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 Post subject: Train Train
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:23 am
Posts: 47
Hey Crew,

I can do "speed riffs" 'till the cows com home BUT--can't figger out what technique is involved with the intro harp parts for "Train Train" done by Blackfoot! Is is done digitally, or can a human actually do the "chugga chugga" effects that fast?
http://www.blackfootrocks.com/home.htm Click on "track two". for train train.

I'm at a total loss here, and all input would be GREATLY apprieciated. My band is trying to get that song down, and I'm the anchor being dragged on the intro part. I've tried SO hard to get that speed riff down, and no luck so far. That guy is either digitally enhanced, or faster than any harp player I've ever heard. Or has 3 lungs.

Thanks Crew,
C. P.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:31 am
Posts: 752
It's impressive and the player certainly has fantastic breath control, but the really fast effect is actually from the tongue - not the lungs. He's vibrating the tip of his tongue as he plays (presumably using a pucker embouchure). Still - I reckon it'd take a fair bit of practice to do what he's doing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:23 am
Posts: 47
Hey FatJim,


You're a genius.
I've been working on that (a brand new technique for me) for a couple days nonstop and I think I'm getting it down pretty well. Only problem is I can do that only on exhale, and not on draw. Can it be done on draw, or only on exhale?

I applied that new technique to Aerosmith's "Train kept-a-rollin" and Montrose's "Bad Motor Scooter" as well, and it really enhances the hell out of the train effects and solos. WOW!

I owe you one great big pitcher of beer. Thanks mucho.

C. P.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:31 am
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Concrete Pete wrote:
Only problem is I can do that only on exhale, and not on draw. Can it be done on draw, or only on exhale?

I'm not sure - I can only do it on the exhale too, I think using that "cat purr" type tongue movement is only possible when blowing beacause of the shape the tongue has to form. There may be another similar technique that works on inhale, but it's not one I know.

Concrete Pete wrote:
I owe you one great big pitcher of beer. Thanks mucho.

You're welcome, make it ice cold today!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:23 am
Posts: 47
Hey Crew,

I hate to say this, but I've become halfway obsessed with mastering the speed and sound that the guy does on that intro, and just can't get even NEAR how fast/proficient he does it--close, but no cigar.

What do I need to do or learn, or what else can I try? OR does anyone other than me think it might be "digitally enhanced" speed wise?

I'm a loss, here on this one.

Cheers,
C. P.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:31 am
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I doubt it. First of all if this is the original recording, then it was cut in 1979 when everything was analogue, to have sped it up without perceptably altering the tuning and tone would have been impossible then.

I did a bit of digging. The harp is played by "Shorty" Medlocke who wrote the song. He's the guitarist's grandfather and an old school bluegrass banjo and harmonica player.

The train and the foxchase were the mainstay of country blues harp and this intro is a fine example of that tradition. Probably the most famous name for this kind of playing is Sonny Terry, but he was just continuing a tradition that goes right back to the birth of the harmonica in the 19th century. The key to the fox chase and the train is breath control - and it's a showmanship thing. Players would show how fast they could go, and incorporate tricks like cigar-style playing, hand claps and vocal whoops.

Like I said before, this player's breath control is amazing, that's where you need to practise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:33 am
Posts: 213
This guy is fast, but not nearly as fast or as articulate as Peter Madcat Ruth. Buy his Rhythm Harp DVD and you'll learn many of these techniques. I've started this process and it takes practice, lots of it.

Good luck

Alan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:23 am
Posts: 47
Hey Crew,

Obsession has taken me to new heights trying to do the "train effects" on this song... I think I finally got it--just not quite as fast ----yet.
The exhale (speed effects) came out to doing a "pockachicka, pockachicka, pockachica" kinda tongue effect. The inhale version is a "whuckahula" kind of thing. Sounds really stupid, I'm sure, but maybe it makes sense to some of us here.

I also came to the conclusion that even smoking only 2 to 4 cigarrettes a day is a detriment on my breathing skills, so I'm "cold turkeying" and taking up jogging again. Been 4 days so far, and I can only run 2-3 miles a day, (wheeze like a geezer when I'm done!) but I'm hoping to get back to my 21 miles a week like I was doing a few years ago. I'm 50, so it aint that easy like it used to be. (I'm a "weight-a-holic" lifting wise, dreading old age, and trying to get fit and buff)

Gotta say thanks to all you good folks that have given me advice and insight. This website, and all here really ROCK!

Jam forever,
C. P.


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