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Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:44 pm
by jeffl
I was foolin' around with my little 9 volt harp amp, which is really a fuzz guitar amp. I discovered that if I blew really soft, I only get the delayed distortion, not the original attack. So, I turned up the mic volume,and got this compressed funky sound that worked excellently for putting sustained chord backing to the jam tunes. It's a limited tool, but one that could come in handy for the right spot- but you almost gotta just breathe into it; any hard attack destroys the effect.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:04 pm
by seanmack
That sounds like a useful trick. i'd be really interested to see how that works. Jeff, have you ever tried toput your harp mic through a wah ah peddle..just a thought.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:11 pm
by jeffl
No wah pedals for me, Sean! I might like it, but I've never tried. I screw around with distortion and feedback some, but I'm better served tryin' to get better at the standard tools.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:45 pm
by seanmack
Sounds interesting. I've been trying to convince our guitarist to lend me his precious wah wah pedal just so i can se what it sounds like... no luck so far. Are there any reorded examples of harp players really using distortion or feedback that are widely available?

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:21 pm
by barbequebob
Sean, I've tried wahwah pedals for harp and frankly, you can do a better job of the wahwah effect using your hands, and what makes matters worse, it boosts the treble, which will cause uncontrollable feedback problems that are NEVER musical in any way and for harp, it's something to be avoided like the plague.

Harp doesn't distortion pedals if you use mikes like Astatic JT30's or a Green Bullet into an old tube amp. If you have to have that MUCH distortion, it's usually the sign of a player who's too lazy to get their acoustic chops and tone together first, and having it that distorted, you lose dynamic touch because your getting oversaturated to the point of being heavily compressed, and along with this, the articulation and intonation suffers BADLY!!! This comes from 30 years worth of professional harp playing experience.

It sounds like you're more into the John Popper Blues Traveler thing which ain't even remotely close to being blues.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:47 pm
by seanmack
Thanks bbq bob, didn't know that was the case, wiht the treble etc. By the by, i like his playing, but i'm not really into the 'john popper blues thing.'

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:09 pm
by jmhester
I used a wammy pedal to bend the pitch on my version of "Dust My Broom". OK, I didn't make that up, I copied it from, you guessed it, John Popper! He used it on a live version of "Low Rider".
I also used a vibe effect with chorus for the harp on "As Years Go Passing By". It made it sound somewhat like a B3 which blended well with the real B3 on the cut. Wah-Wahs work OK but you can really get a better sound doing it with your mouth.
As for Popper, I have to put in my 2 cents worth. I was blessed to have had a chance to jam with him in New Orleans. Not only is a super nice guy but he is a very accomplished harp player. He's definitely known for his "Steve Vi" type style but he can bend with the best of them. Honestly, I wish he would do a pure blues CD to dispell all the detractors. He really is very good.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:35 pm
by oakbone
Yeah, two songs...both can be found on the soundtrack from that movie Crossroads with Ralph Macchio. The first is called "They Call Me Willie" and the other is "Cotton Needs Pickin". Those are a couple I know of right off the top of my head, and are pretty good examples. I KNOW I've got some other stuff around here, I'll go through my tracks and CDs and see what I can come up with.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:54 am
by maxx england
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Aug-03-05 AT 06:56 AM (EST)]Thing I got told by a friend a while back is if you drop your input voltage on fuzz pedal or 9v amp, the tone gets real smoky & cruel & sustains for longer (would have thought it fell away but my cheap kit don't).

Other thing I found is R L Burnside playing wahwah bottleneck. A revelation.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:25 pm
by ricochet
That would be Kenny Brown, R.L.'s "only white son." He actually does most of the slide playing on R.L.'s electric albums.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:48 am
by jellyroll baker
>Other thing I found is R L Burnside playing wahwah
>bottleneck. A revelation.

One thing I've found is that a lot of the wah sounds can be achieved with just the bottleneck - hardly any need for the peddle at all.

RE: Weird Little Trick

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:57 pm
by es350
Earl Hooker did the wah-wah/slide thing way back in the 60's. All the guys who attempt the Earl thing eventually break out the wah sooner or later. Never did much for me...