Hey Big Guy! <<<cool handle!>>>
what is the best way to start tongue blocking
Placing your tongue on the side of the hole(s)/note(s) you don't want to play.
I say this because your tongue will either go to the right side or left side. I actually do them both because various methods/teachers have used them both. So I figured I'd learn it too!
how do you know if you are doing it the correct way
If it's playing and you're hearing the note(s), you're doing it correctly, man er Big Guy!
It just takes practice and memory. But it's not difficult at all.
But now as Pat Missin says, and I believe: To tongue block or not tongue block is the question?
Since everybody is different, then one has to look at various views, and then decide for themselves which is good for them.
Me, I use a U Block for playing melodies. Just to pinpoint where I want to be, and then go to a non-tongue puckerish type of playing. But I do use my tongue, as Norton Buffalo showed on his dvd, to do octave-splitting and coming up with cool rhthyms too!
I also use my tongue for articulation, and working on what is called 'tongue slapping' the harp. That's a little more advanced, so we'll stick with the basics first.
And it is difficult to tongue block for bends; however not quite impossible as one might imagine. However, to the basics first:
Except for octave-splitting and tongue slapping itself, JP in his vids and lessons prefers not to use much tongue blocking; but instead use what he calls the Deep Relaxed Embouchure, moving the harp across a pronounced lower lip. On the other hand, his friend, Jom Gindick, who use something similar also happily says to do whatever works for you.
So here's some various views and hope it helps you too!
Keep us Posted!
Keep on Harpin'!http://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q7.html