> >This is absolutely true. If your acoustic tone stinks, you can't improve
> >it by buying all the boxes and amps in the world. If your tone is
> >excellent, you'll sound great through anything - even playing with no
> >hands in a bare rack.
> This says it all. I have come to this conclusion myself. Only having two
> solid years in as a harp player, I was at my mentor's place this week. He
> has been playing for over 30 years and I was wondering about his killer
> tone. We sat down and he walked me through it and I got it ! I was not
> opening up my throat and lungs enough. First of all this guy is a tongue
> blocker. The tongue block combined with a diaphragm vibrato makes all the
> difference IMHO. I started drawing the notes from the diaphragm instead of
> the mouth and throat and I can really hear the difference. And in this
> business, if you have no tone you are dead in the water !
> I have an old ASTATIC (don't know the number but it had a metal handle built
> in) and I could get decent tone from it, but my mentor friend got a much
> better tone. I have seen the light ! I am a born again harp player ! All I
> have to do now is really practice using the diaphragm technique and get this
Thanks for mentioning "opening up the throat". I have a couple of
students that will greatly benefit from this one suggestion. When you
already do this without thinking about it, it's easy to take it for
I prefer lipping to blocking (which I use occasionally for big blocked
chords while doing lead lines) (but I also do leads with chords with
lipping, by opening the left side of my lips - when I first learned, I
had no concept of tongue blocking - amazing what we come up with out of
ignorance :-), but again, so much of playing harp is personal preference,
and if it works, it's "correct".
> Just thought I'd share this with everyone...
I for one am glad you did! Thanks!
Although I'm new to Harp-L, I've seen a lot of good stuff here. And I've
also seen none of what I refer to as "musicians' ego", e.g. "I have to be
right at all costs, even if I'm wrong" :-) I guess one must be humble and
reasonably secure to want to play the smallest instrument in the band :-)
Keep up the good, helpful dialog.
-- mike curtis
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