[Harp-L] Note bending technique
How many of you understand that when you bend a note to the "floor" (my
label for that place where the note bends down to the "max" and won't go any
lower) the actual pitch is almost 1/4 tone flat? This is very similar to playing
the 5 hole inhale and bending it downwards.
One wouldn't want this lowered pitch to represent the sound of 5 hole inhale
for most situations involved w/melodic line reproduction if you are
concerned with in/out of tune.
The same may be said for all those notes created through bending techniques.
OB's are even more evident, as you really need to tweak your technique to
pull them closer to true pitch.
If you are strictly a blues player, this phenomenon is not so critical to
the music. However, with the new wave of players expanding the diatonic into
other areas of music, it is an important consideration.
For example, 4 hole inhale bend - when you achieve proper pitch and sustain
it, you should have room below to bend further downwards - exactly the same
note placement as playing 5 hole inhale with the ability to bend this pitch
downwards. However, this is quite a finesse point and takes sensitivity and
awareness to first of all understand this and second of all to develop the
technique to feel this one out. Most players seem to bend down to the max, feeling
the "floor" as a resistance and using this as a guide of where to place the
If this maximum bending is considered a "floor", try to PLACE this note (or
float it) about 1 foot above the floor. Using some sort of pitch meter to help
visualize may be helpful at first to grasp this concept.
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