[Harp-L] Draw bend 5

The Iceman icemanle@xxxxx
Thu Feb 1 16:41:43 EST 2018


If you are teaching blues harmonica, IMO it is a mistake to not play it nor teach it. You are missing the point - it's more than just inhale bending 5 down to its natural floor.

It's the whole range of pitch change that occurs between these two fixed points. 

If you start to think of this complete range as an expressive vocalese type tool, it will "humanize" your blues harmonica sound to a greater degree. Listen to how singers approach their target pitch from just below it. Listen to how singers will sustain their target pitch and then "color" it by slightly dipping below and returning.

In harmonica sound, if your target note is that 5 hole inhale, why not approach it from slightly below, sustaining the tension for just a little bit before allowing the pitch to slowly raise itself to the ceiling?

Not enough focus on tension/release in discussions like this...

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Hale <robert at xxxxx>
To: harp-l <harp-l at xxxxx>
Sent: Thu, Feb 1, 2018 8:53 am
Subject: [Harp-L] Draw bend 5

Why do some instructional materials, and some players insist on draw bend 5?

It can only bend a 1/4 tone down, that's half-way between two adjacent
guitar frets, and half-way between a black and the next white key on piano.
It's not a pitch incorporated into western music except for rare vocal
treatments. It's not in the scale, not in the key.

1/4 tones ARE of prime importance in East Indian music, and music of Asia.

At most it's an "effect" and most often sounds like a bend attempt that did
not succeed.
I don't play it. I don't teach it.

You are welcome to link me to sound samples that you think are good musical

Robert Hale
Serious Honkage in Arizona

More information about the Harp-L mailing list