- To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [Harp-L] music/playing/technique/styles
- From: "samblancato" <samblancato@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 12:24:18 -0400
- Thread-index: AcVt2NmrA8jKoFCkQt2cgFUm0yIwfQ==
TO follow Pierre's lead, I have a question about technique the some of you
other guys might be able to help me with. And then I have a tip too.
First of all, I have always had a hard time working holes 7 - 10 into my
playing. Now, it's not that I'm not familiar with the b/d patterns up there
or the notes I can get from those holes. My problem is more with sound
facility. I just can't seem to get the notes to sound in a fluid way. Is
it just a matter of breaking the reeds in or are there gapping and embossing
type mods I can do to make these reeds more playable. I realize an E or F
harp is going to have it's limitations regardless of what you do but A
through D aught to be able to work well and while I can get my harps to play
really well on the 1 - 6 holes I am at a loss for the upper holes. Any help
would be great.
To change the subject and make a contribution toward the musical/playing end
of things I have this tip for you blues players out there. Pick yourself up
a copy of T-Bone Walker, The Imperial Recordings. This is a 2 disk set and
there isn't a lick of harmonica anywhere to be heard on any of the approx.
40 songs. What there are, though, are tons and tons of superb horn phrases,
both lead and rhythm that you can work into your playing. What makes them so
great is that most of them are musically very harp friendly. There is a
great deal of chromatic work(stuff that you'd be hard pressed to produce on
the short harp) from the horns too but still plenty of stuff you can easily
produce on your diatonic. The other thing that makes these horn lines such a
mine for harp material is that they are mostly rhythm lines but they are
intricate and very stylish at the same time.
Apart from this aspect, it's just great music- hours of great blues songs
full of T-Bone's ground breaking guitar work, much of which is also horn
inspired. I find the phrasing in much of this music seeping into my playing
even when I'm not trying to put it in there.
Sam Blancato, Pittsburgh
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