blocking and bending

 > From: Winslow Yerxa <uunet!CompuServe.COM!76450.3230>
 > Blocking'n'Bending

 > Randy Lilleston writes:

 >         I've been teaching myself the tongue blocking
 > technique
 >         and I wonder if anyone has any tips on how to
 > bend notes
 >         when tongue-blocking.

 > However, you must make sure that
 > you've got an airtight isolation of the note(s) you're
 > bending.

This is a bit of a problem right now...air is leaking out the side of my mouth
at times, but this is coming along.

 > The only thing that tongue blocked bending has in
 > common with
 > pucker bending is that some kind of a constriction
 > occurs in the
 > airflow. With the tongue free, this can occur at
 > several points
 > anywhere from the glottal area in the throat all the
 > way up to
 > just behind the tip of the tongue. But with a tonguw
 > block, it
 > can only occur in the back regions - again, the tongue
 > is not
 > free to curl up and act as "air trough."

I've always been a pucker player, and I've essentially bent notes by closing up
the pucker a little more, and some by closing up my throat (low bends). But with
tongue blocking, changing the pucker is virtually impossible, I have found so

 > By the way, don't neglect to learn to play out of
 > *both* sides of
 > your mouth, and to bend out of each side. This can be
 > useful at
 > the bottom of the harp, where it's inconvenient to
 > play a
 > right-opening tongue block, and in doing split bends.

 I am teaching myself to tongue block because I think it has
a superior tone in many instances. However, on the low and the high ends of the
harp, I think the pucker sounds a little better. Certainly, I hit the blow bends
a lot better by puckering, although I'm finding it easier to hit the 8-draw (the
most difficult note on a harp for me to hit) with tongue blocking.

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