From: (Daniel Rochman)
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 95 00:51 EST
Subject: Singing WHILE Playing; Overblows

Our amazing and inspiring Bobbie G did (or else did not) once wrote:

>;Oh, yeah, experience the effect of difference tones, and especially
>;that of pitch beating that has recently been discussed here, try's
>;really WEIRD! Rather than playing two notes available on the harp, play just
>;one and then sing along with it, sliding the note until you come close to the
>;note on the harp. With some notes that are more distinctly separate from the
>;harp's note, you can easily hear the difference tones that are created. And
>;by coming close in pitch to the note being played, you can create the pitch
>;beating phenomena, at various speeds, depending on closeness to the note, and
>;it's really intriguing if you try to exactly match the note...but frustrating,
>;too! But, something to do at least, when "those nice young men in their clean
>;white coats" come to take you away...HA-HA!

I never dared speak of this before.... Actually, I only sort of stumbled
across it a week ago, while stuck here at the plant/office debugging code
until the wee-est of hours. During the last 4:00AM "am I still sane?" bit
(wherein I dodge into the dimly-lit and fulla-wierd-echos manufacturing area
of the plant to WAIL WAIL WAIL until I'm gasping like a carp in a rowboat),
I started to sing while playing. And yes, DO try this at home. It's a
FANTASTIC sound. Well, tastes vary, but it is definitely a STRANGE sound.
My techno-music-loving friends heard me do it, and asked right away if they
could `sample` me. :-) I could be the next big thing after the diggeridoo
(spelling?) ....

Now my question is, am I the only one who never thought of this? I listen
to some Sonny Terry, and can whoop right along, but for some reason it had
just never occurred to me to try using my larynx WHILE playing, until it
finally happened "by accident". Are there any worthwhile (or not...) harp
recordings out there that actually use this?!?!? Maybe I should go back and
listen a little more carefully to my Captain "You-thought-Dylan-was-bad"
Beefheart tracks??

On another note....
I just started wondering about overblows. That is, after browsing all the
stuff that went by in months past and thinking "walk first - run later",
I've decided to actually try and get one out of my harp. Problem is, I
don't even know exactly what I'm aiming for. I don't think I've ever heard
an overblow to know one. I must have heard plenty of them, really, but
never an actual snippet that went <;pause..."here is an

Mike C, since you play a L.O. C-Major, maybe you can be of some help? Then
again, you use valves, so maybe not.... Anyone? At the very least, how
different does hole-2 overblow sound from hole-2 blow/bend??? I once blew
REALLY hard into hole-3, and got a loud and strange honk (and made my
eyeballs bulge), but in general blowing super hard into my L.O. just makes
shrill dog-whistle noises and gives me migraines.
As I understand it, though, overblows shouldn't require much brute force, if
any? Or do they?? I know that blow/bends only require the little change
from "Ooooo" to "Eeeeeee", and no extra force at all. Upper hole draw/bends
are much harder (for me) to control, but they don't take any force either....

Or should I just leave the beach in disgrace, go home and kick a chair, then
shell out the bucks for some commercial "In Just SEVEN DAYS, YOU TOO Can
OVERBLOW" thingy?

On yet another note, I may soon (4-5 months) be moving to the Richmond, VA
area from the almost-tropical Toronto. Any harp leads out that way? Clubs,
venues, fellow netters, fellow harpers, teachers, etc??

Final thing.... (3 months lurking -->; 30 minutes rambling)
I bought a (bass player) friend's old "BASIC 50" amplifier off him for $140
Cdn... About US$100. I then bought a "Genexxa" vocal mic at Radio Shack,
because I didn't have a mic to use with the amp and the Shack is 5 minutes
from my place (shame on me). It sounds awful, I suppose, but that's mostly
my playing anyhow, so I really don't care too much. What I'd like to do,
however, is tape my playing so I can listen more objectively for how I
sound, how I screw up, how waaaaaaaaaaaaay off tempo I am, what kind of tone
I'm getting, etc.

My open question is: What's a good way to do this on the cheap? Should I
use the amp at all, or just take the 1/4" mic plug right into the front of
my tape deck? (It has a 1/4" jack and a 1-10 mic input level knob...
nothing fancy.) More important, I'd like to hear how I'd sound "with a
band", but don't have a band. What's a good karaoke-like way for me to mix
myself in, using cruddy consumer-grade audio equipment?? What I want is
"jamtrax-like tape of 12-bar drums/bass/guitar" in Tape Deck A, me playing
along to it and recording myself, and ending up with a mixed tape which
sounds like I was actaully there for the original recording session...
Should I just keep dreaming?

More than enough for now,
- -roach (If I seem shorter, it is because I stand in the footsteps of
- --
( o o )

Hiding behind my .sig file.... I'm just a roach.
Or a giant harmonica. Happy that I am.
( ) Oooo.
+----------------------------------\ (----( )-----------------------------+
\_) ) /

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