From: Bobbie Giordano <;bo~reenet.scri.fsu.edu>;
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 14:32:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Nose, Embouchure & Megaphone

A note to James Dunkerley...Thank God we got to you in time! At least I
hope we did! Get the tape off his nose...is he breathing again?!? Whew!
Methinks that author of your book/tape source is either a sado-masochist
or has gotten his harp instructions manual confused with his course in
scuba diving. Yes, open your nose while harping, and to refashion the
words of Ben Franklin, "Snort Proudly!" Who also said, "Necessity has no
law," and breathing is a necessity in my book.

+ + + + + +

Keith Graham's remarks on embouchure...

>; New players want to pucker up like a kiss. I tell them they are not
>; kissing their sisters. The harp requires a little R rated action.

...reminds me of what I said to the fellow who introduced me to harp.
In typical youthful exuberance, but in all honesty, too, I blurted out,
"God! I LOVE this! It's like making love to the music, isn't it?!"

I still think that.

+ + + + + +

Lastly, Joe Lempkowski related this:

>; I remember reading in Willie Dixon's biography that he said Big Walter
>; was the best harmonica player he ever heard. He would cut the ends off
>; a tin can and make the harp sound likea trombone.

Back in the "resonance chamber era" of Harp-L discussions, I experimented
with soda straws trimmed to allow them to fit into a hole on the harmonica,
and the resulting sounds were unusual, to say the least. And yes, you can
bend notes. The sound was often like a muted trumpet. Totally impractical,
though, from the standpoint that moving and readjusting the straw takes time.
My original thought was to find out about playing the harp at some distance
removed from the resonant cavities of the mouth, sinuses, throat, etc. But
maybe...you know, with some brass tubing, cut all one length, welded together
like a pan flute, attached to a harp, lining up each tube with a hole, and a
redesigned set of covers that flare out 6-8 inches from the comb and plates,
a unified construction that slips onto the harp from the back, silver-plated
outside with a porcelain-enameled interior cone. Well....maybe not.


___________________________________________________ _-/==============\-_
:::BOBBIE::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: |##HARP SPOKEN HERE##|
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~================~~


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Buy the Book!

I cleaned up my tab for Sonny Boy's Help Me and made it into a short book. There's a Kindle version for 99 cents, and if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle free.

Playing "Help-Me" In the Style of Sonny Boy Williamson II: A step by step, note for note analysis of some of Sonny Boy's Signature Riffs

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The JT30 Page Popular links

I began collecting data about the microphones used by blue harp players before there was an internet. I began organizing it into JT30.com in the late 1990s. I accumulated more stuff than I remember. This is some of it.

Street Theory

A Harp Player’s Guide to Music Theory

Learning Harp

Picking Up Blues Harp

A guide to learning to play Blues Harp

Microphone Information

Usenet Articles


Harp Amps

I've been collecting Harp Amps for a while. This is the old Harpamps.com website. There is lots of information here. Here a coupld of links.


Harp Tab

A collection of songs and riffs that I’ve worked out over the years, plus some libraries of stuff I’ve converted to tablature. I’ve included most of the notes and instructions that helped me when I was learning to play blues harmonica.

Basic Riffs Simple harp tabs for songs Blues riffs and phrases.

Harp-L Archives 1992 to 2002


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Harp Frequently Asked Questions