Re: [Harp-L] Hole 10 bend

Very true Neat thing about the low harps is the lack of finesse needed to make stuff happen. Get around double low F and the movement it takes to bend an 8 blow is similar to the amount it takes for  a draw bend on a regular harp. It's much easier to get a hang of what you are doing, because it is so obvious. 

Now on the 10 hole (C harp), I bend it with my tongue against the back and top of my lower front teeth then bend it down to the Bb. To get the B, I push my whole tongue forward. That's all really finessey on the C harp, but the movements are more pronounced the lower you go. 
Dave Payne Sr. 
Elk River Harmonicas 

----- Original Message ----
From: Mojo Red <harplicks@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Graham Moore <grahammoore2008@xxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2008 4:45:52 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Hole 10 bend

Hi Graham,

Yea, the half-step blow bend on the 10 hole is crazy-hard to hit, let alone control. I'm no master, but I think the best way to begin is to start with a low-key harp such as a G or low-F and practice, practice practice. First you need to gain control of the bend itself, then we'll try to find that elusive half-step.

First, see if you can get it to bend down using the least amount of breath-force as possible. Lots of guys push those blow bends hard and then it's virtually impossible to control when you go at it that way. 
Next, see if you can bend it down as slowly as possible. Smooth it out so you're not just pushing it down all at once. Nice and slow, keep the waver out. 
Then, see if you can bend it back up as slowly as possible. 
Now, slower... bend down... hold... bend up... Too fast!! Try again! Slowly and slowly and slowly. Nice long, slow breath (this part takes a bit of practice)

Okay, you've smoothed it out and are not being too forcefull. Now, sit down with a piano or other chromatic instrument and, with your G harp, play ten hole blow and the G on the piano, and then slowly lower it. On the piano hit F#... match that tone with the half-step bend on the harp. Good! Now, finish by hitting the F on the piano and match it with that nice hole-step bend on the harp. 

Keep practicing playing G, F#, F on piano, matching the tone with your harp. Nice and slow. F, F#, G... G, F#, F. Your ear will tell you when you've got it and when you're off. 

Patience! The changes in embochure are subtle! It will take a while. As you start to feel comfortabe you will devlop muscle memory for that tone/embochure. After a while, try to moving to higher key harps... Ab, A, Bb, B, C etc... The higher you go the more difficult and subtle the differences ini mouth shape (embochure) become. 

If you can accomplish this feat using an F harp, come over and tell me how you did it, because I can't hit it on that harp for the life of me. :-)

Good Luck! 
Harpin' in Colorado,
--Ken M.

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