[Harp-L] Technique Question
Attention all teachers of amplified harp:
There's an amplified harp technique that you hear regularly in really
good "Chicago" harp that I can't quite figure out. Trouble is, I'm not
sure exactly how to explain it.
I think it's a tongue blocking technique, and the best way I can
describe it is that its a combination of both melodic line and rhythm at
the same time.
I hear it most often when a player is playing without accompaniment in
up-tempo songs - and they're kind of "chugging" and soloing at the same
time to create a rhythm. You can hear the main notes, but there's
something subtle in between each note that adds a tad of percussion.
Think James Cotton's "Creeper" or Jason Ricci's Geophiny (sp?). On a
shuffle, think Portnoy on "Harry's Groove."
It gives kind of a "Chick-a Chick-a" rhythm, with the "Chick" being the
solo line, and the "a" being the mystery rhythm thingy.
Like I said, lots of the pros do this...probably plenty of the better
ameteurs, too. Though I can tongueblock to add texture / tone to
individual notes or octaves, I can't figure out this solo/rhythm thing,
and it's probably because I trained my early ear on Butterfield and SBII
and not Walter.
Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts, and thanks for letting me use
harp-l as a teaching / learning resource.
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