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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > 7 draw overdraw
7 draw overdraw
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149 posts
May 03, 2023
7:52 AM
I would like to use the 7 draw overdraw note on a few songs. I have trouble setting up the reed properly. Any insight or advice?

3121 posts
May 03, 2023
9:54 AM
Embossing and gapping.
I recently worked on a harp for this purpose, that note is the flat five of the Five chord.
This technique is not for me, but that’s how I was able to get it to manifest.
150 posts
May 05, 2023
6:01 AM
My intention is to use this overdraw note in second position as a passing note from the 5 (8 draw) to the 4 (7 blow). There are other uses, of course, but this is a good one to start with.

I want to start by setting it up on one harp. Do you think it should be a low or high pitched harp?
3122 posts
May 05, 2023
6:40 AM
Try a valve over the 8 blow slot. That will let you draw bend 8.
115 posts
May 07, 2023
10:04 PM
If you didn't already know, it is important to adjust both the blow and draw reeds for Any overbend, be that overBlow or overDraw. The 7 overdraw is an important note to be able to hit, no matter what genre you are playing. I have gotten by without doing any embossing on any reeds and I am able to hit clean overbends. Embossing is not necessarily key to being able to hit any overbends, though it certainly can help. It makes it so one doesn't need to expend as much energy to hit Any note, not just overbends. I took note of an analogy to learn to hit overDraws. To hit the note requires the suction one uses when drawing a thick milkshake up through a straw. Using lip pursing, start with the normal 7 draw. While still inhaling, use your tongue to articulate an inhaled "two!". Your jaw should not be open much, the harp is sort of just kissing the lips. When you make the inhaled "twooooo" tongue articulation, maybe the overDraw will pop in. If so, hold the overDraw. The inhaled breath comes from the diaphragm. When you make the "two", maybe try to articulate a "THUP!" type of quick breath, almost like sipping something really hot and savory off of a spoon. I used this analogy on a friend a few years ago. He does play some rack harp, he can only draw bend, no blow bends. He followed my analogies and the overDraw popped in easily. He could hit the overDraw, then relax to get the straight 7 draw, then go back to the 7 overDraw. It was on an old Hohner Special 20 in the key of B. I had set the gaps on it to my specs. My friend does not use that 7 hole overDraw. However, he was able to hit the overDraw easily by following my suggestions. I hope this helps, give it a try. Good luck, have fun!
151 posts
May 11, 2023
8:10 PM
Thanks, Robert. I have focused mainly on gapping the draw reed for overdraws, i.e., getting it as close as possible to the reedplate. What is the goal for gapping the blow reed in this case? Also get it as close as possible to the blow reedplate?
1579 posts
May 17, 2023
6:31 AM
Tom585 - regarding your question about whether your first overdraw harp should be a high key or a low key - definitely a low key.

If you have a low E or a low F, try overdrawing on those harps just for kicks. I think you will find that you can probably hit at least the 8 overdraw without any adjustment. The 8 is the easiest overdraw to hit and the heavier reeds on the low tuned harps are easier to overdraw. It doesn't make a lot of sense to set up a low E or a low F (well, maybe a low F) to be an overblow harp because the overblows are much harder on a low tuned harp. But just being able to hit the overdraws on a low tuned harp will help you develop some muscle memory which will help you hit them on higher keys. If you are going to work on one harp to get yourself started, I would recommend an A harp.

Also, not to be contrary, but I do believe that heavy embossing is a huge help. Typically, when I build an overblow/overdraw harp, I will emboss, center, emboss, deburr (if neccessary), emboss at least 3 to 4 times to make the toleraces as tight as possible. Be sure to emboss the slot on the rivet end as well as the entire length of the slot and the tip. You can use an exacto knife to get into the tight spaces. The gaps don't have to be super tight but a little trial and error will help you find the optimal setting for you. You might find that the overdraw will squeal a little. If it does, put a dot of nail polish at the base of the reed near the riveted end. It takes a little practice, but if you are determined to get there you will.
Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
3125 posts
May 17, 2023
2:45 PM
Giving away trade secrets again Tom, we thank you.

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