Re: Harp Experience & Lessons

The idea of tongue lifting is simple.  With an embouchure that covers
multiple holes, say 3,4,5,6, block 3,4,5 with your tongue.  On a C
harp, the 6 exposed draw/hole would be G.  Now while the 6 hole is
sounding, lift your tongue. The sound changes from a single note to a
chord G,B,D,G.  If you now block and lift, block and lift, you'll get
a continuous G on top with a rhythmic major triad chord below.  If you
block and lift just the 4 and 5, you'll have a continuous octave, 3 &
6, merging with the major chord when your tongue is lifted.  When the
rhythm is slow, the two sounds can be heard distinctly.  When it's
very fast, the two combinations seem to merge, and you have a sound
full of texture and body with the G predominating.

I found that once I got hip to the idea of tongue lifting, I was very
surprised how often I heard others use it.  I think I'd heard it many
times before, not recognizing it for what it is.  I am beginning to
believe that tongue lifting is the main reason folks say you can't get
that Chicago sound without tongue blocking -- after all, you can't
lift unless you block -- and in this sense it's more "sound", in the
wider sense, than tone, in the narrow sense.

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