15 most often mistakes when playing the jaw harp. (Part 2)
8. Unconscious movements of the tongue
Player makes a hit and then series of tongue movements, as if a reflex is triggered. The movements are unconscious and strongly smear the sound. Many jaw harp players try to play like that. Gradually the habit is consolidated, narrowing all the possibilities of the jew's harp to the simplest combination "hit-tongue".
Try not to move your tongue randomly, try fixing all the many positions in the mouth with your attention. Memorize each sound associated with a specific tongue position. And when you play, combine different positions, building melodies using them. This way you will discover a whole universe of possibilities of the jew's harp.
9. Slurred throat articulation
After making a hit to the tongue, player makes completely unimaginable movements of the throat, which are sometimes extremely tense. I don’t know what is behind this maybe it is the desire to imitate the “Chukchi”. Usually you will only accumulate tension in the articulatory muscles, which will noticeably deplete your sound.
The main task of the throat during playing a jaw harp is to articulate the vowel sounds, changing the pitch of their sound. Then you can use the throat as a special switch that directs the movement of the sound wave inside the body. With its help, the timbre will be noticeably enriched, as well as the set of sensations from the jew's harp.
10. Excessive breathing
Some people breathe as if the stomach is coming out of their ears. Of course, like any other act of violence against oneself, this will not be beneficial. The sound will be loud and harsh, and the spectrum will be noticeably reduced. The player's state will change, but in much the same way as from a blow to the head with a club: it stuns, but does not inspire.
Smooth, deep and powerful - this is how breathing should be. It is very important to align it with the movement of jaw harp’s tongue. You need to breathe so that you feel pleasant and comfortable, while the sound spreads throughout the body, increasing the volume of resonance.
11. Lack of breathing
Almost complete lack of breathing during the game. Such a habit is often found among many jaw harp-players who are at a dead end. Their techniques are based mainly on articulation and hitting, and breathing is nothing more than a background. Or it's so quiet and humble that it doesn't affect the sound in a noticeable way. In this case, the jew's harp player practically deprives himself of a huge part of jaw harp capabilities.
Most of the emotional dynamics is regulated by breathing. Its strengthening or weakening, the conscious use of the modes of inhalation and exhalation, create an arsenal unimaginable in its capabilities, which will always open up new facets of the instrument's sound for you.
12. Overtones disorder
Quick jumps from one frequency to another, or a completely random alternation of frequencies using articulation. This approach plunges the player into the abyss of chaos. It is extremely difficult to get out of this abyss, since the enthusiasm from the jew's harp is gradually fading away.
Try to play as if you are singing a song. The melody should flow smoothly and harmoniously. Dock one sound to the next carefully. Stick to a certain order and measure. And then the beauty of your sound will grow day by day.
13. Vanity and haste
Obviously, there is absolutely no need to talk about the quality of sound and mind state here. They just have nowhere to come from. Instead of meditation, the player only plunges himself even more into the vanity of consciousness. And the possibilities of the jew's harp remain unfulfilled.
You need to play calmly with a little laziness. So, you give the opportunity to your nervous system to come to the right state, and plunge into the depths of the creative process. Your motor skills will become more precise, your movements will be flexible, and your sound will be graceful. You will bathe in soft and pleasant waves of sound, and the vibrating universe will gently welcome you into its arms.
14. Binding the technique to the hit.
Every articulatory and breathing action is tied to the hit. A very, very common mistake. You do not allow your attention to divide the levels of sound production. This means learning how to manage them separately. As a result, the idea of playing is simplified, and many possibilities for making the playing more complicated remain unclaimed.
Learn to mismatch hitting the tongue with articulation and breathing. Try to build each line of sound separately, gradually superimposing one on top of the other. This way you can not only replace an entire orchestra, but also train your brain a lot. The ability to combine several body processes into one, and adding a creative process, causes extremely powerful flowing states that you will want to repeat.
15. Perception of sound with ears only.
We are used to the fact that music sounds come from outside. This truth is deeply engraved in our minds, and accordingly organizes not only the process of listening, but also playing. As a result, what happens inside the body almost completely escapes perception. But the most interesting things happen inside our body, inside our minds and the whole history with a jaw harp is all about those inner feelings.
Perceive sound as solid and tangible. Fortunately, the jew's harp gives you such an opportunity. Observe how and with what actions the movement of the sound wave changes, how your body resonates. So you will not only receive much more feedback from the jew's harp and sound better , but also generally change the idea of the nature of the reality around you.
Study each of the above mistakes carefully. If you find them in your practice, do not try to eradicate everything at once. Act gradually and purposefully, eradicating them one by one.
When you get rid of all 15 mistakes, you will begin to perceive the sound of the jew's harp on a fundamentally different level. It will literally become your flesh. And each session with the instrument will be not just a cool strumming on a small piece of iron, but a real journey into the inner space.
Play the jew's harp and be happy!