Re: [Harp-L] overblows vs half valving

Good heavens!!! The quality of Jason's music is due to his skill, not whether he plays overblows of valves. They are both simply methods of making a diatonic into a chromatic instrument. Listen to Jason: his non-overblown notes are just as nice as his overblows. Same with P. T. Gazell who plays valved. I play both methods myself, and I don't believe there is a significant quality difference if you know what the hell you are doing.

I prefer the valved instrument because of the variability of the bends versus the more-or-less fixed note you get out of overblows. Also, valved instruments are more logical in terms of the layout of the notes. With overblow, you have to play a blow, then a draw and then another blow (overblow) in order to go through the scale.

But I also find the valves to be a real pain, as they tend to get stuck in the reed slots and are the most easily damaged part of the instrument. Also, most of the custom harps come equipped for overblow. To me it would be sacrilege to valve these great instruments, so I play them OB.

This may be the silliest argument I have seen on this list, and I have seen some pretty silly arguments here. Don't insult Jason or Howard or PT by suggesting that it is anything but their skill that produces their great music. I am certain that if Jason or Howard were to learn to play valved instruments they would still sound as good as they do on their OB/OD instruments.


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