Tongue Block or Lip Purse etc.

What's interesting about all this, is that when I was younger and most times for years I would play with the lip blocking techniques from the old hohner booklets and such.

Then recently, when I decided to pick up the harmonica up again, a lot of other peeps talked about lip pursing and such. So I learned how to do it in a short period of time.

I’m a little confused mostly I play blocking the notes on either side with my bottom lip :-\

What exactly is lip pursing I thought that it was blocking the holes with your bottom lip.

Got to get it clear.

Harp on!!

What exactly is lip pursing? I thought that it was blocking the holes with your bottom lip.

Well that’s a very good question, Joe.

Especially since this is your own topic.

Meaning, the term ‘tongue blocking’ is almost certainly understood. Just takes placing your tongue across the holes you want to block out, in order to play the other ones clearly.

On the other hand, “lip pursing” may be a little bit more confusing as you point out.

However, in going to Dave Gage’s membership lessons, he points out that “lip pursing” “whistling” “puckering” lip blocking techniques - even something he calls: The Vertical Slot mouth method - Are all interchangeable terms!

So since I was familiar with tongue blocking already, it wasn’t until I got JPs lessons and his Deep Relaxed Embouchure as well as from others I learned more about lip puckering, lip pursing, lip blocking techniques.

That was all mentioned about in this post:

http://www.harmonica.com/forums/test/deep-relaxed-embouchure-extra!/

Then this guy gives his short vid demonstartion on the technique:

How to Play the Harmonica : Single Note Pucker on Harmonica

Bottom line is: I believe we’re just talking semantics here. As in: Whether you come from a place that calls it a water closet, outhouse, john, head or even loo! – Eventually you’re going to end up in one taking a dump, dropping a load, having a big healthy crap.

It’s all good! (Just wash your hands afterwards! hehehehe!)

Hope this helps to clear up and end any confusion of terms here.

Smiles!

Keep On Harpin’!

Peace & SPD Out!

Okay Joe!

I finally figured out where I was in err! :o

Here’s my original line:

What's interesting about all this, is that when I was younger and most times for years I would play with the [b][u][i]lip[/i][/u][/b] blocking techniques from the old hohner booklets and such.

I put in the word “lip” when I should’ve used the word “tongue”! :stuck_out_tongue:

I corrected it now to:

What's interesting about all this, is that when I was younger and most times for years I would play with the [i][u][b]tongue[/b][/u][/i] blocking techniques from the old hohner booklets and such.

I’m extremely appreciative for you, Dave T and others who keenly point out these rare and small, albeit very important, differences to me. Makes us all better readers/writers all the way around! :slight_smile:

Thanks!

Peace & SPD Out!

Yup I made that same mistake it’s an easy one to make. :wink:

Harp On!!

Hey Joe,

That was a “fox chase” style rhythm I played on the recording. Speaking of fox chase rhythms and tongue blocking, listen to this guy (Tom):

Pre War Harp Medley

Isn’t he amazing? He plays tongue block exclusively. He inspired me to learn tongue-blocked bends. :slight_smile:

  • Ashish

Hi guys, I’m from Italy, so… forgive me for my poor English and my mistakes ;D

Well, I’ve been playing harmonica for over ten years. When I started I played lip pursuing only.

Now I can say my playing is about fifty-fifty. I can (but it’s not a rule) use Tongue blocking “in the middle” of the harmonica if I have to bend notes, but I can use it on the whole harmonica if I play “standard notes”. I cannot really effectively bend the 1st and 2nd hole and the 8th and 9th too (I have a weak, poor sound), so in this case I switch to lip pursue.

On the other side I can be judged a heavy tongue blocker because I play a lot of octaves, but also rhythm under the melody, opening and blocking the holes on the left and playing the melody on the one on the right, and slapping too. I love old time harmonica players (DeFord Bailey, Jaybird Coleman, Freeman Stowers, Peg Leg Sam and in general all the solo harp blowers of the 20s and 30s) and many numbers of solo harp must be played using a lot of tongue blocking ad chords.
But I play a lot of Chicago style too: I mean Sonny Boy (1st an 2nd who is my hero!), Little Walter, Walter Horton, Junior Wells and many, many others. I cannot say if that guys played 100% tongue blocking, like somebody says, but I believe that most of the times they used a mixed style. Charlie Musselwhite himself says he uses a mixed embouchure, depending on the riff or the number he’s playing. I also think Rice Miller uses a lot of lip pursue: if you look at some picture you can see he has his lips “heart-shaped”, typical of the lip pursue.

I think you can have a good tone both lip pursuing and tongue blocking, but tongue blocking is a must because without it you cannot play octaves, rhythm, slapping and other different effects. But if we talk about single notes, it depends on what you feel at the moment… I like use tongue blocking on single notes, but not always. On single notes tongue blocking can give you a better tone on attacks and when notes are played smoothly and connected on slow or not fast numbers. In the traditional blues you can hardly find fast and thousands note a minute. In very fast and not strictly bluesy tunes a lot of virtuosos play lip pursuing. Tongue blocking in “fast situations” is not effective because you don’t have the time to give the note the deep sound typical of tongue blocking.

Well, this is my modest opinion: “you have to play the way you feel”! :wink:

Keep on blowing, and happy new year!

Bert

Hey if any of you guys cross paths with SPD, kick him in the ass, if music comes out we’ll know who anonymous source is.

Barry

Sometimes I just pass on the news; I don’t make it! ::slight_smile:

We Report! You Decide! :wink: