As I think is the case for most of us who are learning how to bend the harmonica to create the fantastic bluesy tones possible, it’s an adventure in frustration, elation, and confusion.
Sometimes it seems like I’m getting the hang of it and the next it seems like I’m picking up the harp for the first time.
After believing my Lee Oscar in A was faulty and therefore difficult to hit draw bends on the 2 and 3, as compared to my Special 20 in Db, I’m beginning to think it’s just an
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This is what I’ve learned:
Squeezing the harmonica doesn’t cause it to bend any more, squinching up your face does, however, seem to help for some reason.
Limiting the airflow does seem to help, also giving limitless opportunities to create “Wa-wa” effects.
Sometimes it just seems the harp needs to “warm up” a bit before creating sounds on certain notes.
Bending in and out of notes isn’t nearly as difficult as holding a bent note steady for a period of time.
There are many more tones and sounds that we can make on the harp than those indicated on the charts.
Though two people can play the same notes with the same melody, they will still likely have subtle differences.
I now understand how learning how to bend and to hit notes consistently with quality, can take awhile to master.
I never cease to be amazed by this wonderful, small instrument that fits in your pocket but which can create so many wonderful sounds.
My greatest difficulty is going from a nice resonant 2 draw into a solid 3 draw bent a half step in the Blues Scale. Too much air intake on the two draw takes me down into a bend, while my -3’ still sounds a lot like a lame duck.
Still not sure if more important in bending is our technique or the harp we are using, though I’m favoring the former over the latter.
What’s your biggest challenge bending?