Re: Blockin & Bendin
Tongue blocking gives you a very sharp, percussive style. It is more than just
blocking air passages, it is creating a whole different sound. Listen to Big
Walter's later recordings (like the ones on Alligator and Blind Pig) for an
example of how effective tongue blocking can be.
When I tongue block, I try to slap the tip very hard against the holes I'm
blocking, AT THE SAME TIME I hit the note I want. If you do it quick enough, yo
you can get that calssic Big walter sound. It almost makes it's own reverb or
echo effect. oops^classic
I'm not sure how I bend when I tongue block, so I can't really explain it.
Basically, I use the mouth and throat stronger that I do with puckering. I
also tend to use my cheeks more. I block on the left, so my right cheek goes
farther inwards. If you see a really good player doing it, his cheeks will
be very sucked in.
Both techniques are important. Charlie Musselwhite only blocks for octaves, and
listen to the sound he gets! On the other hand, Big Walter and Sonny Boy (#2)
would not have acheived some of the classic licks that inspired and influenced
so many. Learn both, and keep on blowing!
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