Blues technique

Bending the note

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Bending the note is a special technique used for playing the blues. Since you can bend the note less than a tone you can create the special blue notes when you are bending. A real blues player bends the note while playing.

To describe how to bend a note on harp is difficult, it corresponds a litle bit to try to describe how to move your ears. Some people just do it. I learnt how to move my ears when I was 12 years old, one day I just did it! It was the same with bending the note, one day I just did it.
Not all notes on a harp are bendable. a high pitch harp (F-harp, D-harp, E-harp Eb-harp) is easier to bend than a low pitched harp (like the G-, A- or Bb-harp)

Before you start I would like you to the following exercise. Imagin that you are drinking a soft-dring using a straw, but the straw is long maybe 1 m long, so the bottle is on the floor, and you are standing. Have you ever tried to dring through a long straw, or you can imagine that you are drinking from a straw, but you are sucking very strong to dink as fast as possible.

What happens with you thounge when you do that?

How does it feel?

Try to implement this feeling when you suck from the harmonica.

Bending the note description

  • It is a must that you master how to draw from just one whole in the harp
  • Move the back of your tungue to the back of your mouth
  • Lift the uppermost part of your inner mouth a litle bit
  • Make a powerful vacuom in you r mouth by drawing vigourosly
  • Make the whole to the harp smaller by closing your thungue or your lip around the harp whole.

Hear the bending note


Mundharpe Vride tonen

Bend the note Harmonica

Bend the note Harmonica