Re: Practice exercises...?
I use a set of bending exercises given to me by
my teacher, Dave Morrison. They are simple to
remember, and really help improve my bending.
Notation: 1 = hole 1, etc.
b = blow, d = draw
h = half step bend, w = whole step bend
t = three half step (1 1/2 steps) bend
So 3dw means play 3-hole draw bent down a whole step.
Alternate between adjacent holes, playing one unbent
and successively playing all the available notes on
1d 2d 1d 2dh 1d 2dw (repeat) or,
2d 3d 2d 3dh 2d 3dw 2d 3dt (repeat).
You could also work from the lowest bent note up:
2d 3dt 2d 3dw 2d 3dh 2d 3d (repeat),
or work your way down and up:
1d 2d 1d 2dh 1d 2dw 1d 2dh 1d 2d (repeat).
Start slowly, then pick up speed. Work on the whole
harp, including the blow bends. Also use the upper
hole as the unbent one:
3d 2d 3d 2dh 3d 2dw (repeat).
Obviously, there are lots of variations. I suggest
working on a few at a time. Like all exercises, they
can be tedious, but they work. Next time you're
playing a song and can't quite get the right bend in
the 3 hole, stop and do the 2d 3d exercise. Then play
that song phrase again. I bet you'll hit that note.
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