Re: [Harp-L] Newcomer with questions

I agree with Iceman that you should not HAVE to change embouchure when
playing the high notes, but why NOT change embouchure if it provides
the desired effect?  I almost always switch to my bastardized version
of U blocking when playing the high notes.

U blocking is where if you want to play hole number eight, you put the
center of the tongue centered underneath hole 8, on the bottom cover
plate, then curl your tongue into a U shape blocking out hole 7 with
the left side of your tongue and hole 9 with the right side of your

In my version, leave out the curl.  It has created a beautiful, full,
easy to navigate, easy to bend sound on the high notes.  I recommend
this to all my students.  Nearly everyone is uncomfortable with it at
first try.  Almost always, those who continue to have high note
difficulty after one year are still puckering, those who miraculously
can jam on the high notes after a few months are doing my bastardized
U block.

On the other hand, I am a firm believer that if you put in enough
practice, you can do anything.  My high note puckering is definitely
at a pro level, so it can be done.  My tongue blocked high notes still
need work but I believe I could learn it if I put in the time.
Michael Rubin

On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM, The Iceman <icemanle@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> Your overall technique needs adjustment. As a newbie, now is the time to do it before bad habits are ingrained.
> Breathe the harmonica - not "suck" and "blow". The energy used is closer to "humming" rather than "whistling" energy. The lower notes are more forgiving of improper technique. The higher notes will show your weaknesses. You shouldn't have to change embouchure at the high end.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Thomas <danchristhomas50@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: harp-l <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Sat, Jan 29, 2011 6:22 am
> Subject: [Harp-L] Newcomer with questions
> Hey, I'm a new comer  focusing on "cross harp " . Im having a terrilble time
> withthe 8 and 9 draw, its not the harp cause if I cover the adjacent holes
> with my fingers I get a nice note out of it, also its more than 1
> harp(special20s Hammond, ) Should my embrocure change in the upper end of
> the harp? is the spacial relationship of the reeds diferent on the upper
> end? I have tried soft play, I just cant seem to find it.  also when I find
> a song that I want to learn it is usually in 1st position then I transpose
> into 2nd position to learn it, is that what you guys are doing or is there a
> better way? Since I cant type any better than I can play I am going to say
> thankyou right now for any help. THANK YOU !!

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