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Tongue block and puckering

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Todd G
Jan 15, 2009 6:34 PM GMT
I have only been playing a year and started lip pursing,
Lately i've been noticing some sounds that come from tongue blockers that I really like and i will try to explain.
Its kind of like a quick chord into a note sound and makes things sound real dirty.
My question is :
Is this a tongue thing or can a lip purser sound similar and is one style harder than the other?
Sorry for my ignorance
thanks Todd-OKC

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Comments (10)

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Jan 15, 2009 7:12 PM GMT
Civet Cat Replied:

Both are great Todd, I did a couple of videos addressing this very subject here they are:

Jan 15, 2009 7:36 PM GMT
Todd G Replied:

Thats it at the end of the first video. I really like the underlying chord progression sound. But this seems like a big fish to fry when I already have a full pan.Definitely gonna have to revisit this at a later date.
Ps did that big walter shirt make it home from Tulsa

Jan 15, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
Civet Cat Replied:

Hell yeah ! I rocked it a couple of these vids! Thanks it's a gem!

Jan 16, 2009 10:32 PM GMT
Winslow Replied:

Starting a single note with a quick chord is just one of the things you can do with tongue blocking. And you can do something quite similar without tongue blocking.

With tongue blocking, you start with your mouth on three, four, or even five holes, then quickly slap your tongue down to cover all but one hole - usually on the right side of your mouth where the top and bottom lips meet, but it could be on the left as well. This is often called a tongue slap.

With a pucker, you can start with your mouth playing several holes, then quickly pucker up to make the opening smaller and isolate just one hole. The easiest way is to aim for the hole in the middle. This technique doesn't have a standard name. I call it a "zero-in" because you're zeroing in on one hole in the middle of your embouchure.

The main difference in the result is that with a slap, the single note you end up with is the highest note of the chord. With a zero-in you end up with the note in the middle of the chord.

Jan 22, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
Judge Replied:

I use both Todd, can't really say more than that mate. Get tongue blocking and pursing! Wahoo! I purse more for bends because bending low I find challenging when tongue blocking. Make a chord then t/ block the ones on the left, single note bam. Do you play octaves, bounce your tongue off and on, Wahoo. love this harp!x

Jan 22, 2009 9:49 PM GMT
Judge Replied:

Mr Winslow,thank you.
Middle of the chord... Yeah, gonna have a bash.
I always sound on the right...

Jan 22, 2009 11:10 PM GMT
Todd G Replied:

thanks-would you or did you learn one before the other or at the same time

Jan 23, 2009 8:55 AM GMT
Kingley Replied:

I'd say learn both methods then do which you find most comfortable.
Personally I tongue block everything except blow bends.

Jan 23, 2009 10:31 AM GMT
HARPMAN Replied:

I play harmonica by both methods.
Almost tongue blocking method.

Jan 24, 2009 3:28 PM GMT
Shawn R Replied:

I have only been playing for about 4 years, but I started Tongue-Blocking about a year and a half into my playing. I tongue block everything (including blow-bends). I can even play the 4-5-6 overblow tongue-blocked (although I'm not quick enough to incorporate OB's into my playing). For me the biggest advantage is control over my bends--I find it harder to bend tongue-blocked, but easier to control and hold bent notes. I also can play with a more relaxed embrouchure and find my way around the harp better because my tongue provides a constant reference point. Also tongue switching allows less physical movement of the harp, BUT!!! I believe that pucker is the way to get real speed if that's what your after! Definitely learn both!

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