Bending Notes on the Harmonica is one of the most difficult techniques to master .. yet is the most satisfying and important technique .. especially for playing the blues.
The important thing in learning how to bend is to keep a “grip” on the air stream as you make your vowel changes. When you feel or hear the break or shape change in the note as you make the vowel change, but the note doesn’t change pitch, you haven’t got a grip on the air stream producing the note. The trick is to get hold of it and keep it as your tongue pulls slightly back and down with the vowel change.
Some of you will get this fairly easily; others will encounter initial, and sometimes protracted, frustration. DO NOT GIVE UP! You WILL be able to do this. Maybe not the first time, but it WILL happen .. and when it does .. you will wonder what was so hard about it in the first place.
Once you get the sense of how to bend, work on each hole to get control. Each hole on the harmonica has a slightly different feel, in that the pressure requirements to get the most out of each note and to control the pitch and tone are different.Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson: