Re: Fwd: TB in 30 min/day...(was IICDIAO)

surely tongue blocking is a pretty basic technique - 

how can anybody play the blues of little walter with no tongue slaps?

as somebody who is going crazy trying to do overblows and not suceeding, i can say i began learning harmonica from blackie shackner's book and only learnt pursing as that was the easiest - i was lucky to pick up a great teacher - john hinde - who informed me over the phone that we would be beginning lessons using Don Baker's blues harmonica book and using tongue blocking as the main method of expression.

after a half hr of spitting the dummy i set to changing all what i learnt from blackie's book to tongue blocks... that took a friday night and the weekend... and tongue blocked ever since

having said that i do not believe that tongue blocking is "better" than pursing - the majority of people i know have learnt pursing and shake their heads when i mention i tongue block everything - as i believe john and all his students do -  right from the 1st hole to refining my blow bends to hopefully achieve my goal of attaining at least one blow bend in my life via tongue blocking.

if anybody says they can tell a purse tone from a tb tone i say they are talking bs - pure and refined - to my hearing it is only the lack of tongue slaps that distinguishes between the two.

and there are tbers who don't like using tongue slaps anyway so I would be mistaken in assuming that the absence of slaps meant the player was a  purser.

I could say that my lack of success in achieveing obs is due to my tb technique but i don't believe that is correct. I believe i don't know enough about correct gapping and that my embouchure and intonation for obs still need lots of work.

i guess i am puzzled as why somebody would think they need to learn tbing after so many yrs of pursing for reasons other than slapping?

if i was teaching somebody i would urge them to go with whichever was the easiest for them - though pointing out that slaps would be beyond them (though I am astounded that pursers can easily octave but not slap or block - if yu can slap yu are blocking)

my impression is that slapping has gone largely out of fashion - little walter was a keen advocate of them 

its all swings and roundabouts surely..

I never rec'd an answer from my previous question about where did obs go if they had been recorded since the 1930s and only reared their head again in the last twenty yrs.

is tongue blocking experiencing a shift into being categorised as an "exotic" technique?

thats crackers if it is.

if yu ask me to purse a single note it sounds like a cat choking thru a drainpipe - surely there's more pressing issues demanding of time - like learning music theory for me.

Please do not hesitate to reply should you require further information or assistance.


Mark Crowley
Administrative Officer
Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
University of Newcastle
Phone 02 49216068
Fax 021 49217062
email : mark.crowley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> Tim Moyer <wmharps@xxxxxxxxx> 07/24/03 23:42 PM >>>

Rupert Oysler wrote:
> > Tim Moyer wrote:
> > I'm now slowly working
> > on tongue blocking (I can't seem to make myself NOT play an octave
> > when my tongue touches the harp!).  It may take me a year or more 
> > to get a reasonable tongue block embouchure (and longer to play 
> > it in public), but I'm confident I can get there, 30 minutes a 
> > day
> I think a lot of the learning curve on TB how unfamiliar we all are 
> with our mouths and tongues- what they're doing etc. You can do a 
> lot to help in times away from the harp by practicing tongue 
> movements and stuff. 

I may be unique in this, but my problem is not in control of the 
tongue.  I use my tongue quite fluidly in tongue blocked octaves, 
which I learned very early in my playing from listening to Paul 
Butterfield.  I move between puckered single notes and tongue blocked 
octaves without thinking about it.  The trouble is that I can't put 
my tongue on the front of the harp and NOT play an octave.  I 
expected it to be easy to simply block one side or the other of the 
octave, but old habits are hard to modify.  

Still working on it,

- -tim

- --
Harp-l is sponsored by SPAH,
Hosted by,

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