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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > Articulation When To Use And When Not
Articulation When To Use And When Not
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13 posts
Nov 05, 2019
11:29 PM
I take it comes down to individual playing style when to articulate some notes and when not to.

As an example this little riff I got from David Barrett:

4//   4/   5/   4/   4//   3/

Would you articulate very note or only on four draw and four draw bend. I take it would depend of the speed of playing?

As a newbie I'd be interested to see how you would approach this riff.

Also when watching one of Adams videos (5 beginner riffs) yesterday where he doesn't articulate every note.

I take it comes to ease of playing certain riffs or the sound you trying to achieve, when and when not to articulate certain notes.
6257 posts
Nov 07, 2019
1:24 AM
I have questions;
Do I understand the tab? Is it 4 bend, 4 draw 5 draw 4 draw 4 bend 3 draw?

What is the intended speed? Is there any timing or rhythm given or is it just played as you like?

Personally I tried it as I’ve written and at different speed with accent in different ways.

By articulations do you mean sounding the note separately and distinctly from the one before?

I think I played a slight articulation of that type in the final note. I thought slurring the bends was the way to go and I played it fairly quickly. Played more slowly I think I wanted to insert the blow 4 instead of the bend but I also found myself wanting to bend the 3

I mean, you can articulate every note I suppose but I didn’t find that especially appealing. It would depend on the music though and how you were using the lick

I tried letting up off the first bend as a tongue lift and slapping the 5 draw. It just wasn’t turning me on a lot. I preferred the legato approach (hey it’s my word of the week so I’m overusing it in the hope I’ll use it appropriately at some point 8^\ )
6258 posts
Nov 07, 2019
1:25 AM
Oh, but yes I think you’re views are correct. It depends
14 posts
Nov 07, 2019
4:22 AM
4// double strokes are bends. hard to write tabs as people and books etc use different tab notation, sorry about that.

The notation is bend up to four draw over to 5 draw then back to draw and bend the 4 draw.

What I'm interested in and this maybe different for each individual player is the 5 and 4 draw would you articulate (ta ta) those notes or back and fore and just articulate the 4draw bend and then the 3 draw.

Here is the riff from his video:

from 16.45 to 18.20 on the time line.

I suppose it all depends on what type sound you want to achieve and the seed of the riff is played and of course the individuals ability.

in this video where Adam states that moving from hole to hole you don't have articulate each note.


it's not confusing or anything like that, just a matter of judgement and what sound you want to achieve and ease of playing etc.

But I'd still like to hear a few other opinions on the subject.

Last Edited by Dai on Nov 07, 2019 4:40 AM
301 posts
Nov 10, 2019
4:41 AM
For some reason those links don't work for me.
I'm a big believer in learning several ways to play a riff. Most all my playing would be to to articulate the notes. Esp if that means hitting each note nice clean.
So whether I'm tongue blocking or not I try to keep things nice and fluid.
The example of articulating a notes using ta ta ta method is not something I do very often but once in awhile.

Thing I like about learning particular riff is at least you know it's a series of notes that sound good together. So you can play them forward or back ward or or invert them or mess with various timing and phrasing etc.

I think in the early days I would learn a riff and then try to fit the riff into various songs in it's entirety. Took a while to learn that a few notes or maybe just a portion of the riff might fit whatever I was doing at the time.
Mostly with the articulating I try to make sure it doesn't sound to choppy...same as other styles I try for nice and fluid.
15 posts
Nov 10, 2019
12:22 PM
Ye I'm trying to experiment by doing every note then not doing every note depending on what I can get away with.

It all depends on skill level and ability and difficulty of the riff.

Doing Sonny boy 3d 4b 4d/ as soon as it starts getting to fast I loose it but, got to keep practicing.

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