The 'slant' technique

I’m a self-taught blues harp player from the pre-internet era, so I basically learnt by copying stuff from recordings. Something that got pointed out to me after I had been playing for 3-4 years was that I slant or angle the harp, in particular to play single notes.

I’m not over-familiar with many modern blues harp players, but this Canadian chap called Roly Platt appears to use the same technique as I do: Playing Harmonica on an Angle |Harp playing on a slant|holding harp on a angle|Roly Platt

Like him, this was just something I found myself doing when trying to figure out how to get clean single notes (and for bends also) it wasn’t a conscious method I deliberately chose. I seem to increase the angle of the slant as I play higher notes. For chords and train impressions, the angle is far less slanted (and might even be completely level).

Does anyone else use the slant technique? I would be interested to hear any views on this approach (positive or negative).


Hello @ralphwindso,
Yes, I also use the oblique technique! But not in general, it depends on the model of the harp! With some models, bending tones are better. With others, it’s more of a shame because my lower lip blocks the channel and makes it difficult to play the sound clearly.

Best Regards from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:

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Having a hairy mug, I tried the slant and it ripped my face to bits. No thanks I’ll stick to the traditional way thanks.


I’m a slanter too, I like to draw in long long single notes and slanting helps.


David Barrett talked about this on one of his video lessons.