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Harmonica Lessons: Bend Simply: 6th Hole Draw

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Okay, now I'm gonna show
you the other bends that are on
the draw part of the harmonica.
We're gonna move now to
the one that it's easy,
but it requires a little bit
of a tighter embouchure.
It happens even more in
the front of your mouth.
It's the sixth hole draw bend.
And you're saying what about five?
How come you don't show me five?
Well, let me show you
something on the piano first.
That'll be the reason I'm
not showing you five.
If you look at the fifth hole, I'll play
it for you, the blow is E the draw is F.
Now on a piano
you see that E and
F are right next to each other.
There's no note in between.
So if you try to bend F down
it doesn't really bend anywhere.
And if you do that a whole bunch, you're
gonna make your [LAUGH] harmonica go flat.
The F note will go flat,
the E note will go flat all of them,
they do go out of tune.
Most harmonicas go out of tune, and
when you're learning how to bend,
usually you're trying to pull too hard and
you're gonna stress the reeds, and
the metal does fatigue.
And they'll go out of tune.
But this note
you can bend it for an effect.
But it doesn't really bend down.
It gives the illusion of bending down.
Some blues players like that illusion and
do it.
But I just wanna show you why I'm not
giving you a real lesson on bending it.
Because there is no real
note that it bends to.
So if we go up to the sixth hole,
which is the next hole up.
We have these two notes.
G and A.
And much like that C and D between G and
A, there is one half step down.
That's what we call it.
A to A flat, or you could call it G sharp.
E, that one
is really an E sound.
It's kind of like an E, and
also again like in french
when you say [SOUND].
Kind of G, E, because like I said,
all of these bends,
as you get to the higher and higher notes,
the bends take place more and
more in the front of your mouth.
Because the pitches are higher and
you don't need the big cavity in
your mouth to create the resonance.
So, it's a very small bend.
[SOUND] It's not small in size.
It's the same size.
It's a half step just
like bending D to D flat.
It's called a half step.
A to A flat is a half step, but
the feeling of it is smaller.
It's happening in a small
part of your mouth.
The tongue is still
behind the lower teeth.
But [SOUND] it's really thrusting forward
instead of going back into your throat.
It's kind of between
goo and gee [LAUGH].
And once you get this bend,
remember I was showing you
things in third position.
So if we want [SOUND]
now we're in D minor.
That is the bend that's
the fifth in D minor.
So you can bend the flatted
fifth in third position blues,
with that sixth hole draw bend.
So that's a good way to practice
it because its really essential
to playing blues in third position.
More than it is to playing
blues in second position.
Because that bend in second position,
it sounds good and it's useful, but
it's more important to play it
in third position D minor music.
Blues, Irish music if you wanna play
that song Scarborough Fair that I was
showing you earlier.
Now you can give
it expression.
Irish music has bends in it too.
See, I'm bending the fourth hole draw.
And the sixth hole.
See, you can get
a lot of expression now in
a tune that you wouldn't
think of the blues.
But you can play anything with expression
and bluesiness on a harmonica if
you know how to bend notes, and
that's the beauty of the instrument.
No other instrument can play
a simple folk melody with so
much soulfulness and
feeling as the harmonica.