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Harmonica Lessons: Bend Simply: Blues Licks

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And then, once you can do this bend,
all sorts of blues licks
start opening up for you.
Because In the cross heart
position which is the key of G.
Second hold draw.
The D that's the fourth hole draw is
the fifth note of the scale.
And the main bend that you do in the blues
is to bend to the flatted fifth.
Which people call the blue note.
And you combine
it with the hand wah
And then you can do the warble in
stead of just
you can go
All of a sudden,
the blues opens up in front of
you like you've opened up
a door into a new world.
I remember what it felt like
when I bent my first note and
it was [SOUND] all that stuff
I've been wanting to play.
I'd been listening to all these blues
harmonica players, Paul Butterfield and
Junior Wells and
Little Walter and James Cotton.
And I had gone to hear some of them live,
and I just thought it was
the greatest stuff I ever heard.
And I couldn't do any of it until
the one moment where all of a sudden,
a whole thing clicked for
me where I could bend a note.
And then I could bend another note and
then another one.
So It might happen for you that way.
You might have to,
struggle for a little while.
Maybe you'll get the first
hole bend right away.
Maybe you won't get the fourth hole
draw bend right away as easily
as you get the first hole,
because your embouchure, you remember?
You have to keep the embouchure.
Sometimes when you try to bend for
the first time,
your embouchure might spread out.
And you're kinda lose that seal,
that is necessary to create
the air tightness of,
to get the vacuum in your mouth.
So that everything just
happens efficiently.
And the same thing as the fourth hole,
you don't need to pull real hard on it.
You can do this.
It's almost like the, like you're lower
lip goes in a little bit, and
your upper lip comes out.
Little bit of an over bite almost
You can do it that way,
you can do it a lot of different ways.
Like, the best way is
really to keep that lower
jaw bigger because it'll
give you a bigger tone.
There's a lot of
different ways to do this.
And you notice, you can bend and
unbend it.
That's a good thing to practice too, and
that leads later to a certain kind
of vibrato that I'll deal with.
All right, well, I hope that you've
had some success with these bends,
and you can definitely
try them along with me.
I'll just bend it a few times slowly and
you can try playing along with me here.
This is gonna be that fourth hole.
I'm gonna start it unbent,
and then bend down.
Here it goes.
And breathe
between, [LAUGH].
Try bending
it down a few times.
[SOUND] And then, once you get that,
you can try hitting it bent.
[SOUND] Then bending
it back and forth.
And that leads to
the simple blues lick.
Of bending four down.
Letting it up to four, and
then sliding over to five.
Which you're not gonna bend.
So, bend, unbend, slide over to five.
Then you do the wawa.
You can see where these blues licks
just come organically from learning
how to bend just that one note.
It's very important, it's probably the
most important bends on the harmonica for
playing simple blues.