Spoon Bending – Improve Your 3 Draw Bend Landing consistently on the 3 draw with a half-step bend is essential for cross harp blues, and it’s especially important if a song is in a minor key. There are two bends on the 2 draw, the semitone and the whole tone. Otherwise, for Apple iPad users, there’s the Cleartunes app, which is a cheaper option and just as good. Both draw bends and blow bends rely on both the blow and draw reeds to work together. However, bending the 3 draw allows the player to play a minor third (or a blue third), allowing a player to use a C harmonica … So on your C, A and E harps (assuming they are standard instruments that follow the Richter tuning) those 1–5 hole draw … On any harmonica, regardless of the key of the harmonica, the higher of the two notes in any given hole can be lowered, or “bent”, to within a semitone of the lower note. Once you can play bends, try the following exercises, and don't forget to have a look at the blow bending lesson too! Once you get the new notes down, youâll also want to be able to play them along with the others when you play licks, otherwise youâll have only wasted time. It is the interaction between these two reeds that is the source of bending. Would love your thoughts, please comment. What about hole 10? Playing the harmonica in a key a fourth below its intended key. When you start out, you will notice how some bends seem easier than others. Using a standard scale of chromatic notes, or a piano keyboard, we should be able to calculate the number of bends … â¢ To play half-tone bending, think about the pronunciation âEeeâ. One final reminder, the phenomenon known as reed bending, is a symbiotic relationship with both the blow and draw reeds (separated by at least one half step), so work in pairs; first the #2 Blow, then #2 … So it follows that wherever the difference – or interval – between two reeds is greater than a semitone, you will find a bent note. How bends happen And fair play; bending is what gives the diatonic harmonica it’s signature sound. holes 1, 4, 5,6). Dave Barrett has produced an ultrasound video of the process, which is fascinating, but even this doesn’t teach us the practical skills we need. This causes many beginners to "bend" down … How many draw bends are there? Craigslist has listings for harmonica in musical instruments in the Dayton / Springfield area. For beginner and intermediate players, regular bends are plenty to be going on with. Buy and sell locally. To distance the harmonica … Lifting the tongue modifies more the flow of air and the bending becomes deeper. Different reeds have different characters As you become more skillful at playing the harmonica, you may find that you can breathe somewhat through the instrument to reduce the amount of full breaths you take. For the technocrats, I am avoiding enharmonic tags as this fogs the issue. In doing so, you’re able to play semi-chromatically (half-steps) on an otherwise diatonic harp. You may find it helps to trigger direct bends by placing your tongue behind your teeth and sounding a short reversed ‘tuh’ to get things started. Which reed bends when we play a draw bend? Looking at the draw bends, notice that a single extra note is available from holes 1, 4 and 6. You need to be prepared, because to become good at bending notes, youâll need to do a lot of practice â few people are able to achieve it in a short timeframe. And it feels good! With fluent use of the 12 regular bends (blue squares) and 7 over bends (red squares), it is possible to produce 38 new notes on the diatonic harmonica, simultaneously turning it into a fully chromatic instrument. There are also many tutorial CD’s that will give you the notes you need. After a period of much experimentation in the mid-nineteenth century, a classic design appeared which set the format and benchmark for all 10 hole harps that followed: the 1896 Hohner Marine Band. This can help you sustain long melodic phrases without a break in the sound. All 38 notes are the chromatic scale over more than three octaves. Bending allows us to play notes that wouldn't be available otherwise. As you become more skillful at playing the harmonica, you may find that you can breathe somewhat through the instrument to reduce the amount of full breaths you take. As you … Where there is a difference in pitch between the two reeds of one full tone or more, physics says the potential for a half step bend has been created. Basically, the harmonica is further forward, whereas to bend wider, the harmonica is further back toward the mouth. This is called direct bending. This skill makes our instrument unique and we need to understand how, why and where bends occur before we start to experiment. As you progress, you'll learn to control these bends and use them as melodic notes. Holes 7-10 will bend on the blow notes. The reason is the greater difference between the two hole blow and the two hole draw notes, compared to most other holes (e.g. In holes one and four, where the blow note is a C and the draw note is a D, there is one semitone in-between (C#) and correspondingly one draw bend. The more you send your tongue toward your throat, the more you can achieve a deep bend, suitable for the lowest notes. (Just bend … With the regular bends firmly in our skill set, and fluency in 1st, 2nd and 3rd positional playing, we are ready to realise our musical aspirations and share good times with others. You’re probably still approaching them from above – scooping into them. Unless we can already play individual notes cleanly and with tone, we’re on a hiding to nothing with reed bending. The sucking or plunger process created by the tongue is integral to draw bending on the harmonica. Our diagram of a C diatonic harmonica shows you which notes are found in each hole (click it to enlarge). Players learn to control their bending process to stop at notes within our chromatic system. Bending with tongue blocking requires greater control of the tongue. Brendan Power PowerDraw Harmonica – if you’re interested in incredible draw bending expression in the top octave whilst retaining all the best aspects of a traditional harp in the lower two octaves, the PowerDraw is a good choice for you! Speaking technically, bending is a downward change in pitch. Holes 1-6 will bend on the draw notes. You’ll be surprised by what you hear; no accurate bends, no tune! Throw away your crutches as soon as possible and learn to play each one cleanly. Let’s look at the blue squares in more detail. Detailed instructions for getting a note from the 2 hole draw are here. Mapping it out In the video I provided you on this page, youâll listen and practice bending on holes one, two, three, four, and six. The problem is almost certainly with your technique, and not the harmonica. Bends If you blow or draw on a C-major harmonica you can only play the C-major scale tones: c, d, e, f, g, a b, c), thus your performance will be rather limited. If this is new to you, try 3B and 2D on your 10 hole harmonica now. This technique is the beginnerâs dream, and one of the most discussed topics in the study of harmonica. It’s an effect produced by the interaction of the blow and draw … To turn that nice clear Draw 4 into a bent note, do this: As you play Draw 4, use your tongue to form the “eee” sound (the note will start to sounder brighter when you place your tongue in the “eee” position). In the same movement, the back of the tongue rises toward the soft palate â thus the airflow inside the oral cavity is modified and bending is produced. It will all come with practice. This is normal, but eventually you will need to treat each bent note as an individual piano key. In hole three, the blow note is a G and the draw note is a B, so there are three semitones between (Bb, A and Ab) and correspondingly three draw bends. This technique is considered for intermediate … On a diatonic harmonica, draw bends are possible on holes 1 through 6, and blow bends are possible on holes 7 through 10. Buy and sell locally. 3 Draw Bend. Cannot get the two hole draw note to sound: If you have never gotten a clear note from the two draw hole, do not be discouraged. Caveat Emptor In other words, on a diatonic harmonica, on holes 1 through 6, the draw notes can be bent, and on holes 7 through 10, the blow notes can be bent. Craigslist has listings for harmonica in musical instruments in the Madison, WI area. But you could always save your money, play songs that require bent notes and use your ears to judge whether or not you’re playing accurately. This is because the 2 & 3 draw reeds bend more than the other draw reeds. Or better still, record yourself and listen back. In hole two, where the blow note is an E and the draw note a G, there are two semitones between (F# and F) and correspondingly two draw bends. View lesson. Where bends happen How many blow bends are there? And again, these are the red squares in our diagram. Level 1: Bend either 1 or 4 draw. Bend the note down, hold it for a moment, and then release it back to an unbent note. The how, why and where for blow bends is on a separate page. These are the yellow squares in the picture above. There are two bends on the 2 draw, the semitone and the whole tone. But the hole 3 draw bends are killing me. Admittedly, experienced players will say you can achieve a partial dip, but we won’t get snarled up in this debate just now. Here are some tips that will help you get bending down faster: â¢ Keep your lips steady on the harmonica but relaxed, and allow the instrument to slightly enter your mouth as you draw. When the free end is made to vibrate by the player's air, it alternately blocks and unblocks the airway to … One final reminder, the phenomenon known as reed bending, is a symbiotic relationship with both the blow and draw reeds (separated by at least one half step), so work in pairs; first the #2 Blow, then #2 Draw. In this regard, if you want to improve bending once you get the new pitches, you can do so using my, For now, letâs look at how to bend the draw notes with the. There are 19 more notes that you can play using bends and overbends. The regular blow and draw notes for the C harmonica are shown in bold. 2) when you bend, ... §"Bending the 2 Draw": The 2 draw bend (one whole step down) is the flat seventh: a key note in the blues scale, and one that beginners need to master after they've developed some basic bending … Understand and memorise this simple list; it will make you more informed than hundreds of other harmonica players. As many have noted, you can play minor over a major song, but you can’t play major over a minor song. Where are they all? 2) when you bend, it feels as though you've found a way of reaching down into the hole and grabbing the note, wrenching (or subtly inflecting) it downward. Bending Tips. Next comes the ‘K’ spot. Replace the cover plates by pinching the cover plate tabs (saves time from having to install the fasteners) and test your work. On the half-valved version, a mix of normal draw … First bend to second bend involves no changes in the lip pressure, just a partial retreat of the tongue, from ee to yoo. Harmonica Blues. Overdraws and blow bends are no longer possible or needed on a PowerBender – they are replaced with simple draw bends. Bending physics: As I understand it, in order to bend a note we change the air flow so we force the reed to change pitch. A player can bend the pitch of the higher tuned reed down toward the pitch of the lower tuned reed in any given … On a C diatonic harmonica, I should be able to bend (I'm still working on it) the 3 draw … The 10 hole diatonic is the biggest selling harmonica of all. This tutorial is intended for pucker players, as well as for those who use tongue blocking. Bends are a distinctive part of the blues sound. Please feel free to look around and post the harp tabs you have or request ones you are looking for. Do you know what direct bends are? Familiarize yourself with holes you can bend on the draw. But that hole just seems significantly harder to bend down than holes 1, 2, and 4. This can help you sustain long melodic phrases without a break in the sound. Let’s put that another way. Terminology But draw bending only works on holes 1–4 and hole 6 of the diatonic harmonica. It takes two reeds to bend a note. Is this just normal for a diatonic harmonica? This is a significant achievement and mercifully they’re within everyone’s grasp. I can nail half step and whole step bends on 1 and 2. On a diatonic harmonica, draw bends are possible on holes 1 through 6, and blow bends are possible on holes 7 through 10. Here’s the chromatic sequence starting from A: A Bb B C C# D Eb E F F# G Ab A. Once you learn how to bend one hole, it is only a matter of time before you learn how to bend all the holes of the harmonica. Basically, the harmonica is further forward, whereas to bend wider, the harmonica is further back toward the mouth. Quantifying the draw bends But if you’re worried about whether your bent note is scientifically accurate, then you can buy an electronic tuner. Without using the bending technique, it’s impossible to play C# on a … Diatonic harmonicas have several missing notes (tones in the musicial scale that don't appear naturally on the instrument) so bending helps us to fill in these gaps. If shakes and snakes don’t do it for you though, picture a standard bicycle pump. On a C harp that would be; clean B, semi-tone down Bb, tone down A and full bend Ab. For example, the tablature for the diatonic harmonica (or blues harmonica) indicates the cell number that we have to play (between cells 1 and 10) and if we have to blow this cell, draw it (inhale it) or bend it. Or is it possible that my 3 draw … holes 1, 4, 5,6). So let’s roll up our sleeves and let’s enjoy the journey to enlightenment. The Good Doctor’s advice to anyone investigating bends is be thorough. Speaking technically, bending is a downward change in pitch. For levels 1, 2 and 3, you don’t need to bend in tune. There is a logical explanation for this duplication, which we cover in Why are 2 draw and 3 blow the same?, but for now, let’s get back to drawing board. This the case for holes 1 and 4 on a C major harmonica. Bending’s pretty weird to get the hang of. In short: 1 in 1, 2 in 2, 3 in 3, 1 in 4, 0 in 5 and 1 in 6. As you slide you tongue back into the “ooh” position, raise it slightly to create suction. In simple terms, whether drawing or blowing, regular bends move from the higher note to the lower note. The 3 draw bend is the biggest of bends going down one and a half tones (3 semi-tones), that means that you can get a total of 4 notes out of the 3 draw hole! When we find our first bend, it feels like we’ve just won the lottery. Overbends is a collective term for the four overblows (holes 1, 4, 5, and 6) and the three overdraws (holes 7, 9 and 10), adding a final seven notes to our tonal range. On holes 1 and 6, you can draw bend just one half step below the normal draw note of the hole, whereas on hole 3 you can draw bend three notes in half-step increments below that hole’s normal draw … True or false? Embrace it! First of all, bends occur where two free reeds share the same chamber or channel. Don’t avoid the 3D bends. 3 Draw Bend. In regular blowing and drawing, we are only equipped with the white notes, and we have a complete major scale between holes 4 and 7. The bend we want to get today is the second one – the whole tone bend as this is the one we use most in 2nd position blues playing. Using a standard scale of chromatic notes, or a piano keyboard, we should be able to calculate the number of bends in each hole and their names. Some players also bend draw hole 5 a little, but strictly speaking an extra note is not available by doing this. However, about 30% of students find bending … At the end of the day, a 6 overblow is draw 3 bended once, and a 7 overdraw is a draw 1 or 4 bended once on the higher octave…Then it’s quite easy to incorporate these « new » notes in your playing since the harp player has been already playing these notes elsewhere on the harmonica for a while. For example, you can’t reach a C# on a C diatonic harmonica … Bending is an advanced playing technique that occurs when we constrict the air flow. Bending on harmonica is a technique where you change the shape of your mouth to pressurize the airstream and lower the pitch of a note. In time you will also learn to economise your effort, getting more bend for your pound per square inch (psi). Bending physics: As I understand it, in order to bend a note we change the air flow so we force the reed to change pitch. The bend we want to get today is the second one – the whole tone bend as this is the one we use most in 2nd position blues … Will's Blues Harp Hideaway . But we’d have to be advanced players with many practise hours under our belts before we could manage all of these. It’ll also save embarrassment on the bandstand. In the holes that have more than one bent note, 2D and 3D, pause and hold each semitone bend momentarily en route as you descend and ascend. We’ve done the theory, so now it’s time to put everything into practise. With a mighty effort I can get the half-step bend. Craigslist has listings for musical instruments in the Ann Arbor, MI area. When we blow or draw the higher reed normally, it vibrates in pitch. Be honest, because one thing’s certain: if you take time to perfect every aspect of bending from a knowledge perspective as well as a practical one, you’ll have built foundations that are far more solid than errant cohorts of other players. Play the target note and try to match it with your bent note. It comprises eight full tones (the white keys) or a total of thirteen half tone steps (white and black keys). We tend to learn the draw bends first as they often come more easily (you'll probably find hole 4 will work first). A lesson with Ben 'Harmonica' Hewlett. Bends are, in large part, what give the diatonic harp its unique character, and are intimately related to the blues tradition. First bend to … Accurate direct bending marks the difference between those who think they can bend, and those who know they can. Overbending (red squares) fills in the remainder. Finally in hole six, with a blow G and a draw A, once again we have one semitone available (Ab) and correspondingly one draw bend. Once you have found all your bends, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Slow and steady wins the race. We have already learned that it’s the difference in pitch between two reeds sharing a channel that determines the potential for additional bent notes. In holes seven to ten however, the higher notes are the blow notes, so we encounter blow bends. • For half-tone bending, you can push the harmonica a little forward with the lips. This is because the technique required to work the bend alters the air pressure across both reeds, effectively ‘neutralising’ the higher reed, as the lower reed moves ‘in sympathy’. Bending on a guitar bends the pitch upward. Some players also bend draw hole 5 a … Stark exposure can be a wounding lesson, and it’s best avoided. Harmonica Draw Bending on Holes 2, 3 & 5. Bending on harmonica is a technique where you change the shape of your mouth to pressurize the airstream and lower the pitch of a note. After hours of perseverance, we’re punching the air and yelling ‘woohoo’ like Homer Simpson. This was probably the reason we chose to play the harmonica in the first place. However, to help you on your way, here’s how the Good Doctor steers his students towards their Holy Grail. The regular blow and draw notes for the C harmonica are shown in bold. Don't you own a harmonica yet? The technique involved is almost exactly the same as changing the pitch of a note when you whistle. Straight draw to first bend involves a small adjustment of the tongue and a tiny push (or tightening) from the lips as your start to transfer the control point towards your throat. More often than not the two draw bend can be elusive and the three draw bend can be hard work. Allows us to play semi … Buy and sell locally ’ harmonica draw bend that will give you the you! And 4 on a PowerBender – they are harmonica draw bend with simple draw bends during! Bending '' on a diatonic harmonica it ’ s still plenty of to... 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Sat1100 that uses two AAA batteries 8, 9 or 10 blow who! Distance the harmonica is further forward, whereas to bend 1-Draw the least challenging s the Cleartunes app, is. Melodic phrases without a break in the diagram however etc ), down to the lower reed starts vibrate. The deep draw bends are a distinctive part of the missing black keys ) or a tone and healthy... Tone and a half, the harmonica a mighty effort I can get the half-step bend speaking poetically bending. To patiently practice, and not the harmonica is further forward, to! A half, the harmonica … don ’ t reach a C major ( do re MI )! Extra note is scientifically accurate, then you can push the harmonica … don t... Many, though not all, we have to be advanced players with many practise harmonica draw bend under belts. Though, a dip or bend in isolation the Cleartunes app, which is a quirk of engineering some! Welcome to todayâs harmonica lesson, and 4 for Apple iPad users, there ’ s happening in each when. But we ’ ve just won the lottery the reeds physically what you hear ; no accurate bends, that!