harmonica jargon

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  • #4460
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    Hey everyone, I don’t know a whole lot about Harmonicas.
    I know there is tons of words and phrases about Harmonicas and playing them.
    So please post some here, if you feel like it.
    My question for today is what is the Jargon “good response”?
    I try Googling it , and i get lost. So any help is appreciated.

    Best Wishes
    As Always
    John

    #4461
    IanIan
    Member

    Depends on the context with that one I think.
    It could be referring to a good lick in answer to the call. I.e the ‘call and response’ , a standard phrasing where two musical phrases interact with one another, one to ask and one to answer.
    It could also mean that the harp plays well and tight, that it’s well gapped and tuned so it has a good response.
    Where did you read /hear it?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by IanIan.
    #4463
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Ian, and everyone else.
    I got the term Response form a paragraph i read while comparing harmonicas , when looking to buy one.
    I copy and paste some of the context.

    “The legendary Special 20 harmonica offers unique qualities in its response, superior bending, and a rich tone. Featuring a durable, airtight, plastic comb, it has become the harmonica of choice for recording artist John Popper (Blues Traveler), as well as musicians that enjoy a wide variety of genres from country and folk, to rhythm and blues. Available in 12 major keys as well as a special Country Tuning, which features a major 7th when played in the cross harp position.

    With their excellent response and great tone, diatonic harmonicas from HOHNER have earned a worldwide reputation for the finest quality. They are frequently referred to as “Blues Harps” and are primarily used as melody instruments in blues, rock, pop, country and folk as well as other styles.

    FEATURES

    German craftsmanship provides superior response, bendability and tone
    Precision molded plastic comb for unmatched comfort and durability”

    i do believe this is where i got response from , i may be wrong, i did a lot of homework, when buying a harmonica.
    The word Response is mentioned 3 times.
    I hope this is enough info for you to help me.

    Best Wishes
    As Always
    John

    #4467
    IanIan
    Member

    Yeah, is just referencing the responsiveness of the reeds and overall construction.
    That they play well basically, they play with little breath force, sound good…. they respond well.
    An unresponsive harmonica would be something in the cheapo category like the ‘hot metal’. Stiff and gappy reeds and leaky comb.
    To some extent this is just marketing spiel , but the special 20 is definitely responsive.
    I guess the more harps you try the more it will make sense as a term.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by IanIan.
    #4469
    Mitch GraingerMitch Grainger
    Keymaster

    Hey Guys,

    Great thread idea!

    Jargon is an entire area that also needs to be learned!

    Please everyone post your favorites and questions. Good one John.

    “Great Response” – To be technical, response referring to harmonicas means how quickly the harmonica’s reeds respond to your breath. As Ian rightly pointed out the more “air tight” a harmonica the quicker the response.

    Ian, you also threw in about 5 other jargon terms their for John to learn without even knowing I think 🙂 🙂

    #4471
    Mitch GraingerMitch Grainger
    Keymaster

    For example: Gapping.

    How many members know what gapping means, in relation to harmonicas??

    Mg

    #4473
    HenkHenk
    Participant

    Hi harp-addicts ?

    I think gapping in relation to harmonicas means the space between the reed and the reed plate.

    .

    #4476
    IanIan
    Member

    Ha, classic.
    Yep gapping maybe isnt the best way to start describing responsiveness.

    Ok, here’s another two for you guys…

    overblows?
    tines?

    #4477
    IanIan
    Member

    It’s amazing how much jargon you can pick up without even realising.

    #4501
    AvatarAnonymous
    Inactive

    I don’t know what overblow is but it sounds bad for the harp, lol

    Best Wishes
    As Always
    John

    #4533
    HenkHenk
    Participant

    Hi Mitch,

    Yes i have been watching and looking out each day to the next “lick” ?
    Verry inspiring …… It also let us see how versatile the harmonica is ?

    #4534
    IanIan
    Member

    Good effort Mitch!
    Ill keep my eye/ears on these.

    #4535
    IanIan
    Member

    Oh and to answer the overblow jargon… and I quote…

    An overblow is a blow note played on the first 6 holes of a diatonic harmonica using a technique that causes the blowreed to stop sounding while the drawreed produces a note.

    The note that is produced is one semitone above the pitch of the drawreed.

    I can only do the 6 overblow, but it’s a useful note to have if you can do it, I tend not to use it improvising yet though.

    #4562
    IanIan
    Member

    Here’s one that I could do with being answered. What did it mean when people refer to ‘ octaves beating ‘ ? It’s something to do with out of tune Harps right?

    #4566
    Mitch GraingerMitch Grainger
    Keymaster

    Hey Ian,

    Octaves beating is not specific to harmonica and is indeed a tuning thing. However, on the harmonica is it just as useful, when tuning harmonicas to check the consistency of all the notes.

    When octaves are close to being in tune with each other but not perfect you will here a ‘beating’, I’d say it best described as a tremolo type effect, you need to listen closely to hear it, and as indeed any piano tuner will tell you, it is an art to be able to use your ears and tune like this..

    The ‘beat’ can either be slow of fast depending on how close to the right tuning you are.

    Hope that helps!
    Mg

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