Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

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Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

Postby too2tall » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:44 am

Does anyone have any good exercise tabs to increase playing speed? Bored with what I have and hoping someone has something to liven up practice time a little.
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Re: Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

Postby blomax » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:09 pm

The way I learned to increase my speed was to blow single notes,,play the scale, play it faster,,then play if in progression and then recession,,,doe-ray-me -fa -so- la -ti -doe-----doe-ti-la-so-fa-me-ray-doe,,,works for me..
That was one of the first things taught me by some pro harper about 30 yrs ago. Lomax
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Re: Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

Postby jeffl » Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:54 pm

I have to confess that I don't have a printed exercise for increasing my dexterity; I've always just reworked runs as I come to them, whether I'm coppin' a lick off a tune, or just stumbling across something in a practice that causes me to stop and work on it. The techniques necessary for speed can require the ability to switch between tongue blocking and lip pursing, unless you're just plain quick enough to do it all with one technique. I'm primarily a tongue blocker and I generally move my harp more than my head when I'm alternating between notes; I think your style can dictate some of the techniques necessary to reach higher playing speeds, i.e., some of my techniques help me re: speed, while some hurt me.
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Re: Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

Postby barbequebob » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:02 pm

If you learn how to tongue block, for sheer speed, the classical music method of moving the harp slightly in an arc and not your head will help quite a bit, but something I preach quite a bit here will also aid you in speed and dexterity, along with better tone and tone control (as well as financially keep future harp purchase costs down because you won't be blowing them out so frequently) is play with far less breath force because the reeds will not respond well for fast playing if you use waaay to much breath force AKA playing them way the hell too damned hard 24/7. Like BB King once said, You can have speed or economy, but you can't have both. Trust me, talking about less breath force and doing it so that it's permanently ingrained is far easier said than done, so you will need to do tons of woodshedding to master it, which too often harp players rarely ever do.
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Re: Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

Postby too2tall » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:20 am

I already do the scale work but that really doesn't help with developing your own sound. I am looking for more jump exercises where you leap 3 or 4 holes during exercises to create a jumpy sound. I saw a video on youtube with Jason Ricci WITH a killer speed exercise but he doesn't give the tab and he does it so fast its very hard to figure out what he's doing as he throws in some overblows as well.
I totally agree with breath volume to attain speed and that is great when your working with a band that understands volume control for themselves. But how many times have you jammed with musicians and the only way you can be heard is if you pump some volume through your harp. : (|)
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Re: Exercise TAB for increasing playing speed

Postby too2tall » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:28 am

Also,

I have had the fortune to get to know James Cotton as he goes to a neighborhood bar near where he and I used to live. I have met him through a mutual musician friend a couple a years ago and he is truly a great gentleman even though his voice is almost gone now.
Sometimes he plays with us and let me tell you he doesn't need an amplifier as most of the time as he can flat blow the doors off the place without one and he can still do some things with a harp I can not. He uses old beat up marine bands that he has kept under the bar counter. While I agree volume control is essential its nice to be able to do both.
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