Re: Help with bending...

TO: internet:harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Kim's discussion of bending is good, but he leaves out one thing
that I think may be helpful: the compression point.

Robert Johnston has demonstrated scientifically that bending is
caused by a change in the size of the resonating cavity in the
mouth. Given that this cavity is open at the back, how do we
define the back of the cavity? After all, air is flowing through
the mouth cavity down to (and up from) the lungs.

When we bend, there is a point where the air passage narrows, and
this defines the back of the cavity. The bigger the cavity, the
lower the resonant frequency, making the pitch of the reed go
down accordingly.

Without this narrowing point, nothing else that you try will

How do you get it to happen?

It usually involves the tongue, but it doesn't have to - it can
happen very far back in the mouth.

One familiar thing can help, the thing you do to say
sounds like "K" as in King, or "G" as in Gold. Your tongue and
your soft palate (the soft tissue that forms the roof of your
mouth at the back, converge to make this sound. They don't need
to actually touch - air has to flow through. You'll get sort of
"KHHHH" sound, like sucking through a straw in a nearly empty

This same action can be moved even farther back in the mouth,
freeing the tongue to do other things. See how far back you can
make this sound, without the harp. Try making sounds of coughing
and choking, then try to sustain them, keep an air flow going.
And don't gag.

Let me know if this helps.

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