Making the sound of a plucked reed while playing? A new technique! (?)

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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Making the sound of a plucked reed while playing? A new technique! (?)

Post by EdvinW » Fri Mar 18, 2022 9:47 pm

I was playing around just now, and found something quite peculiar!

Check this out:

I play a completely normal Seydel Session Steel G (paddy) PowerBender, no magnets or anything. (The only somewhat unusual part of the setup is a curled up sock inside my cupped hands.)

There are at least three non-standard things going on! Some of them might be hard to hear in the recording, but if you listen closely you should be able to discern the following:

1. Drones with shifting overtones
2. Bending overblows (probably the least uncommon of the three)
3. A faint sound, like from a plucked reed or a kalimba, which comes out when I move down from the higher note!

The third one is something I've never heard before, and never saw described anywhere. It's very distinct for me when I play, but a bit less so for a listener. Still audible though! The drones are produced by cupping tight enough that some air gets in "backwards" through the bottom plate, but as for the plucked note I have no idea whatsoever what the harmonica is doing inside :D

Does anyone have some input of what it might be that I'm up to?

I've played around with backwards-air drones before, and I bend overblows all the time, but usually not together. There seems to be something with this combination that triggers the extra sound. For me, while I play, the forward note + the chord + the plucking sounds sort of like controlling three instruments at once :) I would recommend anyone with any grasp of the two "basic" techniques to give it a try! It would be interesting to see if someone could reproduce it :)
Edvin Wedin

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