#1 overblow

Bart de Boer writes:

<By the way, I succeeded in making a reasonably sounding overblow on the first
<hole of my (very old) special 20 harmonica but I am not yet able to do it con-
<vincingly on any other hole, and if I try to do it without blocking the blow
<reed with my finger, it either sounds horribly or not at all.  Any

#1 overblow is probably one of the most difficult overblows and one of the
least useful.  Howard Levy teaches that it is not possible to sustain the
note and the best way to make it work is to make a "Whhhht" with your mouth
where you are forcing air from your mouth with the tongue, but not using air
from your lungs.

The #6 overblow is very useful and probably the easiest one to start on.
Have you adjusted the "action" of the reeds to be very close to the reed
plate?  You can tell when you have gone just about far enough because you
will be able to make a nice blow note when you blow normally, but when you
blow somewhat harder, the note will not sound.  This is the tradeoff and it
is a very delicate balance between a nice response and no overblow or good
overblow and very sluggish response.  IF you don't want to adjust your
reeds, then blocking the blow reed with your finger will simulate the
correct condition.

When I instruct someone to overblow, I first ask that they be able to blow
bend holes 8,9,10.  I think the mouth position is very similar to that of
overblowing.  If you can blow bend 8 blow very smoothly, then you are ready
to try a 6 overblow.

Use a G harp or the lowest harp you have.  Blow on hole 6 using the same
mouth motions as you used to bend 8 blow.  Take the covers off and block
the blow  reed  with  your  finger  to get the idea of where the note is
going.  (It is going to "pop" up).  Once you get the note,  adjust  your
tongue  and mouth to  emphasize  this  note.  You can even  "bend"  this
overblow up a little higher on some holes.

If you need some personal instruction on this I'd be happy to talk on the
phone on weekends.



Dick Anderson  CCMO New Component Engineering  Telnet                 229-3110
Hewlett Packard                                Direct Dial      1-303-229-3110
3404 E Harmony Road                            HPDESK     dick_anderson@hp4000
Fort Collins Colorado 80525                    mail  anderson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Home Phone  303-669-4293

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