Collected tips & tricks
Scales are always a good thing to practice.
Practicing your scales helps you find your way around your instrument.

Just like childhood melodies a major scale is something you can probably sing in tune, practicing the different major scales will help to improve your intonation.
Listen to yourself when you play the scales, try to be aware of the sounds you produce. This can be difficult when you are just starting out and are still trying to find the right notes.
Don't try to play fast, but try to play the scale well.
Pay atention to the transitions between the notes, the length of each note and the tone.

Chromatic scale

When playing a note short and with power, try to play with a constant position of the tongue and lips.
Make sure the power needed for the short attack is generated from the diaphragm and not from motion in the tongue.
Practice this by first playing a slow controlled note, concentrating on the position of the tongue. Stop the airflow without changing the shape of the mouth and the play the note by producing short bursts of air from the diphragm.
While doing this try to think of projecting your breath trough the harp.

A good way to practice to relax the facial muscles when playing an overblow is practicing a very slow vibrato.
Gently play the overblow and start a slow wide vibrato. While playing the vibrato concentrate on the muscles in your cheeks and lips.
These should be relaxed since they are not needed for playing the overblow nor for producing the vibrato.

Example Eb slow vibrato

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User Contributed Notes
05-07-2014 10:02
I beleive that in Helmholz resonators the resonant frequency is determined partially by the size of the openings on the resonator. Angling the harp changes the effective size of the opening near the lips. That changes the pitch of the resonator.
05-07-2014 09:02
Guy Gee
Guy Peled.

I watched your video. I have to really disagree with what you consider to be "proof". Here's why. You changed the position of the harmonica; but, not the angle of the air. Your airflow is equally constant in all four positions that you played. However, if you put the harmonica in your mouth, keeping the harmonica parallel to the floor and gradually, rotate the harmonica vertically (upwards or downwards) while holding on to both ends of the harmonica (left hand on or near hole 1 and the right hand on or near hole 10),you, then you will be changing the angle of the air.

The mouth, the throat, tongue all contributing to the volumic air flow also affects the speed of the air and it's that air that is angularly changing; not what you demonstrated. You can try the angle I mentioned, while both blowing and drawing air at consecutive angles, while listening to the sound changes because of the varied angles (which are infinite)and the pitches in a glissando will verify my point.

respectfully yours......Guy Gee

04-12-2010 05:18
Guy Peled
When I started overblowing I was sure (and got reassured by resources I read) that the angle the air gets into the harp while overblowing makes the different. I recorded a video proving otherwise and I think that as a beginners to beginner the fact that the angle of the air doesn't matter helps mentally. I used to overblow only when the harp was in a very specific angle and know I now it was only the air flow efficiency which was not so good when I started.

So here it is... Love to hear your thoughts about it...


01-09-2009 23:02
I am unsure what technique you are referring to, but in general better resonance will make any not play easier. As for the high notes; they are easily overpowered. Plat them soft an learn to resonate properly before you use force on them
01-09-2009 21:20
will this technique make the higher notes on my harp play easier?
14-02-2008 13:16
He used an old broken file which he had sharpenned on a grindstone so it would work like a chissel. With that he scraped away the edge of the reed so it became rounded. You should see it I guess. Maybe you can go the the next WHF
14-02-2008 13:08
hallo tinus

i have a question according to rick eppings technique: How - did he rounded the corner, and what tool do i need? Best regards ULI

In a workshop at the World Harmonica Festival Rick Epping showed a technique where all the exposed edges on the reed are rounded off. So not the corners at the tip are rounded, but the corners of the edges along the side of the reed are rounded. Apparently this makes it easier for the reed to swing back trough the plate, thus causing it to react better to the player.

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