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Harmonica bending lesson: Learn the tune Little by Little

Hi there! In today’s lesson, I will teach you an easy bending song specially created for beginner harmonica players. I know that everyone wants to be able to bend notes since the first time he approaches the blues harp. This happens because most of us starts to play harp listening to the blues, and in order to play the blues scale, in second position, we need to be able to bend at least the draw notes on holes 2, 3 and 4. If you can bend also hole 1 that is a benefit.

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I assume today that with all the great learning material out there, you should be able play bending; if not, consider taking one or two ‘true’ lessons with a teacher, I really think bending is one of the harmonica playing pillars, and it is worth to spend 30 to 50$ for to learn it.

In the song I’m presenting before you in the teachinig video, you’ll listen also to some tongue blocking features, if you use this playing technique, try to reproduce those articulations, if not, just play how you can, the focus of this lesson is bending.

The bent notes we are going to practise today are the following:

One half-tone bend on holes 1, 3 and 4.

A whole-tone bend on hole 2 draw.

These notes are those needed to play the second position blues scale, in this particular lesson the E blue scale, performed on an A harmonica.

If you don’t have an A harp, you can use a different key harmonica, just follow the lesson looking to the tabs.

The harmonica model I’m playing today is a Seydel 1847 classic.

Song analysis:

Playing difficulty level: Beginner harmonica players.

Note bending skills: Bending on holes 1, 2, 3 and 4 draw.

Lesson focus: Playing precise draw bends on the low harmonica end, playing the second position blues scale, the shake and the dip bend.

How to read the video lesson tab:

How to read the video lesson tabs:

One plus symbol means to blow the harmonica hole.

An apostrophe means to bend the note of a half-tone.

A double apostrophe means to bend the note of a whole-tone.

A triple apostrophe means to bend the note of three steps.

A dot before the notes means to use tongue blocking articulations.

^ means playing the note with a ‘dip’ bending.

R before a note means reaching that note with a glissando effect.

Sh means ‘Shake playing’ or ‘warble’.

Ft means ’Flutter tongue’ techinque.

P means ‘Pull technique’.

V means ‘Vibrato effect’

Tr means ‘Tremolo effect’.

Following the song tabs:


2 3’ 2

.2 2’’ 2

2 3’ 4+ 2

p sh4^5

2 3’ 4+ 4’ tr4

4’ 4 5 4 4+ 3’


1’ 1 2 2’’

1’ 1 2^ 2^ 2’’

3^ 4 4 5+

3’ 2 2’’ 1 2

Thanks for having joined me in this harmonica lesson on bending. If you want to improve your skills, enroll in the online school for free and have a look to my online harmonica courses here.

Keep practising and see you soon in a new lesson!

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