Bending Harmonica

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Frequently Asked Questions...

trying to learn how to bend harmonica/blues harp, can't do it!?

I know you're supposed to suck on 5 and lower your tongue but I can't bend the note at all. Can some people just not do it?

Best Answer...


Yeah, the first guy doesn't know what's what. Martin is right on.

I just want to stress that 5-draw does not bend a whole semi-tone. It's probably the WORST hole to try to learn a bend on. You're better of focusing on holes 3 or 4.

1. Get a clear clean single note. If you can't play only one hole at a time, you'll have a tough time bending.

2. Relax and draw your air (don't suck or huff and puff)

3. Keeping the airflow smooth, playing one hole only, change the direction of airflow until the tone of the note changes dramatically. If you have a piano, hit a white key, then the black key next to it. The pitch should change at least this much if you're bending properly on harp.

I just saw a great video by Chris Michalek where he talks about learning to bend with a straw. Look him up on youtube. I have a bending video (12gagedan) and there's a ton more. One of them, plus much practice will likely get you there.