Re: [Harp-L] Sometimes ....

David McCurry wrote:
<I have had the same experience and recommend to all beginner to
<intermediate players that tone comes from just you and the harp first, and
<mic/amp/effect combos added with and to that. Not a big fan of the "one
<size fits all" tube amp / "cupped" bullet mic "effect" for EVERY song.
<Practice good hand, throat and articulation (and did I mention practice)
<without a mic, but remember to also practice WITH a mic to build good mic
<technique alongside what you do with just the harp.
<NO good and professional player I have ever heard or seen (most recently
<Charlie Musselwhite and James Cotton) plays every song with at tightly
<cupped harp and bullet mic all the time. They open their hands, fingers
<(and nose and throat) to create a range of tone for each song. AND... John
<Hammond (who played with them) plays his harp in a rack with his guitar and
<All that said.. there is a very good and evolving place for pedals and FX.
<Be very intentional about each new sound you create, matched to the emotion
<and color of the song, and use all 64 colors in the box.

I agree about 100% with 100% of the above.  

What FX do, in spades, is extend the range of sounds available to the instrument, opening up new roles for the harmonica in the band.

But no FX device will make up for not knowing how to play your instrument.  Jimi Hendrix was a master of FX, obviously, but Hendrix knew what he was doing with a guitar long before he plugged in the wah-wah.  When you put the knowledge of the instrument together with the extended tonal and emotional possibilities of FX... magic.

We have to remember that when Little walter started playing through an amp with his hands cupped around the mic, it was an entirely new sound--a new "effect."  As Alan Wilson said once in an interview, "Who ever thought a harmonica could sound like THAT?"  

Regards, Richard Hunter

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