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Harmonica Lessons: 4th Hole Overblows

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Okay, now we're gonna
do the 4th hole overblow.
So once again, I was sitting
around my college dorm room and
saying well, now I have these two.
What about the fact that I can't play
the minor third of the fourth hole.
Upside down.
I can't play the minor
third of the fourth hole.
if I'm playing in first position
now that I have some of these overblows.
I can play that classic blues lick
except, I can't play the E flat
[SOUND] because it isn't there.
So I thought well, let's try doing
the same idea on the fourth hole.
I started getting a little bit of it.
You can hear it there.
And sometimes,
some of you will experience that.
Where, this is what I was
trying to describe earlier.
Where you hear the pitch of
the C that you're playing and
the pitch of that E flat
trying to come out.
At the time, I didn't understand it.
I said how can I get these two
notes when I'm only blowing on one?
Because I didn't know that the E flat
is really the D trying to bend up.
And the C is the fourth hole blow,
the E flat is the four draw.
So, you have to separate
those out from each other.
Coo, coo.
Slow it down.
And this cling of the mouth
sort of broadens a little bit.
A lot of these positions are kinda
Neanderthal, to tell you the truth.
It's funny with the harmonica.
It's just a little tiny instrument,
it doesn't look like we're doing much.
But we have to get used to these
exaggerated mouth positions.
Now once we've done it for a while,
it's perfectly natural to us, but
if we took the harmonica out
of our mouth and made them,
it'd be like a scary face that
would terrify some little child.
but again, they're exaggerated but
I don't want you to be flopping
all over the place doing this.
and once again adjusting the reeds really,
really helps.
And, as with the other overblows,
this one when you get it under control,
you realize you can bend
it up quite a ways.
So it's an E flat
an E [SOUND], an F [SOUND] an F sharp
all the way up to
all the way up to a G.
It's really wild.
That's crazy, that's crazy.
And part of it is this harmonica that Joe
Filisko set up for me is really wonderful.
But, if I just take a stock harmonica and
mess around with it a little bit, I
can get just about the same thing in terms
of flexibility of overblows out of it.
It might not sound as clear as this one
does but you can experiment with it.
And if you want, what you can do,
if you wanna prove it to yourself,
you can take the harmonica apart, put
your finger on top of the blow note and
the overblows will just pop right out.
Matter of fact, I'm gonna do that later.
So the fourth hole overblow.
Now that I have those three notes,
the six overblow, the five overblow,
and the four overblow, I can play
that blues lick, the standard, the stock
that's in cross harp.
Now I can play it in first
position starting from seven
because I have my flat seventh
my flat fifth
and my flat third.
And you know
what else I have?
I have the complete chromatic
scale in the second octave.
Wow, so
to practice this fourth
hole overblow.
[SOUND] All sorts of things work.
Going back and
forth, or
Four blow, four draw,
four over-blow, four draw.
Just fooling
around here.
And if you wanna do
it from adjacent notes,
that's okay too.
It's a little bit harder to go
from five blow to four overblow.
And, from three blow.
And I suppose you can go from five
draw to four overblow.
from three draw.
The more of these things you do,
the more this note,
this E flat, will become a real
note with every bit as much
substance to it as any of
the other notes on
the harmonica that are blows,
draws, blow bends, or draw bends.
So good luck, but there is one
more thing I want to show you.
After you've gotten these over blows,
which will take awhile for
some of you because it also
depends on your harmonicas.
And you might discover that you have
a harmonica that just shrieks and
it won't allow you to sustain them.
Even if you can get the over blows
on these harmonicas that shriek,
if you try to sustain the over blows,
they won't sustain.
It's just a fact of life.
And there are things you can do.
You can put bee's wax on the rivet pad.
Just a little bit of it
around the rivet pad.
And this stabilizes that
blow reed tremendously.
Or, you can buy this
stuff called Turbo Tape.
You can look it up.
I don't like putting things on the reeds,
but this does work,
it stabilizes the reed.
It's just a little tiny
piece of thin tape.
People have figured out all these things,
people who have put way more time into
figuring out the technical
end of things that I have,
to make harmonicas that
shriek stop shrieking.
[LAUGH] So once you've gotten over that,
then I'd like you to try this exercise.
It's blowing all three of
these overblows together.
Sliding smoothly from one to the other.
So first I'll review what they are.
Six, five and four.
Believe it or not, if you have a good
enough mouth position, you can slide.
if you need to check your intonation,
it's an E flat minor chord on the piano.
It's just three notes.
E flat, G flat, and B flat.
And a lot of people are very
surprised that you can do this,
because they think it's a great
struggle just to get one of these.
My God,
how can I slide from one to the other?
Once you get each of
them individually okay,
this is not as hard as you might think.
So good luck with that, because it's gonna
kind of bring you up to this
third level of the harmonica.
The first level is no bends.
Second level is bends.
And the third level is a level of these
overblows and later overdraws to feel
these notes, to be able to play these
notes as real as you can play a bent note.
As real as you can play an unbent note.
It's like raising your vibrational
level on the harmonica
to these things that seem like they're
abstract and making them concrete.
So, happy hunting and
if any of you really master this
please feel free to send me videos.