Posted Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:40 by David Barrett Admin
I didn't know our accordion brother (also a reed instrument, commonly made in the same factory as the harmonica) can bend notes as well. Take a listen to this interesting NPR interview... the portion on note bending is at 5:52.
Posted Thu, 11/13/2014 - 07:30 by David Barrett Admin
Comb material does not affect the the sound of your harmonica (assuming the comb is flat, making an even mating surface for the reed plate to the comb), but it does affect the feel. Choices are commonly plastic/resin, wood and metal. The issue of wood combs swelling is less of an issue these days. The most notorious in the past being the Hohner Marine Band, but they're now triple-sealed. What you'll notice the most is the hole spacing, beveling of the edge and every now and again the height (thickness). The new Hohner Rocker has noticeably larger holes than the Hohner Special 20. continue reading...
Posted Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:39 by David Barrett Admin
In regards to the 10+ bend... If your tongue moves forward in your mouth, the 10+ bend will start in the fully-bent position (10"+... 10 blow whole step bend)... in this case the Bb. This is due to the fact that your mouth is starting from a low tuning, and as your tongue moves forward the tuning of your chamber raises in pitch until you reach the pitch of the 10"+, and the bend sounds. In order to hear a slide from 10+ (C) to 10'+ (B) and ultimately 10"+ (Bb), you need to start with your tongue forward, tuning your mouth HIGHER in pitch that the bend. continue reading...
Posted Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:31 by David Barrett Admin
As I spoke of yesterday, your focus is to use the front of your tongue, far forward in your mouth... this creates the small chamber needed to tune your mouth to the blow bend you wish to produce. It's common to hear someone describing their bending process that their tongue moves forward to produce the blow bend. This is consistent with us wanting to create the small chamber, and this will work for holes 8 and 9 blow bends, but not for the 10. Chew on this for a bit... continue reading...
Posted Mon, 11/10/2014 - 06:21 by David Barrett Admin
I helped a lot of students with their blow bends at the Harmonica Masters Workshops and in ever case the student needed to have a much smaller, more frontal chamber in their mouth to produce the bend and control it. Remember back to Bending Study 1 on the site... we're tuning our mouth cavity to the pitch that we're trying to create on the harmonica for a particular bend. Blow bends are very high notes, so when raising your tongue for the bending process it's the very front of the tongue, forward in the mouth, to create the tiny chamber needed to match that very high pitch.