a few of the various styles of jaw harps
up your jaw harp in your left hand as shown in the picture.There
are two ways to hold the jaw harp, depending on the shape of
your instrument. For a harp shaped like the red one shown here,
put your thumb on the back of the harp and your index and middle
finger on the frame and hold tightly.
the metal tongue or twanger is pointing away you.
you have a more rounded harp then you need to hold it with
the index finger and thumb wrapped around it. The main thing
is to have a good, firm grip so you can press the jaw harp
firmly against your teeth.
do that yet, though. Hold the harp in front of you. With the
tip of the twanger (that's the flexible metal strip in the
middle) pointing away from you. Put your index finger on the
tip and pull it straight back toward you and let it go.
The faint sound you hear is what you will be amplifying with
your teeth about 3/8 inch apart and put the harp tightly against
your front teeth. You might want to do this in front of a
mirror so you can see what you are doing. You have to spread
your teeth 3/8 inch apart so the metal twanger can pass between
your top and bottom teeth.
teeth should be sitting on the beveled edge of the harp...not
the top, but on the beveled edge. Press the harp very firmly
against your teeth. It is essential that you press the jaw
harp firmly against your teeth with your left hand, otherwise
it vibrate on your teeth and feel uncomfortable and not make
much sound. Also, keep your tongue out of the way.
your lips are not stretched over your teeth. The metal frame
must be directly touching your teeth.
end of your pointer finger, pull the twanger back TOWARDS
you and let it go. IF YOU PULL IT TOWARDS YOUR FACE IT CAN'T
HIT YOUR TEETH. Be sure and keep you tongue out of the way.
When you let go it should have made a twanging sound.
and pull the twanger straight back, don't push it to the side
or flick it downward. Pull it straight back and just let it
go to get the spring action of the twanger.
is best if you put your teeth near the open end of the harp.
It will be easier to play and you'll get maximum sound.
more sound: Bring your lips around the harp so that they touch
the metal frame but not the twanger. This will help focus
more volume and rhythm, very lightly breathe across the harp
as you play it. For
different notes move your tongue around.
more about playing the jaw harp and hear exotic
players from around the world on David's
Play The Jaw Harp Now Cassette