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Newbie: 2d versus 3b

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Luther J
Jun 25, 2010 5:06 PM GMT

Hello:

I'm new to harmonica and have a question realted to the use of a 2 draw versus a 3b. I've seen over and over again in blues songs (cross harp) that the 2 draw is used instead of a 3 blow. For me it is easier to hit the 3 blow (especially when I'm almost out of breath). Is there a valid reason for using a 2d? I don't want to rely on 3b if in the future it will be a stumbling block in more advanced music.

Thanks!



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Comments (6)

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Jun 25, 2010 11:04 PM GMT
John P Replied:

Some well respected players preach that using the Draw 2 is better becuse it always produces superior tone. I don't necessarily agree. Now, many blues players do tend to have better tone on draw notes than on blow notes, but if one has developed good tone on the blow notes I see no reason not to use Blow 3 if it makes the breath pattern for what you're playing easier to play. This is not the conventional wisdom, though.

Some blues lines are easier to move through using Draw 2, because Draw 2 can be bent down to the Flat 7th or from the flat 7th up to root if you hit the bend and release it upwards, both of which are essential to blues phrasing in some tunes. But that's only important for certain material.

I freely use Blow 3 when it's easier to do than hitting Draw 2 and i don't feel guilt ridden about it when i do. But I have pretty well developed tone on Blow notes. As far as "advanced music" goes, the more advanced the music, very often the melody lines are more difficult and if using Blow 3 makes them easier to play accurately, there's absolutely nothing wrong w/doing that. BUT, you've got to develop good, strong tone on the Blow notes to do it and have it sound right.



Jun 26, 2010 3:23 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

I use the 3B for breath - often going back and forth between. I used to use it more, because I wasting too much breath and needed more exhale time. There's nothing wrong with using it but you can't bend it or get much vibrato with it - so the 2 draw is more flexible.



Jun 27, 2010 2:08 AM GMT
walterharp Replied:

you can get vibrato with it, but can't warble the tone like a note that bends, but throat vibrato, diaphram vibrato, mouth vibrato and hand flutters all work just fine

i like it because it sounds somewhat different from the 2 draw and with rhythmic repeats it sounds good somtimes (e.g. the la grange lick.. or John Lee Hooker boogie)



Jun 28, 2010 8:01 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Great question BTW. I tend to use the 3Blow more often in First Position and the 2 Draw in 2nd Pos. The tones are different but that is a good thing. Watch out for always playing the 2 Draw slightly bent and therefore flat.



Jun 29, 2010 4:24 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

Walter - I was using the term "vibrato" technically. Vibrato means a rapid change in pitch - you can only get that on the 2D.What you describe are all tremelo effects - a rapid change in amplitude (volume.) But so many players call the latter "vibrato" that your post is actually clarifying to the original question and my answer.



Jun 30, 2010 3:40 PM GMT
walterharp Replied:

of course, greg, you are correct, but most times they are all lumped together.... heck, even commercial amp manufacturers don't use the term consistently.

Jason Ricci claims he can change pitch of any note so, probably a true vibrato with small degrees of pitch modulation is even possible on the 3b




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