Difficulty using my swazzle

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Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Jake » 15 Sep 2014, 07:41

So I've been practicing for a while now, but I have yet to get any sound out of it - when I exhale, the air just goes around, avoiding the reed. There's no problem with the swazzle, it works fine at my lips. I've nearly choked on it twice, and keep gagging when I use it... Is there a specific place in the mouth where it should be placed to produce sound?
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby bilbobaglin » 15 Sep 2014, 21:49

I have a swazzle from Colin John magic and two I bought off of ebay for 2.50 each. As you can well imagine you get what you pay for and the punt I took did not pay off. Like you I can get a sound at the lips but these cheapies are just a fraction too big for my mouth, could this be the problem. The Colin John model on the other hand is a little beauty with just one minor drawback, I can only get a good consistent sound on the inhale. I am used to doing this now and can do it without too much bother, however I am expecting to swallow the damn thing at anytime.

So there are a couple of solutions from a fellow beginner. I am sure more experienced swazzlers will have others but it's about time I contributed something on here! :lol:
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Chris » 16 Sep 2014, 12:26

You'll find it much cheaper to buy my ebook. Also as far as only working on the "inhale" - it doesn't work by blowing or inhaling.
http://www.punchandjudy.com/swazzle.htm
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby bilbobaglin » 23 Sep 2014, 08:17

I bought the book on swazzle secrets from the website, and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone, it is a great book so the OP should definately invest, it will definately help. I do get a better sound by inhaling than blowing the swazzle, it is louder although means that some of the harder labial sounds are more difficult as you can't get a decent pop, but as I predominately do medieval puppetry at the moment with an ancestor of Mr Punch (a squeaker predates the old man according to many sources although the mechanics are, of course, a closely guarded secret), I am not applified at all, louder is more useful than clarity.

In conclusion, any issues, buy the book; no issues, still buy the book.
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Chris » 02 Oct 2014, 23:47

Yes, buy the book, and then read it.
I repeat, there is no way you can inhale through the swazzle if you are using it correctly. That isn't the way a swazzle works.
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Richard Coombs » 03 Oct 2014, 00:41

I quite agree with Chris,
Furthermore , I would say that using a swazzle on the inhale rather than the exhale is HIGHLY DANGEROUS ..as it seems a sure fire way to end up swallowing it at best --- and at worst actually inhaling into your windpipe .

The cure for the first is apparently lots of bread pudding.
The cure for the second is either the Heimlich Manoeuvre , or a good Undertaker

I really don't recommend using a swazzle the way you are suggesting Bilbo.

Read the book ,and also seek out face to face tuition from a nearby proff.

Best

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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby bilbobaglin » 22 Oct 2014, 13:11

Thank you Richard for your kind advice. I took it on the chin so to speak, and after much practice the last show wot I did was entirely as you describe. I does allow for better enounciation although quieter (but still loud). What I wasn't prepared for however is so much spittle, so much! Is that something that gets better with time?
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Richard Coombs » 25 Oct 2014, 09:01

hello Bilbo.

I am afraid I have no idea if the spittle problem you describe gets better with time and practise. But I assume it does.

While there has always been some dampness on the back of my scenery /black back-cloth at the end of a day of shows, it has never been too much.

I guess everyones 'spittle' experience with the Swazzle is different.
Most things about swazzling seem to be very personal to each person doing it.

Advice on any part of the process is always going to be partly anecdotal , as no two people seem to have the same experience with the pesky things - for some it comes so easily with almost no need to practice or learn ....others seem to battle with it their whole lives.

Face to face tuition with another Proff would be the most useful thing you could try at this stage. might be worth stating your location on your next post in case any one nearby your area can help out.

Best
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Chris » 25 Oct 2014, 17:41

And think he's in America Richard.
Any way face-to-face is the last kind of tuition I'd advise for someone with a spittle problem!

By the way, I think I mention the saliva problem in the ebook on the subject. Or may be its in Punchman's tips when discussing hands-in-front backcloths. I know I advocate an easily laundered very translucent gauze behind your black velvet, or beautifully painted cloth, as a goo catcher.

Saliva of course is a lubricant to help you swallow your food. Presumably as your taste buds realise that the swazzle isn't a barley sugar sweet they won't salivate so enthusiastically. A possible remedy might be a squirt of unsweeted lemon juice in the mouth immediately prior to the show. Butdon't overdo this since a dry mouth is far more of a problem for swazzling than is the opposite.
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Richard Coombs » 26 Oct 2014, 14:31

Yes Chris . "Face to Face " was an unfortunate turn of phrase.

Ahhh did not realise you were USA Bilbo .
That must be tough for a Punch performer.
Good luck with it all

Yes your scrim advice was a good tip Chris ( I have a couple of spare black back-cloths , so just wash the whole thing every now and then.

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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby bilbobaglin » 27 Oct 2014, 09:17

Actually I'm Welsh. Cymru Cymraeg. I apologise if I gave the wrong impression somehow. I must have missed that bit in the Book Chris I'll have to go back and look at it again.
I have fallen into Punch somewhat through my mediaeval puppetry, not that I am a dilettante. I set up to do magic lantern originally! However Mr Punch does not require a darkened room to operate.
I have been nervous about contacting nearby punchmen as they all seem to be giants of the trade here in the north (Mr Bimbamboozle and the Codmans for example). I fear I may have left it too late. :(
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby Chris » 27 Oct 2014, 11:48

Sorry, my mistake. I'd just been reading a posting from scumonkey and mixed you up. Also I was probably also influenced by the fact that it is usually our American friends who perform Punch at mediaeval fairs.
Whereabouts in Wales are you? If you are in the North then you haven't much excuse for not getting in touch, if only to demonstrate how you, unlike the bulk of the human race, can speak while inhaling!
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby bilbobaglin » 01 Nov 2014, 16:12

I am Flintshire based. So not far from you Chris at all!. I've been meaning to reach out to other punch men but time is a cruel mistress. :(
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby flapjacque13 » 12 Dec 2014, 17:59

I bought swazzles from Colin John and it took me a month or so to get a sound out. After about 8 months I find it no problem getting the sound but still struggle with the enunciation using the swazzle. just bought two more from Colin John as I feel comfortable with them and they work. hey ho....more alphabet and word practice needed. Haven't swallowed one yet but......
Punch just isn't Punch without the swazzle voice!
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Re: Difficulty using my swazzle

Postby bilbobaglin » 13 Dec 2014, 21:07

flapjacque13 wrote:Punch just isn't Punch without the swazzle voice!


Quite agree about punch's voice Flapjacque. I was watching a short documentary on Vimeo the other day about punch where a gentlemen (whose name escapes for the second) he had some quite vociferours things to say on the subject of the Swazzle (and on political correctness come to that!) The video is here if you are interested... https://vimeo.com/16027266
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