Bending

I can’t seem to be able to bend more than a quarter of the note, reliably. Sometimes I manage almost a half step down, but it diminishes in volume comparatively to natural note.

I have tried pretty much every tongue position I can imagine, drawing more or less and everything in between. I’ve watched every video on the topic I could find. It’s extremely infuriating since everything else I’m doing very much fine on, but the bending is driving me nuts.

Any help with this will be greatly appreciated and I’ll be glad to provide more information if required.

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Hey there - welcome to the forum! Glad to have you here. All of us who can bend remember feeling the frustration that you’re describing.

Have you read about the topic here? Just want to make sure we are on the same page before we get into diagnosing what’s going on…

#1 question would be, are you using the deep relaxed mouth position described here?

I recommend becoming really secure in the techniques of the deep relaxed mouth position and isolating notes using lip blocking before trying to learn how to bend.

Keep us posted…

Aloha,
Luke

Hey Luke,

Have you read about the topic here? Just want to make sure we are on the same page before we get into diagnosing what’s going on…

I have, I also checked out pretty much every guide on youtube and google.

1 question would be, are you using the deep relaxed mouth position described here?

I also have. I mostly don’t have any issues with single notes, except maybe with big jumps or very fast tempos/sixteenths, which I believe is normal when learning.

What my very very non-pro diagnosis is that I let air pass somewhere else besides the jetstream that’s supposed to be created at the back of the mouth. Possibly between the cheecks and the teeth.
Also when I try to bend the back of the tongue upwards I seem to sometimes bend one side of the tongue more than the other thus only making contact with one side of the upper jaw.

Thanks for all the help. :slight_smile:

Hmmm… Are you implementing the tilt technique? That was the key for me at the beginning.

Also, what brand/key of harmonica are you using?

I know it’s frustrating, but don’t give up. You’ll get it!!

Aloha,
Luke

I can understand your bending frustration too, but don’t worry, it will come with practice. I couldn’t also figure it out despite reading and watching everything, but now I can bend pretty well on hole 4 and I’m trying to learn it on hole 2 and 3.

One thing that became invaluable to me was a tuner to check the bent note, without it I had a hard time hearing if the note did indeed bend. I also like to use Bend It Better site (really wish that was available as an app!)

For me I do also think it was the harmonica. I used to play on Folkmasters, but decided to invest in Lee Oskars, and when I tried to bend (heard different opinions about breaking in a harmonica so I decided it was safe enough to bend on) my brother who’s a musician said “You clearly had the technique right”

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