September 4, 2016 at 10:14 am #4574
This has proved a useful thread on another forum, so I thought I’d replicate it here. Nice to know what others are doing and to get some feedback where needed.
What are you currently working on? What song, lick or lesson?
Me, I’m currently trying to get ‘Got my mojo working’, down. The Kim Wilson version.December 26, 2016 at 11:01 am #5116
Hi, Ian and others. I am working on a couple of elementary things, but am confounded by single note blows and draws. My ear is so bad that most of the time I am uncertain if I am moving air through a single channel or am still creating sound through more than one. I do have faith that this is a little like learning to type or operating the clutch on your first automobile, i.e… That time and practice will create their magic and someday I will be thinking about the days when the simplest of things evaded me.
I am hoping that I may have found a mothers little helper for this problem. I recently purchased a Suzuki Overdrive. For those not familiar with these instruments, Suzuki has placed a total of twenty holes in the covering plates on the opposite side of the mouthpiece of a diatonic harmonica. Suzuki claims that by covering the opposing blow or draw hole you can easily produce a well controlled bend. My ear is so tin I am a long ways from being able to hear those bends, but what I have found is that by covering a particular hole, say for instance, a blow on the first hole I can tell if I am activating any other reeds than the one blow.
For now I am hoping that is what I am experiencing.
Be well, RonDecember 30, 2016 at 10:07 am #5181
The harp is a deceptively difficult instrument to play well, single notes are just one of those steps along the way.
Sounds like you have come across a novel solution to your problem, just make sure you don’t get tied up with the complexity of that harp, it’s not for beginners.
Try tilting the back of the harp up, almost till it touches your nose, put it quite deep in your mouth and see how that works. It should help you find clean single notes, and a good tone whilst you’re at it!December 30, 2016 at 11:44 am #5185
Hi Ian, and thanks. I have been tilting the harp up towards my nose, but not as far as you suggest. I will give that a workout when I am finished here. I am not a wealthy man, but do have the resources that have enabled me to buy a number of different harps to see what is out there and to see if I like one brand/one key better than others. I had noticed the Suzuki Overdrive awhile back and was curious, even though I knew that I was a long ways away from being able to operate one. I bought the one that I have because I was able to pick this one up for about 30% of the normal cost.
I wonder if Suzuki will be successful with this concept. First, there are no good guidelines for operating the instrument; at least I have not been able to find any. Secondly, to deal with twenty openings with ten digits while holding the harp and working the front end, i.e. the mouthpiece seems to me to be a near impossible task. Thirdly it is hard for me to imagine that much improvement in sound over the bending techniques that have been popularized during the last fifty years or so.
Be well, RonDecember 30, 2016 at 12:16 pm #5187
Check this page out. It’s more about tone than anything else but it shows the position I’m talking about.
http://harpgear.com/tone.htmlDecember 30, 2016 at 12:23 pm #5188
On a personal level, and to bring us back on track, I’m currently working on good amplified tone in general, triplets and double tonguing… And a bit of stevie wonder on chromatic!December 31, 2016 at 7:33 am #5200
Hi Ian and others. One of the difficulties that one encounters in forms such as these is created by bring together beginners and more advanced learners and hoping that everyone will understand one another.
Right now I am working on many elementary things, one of those is exploring the different types and brands of harmonicas that are currently available I am also reading anything that I can find that helps me understand the evolution and history of the instrument and the different genera that harmonicas are commonly used to recreate. I am spending time on attempting to understand the vocabulary that advanced learners, such as yourself use, For example in another thread you introduce us to Phil Wiggins. In that introduction you use the terms, “Piedmont blues”. I have been trying to find out what that means. Thus far I have found many references that relate to the guitar, but nothing that describes the harmonicas relation to this genera of music. In this thread you use the word triplets. I know that triplets must be something that has a sequence of three, but beyond that I am left wondering.
On an empirical level I am working on the courses first six lessons and on a personal level developing a vocabulary of words that sound good when enunciated through the harmonica. I am sure that there is material out there that might help me with this endeavor, but I haven’t run into it yet.
Be well, RonFebruary 9, 2017 at 4:34 pm #9950
Thought I’d bump this up again. I’ve been working on faster 2nd position licks recently and trying to broaden my lick vocabulary a bit. I find I get in to repetitive ruts quite easily if I don’t keep adding new licks.
I really need to book a lesson with Mitch to get some direction but my schedule isn’t playing ball!February 10, 2017 at 9:11 pm #9954Mitch GraingerKeymaster
Maybe you should join in on this Wednesdays group skype?
It’s 11am Los Angeles time, which I believe is around 7pm where you are!
Let us know if you can make it by replying here and I’ll book you in.. 🙂February 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm #9958
I’m going to try for the following Wednesday if you are doing a session?
My life is full of boring diy jobs this week, and they are taking over a bit.
Practice has taken a back seat to tiling the bathroom! Fun……..February 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm #9975Mitch GraingerKeymaster
Hey Ian, Yes Skype is happening next week. The more the merrier, It would be great to see you online. I’ll send you a confirmation email. I’ll start a new thread too and see if I can get a few more to join… currently I have 2 other members joining in.February 17, 2017 at 9:49 am #9981Adam4MayorParticipant
Hey guys, im currently on step 15 (throat vibrato) and i was having some trouble getting used to it.
i was wondering if anyone had any additional tips/tricks or exercises they could share to help get a quicker/cleaner vibrato?
AdamFebruary 23, 2017 at 4:09 am #10013
I had a lot of trouble with throat vibrato, I really struggled to get it up to speed without it sounding too punchy.
I think the only way to get better is to expect it to take time and start real slow. Get it slow and smooth then build up the speed.
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