Page 2 of 2

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:38 pm
by jbone1
that's another good question. i purse a lot but do tb also, and when i just pursed exclusively i lost more reeds to hard overdrawing.

but i do know guys who are primarily tongue block who have the same issue with flatting out reeds. past a point i doubt it matters which method you use, if you are stressing a reed too hard with more air than it can pass, that reed will go flat.

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:15 pm
by watertore
I say sit or stand, whatever feels better. I never saw sonny terry, lightning, champion jack dupree, louisiana red, stand when I played with them. I use to stand most of the time when I had a real band behind me. It was the monkey see, monkey do, knee jerk reaction. Since going to a 1 man band I sit out of necessity. I realize I prefer to sit. I sit all the time I play at home. I began as a sitter and I see no difference in my harp tones, voice either way. I will stand when I sit in with another band just for the freedom of being able to move around and the band still keeps playing! Blow hard, soft, tongue block, lip it, whatever that makes you feel good. That is where good music comes from. Sometimes I laugh when I read threads that go into minute detail about how to sing, blow, etc. It is like having someone pose for a portrait- very unatural because they are thinking all the time not to move :lol: Walter

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:59 pm
by jeffl
[quote] "I sit all the time I play at home." That's why your tone's so weak Walter. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:08 pm
by watertore
jeffl wrote:
"I sit all the time I play at home." That's why your tone's so weak Walter. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Thanks and I will remember you when I make it! All I have to do is stand up and the harp world will be at my feet :D Walter

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:23 pm
by jeffl
Jus' remember who gave ya' the tip bro'. :roll:

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:06 pm
by bottleneck
i think there is a time and place for control,but also for playing "too hard."

if your playing with no mic with say,a banjo,a fiddle,and a national,upright bass and a snare,you're going to have to use more breath than you would into a mic.
even just racked with no mic and a reso guitar you're going to have to play loud!

and there are some tones your just not going to get playing"correctly."

that said,with a mic i usually try to use less breath than i did when i was younger,haha

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:31 pm
by NEONMOONY
Finally, somebody ackowledges that there are tones you can get when you blow hard and really bend rattle those reeds that you're not going to get when you blow easy.

I think the blow easy thing was started by older guys runnin out of breathe and wanting to save on reed replacement. (not that I'm any kid either).

I know another harp player who has lots of harp knowledge. Plays with any song. Has been using the same harps for years, bends the notes, he is quite skilled but it all sounds very smooth like the Lawrence Welk band covering a blues tune. There is no rawness, edgy-ness.

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:09 pm
by bottleneck
i know exactly what you mean!!i know a guy who is a very good harp player,but his blues doesn't sound like he's ever had his heart broken .he's got speed ,licks and tones of................control,but he doesn't have road wear,haha.

i think sometimes you should play with the sound of the feeling of,say putting your dog of fourteen years down,or say losing a friend to suicide.i AM not saying that sound comes from playing too loud.but i AM saying that some young guys with tons of technique don't have that sound.

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:49 am
by too2tall
Watertore all I have to say is Amen brother. Like you in the beginning 30 years ago it was all a mystery. But through time and experience I found the same things as you to be true. My first experience learning some of the same truths was with Gary Primich, and Walter Higgs in Austin. Later I met James Cotton and man could that guy get volume. Sitting in a local bar with James and the musicians playing amplified asking James to play a song with them. Someone handed James an old beat up MB from behind the bar. James sitting in his chair unamplified matching the volume level of the amplified band. The man is a true master of the art.
As I know you knew Gary Primich Water and the demons surrounding his untimely passing I only wish everyone could have heard the mastering of dynamics that he had. Gary could put out a pure sound that would make you cry in its perfection. I miss him and wish he could have mastered his demons as much as he mastered the harp.

Big Brad

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:42 pm
by watertore
thanks for the responses guys! You may be banished to harp hell for such statements :D that larwence welk analogy is one I will remember!

Big Brad: I played many a nights next door to Walter Higgs and the shuffle pigs. They played joes generic bar and I played the black cat lounge. Both he and gary were friends. ABC shot a segment on me during that time. I watched it the other day. I was on the streets playing in front of the university co-op and gary was digging on it. It felt good to see him looking young and fresh. I didn't evern reconize him in his later years. Walter

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:48 pm
by bottleneck
too2tall wrote:Watertore all I have to say is Amen brother. Like you in the beginning 30 years ago it was all a mystery. But through time and experience I found the same things as you to be true. My first experience learning some of the same truths was with Gary Primich, and Walter Higgs in Austin. Later I met James Cotton and man could that guy get volume. Sitting in a local bar with James and the musicians playing amplified asking James to play a song with them. Someone handed James an old beat up MB from behind the bar. James sitting in his chair unamplified matching the volume level of the amplified band. The man is a true master of the art.
As I know you knew Gary Primich Water and the demons surrounding his untimely passing I only wish everyone could have heard the mastering of dynamics that he had. Gary could put out a pure sound that would make you cry in its perfection. I miss him and wish he could have mastered his demons as much as he mastered the harp.

Big Brad


this gives me a haunting feeling.

http://www.myspace.com/shakeylyman

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 4:12 pm
by 1armbandit
watertore wrote:I went to the jam and stood around for an hour. No one asked me up. The stage was full of drunk, 1/2 assed players that were having diariaha of the instruments. I was with mooreland and arbuckle. they never got asked up either. the 3 of us finally left and went to bed. I can't get with a wall of sound. I can't find anyplace to play anything. A few other festivals I have played had similar requests and I avoided them because it was the same scenario. I only stood around for a few minutes at those before I went to bed.

Walter I went to see Dustin Arbuckle Sunday evening. He was standing in for Lee McBee, one of my favorite performers. Lee is touring with Mike Morgan and the Crawls in Europe. Dustin put on a great show and several locals jumped in and made for a great evening.
Don't know if you got much time to talk to them but to me they are just a couple of local boys doing good. Their latest album has a great version of John Henry on it.

Jack

Re: My theory on "blowing to hard"

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:46 pm
by bluesfyre
Nowadays, the only time I blow out a harp, is when I fight the sound system, and lose. Vocalists have the same problem. Make a deal with the 'soundguy' early (or before) the gig or act begins, and get a good level on your mic'd harp amp, or vocal mic. As an afterthought, its probably at acoustic open mics that I lose most reads, trying to compete with all those damn guitar players. 8)