RE: [Harp-L] Technique Question
I'm not an expert or harp teacher, so I'll wait (and look forward) for
them to post. But it sounds like you're talking about tongue slaps,
where you are tongue blocking and lift your tongue rhythmically to
produce chords along with the single notes when your tongue is over the
I think you can hear a lot of this on SBWII's studio version of Help Me,
in one section he plays the solo piece as single notes and then I think
twice he does it using the technique you describe (well, a variant
anyway, not so much on the single notes, it's kind of mushed up when he
does it). I'll have to listen to the other songs you mention to check.
From: harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Blake Taylor
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 8:23 AM
Subject: [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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