Learn to Play Blues Harp Harmonica
Why does my 4 hole draw on my harp/harmonica keep going out of tune?
Filed under: Harmonica Reeds

It took months for it to go out the first time around. I just got a new reed for the harmonica because I screwed up trying to tune it and now a week later the 4 hole draw on the new reed is off again. What’s going on? Playing too hard on the 4 or what?


First thing I’d do is check the comb to make sure there isn’t some kind of flaw that is interfering with the reed plate and flattening the reed. If that checks out, I suspect you are playing really hard. Many people don’t realize that reeds need to be broken in gently before you play them hard. They last much longer that way. Blow/draw over and over again gently.

Gradual increase the force of the blow/draw. I spend about an hour doing this on all my new harps. What you are doing is fatiguing the metal so that it will give on a hard blow/draw without staying flat permanently. I’m not a fan of customized harps myself. I personally feel they’re a gear head ego stroke. Little Walter seemed to do fine with stock harps. But for players who play really hard, it may be a viable alternative. Customs generally have much less leakage, requiring much less force to get the same volume. Something you may want to consider.

What type of harmonica is ideal for playing with a guitar (acoustic)?

Technorati Tags: Harmonica Reeds, Harping the Blues, Little Walter, replacing reeds

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5 Comments for 'Why does my 4 hole draw on my harp/harmonica keep going out of tune?'

  1.  
    Saint Luy Kid
    March 31, 2010 | 7:40 pm
     

    I don’t play this, but like you said I know if you play too hard on it, it goes out of tune quicker. Just an idea, try playing a little softer.
    References :

  2.  
    onenastyolddog
    March 31, 2010 | 8:01 pm
     

    i used to Blow out Hole 4 on any Harps cheapo’s or expensive 1’s i was a Lip Purser,,now i Tounge Block but most harps Blow out on Holes 3,4,5 the most..allso as a lip purser i Now Find that i played into the harp to Hard the harp will play it’s self with a gentle less force full attack of the reeds..still bring the wind up from the bowls Bro But less force you will find your tone is allso better,,but when you want to be heard let it rip but not all the time say when soloing..if it’s loud you want get amped up Buy a Harp mic..Google search & check out the SK9 Little Honker in Ebayland 4 some cheap fun but seriouse tone
    References :

  3.  
    martin couch
    March 31, 2010 | 8:37 pm
     

    First thing I’d do is check the comb to make sure there isn’t some kind of flaw that is interfering with the reed plate and flattening the reed. If that checks out, I suspect you are playing really hard. Many people don’t realize that reeds need to be broken in gently before you play them hard. They last much longer that way. Blow/draw over and over again gently. Gradual increase the force of the blow/draw. I spend about an hour doing this on all my new harps. What you are doing is fatiguing the metal so that it will give on a hard blow/draw without staying flat permanently.

    I’m not a fan of customized harps myself. I personally feel they’re a gear head ego stroke. Little Walter seemed to do fine with stock harps. But for players who play really hard, it may be a viable alternative. Customs generally have much less leakage, requiring much less force to get the same volume. Something you may want to consider.
    References :

  4.  
    woogieman007
    March 31, 2010 | 8:42 pm
     

    This May Not Help But Put The Harp In Hot Water For A Minute Or So, It Helps Clean Out All The Crap In It, It May Work I Did This To My Harmonicas And They Played Much Better
    References :

  5.  
    Michael L
    March 31, 2010 | 9:28 pm
     

    u r most likely playing to hard.when u play softer u can be more dynamic. light is floating and when u want u can hit it harder and make that harp honk."float like a butterfield and sting like james cotton…
    References :

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