bending hole 2

bought a 10 hole C blues harp recently - best thing I ever did.

I’m sure this is a common problem but I started with a C scale on holes 4-7 no problem.
Then I tried a C scale on holes 1-4 - a lot harder …

blow 1 for C, draw 1 for D, blow 2 for E … all ok


draw 2 and try and bend down to F and I can’t do it.

I can bend a few of the upper holes but not this one.

My question is - should I persevere or do I need a new technique?

Howdy friend.
I haven’t been on in a while. I’ve been working with chromatics,
my personal very favorite.
If you have just started out, bending may be a little tough until
you have one of those “AHA!” moments. It will come, but you
may need a better harp. I find, for the money, Marine Band harps
are pretty easy to bend. Of course the Special 20, Golden Melody,
Lee Oskar, Seydel (I have some of all these), and other harps you’ll
read about here are fine. I just find that I return to my MB’s more often
than any other. I do customize my harps, but the out of the box MB’s
work well for me.

thank you that’s useful to know. someone told be to master bending holes 1,4,5,6 first (easier) because hole 2 is the hardest.

Hole 2 is not hard at all if you are relaxed. Beginners tend to bend it naturally. remember there are 2 draw bends there. semi tone and a tone. beginners tend to be on the semitone by nature. explore it a relaxed manner, its easy!

hi pal how do you know if you have bend on hole 2 what if you dont have the for it


New to this forum, but thought I might pitch in a bit about bending for new players that may be helpful with, especially bending the 2 hole. The whole trick to bending is to form the correct shape inside your mouth. If you follow the advice of JP and get that harp deep into a relaxed embouchure, OK good. Now all you have to do is make the right shape with your mouth.

Try shaping your mouth by making these sounds, “EE” as in the word “week”, "OW as in the word “bowl”, “AW” as in “saw” and “OO” as in “cool”, do each of those mouth shapes while drawing air through that 2 hole and practice, practice, practice. Those are the four notes you can play through the 2 hole draw. Learning to bend is as easy as learning to speak.

Good luck

Nice advice, I am learning to speak already which for a newbie is quite something :slight_smile:


I seem to remember the 4 draw was the way into bending.

Hole 2 bends a bit to easily to know whether you have actually done it or not with any change of technique and hole 3 having two bend possibilities can sound a bit duff if it is not bending to the note you’re expecting.

You can get a good tonk on 4, the change in note is obvoius, correct and a lot more fluid.

Once you have cracked it with 4 you can tease your way around the others with a little more control.

Hope this helps


hole 2 is very easy to bend. So easy, in fact, that most beginners are bending it when they are trying to play it clean. Chances are you are having trouble bending the note because it’s already bend. Check and make sure you are not bending the 2 hole draw to begin with by comparing it to the 3 hole blow. They should be the same note. If 2 hole draw sound lower than 3 hole blow then you are already bending 2 hole draw and need to learn to play it without bending.

If you are getting a good clean 2 hole draw and are sure you are not bending the note to begin with then try dropping the center of your tough to the bottom of your mouth. This will force you make cup shape with your tongue. When you do this should be able to feel the wind hitting the top of your mouth during a draw. Focus on this stream of air hitting the top of your mouth manipulate your tongue to aim that air. The closer this air is to the front of your mouth the less dramatic the bend will be. Focus the air further back (on the top of your mouth) and you will hear the pitch drop. Eventually you will hit the maximum bending capability and it just won’t go any further. If you try to go further it simply won’t do it or if you try too hard it might choke the note and stop it from sounding all together.