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David's Tip of the Day: Dip Depth

David Barrett Admin's picture

The dip is a technique used often by harmonica players, but is a technique that sometimes draws confusion for new players. To define the dip... this is where we start a note bent and then release it quickly to the intended pitch. This is similar to a vocalist swooning into a note for dramatic effect. For example, a 4 draw can be presented by playing 4' D-flat and then quickly releasing up to its natural pitch 4 D. The dip is generally a fast technique, though it can be drawn out in a slow blues for a more dramatic, bluesy effect.

A common question is, "How deep does a dip start?" The easy answer is that it commonly starts as deep as you can bend on a given hole, except for the 3 draw. All draw bends and blow bends, except for 2 draw, 3 draw and 10 blow, only bend a half step, so go right to the bottom to start your dip. The 2 draw and 10 blow dip generally sound best at the bottom as well, which is a whole-step bend in this case. That leaves us with only the 3 draw... which sounds best starting at 3' (three draw half step bend B-flat). If your intended note is 3' B-flat, then start a half step lower at 3" A. Same idea for the 3" A, start at 3''' A-flat.

Have a great weekend. P.S., Monday's tip is #1,000!