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Here are some Question and Answer about Blues Harp


What is " cross harp "?

Originally a blues style, but used today for many kinds of music, cross harp is a system in which a diatonic harmonica is played in a key seven half steps up from the key in which the harmonica is tuned, e.g. a C harp played in the key of G. This produces a blues scale with a flatted seventh and has the advantage that the most important notes can be bent in the low end, producing a fluid quality and great expressiveness.

Should I soak my harp?

No, soaking can damage most parts, especially reeds, valves, wood bodies, cover plates, and voids the warranty. I do recommend denture cleaning with Q-tip I do soak my reed plates and plastic combs it will cut the life down so thats why I say dont soak only as last resort!

How do I fix my Harp or tune it?

If you want to do your own harmonica maintenance, I highly recommend the Lee Oskar tool kit, which comes with an excellent maintenance manual. It will work with any harmonica.

Will it help to listen to other Harp players or get books on how play?

I've never used harmonica courses myself, but I've been playing a great many years, some of them professionally. I listen to a wide variety of music, and when I hear something I really like (regardless of instrument - or voice for that matter), I incorporate it into my harp playing. Little Walter Jacobs did this, too. A lot of his style and licks come directly from horn players of his time. If you're already accomplished, this method will probably work better than any

Can I learn to breath to play better Harp?

Most people don't breathe well, and use only a portion of their lung capacity, taking rather shallow breaths and never exhaling fully. This might not seem to help but even if it doesn't, proper breathing will help your playing. You will want to breathe deeply when playing, taking full breaths, and exhaling completely. In fact, you will want to do deep breathing exercises to improve your playing, breathing deeply in, then forcing a little more air in; breathing out as fully as possible, then forcing yet more air out. Start lightly, but increase over a few weeks. Even a few minutes per day will help a lot.

Will listening to the old Blues players Help?

Get yourself a stack of old blues albums or CD what ever you can find practice, jimmy reed plays real slow blues so he is easyer to folow untill you start to learn a few things on your own. than get some little walter and muddy waters.i refer these bluesmen only because it worked for me.

What are wind savers or Valves?

Valves, AKA windsavers, are little plastic flaps installed on the reed plates opposite the reeds. When you play the other reed, it seals the unused reed, thereby saving wind (ergo "windsaver"), and eliminating the action of the valved reed on the other reed (ergo "valve").

What is bending notes?

Normal bending uses the lower reed in a hole to pull the pitch of the higher reed downward. Resonant bending works on single reeds (the valve eliminates the other reed), and uses the resonance of the player as the "other reed". Because this pitch is determined by the player, and continuously adjustable by the player, much deeper bends are possible, as well as much better control over bends, tone, and timbre.

Resonant bending is done more in the throat, especially on lower notes. Nonresonant bending is done mostly in the mouth with the tongue.

What is gapping your Harp?

We talk about gapping when we adjust the distance (gap) between the top end of the reed and the plate, believe it or not it has a great impact on how the harp will behave. I check the gaps on every new harp I get. The gap needed will vary between players, if you play hard you'll need a bigger gaps, otherwise the reeds will choke... if the gap is too large it will leak a lot and you would need more air to make it sound. I've also noted that the gaps has a lot to do with the bends controlability, for me I adjust both gaps, blow and draw, otherwise I wouldn't be able to control my bends smoothly, remember that the bends are an interaction between both reeds. If you want to try overblows is another story, now you have to learn to play softly because you need very small gaps on some reeds and if you're used to play hard you'll find very difficult to play an overblow adjusted harp. The idea when you overblow is to actually choke the blow reed (draw reed if it's an overdraw)... and control the flow, tongue and mouth volume (do not blow hard) to make the draw reed sound. I've found that the Lee Oskars come very well adjusted out of the box, but as there are so many playing styles you'll have to check by your own style and how you play.