So I got that 1 bend.

…But only that one bend. I can take that first hole and bring it all the way down to C# like its nothing (after 2 weeks haha, my parents are about to kill me(don’t worry, they still love me)), but I cannot get even the slightest bend out of any other reed, I can’t even get a blow bend on 8+… How did you guys get bends to work on multiple holes? Any advice?


Read “3 Draw Bends” and "Accuracy is the problem! Lots of good suggestions in both topics!
Drop jaw and pull from the throat and diaphram with more force.
Good Luck

Haha I’ve read both ad nauseum, trust me, I’m very very very committed haha.

I guess what I’m trying to get across in these threads is how did you get your first bend to translate over the different holes, was it easy for you, did you use the same technique, did you have to alter something? Those kind of questions are what I’m more focused on answering than just bending in general.

Hey Zummy,

Congratulations on your first bend! Every harmonica player remembers his/her first bend…it’s a very a special thing. :slight_smile:

I guess what I'm trying to get across in these threads is how did you get your first bend to translate over the different holes, was it easy for you, did you use the same technique, did you have to alter something?

Bending technique varies considerably from hole to hole. Also, different key harps require different bending techniques. Lower notes such as (holes 1, 2 and 3) generally require more throat/jaw movement. You can bend the higher notes by raising your tongue a little…and you don’t really have to drop your jaw at all.

All this will soon become second nature. Your technique will automatically change when you go from one hole to another…you won’t really have to think about changing your technique. :slight_smile:

Hi, Zummy!

I guess what I'm trying to get across in these threads is how did you get your first bend to translate over the different holes?

A: With constant ongoing reading/listening/knowledge and (JF’s favorite word:) practice until you get it!

was it easy for you?

A: Oh hell no! If it was easy, everybody’d be doing it! Meaning, even JP himself admits it’s a constant learning process and he’s been at it a long time too!

did you use the same technique?

You only find that once you learn and find out which ‘techniques’ you’re going to use for a particular piece on a particular harp. Meaning Jon Gindick, Adam Gussow, and others talk about using a mixture of lip blocking and tongue blocking for playing and bending at different times for different sounds, tones, etc.

did you have to alter something?

Yes, always! From embouchures to air pressures to ‘attacks’ to everything - Change and alterations is always the constant here! Not to mention altering my harps inside with gapping/offsetting reeds as well so they could/would respond to my playing them. The amazing journey through the harmoncia universe continues…

Those kind of questions are what I'm more focused on answering than just bending in general.

I fully understand where you’re coming from. Whether it be Howard Levy, JP Allen, me, Ashish, JF, Whiskat, David T and everybody else on this fine forum and the world over on and on - Well we all have the very same thing in common: We all started harmonica from the very beginning!!

Where we go from there - Well that’s the wonder and beauty of the diversity and richness of the harmonica universe itself!

For just myself, and since I like to keep a record and track of to give credit where credit is due - I learned my bending from first Norton Buffalo; then a little more from JP Allen; some more from David Harp; the aforementioned Adam Gussow; David McKelvy; a guy named Marcos; and finally the one I credit with putting all the pieces together and over the top for me is: Jon Gindick!

My Special Kudos for Doc Jon, but me too! If I hadn’t gone back and given him another looksee from the time I passed him over, I’d have never found out how good he really is. He’s an amazing teacher for me, and no doubt plenty of others.

Yet does that mean though I could/should have skipped a few others in learning bending and gone directly to him? Hell, I’ll never know. I originally ‘rejected’ Mr Jon G; yet in my keeping an open mind about everything, well, my spirit guided me back to him. He came at the right time; at the right place! And my journey’s my journey!

Dude, I know exactly where you’re coming from! I really do! And quite frankly so do all the regulars here know as well! We’re all in this together in our own ways, in our own time.

But after your admitted just two weeks of blowing and drawing on a harp, you’re saying to yourself if you don’t have bending and overblowing down by week three - Well, um, quite frankly and honestly I don’t know what to tell you! Truly I don’t!

Me, I’ve been a frustrated harmonica player for more than 20+ years. Only in the recent past 8 months have I finally (and gratefully) been a fulltime student of it now.

I’m at where I’m at. However, if you’re where I’m at in 4 weeks; and where Howard Levy, Jason Ricci, Charlie Musslewhite, Brendon Powers and so many more living legends are in 8 weeks hence - Dude, please God sign me up with you! I really want to learn what you know!

Seriously, no bullshit aside and no dissrespect whatsoever - if none of the above happens here - Well, it’s okay too! As long as your desires are to stick with it, you’ll make it happen eventually. I’ll be happy for you! As Jon Gindick and countless others say: You gotta pay your dues, man!

Of course, if you decide this whole harmonica thing isn’t for you after all, and wish to cash in those chips - Hey, dude, I’ll still be happy for you! Why?! Because it’s all good. Really! And because that’s just the kind of guy I am. Really, really!

Hope this helps.

Welcome aboard!

Keep us posted.

Good luck!

Keep on harpin’!

Peace, God Bless, Godspeed & SPD Out!


Put in your time and keep practicing if your already bending notes at this point your way ahead of most of us.

Change it up practice something else learn some tunes maybe, get a repertoire going of different tunes that you memorized.

You’ll get them bends just don’t be in a rush.

Harp on!!

No bullshit or disrespect taken, I understand what you’re trying to say. I understand its a learning process, but I like to spend absurd amounts of time with things I’m trying to learn. That’s how I stay entertained. If I’m not learning, I’m wasting my time, haha. I guess I’d explain how I think about the learning process and maybe you can take what you want from it. I’ve seen promising results so I guess my mind is kind of in the right track, but I’m not claiming to know everything, its just a passion of mine.

It’s the same secret I used to learn German and Piano and Guitar, and the same I’ve been using to learn how to fly helicopters and play harmonica now. Indulge yourself with it. Hop in and try to play like the pros from day one. I didn’t know a word of German 6 months ago, and I can keep a semi decent conversation now.

When I was learning I said “I’m not going to think in English, I’m not going to speak in English. I’m learning German, and everything I do will be based off of that.”

And same with the instruments. “I’m learning piano, I will learn the dynamics and pedals and techniques, afterward the songs will come naturally.”, “I’m learning the harmonica, I’m going to learn bending and overblowing, I’m going to make my harmonica sound rich and pure, and the songs will come after.” I picked out two songs already, part of ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘My Country Tiss O’Thee’.

Same with the helicopter, just get a realistic simulator, get computer joystick/pedals/cyclic. After that just fly. Sure, I didn’t know the terms, or the science, or why the helicopter turns to the right when you slow it down, but I understood how they worked through experience. When I went to my first flight lesson my teacher was pretty amazed.

The trick is just to dive right in. Just start doing everything from day one, the terms, science, grammar, etc. behind it will all be very clear once you get more and more involved.

And additional thanks to Joe, Ashish, and Paul. Thanks for sharing the ideas and experiences, I’m working through each of them individually and see how they turn out. I’ll be sure to update soon enough.

@ Zummy:

You know everyone learns differently I believe, You seem to have a good goal and a good way to get there.

You dive right in. Head first all the way.

Thats great way to be able to learn for sure.

Keep it up…

For me I have to balance a Lot of things, work and crap like that.

But I play my harp all day long while I drive my Snap on truck around.

But would rather just stand in front of my computer with metronome going and going and going.

But can’t do that all the time.

It’s fun to me so even though it is “ecitcarp” (thats in code)…I love it.

Harp on!!

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D"ecitcarp"…

Joe,you gotta get a better code, Hehe! :smiley:


Great comeback, Ty-Man!! :smiley:

So totally better than a usual W-T-F Is That?! one!! :-X

Rock on, dude! :wink:

Hey Zummy! :slight_smile:

Congrats on your progress on bending…

The below link may help clarify… you’re jet stream needs to move forward to bend the higher pitched reeds.