High End Bends

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

High End Bends

Postby eline » Wed May 02, 2007 4:13 am

One of the things I tend to shy away from while playing the harp is the high end of the register. However, I've been working on it. The one hole that gives me the most trouble is the ten hole. I either play the straight note or I play the full bend. The note that gives me the problem is the first note bend. I just don't have the same control on the high end as I do on the low end of the register. Any suggestions?
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Postby jeffl » Wed May 02, 2007 12:26 pm

When I first started trying to get more comfortable with the upper register it seemed like I had to work on using less air up there before any amount of control was achieved. Also, I may be passing along a bad habit here (one of the other guys may have an opinion on THIS point) but I found that I tilted my my embrochure to the left, slightly off the face of the harp when I moved up-- like I was straining to hear something with my left ear. Again, I think that was done to make it easier to use less wind force. It's a weird deal, 'cuz when you're learning to play up there, you use less force initially in order to gain control; then when you have gotten more accustomed to the notes, you can start to resupply force for emphasis and volume.
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Postby FunkyStickman » Wed May 02, 2007 6:03 pm

Don't take this as gospel, as I haven't been playing that long, but if you can get a full sound up on the 10 hole (kinda like getting a non-bent 2-hole draw, it's kinda tough to do it loud) then you're halfway there. I've noticed that the higher notes take much smaller tongue movements to get a decent bend, so that would lead me to believe that muscle memory and practice would probably help the most.

You did mention that you could play the bends up there, you just needed more control. With such small movements needed, it's definitely hard, so I'd start with a very small bend, and practice "hitting" it over and over until you can do it without thinking.

This is kinda similar to doing altissimo on a sax. Very small mouth changes make a huge difference, and the only way to do it consistantly is just practice.

Heh... sorry, I'm all out of "magic practice juice." :)
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high end bend

Postby bigcat72 » Sat May 12, 2007 6:40 pm

hope this helps try your t articualation try t toe t blowing out get jerry portnoys blues harmonica masterclass man it is great and will help u alot .happy harpin 8)
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