Re: [Harp-L] Vibrato question

When I first tackled this problem - not being able to play bent notes
with vibrato - I concentrated on long, held bent notes. I found that
throat vibrato would break up the bent note, so I concentrated on
diaphragm vibrato - pulsing the muscles just below the peak at the
inside of the rib cage. This allowed me to put a wave in the long tone.
At the time I was imitating something played on a clarinet (Django
Reinhardt's Lentement Mademoiselle) and it seemed to match the
clarinetist's even, non-pitched-based vibrato.

The diaphragm vibrato gave me exactly what I needed in that siutation
(long held bent notes) and for the expressive needs of that tune.

But it came with a second benefit that showed up later - the ability to
do what seems to be throat vibrato on bent notes without effort or

I suspect that if you can start and stop a note while it's bent, if you
can play a series of these rapidly - say at the rate of four per second
- and then connect them so they flow as a single long stream with
"pulses" in it - you'll be able to play a nice even vibrato on a bent
note - and on a blow note, draw note, overblow, etc. It'll be a single
kind of vibrato, too, that won't sound radically different as you
change between these note production methods.

You stop the note by closing off the air flow with the throat. And you
can do this while holding the embouchure that produces a bent note. But
you don't have to close the air stream of completely. You can nudge the
air stream without stopping it, putting a pulsing wave into the note.


--- Ed Gorham <ejgorham@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> I'm fairly new to the blues harp (6 months or so). I hope a few of
> you
> can set me straight on something.
> I am working on developing a decent throat vibrato, but I'm running
> into trouble with bent notes. Many players I like can get a wide,
> expressive vibrato on, say, and 3-draw bent a half-step to a minor
> third
> (e.g. a Bb instead of a B natural on a C-harp, played second
> position). 
> Mark Ford and others get a great sound from that.
> When I try to add throat vibrato to a note that I want to keep bent,
> I
> have trouble, and it sounds horrible.  Keeping the note bent
> interferes
> w/ getting the vibrato. My question is, how do you get past this?  Do
> you use tongue wiggle to get the vibrato on those bent notes? Is
> there
> some aspect of the technique I am missing in order to apply throat
> vibrato to bent notes?
> Please let me know what has worked for you all. I want to make sure
> I'm
> developing good habits here and not taking any shortcuts. Thanks in
> advance.
> Ed
> _______________________________________________
> Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,
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