy c/o JSteinberg@ucwphilly.rr.com
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