Re: [Harp-L] Searching for Half-Valved Players - location of overbent notes
- To: Philharpn@xxxxxxx, bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Searching for Half-Valved Players - location of overbent notes
- From: Winslow Yerxa <winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 11:55:24 -0700 (PDT)
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The problem with your overblow logic - that you overblow C to get Eb -
is that it's based on a faulty premise. An overblow does not make a
blow reed jump some inconsistent distance. The blow reed has nothnig to
do with it. You overblow a draw reed to get a note one semitone higher:
Hole 1: You overblow D to get Eb.
Hole 2: You overblow G to get Ab.
Hole 3: You overblow B to get C.
Hole 4: You overblow D to get Eb.
Hole 5: You overblow F to get Gb.
Hole 6: You overblow A to get Bb.
Hole 7: You overdraw C to get Db.
Hole 8: You overdraw E to get F.
Hole 9: You overdraw G to get Ab
Hole 10: You overdraw C to get Db
All overblows are consistently a semitone above the reed of the
An overblow is always a semitone above the draw reed that produces it.
An overdraw is always a semitone above the blow reed that produces it.
Admittedly that is less direct that bending Blow E down to Eb. But the
logic of finding overbent notes is perfectly consistent and easy to
--- Philharpn@xxxxxxx wrote:
> One of the things that most appeals to me about half valved harps --
> I prefer
> Suzuki's ProMaster
> MR350-V -- is the "logical" relationship of the blow bend to the
> unbent note,
> compared to overblows.
> I like the idea that if I want to create a B on the C harp I merely
> blow bend
> the 1 Blow. If I want to get an Eb, I blow bend the E (Blow 2).
> I am not looking at the harp before I sound the note. I am using my
> eye" as reference.
> It's helpful to know that when you blow bend on the notes that you
> will get a
> note a half-step lower -- not a minor third raised (maybe).
> With overblows, even if I could execute them on a more or less
> regular basis
> (which I can't) I have trouble keeping track of where they are. To
> get that Eb
> via overblow, you overblow C (Blow 1) and Blow 4 but overblow Blow 7
> (C) you
> get Db.
> (Obviously, if you play overblows, you already "know" where the
> logically belong and probably don't need any valved bends.)
> As far as hitting valved blow bends on pitch, you can pick up a good
> chromatic tuner from $20-50 and a good electronic keyboard for about
> $100 or
> less -- to help on hitting those bends spot on. Bends have always
> tricky. Anybody can bend a note; it takes a little extra effort to
> play them in
> And if you don't want to waste your money on getting some of the
> draw bends in tune, simply play the scale on the first 4 holes of any
> so that it sounds like the scale on holes 4-7. You need to create the
> F and A
> notes. Failing that, pick up the telephone and listen to the dial
> tone. It's
> an F and use that for a reference point for the bent F.
> I think the half-valved diatonic is one of the great underutilized
> around -- whether you buy a Suzuki valved and play it out of the box
> (like I try)
> or build you own with mylar, scotch tape or medical tape et cetera.
> The best part is that you don't have to change what you already know,
> just add a few bent notes where they "logically" belong.
> Phil Lloyd
> In a message dated 6/13/07 6:17:56 AM, bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
> > --- Larry Marks < <mailto:larry.marks%40barberry.com>
> > larry.marks@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > Fellow harmonica types,
> > >I just recently heard of both SPAH and this list. I have been
> > > for a while and searching the archives, but have found little on
> > > (half-) valved diatonics, which I like to play. I am hoping to
> > others
> > > who are similarly inclined.
> > Good to hear of players taking the half-valved harmonica seriously.
> > a long-term acolyte: I started half-valving my diatonics in the mid
> > 80's, and soon after did the same with chromatics; all my
> recordings are
> > on half-valved harps, diatonics and chromatics. Suzuki's ProMaster
> > MR350-V, the first commercial half-valved diatonic, was a result of
> > suggesting the idea to Suzuki.
> > After getting used to the beautiful expressiveness of the
> > diatonic, it is very hard to go back to playing an un-valved harp.
> > lower 7 blow notes and upper 4 draws can be given vibrato and
> > effects, which I really miss on an un-valved harp. However, using a
> > half-valved diatonic for fully chromatic playing is another kettle
> > fish. On a diatonic, I use half-valving for expression, not
> > chromaticism. Getting the bend down to pitch is not too bad, but
> > a valved bend in tune, stable and sounding nice is very hard, and
> for me
> > the results are too nasty to be practically usable. Knowing how
> hard it
> > is, I appreciate the efforts of those who try this route -
> especially PT
> > Gazell. It would be interesting to hear your experiences of using
> > bends, PT.
> > However, I feel there is a better way to go: the half-valved
> > Chromatics need to be intrinsically very airtight and preferably in
> > alternate tunings (where every blow and draw reed is at least a
> > apart) to really suit half-valving. But when it's set up right, in
> > opinion the half-valved chromatic is the best all-round harp in
> terms of
> > combining expressiveness and real usable chromaticism.
> > Even on a Solo-tuned chromatic you can half-valve every
> > hole (1,3,5,7,9,11) to get semitone draw bends, though it's best to
> > leave draw valves on holes 4 and 8, and on hole 2 and perhaps 6.
> > those familiar with Richter tuning, Hohner's half-valved Slide Harp
> > available, though it is sadly not nearly as airtight as it should
> > With customisation it works a lot better, and better half-valved
> > chroms can be made using the larger holes of the cross-style
> > Diminished and Whole-Tone tuning are great on half-valved
> chromatic, as
> > you get a lot of enharmonics using slide or bent notes, and you can
> > think up an infinite range of other tunings that would also suit.
> > Though I love the half-valved chromatic, there are very few serious
> > players. Apart from the fact there is no good off-the-shelf
> > chrom available, there are two reasons, I think: Traditional
> > players are used to the sound of valves on all holes (many of the
> > school wouldn't want to bend notes anyway), and Howard Levy's
> > work on overblow diatonic has given diatonic players a way to
> > chromaticism whilst retaining the traditional unvalved diatonic.
> > Both instruments and approaches have their strengths and appeal,
> and I
> > love hearing great players using either approach, but to me the
> > half-valved chromatic gives the best of both worlds: all chromatic
> > easy to obtain and in tune, as well as diatonic-type bending on
> half the
> > notes, giving many enharmonics (and therefore alternate phrasing
> > options), and lots of expression.
> > Brendan
> > WEB: http://www.brendan-power.com <http://www.brendan-power.com/>
> > _______________________________________________
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