Re: Bluesharp Tone (a rebuttal)


I must concede that your avalanche of words has
utterly obfuscated my astonishingly simple point...
and also helped me enjoy an otherwise boring, yucky
morning here at work. Isn't that what this list is
all about? :-)

In my opinion... (ie. view, sentiment, feeling,
belief, judgement, notion, impression, conception,
consideration, inkling, 2 cents worth, etc.)

...One should take context into account when
considering "good" harp tone... blues or otherwise.

I shall respond to some selected highlights of
Robb's post:

Robb wrote:
<<Huge snipp>>
> Can Ken be trusted in this ~dangerously 
> subjective and indistinct thread~ to be 
> objective???]

Nope. I never claimed objectivity on this issue...
I believe I stated numerous times that I was
offering my opinion. Opinions are personal and
therefore inherantly non-objective.

> harmonica novicette. I?m sure she produced a 
> great ~sound~, which, as I?m sure you know,
> could also be expressed as ~tone~. But, dare I
> offer; it?s slightly disingenuous.

Disingenuous? My dear colleague... I'll have you
know that the opions expressed by this harper are
quite genuine indeed. However, clever though you
are, you can't lure me. I shan't enter the "tone vs
sound" debate.

> There is all kinds of ~tone~. This should have 
> gone without saying. 

Aaaah. But it hadn't gone without saying... and
that's precisely why I brought up the issue of

> Now. As to your puckering balladeer. You could
> say her ~tone~ moved you, and there would be a 
> way to defend that- - - but, I maintain, it
> muddies the water [and is irresponsible] 
> because, in reality you know what we mean when 
> we ask if she has developed good tone or not.

Yes the ~tone~ waters are indeed muddy, and never
will be otherwise. Tone is an ambiguous topic (as
you so whole-heartedly noted) that can never really
be nailed down. 

It was her tone that moved me, because in that
context (a soft, sad Irish ballad), her tone was
appropriately small and hauntingly melodic. I think
Sugar Blue would have murdered that song had he
played it amped at 900 decibles using his
in-your-face huge tone. 

Okay... Call me irresponsible. ;-)

> <I don't think she can even bend a note
> <yet. She gets nice single notes, but a very WEAK
> VOLUME from her harp, and is pretty timid as a
> <player. 
> Red. Help me out here. She has trouble isolating
> the notes she wants,

Nope. I said she gets NICE single notes. 

> she has weak ~volume~, and she 
> has weak and uncontrolled Attack [*~Attack?
> What?s Attack? One man?s ~attack~ is another 
> man?s ~retreat~.

Yes, she has weak volume, but her attack, which I
hadn't addressed at all in my original posting, was
rather controlled during this tune, which she had
obviously practiced a lot.

> Stop telling us what to do. We?re free. Free, I 
> tell you~~*]

LOL!! I would ~never~ think of telling you what to
do. You is who you is, and that's Jake by me.

> I betcha,  in a different conversation- had-you-
> not-been-caught-up-in-the- mass-hysteria-
> infecting-the-whole-list- - - you could have 
> easily, pre-mass brainwashing, said that she was 
> great and sweet and melodic and captivating and 
> evocative- - - but had lousy tone.


What was it about her playing that was "great and
sweet and melotic and captivating and evocative."?
Her ~tone~ that's what. Her tone was "great and
sweet and melodic and captivating and evocative."
Thanks Robb! You described it far better than
myself. LOL!

But again, you missed my point (wuzzat on
purpose?). I believe that I indicated in my post
that, had she been attempting to play an aggressive
blues number, my bashful balladeer's tone would
indeed be considered downright lousy.

In assessing "good" tone, IMHO, one should consider
the context in which it is heard. 

Her tone was great in the ~context~ of that song.
Had you heard her, I think you might even
grudgingly have agreed.

Is her tone well-developed as a player? No way. 

Could she cut heads with Sugar Blue? I doubt it.
Could I? Hah! No way!

Would she enjoy a good laff by reading this
colorful exchange? Very likely. I know I have. :-)

Stay well, Robb! 
And remember to strive for good tone, whatever the

Harpin' in Colorado,
- --Ken M.

"When you speak of Walter Horton, the first thing you think of is his tone, that big, fat tone."
- ---Li'l Ronnie Owens

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.

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