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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > When to single bend (vs not bend) the 3 draw
When to single bend (vs not bend) the 3 draw
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IaNerd
92 posts
Jun 07, 2022
2:46 PM
There are blues riffs in 2nd position which, to my amateur ear, can be played with either a straight 3 draw or a 3 draw single bend. Please help me think in general terms about situations where one is more appropriate than the other.

Sorry in advance if this topic has been discussed ad nauseum.

Last Edited by IaNerd on Jun 07, 2022 5:16 PM
WinslowYerxa
1763 posts
Jun 07, 2022
9:52 PM
Do you want the sunny, unbent sound, or the darker one-semitone bend?

Are other instruments playing one or the other? You should probably match them.

Advice often runs that you should definitely bend the note down on the IV chord, to match the 7th in that chord. But it's not always true. Your ear will be the final judge.

Listen to LIttle Walter's "Off the Wall," and listen closely to what he does with Draw 3. Sometimes he plays a whole verse using unbent Draw 3 (not bending it down for the IV chord as the standard advice often runs), then playing it bent for the entire next verse. Each choice is part of the overall feel he's creating for the verse, and the contrasts he's setting up between the verses.
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IaNerd
93 posts
Jun 08, 2022
5:21 AM
Thanks, Winslow!
snowman
769 posts
Jun 08, 2022
8:08 AM
Is the song minor or major--
Thrill is gone the main chord is Bm7-u should bend

Find that song on you tube or whatever ---get an E harp, play 1d 2d 3d all unbent ---when u hit the the 3 draw over the Bm7 it sounds bad--now bend 3 draw 1st bend -- it fits--this does not apply if u play third position or a natural minor harp

On guitar in a standard 145 blues say A7 D7 E7---its not uncommon to hammer from the minor third to the third. Jonny Lang does it in "rack Em Up" ---it gives it an edgy sound.
Peace
IaNerd
94 posts
Jun 08, 2022
8:55 AM
I'm starting to wonder if there are people who otherwise enjoy the PentaHarp, but then retune the thirds up to major, and draw-bend them as needed.
snowman
770 posts
Jun 08, 2022
9:43 AM
Ive never been able to just post audio [not through You Tube}---sorry

also need to remember, how to post using new laptop

sorry if not beneficial

heres the hammer on from b3 Minor 3 whatever to major on guitar





I tried the penta and thought about re- tuning---gonna save fit for back up reeds

Last Edited by snowman on Jun 08, 2022 9:45 AM
IaNerd
95 posts
Jun 08, 2022
2:04 PM
While we’re talking about flat thirds …

I understand that a “bluesy” flat seventh would be a *septimal* minor seventh, which is 31 cents flatter than would be dictated by Equal Temperament.

With a “bluesy” flat third, is there a theoretical departure from ET? This is relevant because this note appears “stock” as an unbent draw note four times on the PentaHarp.
WinslowYerxa
1764 posts
Jun 08, 2022
8:40 PM
@ianerd "I'm starting to wonder if there are people who otherwise enjoy the PentaHarp, but then retune the thirds up to major, and draw-bend them as needed."

Why do that? Just play it in tenth position.

For instance, if you have an A PentaHarp, use Draw 1 as the home note. You'll be in C and you have both the major and minor thirds, along with bends between the minor 7th, major seventh,tonic (Draw 1, 4, 7, 10) and between the fifth, flat fifth, and fourth (Draw 3, 6, and 9. This is actually a much more flexible position than first position on the PentaHarp.

I've made a coule of recordings where I do that.

PentaHarp Slow Drag is an 8-bar blues played in Eb on a C PentaHarp:



Flyin' Phil is in C on an A PentaHarp:


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Last Edited by WinslowYerxa on Jun 08, 2022 8:41 PM
IaNerd
96 posts
Jun 09, 2022
8:25 AM
Good point about 10th position, Winslow. I would add that, in 10th, raising the 2 draw by a semitone provides a useful I chord (i.e. major). It could still be bent when desired.
WinslowYerxa
1765 posts
Jun 09, 2022
2:04 PM
Retuning the 2 Draw up a semitone would make it a true pentatonic harp but would also give you a duplication between 2 Draw and 3 Blow. The duplication would be the major third of he scale in 10th position, which is not the most useful kind of duplciation, but the fifth in first position, which is potentially more useful.
----------
Harmonica lessons with one of the world's foremost experts
Check out my blog and other goodies at winslowyerxa.com
Harmonica For Dummies, Second Edition with tons of new stuff
99
100 posts
Jun 10, 2022
5:54 AM
So so so above my head. I have much to learn. --99


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