Digest #406 Harp Content? and XB40 possibilites

 Harp-l friends and comrades,
  Digest #406 had 19 Posts.
  12 of them contained NO harp content.

  Maybe we can apply our "Dedication and Sacrifice" toward a little more focus on the subject at hand? It keeps the list a little more useful and directed for all of us.

 XB40 notes:
 - I've been playing the XB40 (just got my second, and intend to have at least 4 keys in my arsenal) since September. It is the most expressive harp I've ever played.
 One complaint I've seen expressed here is that "it's just too hard to get an accurately pitched note out of it." Well, sure, at first that's true. Like driving a souped-up car, it takes a while to get a sense of the steering, acceleration, etc. I personally like the "swing" factor that's a part of the XB40 dynamic. Especially for trumpet-lines. A trumpet player's embouchure is the determining factor in the accuracy of EVERY note he plays. (Likewise trombone, tuba, etc.). This isn't to say you MUST land exactly on the note at every instant. Rather, you have to feel your way into, toward, and thru the notes you play. It nurtures and requires a much stronger link between player and instrument, instrument and music.  You HAVE to to be intimately attuned to what you're playing. I see this as an asset, not a liability; and very much the same as singing. Unlike a piano, for instance, where there is a certain separation between physical action and end-result sounds, (strike the key, which moves the hammer, which strikes the string, etc.), the XB40 will pick up every hesitation and uncertainty and insecurity, each over- or under-compensation in the breath-stream, (conversely every bit of determination, certainty, earnestness, and passion or lack thereof) as does the human voice. It's a GREAT thing! If you really want to express exactly where you're coming from, well, there it is, for everyone to see/hear/feel. Nothing to be afraid of, for sure.
 Yep, it's a little daunting...not technically so much as emotionally. Like the first time you hear your own voice coming thru the P.A. As my 4-year-old daughter used to say, in her early attempts at grasping the nuance of the spoken word, "It's not so hard, you just have to get 'loose' to it."
 This is a powerfully expressive instrument. Hohner has really found and created a master's harmonica.
 For those of us who've labored long hours, days, months or years to develop and perfect the accurate overblow: So what? GREAT! Having developed such dexterity of embouchure and breath control can only serve our quest for expression, no matter which specific harmonica we choose. We have certainly not wasted any time or effort in doing so.
 I can't wait for Levy or Toots or Stevie to pick up one of these babies and blow...Imagine the possibilites.

 My 2-pence worth,
 Jeff G
 Denver, CO

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