To play the jew’s harp, the first thing to do is attach it to your teeth in the correct way. One has to attach the jew’s harp’s edges to the front teeth. Having opened them just enough for the tongue of the jew’s harp to freely go back and forth while playing. At the same time, the vibration from the plate will be transmitted through the jew’s harp to the teeth. After that to the rest of the resonators – nasal, pharyngeal, oral, thoracic. Accentuation of the extracted sound can be complemented by frontal and abdominal resonators.With the help of all these “assistants” in playing, the sound will spread and be enriched in timbre.
The instrument can be held with any hand, which is more convenient for you. With the other hand you need to vibrate the tongue with the touch of a finger. To create interesting and unique melodies, you can use the movement of the larynx, your tongue, ligaments and the upper palate.
Way of playing
Main ways: timbre arrangement, breathing, articulation, intonation. Breath is used in all its capabilities when playing. Also as a dynamic component. Inhaling and exhaling while playing is equally important for the formation of sound. Unusual sounds will occur by means of intermittent exhalations. Unexpected tricks and combinations will appear.
Melodization is limited to the overtone scale segment. These limits can be extended with the help of special tools, for example, as in our model Phantom. In this model, it is done thanks to a weighting ball for which there is a special place at the base of the tongue. The ball significantly lowers the original sound of the jew’s harp and creates new and incredible combinations.
For the correct and beautiful play you also need to observe the following prescriptions:
Restrictions on playing
Due to the structure of the jew’s harp and its use, there are some restrictions on the manipulation during the play. One should not open the jaw more than necessary and less than is necessary to keep the jew’s harp in the correct position and to maintain the quality of playing.
Experiments in making music
In the last five years, a new direction in the jew’s harp music making appeared. Experienced musicians combine their instrumental playing with simultaneous singing and beatboxing.