Re: [Harp-L] overblows-overbends?

Chris - 

Overbend is a term that includes both overblows and overdraws.

Overbends are the opposite of standard bends:

- They pop up in pitch, to one semitone ABOVE the opposite note

- You get overBLOWs in Holes 1 thru 6 (the same holes where you get draw bends)

- You get overDRAWS in Holes 7 thru 10 (the same holes where you get blow bends)

You state that an overblow "kicks the note in the blow hole up a step and one half." That's not always the case.

The note you get with an overbend is always one semitone higher than the highest pitched reed in that hole, regardless of the pitch of the other note. Because actually, it's that higher reed that's vibrating backwards - pushing away from the reedplate instead into it - and sounding nearly a semitone higher. 

So, for instance, in Hole 5 on a C harp, with Blow E and Draw F, you'll get a slightly flat F# overblow, nearly one semitone above Draw F that produces the note, and only one whole tone above the E. Same thing for the overdraw in Hole 7, where you have Blow C and Draw B. The Blow C produces the slightly flat C# overdraw, which is only a whole tone above Draw B.


Winslow Yerxa

Author, Harmonica For Dummies ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5

Resident expert at

Harmonica instructor,


--- On Thu, 5/6/10, Cljdm@xxxxxxx <Cljdm@xxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Cljdm@xxxxxxx <Cljdm@xxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] overblows-overbends?
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Thursday, May 6, 2010, 6:20 AM

Hey all,
What is the difference between a overblow and a overbend. I know a overblow 
 kicks the note in the blow hole up a step and one half. What does a 
overbend  accomplish?
I can get the standard draw bends on any hole (although my intonation can  
always use work), and I can get the blowbends on 8,9 and 10 (although the 10 
 gives me some trouble with the middle bend). But overblows are still a 
mystery  to me. With I hit the 6 overblow it sounds like a cat on fire. So I 
mainly work  on standard bends and tone. I will die happy if I can even enter 
in the  slightest way,  the outer universe of Paul Butterfield, Paul DeLay, 
or any  of the greats I have been studying though the years.
Chris Mastakas

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