Re: What types?
Yes, Alan, tongue-blocking is a lousy way to start getting single
notes, and you'll have a hell of a time trying to bend if you do it
that way. (Step number one in bending is to be able to get a loud,
clear, sustained single note that isn't breathy or choked). But
remember that many of the great blues hapr players -- Little Walter,
Big Walter, Snooky Pryor, just to name three -- used tongue-blocking
as an ESSENTIAL part of their style. If you ever want to play boogies
like Big Walter did, you'll have to learn it.
The wood comb problem -- swelling up and sticking out -- can be solved
with a razor blade, and also by playing a bit less wet, which will
lengthen the life of your harps.
Another bending tip -- yes, someone above said that it is harder to
bend a new harp. This is true. You can also, by playing a new harp too
hard, get it into such shape that it will NEVER bend right. Play them
gently for a day or two at first. Another thing that makes bending
easier is soaking, but be aware that this (a) shortens the life of the
harp and (b) makes it almost unplayable unless you soak it before
Soaking is just getting it extremely wet, like holding it underwater
for five minutes or so. Some suggest a dunk in boiling water but I
never saw any difference. You can also just (ugh) spit into the
4-hole and then smack it out against your palm; this can make it
easier as well.
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