Re: Hole 3 bending

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Posted by Ron on May 01, 2002 at 04:32:26:

In Reply to: Hole 3 bending posted by Javamax on May 01, 2002 at 01:30:10:

On the 3 hole there are 3 draw bends. The first bend is a half step down from the natural draw. On a C harp the 3 hole natural draw is a B and the first bend is a Bb. The second bend is a whole step down from the natural draw (B down to A) and the third (or bottom) bend is one and a half steps down (B down to Ab).

3 hole bending is tough because there are 3 draw bends. It is relatively easy to know when you are on the natural note (no bend) and it is RELATIVELY easy to know when you hit the bottom bend. The two intermediate bends are tough. There are probably a billion or so ways to practice. Here is what helped (and still helps) me.

1. Find something to give you reference tones for the 3 hole bends and try to play those tones. I found Jerry Portnoy's "Harmonica Masterclass" very helpful for this. He uses an A harp for all the lessons and he does an excellent job of teaching bending. He provides you reference tones so you can listen and play. One of Jerry's recommendations that works for me is try to hit a bend and hold it as long as you can. This builds the muscle control and muscle memory need for good bending. This practice technique continues to be very effective for me. Jerry suggests and demonstrates a bunch of other exercises that really helps to build bending control.

2. Try to find the "sweet spot" on those intermediate bends. When you are not actually on the bend the note will sound somewhat "sour." When you are right on it and can hold it, the bent note will sound more "sweet." This is also a Portnoy recommendation and it works really well for me.

Don't get discouraged if you don't nail those 3 hole bends right away, you are like everybody else. If you do nail them right away make haste and find a good agent because you are extraordinary and will probably be on your first record tour within a year. The 3 hole bends are toughies. You will get them if you practice them.

Have fun and good luck.


: Where's the difference in carrying out a whole step and a half step bend on hole 3 draw...

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