From: James Hanson <;HANSON~ANMAIL.SHU.EDU>;
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 04:37:26 -0500
Subject: re: singing et al

Bobbie & Mr. Roach (if I may call you that, sir)
of course this singing stuff only works on blows, right? If I try to sing
while inhaling, it sounds like a frog (as the old song has it).

As an entirely amateur overblow player who can barely make it work,
here's the deal: if you want to hear an overblow, try it on a Hohner - not
a Lee Oskar or Huang (don't know about suzuki's). I find 5 or 6 blow the
easiest in most cases, but on some harps 4 blow works. The
tongue/mouth motion you make for a draw bend: do the same while
blowing. You should be able to achieve small bends this way (that
Sonny Boy "wah wah" sound). Now try and force the bend deeper - the
reed will tend to "choke". Sometimes you may get a nasty vibration that
rattles your teeth - that means you are getting close. If you use a tuner
to tell what note you're playing, eventually you'll hit a relatively clean note
that is above the draw note. That's your overblow. Definitely something
you'd want to work on a lot before unveiling in public - I figured the trick
out some time ago, and while I haven't been working on it consistently I'm
still far below the Mendoza line (20% hits). Some more expert advice in
the archives.

as far as taping goes: 1. yes you can plug straight in to a home audio
tape deck if it has a 1/4" jack - mine does. If you are playing cupped,
however, all you'll hear is the harp (or you singing through the harp) and
it will be tend to be distorted (at least my Bullet is if I do this with it). 2. If
you want to play with recorded music you'll need another mic (if you
want to play amplified) and another music source (tape deck or CD
player). What I'll often do is play a CD, play along through an amp, and
tape the result on a home tape deck using another mic that goes into the
deck. Another option is to use your stereo's tape deck to play music,
and tape yourself with a cheaper cassette player with a built-in
condenser mic - there are some drawbacks to both methods, but both
work. The simplest rig is a CD or cassete deck (home stereo) for music,
a cheap cassette deck with condenser mic for recording, and play
acoustic - no amp. It's always useful to know "how you sound"!

JH


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