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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Favorite warbles?
Favorite warbles?
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IaNerd
72 posts
Jan 22, 2020
9:51 AM
Of these: 3-4D, 4-5D, 4-5B,
do you use all of them?
With equal frequency?
Any of these predominantly?
The Iceman
4006 posts
Jan 22, 2020
10:27 AM
yes
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The Iceman
SuperBee
6440 posts
Jan 22, 2020
2:47 PM
4-5D predominantly. I know this because I went through a time of finding other things to play instead of that, but it’s still sometimes the appropriate cliche.

Im not sure I play the others very much as warbles, if I understand what is meant by the term.

I do use the 8-9 draw in 3rd position sometimes.
WinslowYerxa
1663 posts
Jan 28, 2020
11:58 AM
It's interesting that almost no-one uses the Draw 1-2 or 2-3.

Little Walter used a whole chain of descending warbles, alternating draw and blow, starting with Draw 5-6, in Mellow Down Easy. He also alternated Draw 3-4 and Blow 4-5 in the head to Blues with a Feeling, where he also starts his dolo with a Draw 5-6 warble.

4-5 Draw may be the most frequently used overall, perhaps because it's an extension of the way-overused Draw 4 wail, but players such as LW and Charlie Musselwhite have used warbles all over the harp, and why not?
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Last Edited by WinslowYerxa on Jan 28, 2020 12:01 PM
SuperBee
6449 posts
Jan 28, 2020
2:36 PM
I might need a definition of ‘warble’.

How fast does the movement between notes have to be to qualify as a warble, I wonder. And how many notes? Is it sufficient to just play 1 hole twice with a single excursion to the adjacent note? Or does it require at least 2 visits to each note?
WinslowYerxa
1664 posts
Jan 29, 2020
10:10 PM
At least 8 per second (four per beat at a tempo of 120 beats per second), preferably faster. And sustained for at least one beat at that tempo. But that's just a rough guide.
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SuperBee
6453 posts
Jan 29, 2020
11:40 PM
I’d forgotten about blues with a feeling but of course that’s so; most of the solo consists of warbling.
I’m struggling to hear the mellow down easy example. I can hear several instances but not a chain descending. There’s only one potential candidate I can make out, or can’t quite make out, which is in the second solo/outro section, but it all happens rather quickly
WinslowYerxa
1665 posts
Jan 30, 2020
1:16 PM
In the linked Youtube post, you can hear a 5-6 warble at beginning of the V chord at 1:25.

In his second solo (second occurrence after vocals, *not* the second verse of the first solo) that starts at 2:11, he begins with a 4-5 warble, which he repeats at the start of each phrase.

At 2:22, at the start of the V chord, he plays the descending line that starts with a 5-6 warble.

During the fade he plays something that sounds like a warble but is a tongue rake, repeated side to side over Draw 2,3,4 and 5.

It seems I misremembered a long descending chain of warbles.


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WinslowYerxa
1666 posts
Jan 30, 2020
1:16 PM
Here’s another, very different feel generated with a warble, by Rice Miller, at the very start of the song, and again at the start of his solo at 1:41:


----------
Harmonica lessons with one of the world's foremost experts
Check out my blog and other goodies at winslowyerxa.com
Harmonica For Dummies, Second Edition with tons of new stuff
Harmonica Collective Spring Gathering March 19-21
SPAH 2020 convention in Saint Louis, August 11-15
IaNerd
82 posts
Feb 01, 2020
11:45 AM
Thanks, folks, for the kind and informative posts above.
Gary Glazner
4 posts
Feb 02, 2020
1:57 PM
One of my favorite examples of warbles is used by Jerry Portnoy on his song, "Blues for Big Nate." He uses warbles though out the song. Around 1:22 he plays 4-5D, 3-4D 3-4D bent a half step, then releases back to 3-4D. This is similar to the descending use of warbles Winslow describes above.

"Blues for Big Nate," is an artist study song used by David Barrett. Hope you enjoy this!

Last Edited by Gary Glazner on Feb 02, 2020 2:04 PM
Jim Rumbaugh
1344 posts
Feb 04, 2020
10:20 AM
Just because you brought up the subject....

I've been working in some of the high notes lately.

One thing I like is hitting a 9 blow followed by a 8-9 draw warble.

and that's all I have to say about that.

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theharmonicaclub.com (of Huntington, WV)
nowmon
221 posts
Feb 07, 2020
8:19 AM
Warble/ trill,all the same,any instrument attack on two notes,my favorite is to draw and slowly bend the two notes being warbled/trill...
The Iceman
4015 posts
Feb 07, 2020
9:47 AM
IMO, warbles are comparable to trills on the piano (reference Baroque era as a starting point).

Musically, (at least based on my pianistic understanding), they are supposed to create a "shimmer" that focuses on one of those 2 alternating notes as the "root"....in other words, it's not just 2 alternating notes with no reference upon which that "shimmer" is grounded.

The true origin of this technique was to give a sustainability to a harpsichord (pre-dating piano) note on an instrument that produces a very short duration of same.

To take this "mind set" to the harmonica makes sense to me....if one is doing that 4/5 hole inhale warble and the attention is focused on the note created by the 4 hole inhale itself, with the "warble" supporting that single note, the result seems to be more compelling.
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The Iceman
IaNerd
83 posts
Feb 09, 2020
9:54 AM
From a saxophonist's perspective: https://youtu.be/LiG9KQLF79E

His general rule: from the home key UP to the next note of the scale one is in.


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