[Harp-L] tongue blocking basics

EVANS owenpevans@xxxxx
Mon Jan 9 11:20:24 EST 2017

Hey Steve,
I like your horses for courses way of looking at this.

I never learned lip pursing as I have tongue blocked since day 1.
That said, after 3 years of playing, you find there are some interesting habits you pick up to play the devilishly difficult bends.

You can tongue block the whole harp from 1-10 but I suggest using the technique from 2-10 and just use lip pursing on the ‘one'. The way to start is to play single notes well and with control of dynamics. After that, the bends present a new challenge. Try to use the top & front (together) of your tongue. -i.e. - the front ¼.  Once you start bending you’ll find that as you move the tongue you can lose contact with the harp if you use the only the tip of your tongue. I was shown how to get TB bends by David Barrett and I have had no problems since then. Everything David has published on the subject is worth studying! A lesson from him will help immensely!

After you have gotten comfortable with this, you can later use the left side of your mouth to play the ‘one’ by blocking the 2,3 with the left side of your tongue. It really helps when you are tongue slapping the ‘one’ for extra dynamics! I can now bend the ‘one’ just as well with this method as I can lip pursed.
I hope this is useful to you.

> On Jan 9, 2017, at 10:07 AM, Steve Ketay <steve.ketay at xxxxx> wrote:
> I have just started teaching myself how to tongue block, and I was
> wondering if I could get some advice regarding what to do on the low end.
> I am assuming that I should be using the left side of my mouth for holes
> 1-3, and then switching over to the right for 4-10.  I'm sure it's really a
> matter of horses for courses, but I would really appreciate any insight or
> tips that are offered.
> Thanks in advance,
> Steve
> -- 
> 52 Spring Street
> Lebanon
> NH 03766

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