Re: Blow Bends

The high blow bends are IMHO underused by most harmonica players.  Audiences
love 'em.  If I want to get a crowd stirred up, QUICK, I'll take a high note

Embouchure depends on pitch.  The lower notes require more room inside the
mouth.  Conversely, high notes need very little room.  When I play high note
bends, my tongue is on the roof of my mouth, with a small air channel.

The key to good sounding high blow bends is practice, and listening to your
pitch control and tone.  Learn to bend these slowly, deliberately,
gradually, with pinpoint control.

When can you use 'em?  Constantly.  They're every bit as valid as the low
notes, and because so many harpers shy away from them, you'll find yourself
in rarefied company.

A lot of harpers believe the high notes are good only for first position,
and yet even Jimmy Reed played them in 2nd.  I use them in all positions.
They provide different bends.  Low notes let you work off a V-9 chord.  High
ones are off the I chord.

Someone commented that they can be shrill.  Yes, if you play them too loud,
they'll cut through your whole being like a light sabre.  I try to back off
a bit when going high.

On Tuesday, September 09, 2003 6:22 AM
[GMT-7=PDT],dr.alters-wizardsway@xxxxxxx <dr.alters-wizardsway@xxxxxxx>

> Hi everyone,
> First thanks for all the help that was offered a few months ago on
> accurate and articulate bending.  Many list members and some local
> friends took time to give me practice ideas like Iceman, Alan
> Adamson, and Mark Wilson.  So now is the time for me to get blow
> bends really down.  I am concerned about correct embouchure and if
> modifications are necessary, accurate note expression particularly
> when there are two half steps involved and not getting hypertensive
> and dizzy when trying to hit them.  Some players make it look easy
> and play them tastefully and others well need I say more.  Some ideas
> on when they seem to fit in best in solos would be helpful.  I have a
> fairly good feel but I wonder if there is some theory to help guide
> me and establish a better music foundation in adding this hot tasty
> segment to my arsenal.
> Thanks in advance for the help.
> Doc
> --
> Dennis "Doc" Alters
> Harp and Vocals
> The Alternators

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.