Re: harp-l-digest V10 #60

on 1/19/2003 5:25 AM, ron/datadigger wrote:

> I don't want tone like Little Walter or Sonny Boy. I don't want tone like
> Paul Delay or Mark Ford--and I love all those players.
> I _do_ want tone like Carlos del Junco, or Lee Oskar or Sugar Blue.
> Why? Because I like it. Pure and simple.

I like listening to all these guys, but don't spend that much energy on
trying to copy their tone. I believe a part of each person's tone is tied to
their body cavity, and even jaw/tooth structure. Whether you think a player
has "good tone" could be determined by your ear structure and your
preconceptions of what you like.

A big part of affecting your "tone" is how you hold the harmonica. Your hand
position, how much you seal off the harp to "compress" the sound, pushing
your teeth forward, opening your throat...many factors affect the "timbre"
of the sound you are producing with the little pieces of brass inside that
little box of boxes. The way your stream of air attacks the reed, smoothly
or harshly, the modulation and turbulence created by changing the shape of
your oral cavity, jaw position, tongue placement, etc...all contributes to
your overall sound.

Amplified sound is further affected by the frequency response of the mic
element, the tubes, caps, transformer, speakers, cable, mic shell venting or
damping, how you hold the mic.. an almost infinite number of variables. The
more you mess around with this stuff, the more you figure out how to adjust
the equipment you are using at the time to approximate the sound you hear in
your head.

I think each of us has an idea of what we want our harp playing to sound
like, and are working towards that sound. I hope you get closer to your
ideal sound as you continue working with the tools you have.

- -- 

Watch out! He has some kind of an instrument that lets out a death sound!
Harmonica John Frazer  PO Box 740613  San Diego, CA 92174 ph.(619)263-6826
please listen to the music clips on my website and send your comments.

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.