The strange magic of the blues harmonica has a lot to do with the way you can make it cry by bending notes. The way the little metal harmonica reeds respond to your breath creates a new voice, part machine and part flesh and blood.
There are two main ways to use bending as a technique on the harmonica. One is for expression and the other is to create and sustain specific musical notes to fill in the gaps left by the notes that the reeds are tuned to.
There is one muscle in your body that does most of the heavy lifting to manipulate the vibrations of the reeds. It’s your tongue. In the video above I talk about the basic principles you work with to bend notes and a specific image you can use to train your tongue to create the shades of pitch available to you by all the forms of bending notes. Enjoy!