Fwd: 3-draw/bent "growl" - help?!!

- --- In harp-l-archives@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Marion.Spiers@xxxx wrote:

I have been trying to get this growl sound out of my A harps on a one-
step bend. I can do it on the bent 2-draw on several different 
harps/keys. It sounds like the reeds fluttering kinda, a way kool sax-
like effect, that would be useful to impress women! Seriously though, 
anyone mastered this one? 


There are a couple of ways that growling sounds on bends are achieved.

One is reed decoupling. This may be what you are experiencing on Draw 
2, but it's unlikely to work on Draw 3 bent down a whole step.

The other is snoring. This will work on most draw bends.

The snoring approach has been developed into a very effective growl 
by Joe Filisko, who pulled this out of his bag of tricks when I asked 
him to imitate the growling trumpets and trombones of the Duke 
Ellington band during its early "jungle" period. The typcial snoring 
sound is just a vibration created by the flapping of the uvula or 
soft palate -the free-hanging bit of soft tissue and the very back of 
the roof of the mouth - the same thing you use to block off the nasal 
passages. The uvula hits against neighboring walls when it flaps, 
creating the snore sound. This can be done deliberately during bends, 
and you can learn to control it for effect.

Reed decoupling is a phenomenon that you will hear on records by 
people like Walter Horton and James Cotton, almost always on Draw 2. 
When you play a draw bend on an unvalved diatonic (or even a half-
valved one like the Suzuki valved ProMaster) both the blow and the 
draw reed sound together at the same pitch. Reed decoupling happens 
when one of the reeds breaks free and sounds at its regular pitch 

For instance, let's say you're playing a C harp and you bend Draw 2 
(G) down a whole step (to F). Normally, both the blow reed and the 
draw reed will sound the F together. But you can make it so that the 
BLow reed continues to sound the bent F while the draw reed goes back 
to sounding G (or at least it tries). The ensuing sound is the reed-
decoupled growl.

As you know, a particular bent note is produced by creating a reonant 
chamber in the mouth of a particulaar size. Too big or too small and 
the bend will not happen. I have been able to produce reed decoupling 
on Draw 2, but also on Draw 5 and Blow 7. Experimenting with the 
latter two, it seemed that if I created a resonant chamber that was 
right on the bordeline of being too big, that "edge" condition would 
create the reed decoupling - one reed would comply with the 
resonance, the other would fight it.

Reed decoupling seems to work only with notes bent down all the way. 
This may be related to why it seems easiest to produce on very 
shallow bends like Draw 55 and blow 7. Though why it would work on 
Draw 2 but not Draw 1 or 4 or 6 I don't know. But Draw 3 bent down a 
whole tone - i.e. not all the way - doesn't seem like something that 
would work. though, who knows . . .

Play around with both methods. You're bound to come up with some 
useful expressive devices.


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