Re: [Harp-L] Re: Searching for Half-Valved Players

Randy aka BiscuitBoy Blues wrote:
What do you mean when you say to hitting a valved bend in tune?

When you bend a valved note, it is a single-reed bend, unlike the draw-reed bends available on holes 1-6 on a diatonic harp. Single-reed bending is what happens when you bend a note on an unmodified chromatic harp.

Normally on a diatonic, you can't bend the 1-6 blow at all  - if you
try to, either it won't bend or it will pop up to an overblow.  When
you half-valve the harp, no air is escaping through the draw reed slot
when you blow, so the blow notes 1-6 can be bent to some extent.  And
the blow reeds are more responsive/airtight as a result. The
single-reed bend isn't like what happens when you bend, say, draw 4 on
a diatonic harp - in the case of the draw bend, the blow reed starts
coming into play as well as the draw reed and therefore is called a
dual-reed bend.

So, to eventually answer your point :-) - the valved bends are not as
stable as dual reed bends, it's really easy to put them out of tune,
compared to hitting a semitone "normal" bend in tune.

Is it harder to draw bend on the first four holes when you valve?

No, as the valve only comes into play when you blow. That's what the valve is for, same as on a chromatic - so that air doesn't leak out through the other reed in the chamber.

of a harp but what I'm really looking for is a way to control bends up high.

Blow bends 7-10? The valves won't help there - the blow bend is usually a different technique to the draw bends. I'd say others could describe the process better, but having a smaller resonating chamber in your mouth will help. I have a sample of me playing some exercises on a C harp - it's tricky enough, you can hear the B is out of tune when I play the ascending Bb B C:

Do valved harps react to the same amount of air going through the
harp? I mean do you have to play softer to use it?

Not really, in my experience - the only thing is that the valves can
become clogged with saliva and other gunk.

I hope that helps,

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