I was chatting with a student in the Beginner to Boss course who asked me about the -2" bend.
In my experience the first notes people can bend are usually -4’ and -1’. Usually in that order, occasionally the opposite. After that the -2’ and -3’ and -6.
And then after that you’ve probably been working at it long enough, you can probably get the -2 down to the -2". The path is different for everyone. But that’s probably pretty common kind of progression…
All the bends available on the 10-hole diatonic harp, let’s say a C harmonica for example:
-2’ and -2’’
-3’ and -3’’ and -3’’’
(-5 bends only 1/4 step, so is discluded from topic)
So there are a total of 8 draw bends that we can play on a standard diatonic 10 hole harmonica that correspond to keys on a piano (there are technically infinite number of notes we can play when bending because we can make such minute adjustments - which is why the technique is so expressive like our voices - but 8 places we can bend to will be perfectly in tune with keys on the piano.)
I guess in order of difficulty, imo, I’d say the hardest bends to achieve at the beginning are:
- -2’’ (especially in the lower keys like A, G, LF.)
But then again, some people just “go big or go home” and get the -2" right off the bat. In fact my 2-year-old son just did it accidentally, lol.
What’s your experience? What bend did you get first? What bend(s) are you having trouble with?