It was at the moment between draining and filling my tumbler that I remembered that I've been wanting to try out a harmonica. I half-heartedly started to look through what was available, fully ready for some obscene price for a small instrument; that or the harmonica is cheap but doesn't function, aka sneaky Chinese knock offs. Much to my surprise, they were all quite affordable and decent quality (as per reviews). I decided to go with the Bluesmaster made by Suzuki. It was $36 CAD, so it's not like I was breaking the bank. As it turns out, the harmonica is actually well made!
So, here it is, the much vaunted ultimate mobile instrument, right in my hands. I lick my lips and give it a try. Much to my relief, the sound is quite crisp and true. I quickly learned that playing the harp (harmonicas are called harps for some reason) requires you to both blow and draw in order to get the full range of notes. I never realized how hard it is to keep playing draw notes consecutively. It feels like the inverse of being out of breath, hard to explain.
So away I went, playing some made up jaunty tune, having a blast. Then my dog started howling. Every time I started playing, she would start howling. I was nearly doubled over laughing as my dog was looking at me concerned and confused. I finished my fit of laughter, tried again, and she started howling again. I guess it really is bluesy if my dog wants to sing a duet about her doggy-blues :lol:
Anywhoo, fast forward a couple weeks and I finally figured out how to bend the notes to actually get that real bluesy sound you hear when others play. As it turns out, no one can clearly explain the process. To save someone else time, the act of bending a note on a harmonica, is to partially close off or restrict the are flow through the hole. The easiest way to get the sound is to turn the harmonica upwards so your bottom lip will partially block the hole. Then your brain can figure out what shape to make with your mouth to get the same sounds (ee and oh) without moving the harp.
It goes without saying, as soon as I started playing with my newfound bluesy sounds, my dog was keen to jump in with her own. I wouldn't have it any other way! 10/10 would recommend