Question about producing 1 note

Hey guys, i’ve been playing for 3 months now and i’ve learned to play through the u block (the tongue technique in which you block the 2 holes from the sides of the 1 you want creating a tube of air).

i’ve heard somewhere this technique is not recommended which is disappointing me because i have already got used to it.

am i doing wrong or should i get use to another technique?

Shalom, Matan!

Here’s my feelings on the thing about that:

Many moons ago in the early days of harmonica, there was very little instructional materials available on it.

So those who did put out books and tapes on how to play were put out by those on how “they” played! It was only by consensus that many of them talked about using a ‘pucker-style lip’ block to sound the notes. Yet there were a few others who did use a ‘tongue-style’ block - either side of the tongue or U-shaped tongue - to sound the notes. Neither side though actually agreed.

However, along comes the Internet, and with the big bang of the vast & mighty Harmonica Universe at one’s fingertips – With people who demonstrated that there is a third way to play notes, we now have factual documented proof and total agreement. Meaning: Do whatever works for you at the time you’re doing it!

I use various methods because over TIME they just came to me as I worked and learned along with them.

And we have had many discussions on the subject as well. Here’s just one thread on it:

Bottom line is: Don’t get your shorts, or better yet your lips all bunged up over-thinking am I doing this right or not! Especially when it comes to just playing and having fun!

Hope this helps!


Keep On Harpin’!

I started with my tongue rolled into a u in the beginning also. That is fine, use it and play, but you will also want to learn the “LIP BLOCK” using the lower lip also. When you start to learn to bend notes you can’t use the rolled tongue as it will be busy doing other things. It is also hard to enunciate the notes with TA-TA or ticka-toodle or tripleits with your tongue rolled up and placed against the harp. While rolling the tongue is an advantage to play quickly in the beginning, don’t limit yourself to just one technique, learn also the Lip Block and the OTHER Tongue Block also.

Thank you for reply :slight_smile:
the reason i consider changing my technique is because i cant bend notes when U blocking and i have yet to find a guide explaining how to bend that way (the vast majority of bendings methods involving movements of tongue inside your mouth so it needs to be free which with the u block is not possible).
Have you found any information that could be of any help?

Well then JP Allen’s best-selling world most favorite home harmonica course DVD set is right up your alley!

So get back to us on this only AFTER you go through his lessons on the various things you’ve just raised!

Not to spoil your own surprises, however #7 of 9 will be the only hint-hint I will give you!

Good luck!


Keep On Harpin’!

It will be covered in your DVD Bundle. It’s called the Deep Relaxed Embrochure. There are several threads here on the forum covering it. Look for posts on Bending and Deep Relaxed Embrochure.

Waiting for the dvds then :slight_smile:

anyway, do you know any way bending notes with the u block method? (is that even possible?)

I can’t do it with the U block. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done,just I can’t do it.
Directions on bending are in the other posts I mentioned here on this forum.

once you learn how to bend proficiently enough, if you care to you can do it through your nose ala sbwii…albeit i wouldn’t recommend it for beginners to learn that method! hehehe!

i just u-blocked a few bends while posting this, and i prefer not to use it…too cumbersome…

you’ll get there no worse for the wear…no worries!

keep on harpin’!