In some publications it is stated that an overblow is played in much the same way as a blow bend. "What kind of blow bend?" would be the first thing I would like to ask. Is that a tongue blocked blow bend or a puckered blow bend? If it is a puckered blow bend then is it a tongue tip bend or a H-spot bend?
A number of publications describe a technique which uses the tip of the tongue to force the overblow to sound. This, in my opinion, is a very bad way to learn to overblow. It requires a lot of tension in a number of muscles that are not used in playing other notes like normal draw and blow notes or bend notes (unless of course you use the tip of the tongue to play bend notes, which I would also advise against). This tension will make smooth transitions from one note to the next nearly impossible.
The tip of the tongue and the muscles in the lips and cheeks are not very stable muscles, especially at the force needed. The tip of the tongue will tire quickly and the control needed to play a longer note at the right pitch will be lost.
The method I advocate is one where the overblows (and the draw and blow bends) are played using the H spot. The H spot is the part of the tongue which stops the airflow in pronouncing a rapid series of "hey" sounds.
I know this is a very inaccurate description, but the point is that the action takes place far back on the tongue at the start of the throat and not at the tip of the tongue.
awesome.. I've spent the last couple of weeks, on and off, trying to figure out how to overblow on my harps with no success. And just now, after reading your description of the H spot, I tried it, and within a couple quick attempts, picked it up. Amazing how simple it is. Thanks!
Why not get in contact with someone that sells custom harmonicas? They can probably tell you what key harps are common for blues playing.
see this page http://www.overblow.com/?menuid=139 for a few names.
he says he can do them easily on Aflat or Bflat but he never uses those keys. He's mostly a blues player. I'm looking for something he'll be able to use. Any suggestions?
Here it is:
I have shooted a video which really focuses on the H-spot which by the way got me overblowing... and I was wondering what you think about this method of teaching how to overblow... I did succeeded to teach a guy to overblow in 5 minutes, so I am suspecting it might help others...
Firstly thanks. That was just what i needed. I was just starting to think that there was something wrong with my harp and considering a new harp.(btw is it true that golden melody has considerably easier to overblow?) but i got it now.
Secondly, i am a music illiterate. I've been playing for about 5 months and i still don't know a thing about musical terms,( like scales, octaves etc) i just play. so is there a source you know that i can start from the very beginning?
I had a question regarding the 1 overblow which I manage to play rather smoothly but with the help of a kind of a shaaaa sound from the back of my tongue... Is that good?
Knowing the intervals isn't enough. On some instruments that works but on the harmonica you have to learn the pattern for each scale.
The important scales are in this order:
Natural Minor (which is the 6th mode of major)
Myxolidian (5th mode of major)
Dorian Minor (2nd mode of major)
If you start with those you will figure the rest out by yourself.
Overall:Can you give me some tips to being a All key player on one diatonic harp
Firts I only play richter harps, never play any special tunings. Second I only play C harp never any other keys. So the questions about different tunings are difficult to answer. I could tell you to only play a Richter tuned C harp but what works for me might not work for you. You'll have to ask someone who plays different tunings.
If you want your bent notes to sound better you have to spend a lot of time working on your resonance, that is the most important part of good tone.
Why not an all bending harp? Overblows are easy to play, much easier then the half step bends in hole 2 and 3 for example. Creating a all bending harp would make intonation very very difficult. If you are playing a half step bend in a hole that can bend a whole step or more you have 2 reeds that are producing sound and therefore 2 reeds that you need to pitch. On an overblow there is only 1 reed producing sound so only one reed you have pitch.
The extra bent note is probably useful in jazz and blues.
Pros: it is easier to play the minor third.
cons: the intonation is still difficult, the 2nd becomes more difficult to play.
Does the fact that overblows and overbands are played using the H spot mean that it is posible to play them using tongue blocking technique? What technique do you use?
Sorry for sily question, but I'm just a novice. And sorry for my poor English.
P.S. And thanks for this site, it has brought me a new standpoint to diatonic harmonica and inspired. :)
I have a description for the H-spot that might help some people. I imagine a soft piece of gum that you flatten to the roof of your mouth using the back 1/2 of your tongue while the front 1/2 of the tongue rests on the bottom of your mouth near the middle.
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