Re: [Harp-L] Reality Check - teaching

"Haven't experienced this one, either - inhaling hard causes the note to go  
Sure does; Pat Missin backs this one up: 
......sound a lot like a cow lowing. This refers particularly to the hole one draw.

>>> <IcemanLE@xxxxxxx> 26/11/2008 15:18 >>>
Rick has asked about my experience with the following:
In a message dated 11/25/2008 9:25:20 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
rick.dempster@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:

1.The  player who seems to leak air all over the place but gets a 
pathetically weak  sound from the instrument (where is all the air going? They seem to 
have the  thing in their mouth far enough)
Weak sound is more a reflection of the student's insecurity - I'm from the  
"breathe the harmonica - not blow and suck" school. I encourage the student to  
breathe deeply and move from a chest focus to the diaphragm. I also will have 
 the student create, for example, a clean 4 hole inhale. Then, I'll go into 
the  next room and ask the student to play so I can hear him. Long tones help, 
too.  The ability to hang a single note in the air for 10 or more seconds, 
giving the  student time to start to work out the problems and awareness of what 
is going on  in the mouth/throat for himself.

2. Students who can only seem to bend a note when they are  playing TWO holes 
(usually 2/3) ....and this after I've told them they must  isolate single 
holes in order to bend properly. when they successfully  'isolate', they can't 
bend at all.
Haven't experienced this phenomenon.

3. Explaining the difference between drawing the reed HARD - so  that it goes 
almost a semi-tone sharp- and drawing it so it bends, even at low  volume.
Haven't experienced this one, either - inhaling hard causes the note to go  

4. Why, when trying to help students isolate single holes, and  suggesting 
they angle the harp to an almost vertical position, they then cock  there head 
to one side so that their mouth is again parallel to the  harmonica!! This 
almost invariably!
I suggest they angle the harmonica up about 45 degrees, similar to tilting  a 
glass up on the lips while taking a drink of water. They do tilt their head 
as  well. Sometimes I have to hold their head steady and encourage them to try  
angling the harmonica until they understand the concept.

5. The perpetual 2-draw bender: They cant play draw 2 without  bending it. I 
tell them to let air come through their nose while they are  drawing , using 
what I indelicately call the 'snot' valve - or sometimes the  'snore' valve - 
actually the pharynx. Very few people appear to have any  awareness of this or 
are able to do it.
Very common. And once they play it w/out bend, they have a heck of a time  
finding a bend again. I tell them that 2 hole inhale is how to gauge a proper  
inhale technique, as all the other holes are forgiving of a lousy technique -  
but not Mr. Hole #2. Once again, teaching them to breathe the note rather than 
 sucking in helps. Also, learning to disengage the tongue (ie - do nothing 
with  it - release the muscle). This one may take a few weeks to overcome, but 
once  they get it, they've got it for life.

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