Re: [Harp-L] Searching for Half-Valved Players - location of overbent notes
Winslow: Your explanation is completely accurate.
My point, I don't want to get involved in long division to play a flat note.
But logic is not always accurate. What "seems" logical i.e. the relationship
between the draw reed and the overblow note is the accurate explanation of the
But my point is that when I want an Eb it makes logical sense to me to blow
bend the E down to an Eb.
When I'm thinking of that Eb the last thing in my mind is: "Draw 1 is a D and
the overblow is a half-step higher, Eb.
When I draw bend the Draw 1 (D) down to Db I am thinking ONLY of lowering the
D to a Db. I am not thinking that the C blow reed is responsible for that
bend. I am thinking of that D.
I also don't care that the blow reeds are lower in pitch in holes 1-6 than
the draw reeds and the reverse in 7-10. The harp layout in my minds eye places
the CEG CEG CEG C on the top because that is where the blow reed plate is. To
arrange it with the DGB DFA BDF A on the top would simply confuse me and make
about as much sense as trying to sight read even a simple tune with the
harmonica upside down.
But then I suffer from pianism -- I see a piano keyboard in my mind's eye
when I see music -- or even harp tab. When I want to play an Eb instead of an E I
play the black key right next to the white key (E). I don't think of counting
up from the D to what is really D# (when you start from the D) and convert it
in my mind's mind (let's see, D# and Eb are same, hmmm).
I know if I take the covers off my harp and draw bend the first reed and then
touch it with my finger the bend will stop.
I am also aware that if you look at the diatonic blow notes and draw notes on
a piano the notes (keys) between the blow and draw reeds (notes, keys) on the
same harp channel are the bent notes.
Blow 1 = C, Draw 1 D (the black key between the C and D is Db/C#). Blow 2 =
E, Draw 2 = G (the keys between them are the white F and black Gb/F#.
In a message dated 6/15/07 2:55:54 PM, winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx writes:
> Phil -
> 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
> opposite breath.
> 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).
> > Obviously,
> > I am not looking at the harp before I sound the note. I am using my
> > "mind's
> > 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
> > overblows
> > 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
> > quality
> > 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
> > been
> > tricky. Anybody can bend a note; it takes a little extra effort to
> > play them in
> > tune.
> > And if you don't want to waste your money on getting some of the
> > traditional
> > draw bends in tune, simply play the scale on the first 4 holes of any
> > diatonic
> > 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
> > harps
> > 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,
> > you
> > 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
> > lurking
> > > > for a while and searching the archives, but have found little on
> > > > (half-) valved diatonics, which I like to play. I am hoping to
> > find
> > > others
> > > > who are similarly inclined.
> > >
> > > Good to hear of players taking the half-valved harmonica seriously.
> > I'm
> > > 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
> > my
> > > suggesting the idea to Suzuki.
> > >
> > > After getting used to the beautiful expressiveness of the
> > half-valved
> > > diatonic, it is very hard to go back to playing an un-valved harp.
> > The
> > > lower 7 blow notes and upper 4 draws can be given vibrato and
> > bending
> > > effects, which I really miss on an un-valved harp. However, using a
> > > half-valved diatonic for fully chromatic playing is another kettle
> > of
> > > fish. On a diatonic, I use half-valving for expression, not
> > > chromaticism. Getting the bend down to pitch is not too bad, but
> > hitting
> > > 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
> > valved
> > > bends, PT.
> > >
> > > However, I feel there is a better way to go: the half-valved
> > chromatic.
> > > Chromatics need to be intrinsically very airtight and preferably in
> > > alternate tunings (where every blow and draw reed is at least a
> > tone
> > > apart) to really suit half-valving. But when it's set up right, in
> > my
> > > 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
> > odd-numbered
> > > 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.
> > For
> > > those familiar with Richter tuning, Hohner's half-valved Slide Harp
> > is
> > > available, though it is sadly not nearly as airtight as it should
> > be.
> > > With customisation it works a lot better, and better half-valved
> > Richter
> > > chroms can be made using the larger holes of the cross-style
> > slider.
> > > 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
> > half-valved
> > > chrom available, there are two reasons, I think: Traditional
> > chromatic
> > > players are used to the sound of valves on all holes (many of the
> > old
> > > school wouldn't want to bend notes anyway), and Howard Levy's
> > pioneering
> > > work on overblow diatonic has given diatonic players a way to
> > achieve
> > > 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
> > notes
> > > 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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