Bent overblows

Overblows can be bent up. Some people can play enormous intervals on just one overblow. The tonal quality is difficult to maintain and the further the note is bent up the more difficult it gets. However with practice the tonal quality can be improved and the notes can be of practical use. Especially when played as part of fast embelishments they can be helpfull by eliminating the problem of fast switches in breath direction.


The following examples are played starting from the bent up overblow down to the unbent overblow (or overdraw in holes 9 and 7).



hole 6: B to Bb

hole 5: G to Gb

hole 4: E to Eb  

hole 4: F to E to Eb

hole 1: E to Eb  


hole 9: A to Ab

hole 7: D to Db



User Contributed Notes
05-01-2011 15:32
and yet another GREAT harmonica player who freely shares his knowledge-and I believe this guy to be one of the words best-
thanks to guys like Jason Ricci-The late Chris Machelek-and Tinus-the instrument has been truly elevated to where it has always belonged-thanks again guys
Juke Joint Johnny
Charleston SC
16-11-2009 21:35
Yes every example on this site and all recordings that I have ever made are on a C diatonic.
16-11-2009 20:56
rick walker
Are you still using a C diatonic for these examples of bent overblows?
09-12-2008 14:57
Lowering the pitch on a bend up overblow is much the same as normal bending. I suggest you take a harp, open it up and block the blowreed. That way you can play the overblow without having to worry about the blowreed. With that easier to play overblow you can experiment and find the right tongue position for playing the overblow in pitch.
08-12-2008 02:36
I can play the hole 6 overblow but only as a B natural instead of the Bb that I want. Can you describe how you lower the pitch on an overblow that is started bent up? Could you give me some ideas on how I could change my technique so that I can start the overblow unbent to begin with? Thank you.
10-09-2006 16:22
I have added the overdraws in hole 9 and 7
10-09-2006 16:15
I have recorded examples of bent up overdraws and will put them up soon.