bending and tongue blocking

TO: internet:harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Riff Omer writes:

  when you bend the notes,notice that your tongue is pressed down
  against your jaw and the tip of your tongue is pointing
  up,that's if you bend notes "by the book".

What book is that? The book of painful contortions? Your tongue
doesn't have to do any of that stuff to bend. All it has to do is
create a constriction in the place where you say "K", then move
that forward and backward to vary the size of your mouth cavity.
This does not involve the front of the tongue.

Riff is right to note that tipping the harp is poor bending
technique. Tone and bending control are much better when you do
this stuff in the back of your mouth, as far back as possible.

By the way, Riff, do you think you could use the space bar and
the shift key on your keyboard? It would make your writing easier
to read.

Bending with a tongue block is, as Joe Terrasi notes, is a matter
of manipulating the airflow a little further back, as the tongue
is not available in the same way as with a pucker. Again, the
main thing is constricting the airflow so as to create an
endpoint for the resonant cavity in the mouth, thus allowing you
to vary its size and change its resonant frequency. There is no
limit to this technique. Several people can tongue block with a
note on each side of their tongues, and bend both notes (Steve
Baker is one of them). David Herzhaft can bend a note on one side
and leave the other one alone, thus getting octaves in holes 2
and 5 draw, and in 3 and 6 draw, bending only on the left side.
I've tried it. It works. He recorded it on the Freeandise tape I
mentioned here a few months back.

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