[Harp-L] What I learned at the Buckeye convention

Driving home up I-75 from Columbus to Troy, Mich (home of the SPAH postal 
box) it occurred to me that I learned several things at the buckeye convention 
this last weekend. Some came from seminars, others from chats with various folks 
at the meet. 
I've always believed that if you get one good idea from a book or video or 
movie, it was worth the price of admission. I've never expected a single book or 
lecture to provide me every secret for success in life -- that's an unreal 
1. Throat vibrato -- It's really a combination of the coughing ack ack ack 
PLUS the held bent note. I always misunderstood for years that it was somehow a 
note that bent and unbent and bent and unbent to create the vibrato, not that 
it was used in conjunction with the coughing sound. Bob McFarlane's seminar 
"Tone (or how does he do that?) also with the help of Al & Judy Smith and others 
and a bold student who volunteered to show his efforts.
2. How Band in the Box works. Danny Gajovski and Elmer Matilla provided three 
seminars: Introduction to Band in a Box, BiaB 101 and BiaB 102, plus Danny 
was available at the round table talks group sessions for more hands on info. 
They provided a folder that included color printouts of their BiaB slideshow 
demo that included the BiaB overview CD-ROM/DVD as well as a collection of midi 
tunes compiled by Danny. I may actually get to investigate it now in my copious 
free time.
3. Harp-L's Elizabeth told me about MAAS metal cleaner for getting the crud 
off your harmonica covers (available at MAAS web site or Amazon).
4. The avuncular Jack Ely pulled off another great Buckeye Harmonica Club 
fest (yeah, I know he didn't do it single-handedly -- but he is the 
personification of the club)
5. PT Gazell's tone is better than ever he provided several times during the 
fest. He also talked about how he uses ultrasuede (try JoAnns Fabrics and 
others) for the magic ingredient that allows him to half-valve his Hohner 
Meisterclass diatonics. That is put valves/windsavers on the draw reeds of 1st six 
holes and blow reeds of last four reeds that allow him to play with jazz with 
"chromaticity" on the diatonic single reed blow bends on low end of harp and draw 
bends on top end.  If you don't have his CDs, check out his web site.
6. Jimi Lee was a featured performer at the Buckeye and arrived with some 
dynamite  tunes and had two new CDs with him, featuring stelar performances. Jimi 
Plays the stainless steel Seydel harps and retunes three top end blow reeds 
like low end draw notes for what he calls "A plus" which is tough work on those 
stainless reeds! Seydel offers several custom tunings and this may be one of 
them someday if there is enough interest. 
7. Pignose 10 watt amps make easy outboard amps for laptops (Danny G had one).
8. Korg contact mike (CM100) clamps onto your harp and makes it easier and 
faster to hear pitch of harp reeds -- whether you're tuing reeds or just 
searching for the right note as you play (thanks to Rupert Oysler and JT Gazell).
9. Judy Smith is now using a Suzuki chromatic that has outlasted by about a 
year many of her other chromatics.
10. Al Smith, one of the last of the vaudeville performers,  is playing more 
XB-40 than just about anybody else: Steel Guitar Rag and short version of Wm. 
Tell Overature (called the Billy Tell).
11. Jimi Lee likes to change key for every song. He performed harp with 
Buckeye pickup band and closed the dinner show Saturday night with a slew of guests 
with this guitar/harp rack. 
12. It didn't dawn on me until it was too late to execute, but if I had 
thought of it earlier I would have printed off the Harp-L information sheets and 
some SPAH info sheets on the computers that were in the hotel business  service 
area. Several of the people at my dinner table Saturday night had never heard 
of either.
13. I did have enough foresight to grab a handful of Rupbert Oysler's Seydel 
business cards with Circle of Fifths and related minors (courtesy of Rupert) 
for Jimi Lee's seminar on jazz just as Jimi was talking about about the Circle 
of Fifths and getting some blank stares. 
14. Also learned listening to performances with Band in a Box backing and 
synth backing that the best backgrounds are those that do not provide 
accompaniment in the same sound range as the harp: acoustic guitar sounds great as 
backing. Synth strings and synth reeds make it hard to tell where the harp ends and 
the backing music starts. 
15. And nothing beats a live band like Carolbeth True's.
16. And if you're still confused about how modes and keys and scales and 
pentatonic and blues scales fit together -- check out the ($7.95) Mel Bay "C_ 
Harmonica book : Complete 10-Hole Diatonic Harmonica Series_ 
&head1=&head2=Harmonica&sub=1&sub1=&mode=browse) " which comes in all keys.  
It shows notes and positions in harmonica tab and how they relate to piano 
keyboard and guitar fretboard in nice graphic illustrations. If you're clever, 
you can transpose the "C" book into all the other keys. If it seems confusing, 
get a book for each key you like and it's all explained for you. 
See ya at the next Buckeye,
Phil Lloyd

************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.