[Harp-L] switching blows to draws

Michelle LeFree mlefree@xxxxx
Sat Jun 11 07:06:35 EDT 2016

Rishi wrote:
> ... I've noticed that I'm playing mostly draw notes, especially in second position, which seems a bit backwards to me considering I have a larger capacity to breathe out than breathe in. Can the harmonica reeds be flipped so that draw 1 is the lowest note (instead of blow 1) and the notes go on a reversed pattern where the higher pitched notes are the blow notes rather than the draw notes (for 1-6 on richter)? As a result, instead of bending draw notes from holes 1-6, you'd be bending blow notes (ie: on hole 3, you can blow bend down 3 steps but can't draw bend)...

Two things here, Rishi.

1) You ~want~ all the draw notes so you can bend. This is the major 
attraction for the diatonic harmonica, IMO. This is what enables the 
harmonica's voice-like quality and inflection.

2) What about half-valving? Then you can bend the blow notes as well.

If you play all blow notes, you're missing half the boat. By avoiding 
bending you are "tying one lung behind your back" in the world of 
diatonic harmonicas. Best to learn how to draw ~and~ blow bend. Soon. 
Before this mental block manifests itself permanently.

Otherwise, get a chromatic harmonica.

At least that's the way I see it.


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