(video) Overblows and harps

Here are a few thoughts on overblows and harmonicas. These ideas are relevant to both setting up and playing overblows on the diatonic harmonica.

- Overblows, overdraws, overbends are just like regular bends. The same thing that causes a regular note to bend causes the note to overbend.

- Air flow makes the reeds move and resonance affects the frequency (pitch). This is basic to how the harmonica works.

- Resonance can make a reed stand still. Resonance is kinetic energy and it can greatly affect the frequency of a reed.

- Resonance has a strong effect on both reeds when regular bends are played. Regular bends are double reed bends and overblows are single reed bends - they have a different behavior and sound.

- Resonance has a weaker effect on the closing reed than the opening reed during an overblow. If you can't hold and overblow note, it's likely because the reed that's supposed to stand still is not standing still.

- There are several kinds of overblow. Which is your favorite?

- It’s technique, but it’s also the harp. You need technique to play overbends but you also need a harp that will respond to your playing.