Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What Did You Miss This Week (Week 522 #566)

Bending Review!!!
Joe took some time last night to talk about bending. There are two critical steps to bending - One, you have to hear it to play it; and TWO, you need to master the technique. The emphasis here is on the point that you can't bend if you don't hear the target pitch in your head. Train your ear to know what you're after.

Which leads to the point that bending is an advanced skill. If you can't do musical things without bending notes, you are not ready for bending. Related is the point that bending does not equal blues.

Ready to work on bending though? Start by learning to play melodies. Your ear will know the target pitch to melodies you know well (Joe favors Christmas tunes) and won't let you cheat or miss a bent pitch. Remember also that bending is not achieved by force. Watch yourself play in a mirror and if you see grimaces, contortions or even exaggerated jaw movements, you are not on the right path. Bending is controlling the embouchure to achieve the tone you're after.

And as you're working on it, remember that playing the three draw half step bend (flat third) a little dirty will make a poor bend sound better and dirty is always a good blues choice. And generally speaking, Joe advises to play slightly sharp rather than too flat - though ideally, neither and hit it right!

Class Notes

  • There will be no Final Take recording at the end of this session.

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew