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André D
Feb 18, 2009 10:38 PM GMT

Any U-blocker here ? Have been told that is rare i thought it was quite common... I use that technic as far as i remember.

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Comments (13)

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Feb 19, 2009 9:41 AM GMT
FatJim Replied:

Yeah, I mostly U-block. According to the biography "Blues with a feeling" Little Walter used this embouchure from time to time too so we're in good company!

Feb 19, 2009 3:41 PM GMT
André D Replied:

Thank's for the tip i will listen to Little Walter more carfully !!!

Feb 19, 2009 4:30 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

I would add a strong recommendation to read "Blues with a feeling" at the same time.

TOTALLY different experience listening to Walter when you have the background details

at your finger tips.


Feb 20, 2009 7:51 AM GMT
Zhin Replied:

I can U-block but I prefer playing with the pucker embouchure. I've always been able to make my tongue do funny things... Oh, a few months back my wife wanted to try a little bit of harp for herself. After 2 frustrating days she gave up but concluded that she has to U-block to get single notes... that and she thinks it's a gross instrument with too much spit buildup. haha Bluemoose, what does Little Walter play when he U-Blocks? This is very fascinating to me. I'm planning to order the book but could you fill my curiosity in for now? :)

Feb 20, 2009 8:44 AM GMT
FatJim Replied:

As I recall, the book didn't go into that much detail about 'when' and 'what for'. It didn't even call it U-blocking, just said that sometimes he rolled his tongue to play notes. I'll try and skim through and post the exact quote later (I'm at work at the moment!)

Norton Buffalo is another u-blocker too.

Feb 21, 2009 6:41 PM GMT
Robin H Replied:

I have never been physically able to roll my tongue. It makes me wonder how much our playing is influenced by the physiology of our mouths. Maybe some pucker or tongue block or whatever more due to genetics.

Feb 22, 2009 2:01 AM GMT
Oldwailer Replied:

I thought for the longest time that the U-block was just a bastardized thing that I had invented just because it was easier sometimes--it just started happening in my playing, but I had never heard or read of it before. Now I see the term every now and then.

Sometimes it is a convenient way to tounge slap a rhthym with a note on both sides of the primary note--instead of the Kissing Fish Pucker technique--especially if I'm on the way to an octave split.

I wouldn't say I use it that much--it just kind of happens sometimes during rabid slapping sessions. . . ;)

Feb 22, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
André D Replied:

Well sometimes music it's not about how, but now, right on the spot we discover technics and stuff that we use once in a while and withyears it becomes more common in our playing it's like learning a new languageand word's that we know growing after years. Anyways tank's for answering all of you.

Feb 23, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
dennis m Replied:

That's pretty much all I have ever done!

Feb 25, 2009 5:13 AM GMT
Bulldog B Replied:

I have played blues since the 1960's by using the pucker method - I didn't know there was another way to do it until recently. A couple years back I decided to take up playing straight harp - 1st position - and (I thought) learned to tongue block. After doing it for over a year I discovered by accident that I wasn't tongue blocking at all, I was U-blocking. Weird - I've since tried to do tongue blocking correctly, but discovered that I can't do it. For some reason, U-blocking just comes naturally to me.

Feb 25, 2009 1:21 PM GMT
bdr Replied:

when I got my frst harp I had to u-block to get clear single notes, then I got a LO and noticed that the holes were slightly larger and then I was able to pucker to speak. since thenI have been using DFs mostly and one LO.



Feb 25, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
André D Replied:

Well as i see U-block seem's not to be so popular be abble toroll the tongue seem's to be somewhat genetic some's feel it as a natural way to do other's are even not abble to do that. Well at the end i think what's important is to be abble to play what we want. U-block as advantages and pucker as some too.

Feb 26, 2009 3:29 AM GMT
Guy D Replied:

I think Norton Buffallo uses this method.

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