Harp corner

 

This page is dedicated to harp players.

Information, links, tips, ... few ideas about our amazing instrument.

Harmonicas
Tuning

Jerome plays Brodur & Brodur-SebCharlier harps.

The two harps he always have in his pocket are a Brodur-SebCharlier in cocobolo (comb) and tagua nut (covers), and a Brodur made of ebony. The white & the black.

 

Brodur harps are unique, and offer exceptionnal comfort. The SebCharlier signature delivers optimized reeds setting like no other, and manuel adjustment of tuning, for a perfect control of sound & fluidity.

Simply indispensable.

Jerome plays on Lydian tuning (also called Country tuning), a way to ease the use of all tones on a single harp.

The only difference with a Richter tuning : the 5 draw delivers a F# instead of a F.

Main interest is to get a balance on the medium octave, since all draw notes are then 1 tone above the blow notes.

The tuning may not be that predeterminent, and many players have shown their skills on a Richter, still some licks would be really difficult to be played without this 5 draw little adjustement.

Brodur-SebCharlier

comb: cocobolo wood

covers: ebony

 

a powerful & rich sound

Brodur

comb & covers : ebony

 

a perfect homogeneity

The key

Most of the time, Jerome plays with a harmonica in the key of C. He finds it more convenient that way.He can more easily leave his ear guide the improvisation, and it's usually more efficient to communicate with other musicians.

Nonetheless, he often advices his students to work only 3 or 4 tones, and use a set of 4 or 5 different harps, to facilitate learning, and make it as effective as possible, yet playing on the two strenghts of the diatonic harmonica : an instrument that has become chromatic, but on which one can still change tone easily.

Everyday work

Vary the exercises as much as possible. Don't wait to be in total control of an exercise to begin another one, and come back regularly to previous ones.

Think every single minute on your instrument as a long term approach, without wondering what is the exact purpose of each exercise. Have fun working very anecdotal things with great precision, until you play them easily, and be conscience of your progress.

Work regularly. Little or a lot, depending on your possibilities and capacities, but regularly above all. Keep in mind that 10 mn per day are much more efficient than 3 hours every two weeks.

Methods

There are various methods for beginners. I think "Je débute l'harmonica" in vidéo, by Sébastien Charlier, is one of the greatest, but it's only available in french.

For the ones wishing to work out scales in different tones, "Encyclopediae of Scales" by David Herzhaft is indicated, and in english.

You will also find many advices & exercises on the blog www.TheOverblowers.com (Google translation available on the main page).

For the ones who want to practice licks as well as understand the issues of improvisation, the best method ever is "Precious Box", by Sébastien Charlier. But there again, it is in french.

For the ones who can read music, you can also look at the methods for other instruments, for example : Jerry Bergonzi books, Eric Boell trilogy, Hip Licks by Greg Fishman, etc.

TheOverblowers.com
Workshops

You will find many lessons, masterclasses & training sessions for harp players. There is no official school, with standardized learning methods. Like everything concerning music, prefer methods which open doors to the ones bringing too restrictive answers.

Prefer hearing all you can do, rather than all you can't. Especially since everything, absolutely everything, is possible on this tiny mouth organ.

Jerome proposes worshops and masterclasses, either for players who can bend, or for players who can bend & overblow, even if they don't really know how to use all these notes in their playing.

He organizes the famous Diato-Jazz workshops together with Sebastien Charlier (twice a year, on the French Riviera). 

The aim of these courses is to explain the issues of improvisation: melodic, rythmic, technical, and to base the learning experience on simple concepts, to open the ear to new sounds, and therefore phrasing, to which the apprentice is not used.

The main idea is to put him in a situation where he can develop is own language, whatever his level is, enriched by these new sounds.

We never tell him what he should play, but we indicate him how to manage his work, and his playing, to continue to improve by himself when he gets back home, and little by little develop his own music.

Jerome is the admin of the blog: www.TheOverblowers.com

He explains musical theory, as well as instrumental issues, publishes technical exercises, and proposes to listen to harmonicists who have made the choice of an "extended" playing.

You'll find a Google translation on the main menu.

 

Few articles from this blog :

 

- Optimized bending

- Overnotes : myths & reality

- Difference between rate of flow & pressure

- Avoid high frenquencies when playing overblows