I am able to draw bend quite well on holes 1 through 6 but I am unsure of the technique for the 8-10 blow bends. I can hit the hole 4 overblow pretty consistently and tried using this technique for the blow bends but it doesn’t seem to work. Should I just keep on trying small adjustments to my tongue position and mouth shape? I have only managed an 8 hole blow bend once and I had to use quite a bit of force which I suspect is an incorrect way of achieving it.
Hello @marquis77. I just wanted to welcome you to the forum. Unfortunately, I’m not experienced enough to help with your question, but I’m sure one of the “real” players will be along soon to help.
Blow bends usually require a “tongue forward” position and, compared with your hole 4 overblow, the middle part of the tongue is up near the roof of the oral cavity and the tip of the tongue is down at the border between the lower row of teeth and their gum line. If the blow reed is adjusted properly (not too much gap) then it really does not need much air force (not more than the normal amount used to get a “straight” blow tone in the same hole).
If you continue to have problems then you might need to take the harp apart, and remove the upper reedplate (the one for the blow notes) from the comb and check that the reed gap in the hole(s) giving you trouble is not too large, If you suspect that it is too large then use (for example) a wooden toothpick to press the reed down to reduce the size of the reed gap at the free end of the reed. Unfortunately, you then must put the harp back together again to test your adjustment. If you over-do things and the reed gap becomes too small you will find that you cannot get any blow tone (or require more than the normal amount of air pressure to get a tone) in that reed – if so you must go back and increase the size of the gap slightly.
Hey there - welcome to the forum. That’s crazy you can overblow before doing blow bends!
In my experience, the technique for doing blow bends is the same as draw bends, with the back of the tongue up near the hard pallate and tip of the tongue lowered at the bottom of the bottom teeth.
Depending on the harmonica, I have found a certain amount of pressure required depending on the harmonica, so you may have been ok when you got your 8’ bend.
Keep on trying to make small adjustments. Specifically, try moving that hump at the back of your tongue forward (towards teeth) and backwards.
You’re gonna get it, and it’s gonna be a blast when you do!
Keep us posted…