Pitch, XB-40 & whatever - was: XB40 retuning

Hey list,
   I'm interested in the "in tune" thread that's going on. As an overblower 
(what a dumb word), being perfectly in tune is more difficult for me than 
actually doing overbends -& being in tune on the half-step natural bends is the 
hardest thing of all. Especially the ten hole half-step blow bend.  In the studio 
for the maybe august CD, we put a tuner on any harp note that seemed a little 
off & it was pretty humbling. I re-did some stuff that was far enough off to 
bug me & left some questionable stuff in that was a little off but expressive. 
We also put a tuner on some vocal & guitar lines & that was pretty shocking, 
too!  Being 'perfectly' in tune is probably not acheivable. Being relatively 
in tune is my goal. I have a lot of great recordings where the soloist gets a 
little off pitch. Pretty common for trumpet. Doesn't generally bug me at all. 
Improvising at tempo is a high wire act for any instrument. . 
  One way to  'fudge' pitch is to bend into & out of difficult notes, 
especially on overdraws. This doesn't work in harmonized parts or staccato lines, but 
it adds real feeling to solos. If you can already do overblows, try working 
on bending them. The bending of overbends is probably an underutilized 
  As far as the XB-40 goes, I'm looking forward to hearing what the really 
innovative players come up with. I heard Richard Sleigh do some amazing stuff 
with one at SPAH. I do agree with Chris M. that most of what we'll hear will be 
somewhat painful .
   The more I play & listen to music, the less I care about how someone does 
something & the more I care about what they do. If the XB-40 helps a player 
bring new energy & creativity  to the harmonica world, I'm for it. Bring it on. 
An awful lot of  harmonica players sound GREAT but don't say much with the 
instrument. I love to hear a good  player with a big sound, but too often the big 
sound is all they bring. I'd like to as big sounding as those guys ( I'm 
working on it) but I'd rather play something musical. Often I'm neither. 
  That reminds me -- I need  to practice more. 
  Sorry to ramble on. 

later, Rosco
maybe august 

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