How to Bend Draw Notes Down in the Harmonica’s Middle Register
Yellow Bird lick
This lick starts with an unbent draw note. Bend the note down, hold it for a moment, and then release it back to an unbent note. Think Eee-Ooh-Eee. Tip: For a crying sound, try closing your hands around the harp as you bend down, and then open your hands as you release the bend.
Bendus Interruptus lick
This lick interrupts the bend so you can practice stopping and starting on a bent note. First, you go down to the bent note and stop your breath with the note still bent. Think Eee-Ooh! Hold your mouth in the bent position and start your breath again so that you start the note already bent. Then let it rise back to the unbent note. Think Ooh-Eee.
The most important thing to remember when you attempt this lick is that when you stop your breath, nothing else changes. The harp stays in your mouth, and your lips and tongue don’t move — all you do is stop breathing. When you start breathing again, everything is in place to sound the bent note, and the bent note should start right where you left off.
Close Your Eyes lick
You play this lick in two different holes. Play a draw note and bend it down. Then move one hole to the left as you release the bend. You’ll get a different unbent note from the one you started with. Now retrace your steps by shifting back to your starting hole as you start another bent note. Then release the bend. Think Eee-Ooo-(shift to the left)-Eee-(shift to the right)-Eee.
When you release a bent note, you only have to lower your K-spot by a tiny amount to allow air to flow normally. If you know you’re going to immediately go back to the bent note, keep your tongue lowered but positioned to bend, and then simply raise it again to resume the suction point that will reactivate the bend.
Shark Fin lick
This lick goes from blow to bent draw and then back to blow. Don’t let the unbent note creep in between the bent note and the blow note. Think Hee-Ooh-Hee.
The same advice applies to this lick as to the Close Your Eyes lick. Simply lower your tongue slightly when you play the blow note, and then raise it again to reactivate the draw bend.