Re: Tilted embouchure~~and "upside down" embouchure
- Subject: Re: Tilted embouchure~~and "upside down" embouchure
- From: Joel Fritz <jfritz666@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 13:49:02 -0700
> Bob wrote:
> >I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but many or even most of the
> >Chicago players played 'numbers down' - I believe this was the 'industry
> >standard' then. My own harp master at the time, Stu Ramsay, played
> this way, and
> >I have always believed that it was commonplace back then.
> There were/are some Chicago blues harp players who played "numbers
> down", but I believe *most* of those did so by accident - that was the
> way they first picked up a harp when they didn't know any better, and
> they never bothered to change - rather than by some sort of conscious
> decision. Little Walter, Big Walter, Rice Miller, James Cotton, Junior
> Wells, and George "Harmonica" Smith all played "numbers up", so I think
> that would have to qualify "numbers up" as the industry standard.
> >A (sorry, somewhat weak) analogy that comes to mind is the lefty
> guitarist (like
> >Hendrix or Albert King) that flips over a standard axe and now gets
> the high
> >string bends by squeezing the hand, rather than extending the fingers
> - a physical advantage.
> You're correct about Albert King - he and Otis Rush are two notable
> left-handed blues guitarists who played/play a righty-strung guitar that
> is just flipped over and played left-handed. But Hendrix didn't play
> that way. He re-strung his guitars "correctly" for a left-handed player
> - in other words, skinny string towards the floor, just like a
> right-handed player.
The Hendrix upside down thing is becoming an urban legend. I was lucky
enough to see Hendrix a couple of times and be able to remember it. Yes,
lucky on both counts, not to mention making it home in one piece. <g>
It was pretty clear to me that he was playing left handed but strung
"conventionally." In spite of the large amount of film and videotape
of Hendrix, the story lives on. A couple of years ago there was a
bitter argument on another list I subscribe to about the upside down
theory that led to people angrily posting links to pictures along with
Hear Barrelhouse Solly on the web.
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