[Harp-L] Stevie Wonder's sound

Slim Heilpern slim@xxxxx
Mon May 23 15:25:33 EDT 2016

While I agree that the Stevie pizzicato is perhaps his most unique and difficult to imitate technique, it’s certainly not the only thing that makes his sound so easy to identify (especially considering that he uses that particular technique sparingly).

Like his singing voice, his harmonica playing is just very hard to imitate well, although a really good player can get awfully close. It’s not that hard to copy his solos note-for-note, but to copy his feel, timing, intonation, vibrato, etc... is something else entirely — unless it comes naturally to you (Julian Davis is the one person I’ve heard that seems to fit into this category).

Back to the pizzicato: I don’t recall Stevie ever using this technique on a blow note (I’m sure someone here will shoot this down if I’m wrong), so that may be an important clue that it’s not just normal tonguing, which works equally well for blow and draw. 

- Slim.


> On May 23, 2016, at 10:58 AM, Michael Peloquin <peloquinharp at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Alfie
>> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Stevie Wonder's sound
>> From: macaroni9999 at gmail.com
>> Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 10:53:13 -0700
>> To: michaelrubinharmonica at gmail.com
>> CC: harp-l at harp-l.org
>> Michael
>> Thank you! That's the type of information I am looking for. Can you recommend a tune to listen to that exemplifies the pizzicato articulation you mentioned?
>> Daniel

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