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TC SlimApr 01, 2009 8:27 AM GMT
I just wanted to comment and ask any advice on the 5 draw on a G being often weaker and having less bendability. I wondered if anyone could comment on why and if there are any tricks, adjustments that you can do to make it as playable and loose as other 5 draws eg Bb, C, 5 draw.
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There is no reason for the 5 draw to be any weaker in volume or tone than any other hole other than technique. However the 5 draw can only be bent 1/4 tone with regular bending techniques. The amount a hole can be bent is a function of the pitch of the OTHER reed in that hole. In the 5 hole the blow note is only 1/2 step lower than the draw bnote, so you can only bend 1/4 tone. By contrast, on the 2 hole, the blow note is 4 1/2 tones below the draw note - so you can bend tat hole down 1/2 step, a whole step, or even 1 1/2 steps.
Greg is absoluitely correct here and too many players often need to learn where ALL of the availalbe notes are, both unbent, as well as bent, partially to know where they are on the instrument 24/7, but also what is available and what is not. If you keep trying to bend below the floor of the bend, which is the furthest down it can actually go, (and this is what you've been trying to do here) you're gonna be blowing out harps at a very rapid rate, even more so if you play as too many players often do, and that's with too much breath force all the time.
But he did say the five draw was not weak on the other harps, but Greg is right, you can't bend it. Can you give us some more info?
i just feel that the 5 draw on a G harp is a bit tighter than say a C or Bb. I have been playing for 16 years and do have what i would call good technique and am able to bend notes easily, including starting to overblow tongueblocked. 5 drw on a G doesnt seem to slide into the bend so easily.
perhaps it is my harps and the way they are set up?? I am only referring to the 5 draw on a G. Maybe it is just me and my harps.
TC, you also need to bear in mind that once you get away from C, you do need to make subtle adjustments to your playing because the further you get away from C (as long as it starts from middle C, as most stock harps do), the more slight, sublte adjustments can be necessary thing to do and that may mean anything from slightly adjusting embouchure, breath level, etc., and so it's kinda like each key has its own quirks to deal with and how one approaches a G is defintely gonna be different than approaching the standard F, etc., and so a "one size fits all approach" to everything can often be quite problematic and a bit of woodshedding is gonna be needed here, regardles of the manufacturer of the harmonica. Bottom line here is not the harmonica, but in your own playing technique more than anything else and if you begin to play a low C for an example, you'll have the same problem, maybe even more magnified, and here's where adjusting your technique clearly applies.
And C has its quirks, too, but when you start, you don't notice them cause it's the devil you know.