Just starting to learn harmonic. Watching JP Allen’s dvd. confused about some of the terminology.

  • regarding bending, does 1 draw mean bending hole 1 by drawing? so 4 draw is bending hole 4?
  • bending is always drawing and never ‘blow’?


Hi Will. Where are you located?
Draw just means to draw air in through the harmonica on that hole (suck air into your lungs through the harmonica).
You will learn about bends later in the lessons. You can bend certain notes while drawing or blowing.
Draw is referring to the direction of air through the harmonica.


Hi thebugleboy,

I am in the Los Angeles area.

I understand bending will come later. For now, just want to understand the terminology. Now I am clear that drawing is sucking air into the lung (thanks!)

  • so when I read about bending, 1 draw always means bending hole 1 via sucking? What is the term used if bending hole 1 via blowing?

You’re confusing me by osmosis there, L.A.!

Draw means draw; blow means blow; and bend means bend.

1D = 1 Draw; 1B = 1 Blow; 1D’ or 1d’ = 1 Draw Bend.

Unless you’re going for the Howard Levy ‘pfft’ 1 Blow Bend - don’t even concern yourself with it, as I doubt it will come up unless you’re playing some concerto at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion during the Oscar Award Ceremonies.

So my bet is you’re pretty safe there for many years to come…

Yet who knows, eh?

Hope this clears all that up though!

Keep on Harpin’!

To add to the confusion;
To bend the reeds in holes 1 through 6 you must draw and to bend the reeds in holes 7 through 10 you must blow. Summary: you draw bend 1 through 6 and blow bend 7 through 10. Generally speaking!


And I can still get it all through osmosis – Confusion that is!


You all are great help in clearing up my confusion. Now it has advanced from muddy to murky. I am sure it will be crystal clear in due time. It is totally possible I will be playing for the Oscar Award Ceremonies - in my dreams. :slight_smile: Yes, will keep harping… Thanks much!

Hi Will welcome to the forum, Ya it does get confusing or at least it was for me starting out

Work your way through the JP bundle and you’ll be there in no time.

Have fun and

Harp On!!

OK, here is a good expanation (I hope).
To play a normal major scale on a diatonic harmonica, one blows or draws air in through the holes to get each note of the scale. If one of the notes comes out flat (tone too low), you just bent a note by mistake. You can blow or draw on a particular hole to get the two different notes intended for the two different reeds for that hole (one reed vibrates when you blow…the other vibrates when you draw or suck air in), but you can bend the notes to get an additional note that the harmonica wasn’t necessarilly designed to play.
Confused better?
So…“draw” and “bend” are two completely different terms. You can bend notes on some of the holes while drawing, and you can bend notes on other holes while blowing. It’s like putting “english” on a ball to make it curve like you want it.
It’s like throwing a cuve ball in baseball. “Pitch” doesn’t mean you curve the ball in flight, but once you get the basics of pitching mastered, a curve ball is one pitch you must learn to be a successful pitcher.
I hope this clears things up for you. We will discuss billiards later. LOL


Hey Bob, that’s what I said but in 1,000 fewer words! I think it’s a southern thing.


Hey Will, I’ll bet you’re glad you asked the question! Can we help you out with anyother questions? Go ahead and take a chance!


That’s funny Barry that’s just funny…LOL

Harp On!!

Just trying to make it abundantly clear. There seemed to still be some confusius…confuscate…uh…misunderstanding.


It is a southern thing, it is, it is! I knew it!!!


Hey, everybody can’t be blessed to be born in Heaven. There has to be some country for the rest of you. You get the left overs.

Southerner: (NOUN) def.
A person born happily in the South, slow talking, friendly folk, devoted to front porches, oak trees, cool breezes, magnolias, peaches, fried chicken, country ham, sweet tea, and biscuits.
They also have an affinity for hot rods on cool nights or hot days, lazy dogs, boiled peanuts, and fresh pecans.


Hey BB<

Well I’m in Connecticut and that sounds pretty good to me right about now.

It’s cold out here and snow is soon to arive.

Harp On!!

Joe, it’s gets pretty cold here in Texas panhandle .too!
Sweet tea! Don’t know there was a differant kind. ;D

Not to mention, BB:

They also have an affinity

corncobs; cows in the field and/or the barn; and sheep grazing along in the meadows…

Oh and lest we forget - their first cousins too!

yes’siree, bub, them thar southerners, boy!

am just sayin’!


Hey! What’s wrong with first cousins?

Hey Bob, I hate to admit this, but the Blues seem to belong to you guys especially in Mississippi. The Blues were born down there with you and God only knows how much I love the Blues.