[Harp-L] overbending - was harmo torpedo

captron100@xxxxx captron100@xxxxx
Wed Aug 23 13:24:30 EDT 2017

Leonard wrote: Ron........ you are correct...... there's lots and lots of videos out there (as I've begun to see from the link you sent). Couple questions: You use the term "overbending". Does overbending apply to BOTH overdrawing and overblowing (obviously depending on breath direction)? For example, if I blow on 4,5,6 on C harp I normally hit the C E G..... so (correct me if I'm wrong) with an overblow of 4 Blow (overbend) I will play C# (same as Db.... in normal 4 Bent position); then F or 5 Overblow (which is the same as 5 draw); then G# or 6 Overblow (same as 6 Bent Ab)? That's the root of my confusion.

  Leonard, for the benefit of all, I am replying on Harp-L.  You are incorrect in your statement that the notes that are overbent duplicating notes that are already available as normal bent notes. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to play the three chromatic scales that are possible. This page will show you the names of the notes on a C harp - http://www.overblow.com/?menuid=26.  The normal, or regular, bends are marked with a green dot and the overbends are marked with a red dot.  For example, note that hole 3 draw enables you to bend down three half steps.  Another example, see the 4 hole - if you bend the 4 draw, u get a half step down from the D note - Db (aka C#). If you OB 4 blow, you get an Eb note (a note higher than the normal unbent note. As I said in an earlier post, normal bends bend DOWN. Overbends sound a pitch HIGHER, not lower, than the normal unbent note). Don't forget to go to the home page. This website contains more info than a normal person can ingest in a lifetime, so don't be overwhelmed.
  Overbending is a general term for both overblows (blow notes) and overdraws (draw notes). 
  I always advise students that they get down the basics before attempting overbends. First and foremost, they should concentrate on playing single notes; and learn where all the notes are on a harp by playing the diatonic scale (doe, ray, me, fa, so, la, te, doe) and very familiar melodies, such as Mary Had A Little Lamb, etc.  You might want to play the diatonic scale in the 2nd octave, starting on hole 4 blow, while looking at the diagram at the overblow web page. When learning to bend effortlessly, concentrate on intonation. Always have fun or else you won't stick with it, because it DOES take a lot of time and dedication to get to be very good.  If I had spent just half of the time that I've spent practicing and playing music and instead applied the time to study in college, I could be a brain surgeon (and I'm not).
  I hope I've been able to express myself without confusion. If not, ask away - the people on Harp-L is a great community with lots of people who are very willing to help.
Ron - FL Keys

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