Got my 1st Gazell harp the other day. I like it quite a bit. Just getting used to blow bends on the 5 and 6 holes and some of the other notes. Harp plays nicely in general, so it moved right to the top of various Bb harps I have.
About a year ago that I started to notice that he plays a lot of the songs that I like. I like his phrasing and the idea of "flavoring" the notes he plays.
Haven’t played any of his harp but attended a workshop online where he provided some instruction I’d really like to study seriously. I’m impressed with his playing. I’m trying to recall his history. I think he played with some big name country artist but I can’t quite recall. Was it Johnny Paycheck? Anyway, the instruction he gave was very organized and logical and I remember thinking at the time ‘that is doable and I can see where it leads’.
When I was taking lessons from Jimi Lee, he was just getting into blow bending these half valved harps and I know they were Seydel and I think Gazell method. Anyway, I had some Suzuki promasters, gold, half valved, and I found them really hideously difficult to play and the bends, just forget about it, but Jimi Lee was playing these things and telling me why they were different to overblows and why he liked it better for certain melodies, like he was talking about the logistics you know, because you are bending down whereas with overblow technique you’re hitting the reed and it’s jumping higher so for some tunes that’s not so smooth. Anyway I was just witnessing this and mentally shaking my head as my experience with half valved blow bending was like impossible you know. These days though, with a decent harp, maybe I could get into it. Like, I can blow bend the bottom end of a 12 hole chromatic these days and pretty sure I couldn’t do that 7 years ago or whenever it was. I still can’t play those rubbish Suzuki things I bought
It is a bit of a paradox because his is a lip pursing technique and I play most all my stuff tongue blocking on either side (I think that's called corner switching but I'm not sure).
So I'm having good luck with his harp. Mostly I have only one harp set up for overblow but I find when I play with enthusiasm it chokes out on me, so I was interested in something I could kind of wail on from time to time.
I listen a lot to what the clarinets or trumpets are doing on the old tune swing tunes. Esp clarinets are a reed instrument and so are harps so always looking for ideas there.
I like Big Walters version of "Don't Get Around Much Any more" and have been playing it for a couple of years with a reg Bb. So now I'm trying for an old swing tune Jersey Bounce" with the new harp. ..so I best get to practicing now...
Last Edited by Spderyak on Jan 25, 2020 8:35 AM