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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > 3hole draw bottom note does not work
3hole draw bottom note does not work
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Frankie
57 posts
Feb 13, 2018
12:48 AM
I have many harmonicas from different companies and all are fine except my Seydel blue sessions bras

It is F harmonica the 3 hole draw bottom note Db does not sound at all no matter how hard I try.

Does working on gap of draw hole resolve the issue?

Does the gap need to become closer to plate ?
SuperBee
5270 posts
Feb 13, 2018
1:28 AM
Hi Frankie.
There are numerous possible reasons.
It is not possible to say what is the problem based on the information you have supplied.

Please provide more information.

Did the 3 draw ever work, or has it always been non-functioning?

The reed could be obstructed by some foreign matter. Sometimes just a hair. It does not take much to stop a reed sounding.

Yes it could be set too close to reed plate but would have to see a photo or given a measurement to be able to say
Spderyak
198 posts
Feb 13, 2018
4:06 AM
While you may be trying to hard, is there a particular
song that you need that note to play...it might save you a lesson in frustration, if the note isn't part of your song.
SuperBee
5271 posts
Feb 13, 2018
4:58 AM
Oh I see you’re saying the 3 step bend won’t play. Probably not the gap. Possibly reed shape. Maybe technique.
Bike&Harp
185 posts
Feb 13, 2018
9:01 AM
Frankie that reed has quite a bend in it. It's better if it's straighter plus the action looks a bit too high IMO. Straightening out the reed will naturally bring the tip closer to the plate. Don't maybe try this if you're not happy tinkering with your harps. Best usually if a reed is as straight as possible for responsiveness. You use a tiny jeweler's screwdriver or the like from underneath the reed and gently press on the backside of the reed where it's at it's lowest. At the same time supporting the front of the reed with an opposing thumb. Press gently then retest by checking the reed profile if no change press slightly harder but don't get carried away as it's easy to put a permanent bend in a reed. Gently and frequent checking your results is the key not blindly going in like bull in a china shop and being heavy handed.
SuperBee
5272 posts
Feb 13, 2018
1:08 PM
I agree it does look to be a bit curved on the free end.

Couple of things here.
Firstly it’s good to have access to the photos but be nice if you could post an active link or embed

Also, this sort of analysis really requires consideration of both the reeds.

But, apart from the curve as noted, the gap at the tip of that draw reed seems comparatively high. Probably due to the curve but that’s not my point.

I’m wondering if I can make the point, because until you’ve seen this it might be difficult to understand what I’m trying to discuss;
Something I see quite often, and seems to be almost a factory signature defect from Seydel, I’ve seen so many from that factory, is a reed where the belly is down in the slot and the tip is raised. This makes for a very difficult reed. On the one hand they usually play but are prone to choking and don’t take bends nicely, they lack power or buzz or just cut out when you try to do much with embouchure. I can’t say for sure that’s happening here but if we are seeing what B&H and I are thinking we see, the reed curved up at the end so the reed does a belly flop into the slot with the tip entering last, then it’s pretty much the same problem anyway. The thing I’m thinking of is like an extreme version.
A reed shaped that way will not be able to be made play really well just through setting the gap.
This is the sort of thing some call ‘advanced’ but it’s really just observation and application of pressure and counter pressure to change the shape of the reed, with the aim of having it enter the slot all at the same time, along the length.
I can only echo what B&H said. If you are gonna get into this, go very steady.
I’ll add, I’ve done this thousands of times with good results and only a few disasters. I have a backup plan in case of disaster because I can install new reeds. If I couldn’t do that I’d just be more careful.
Also, one reason I don’t care for Seydel harps is that I find the reed material is more difficult to work with. The steel reeds are one thing and can be dealt with ok once I recalibrate the amount of persuasion required, but Seydel brass seems more brittle and easier to damage than Hohner or, say, Lee Oskar reeds.
SuperBee
5273 posts
Feb 14, 2018
3:06 AM
Yeah Frankie the thing is, we are speculating. It looks a bit like it could be a bad reedshape but I can’t really tell from the photos. The 4 draw reed looks similar. If I had the Reedplate here in front of me and I could hold it and look through from the back of the slot and watch what happens when I push the reed into the slot I could say for certain but I can’t do that.

Hey! Watch this video:

https://youtu.be/PYfrHPNrNgg

Watch the first part because he is showing you how to see what’s going on. At about 7 minutes in he starts working on a harp where the 3 draw bends are not good. The problem may not be the same as yours but the principles apply.

Last Edited by SuperBee on Feb 15, 2018 1:18 AM
MindTheGap
2526 posts
Feb 14, 2018
4:19 AM
Somewhat OT, but that EastTop I bought had a little twist in the reeds a bit like in those diagrams. At first I thought oh, that's a bit sloppy. But I noticed all the reeds had it. I still don't know if it's an artefact of the manufacture or a deliberate thing. The only symptom is that it plays very well.

Out of interest I tried removing the twist on a reed, but the phosphor-bronze reeds are so springy it wasn't really possible.
Fil
371 posts
Feb 14, 2018
5:32 AM
MTG, “The only symptom is that it plays very well.” Good one.
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Phil Pennington
SuperBee
5278 posts
Feb 17, 2018
2:48 PM
New reed? Or reedplate?
I’m interested in why they changed the tune. First they said there’s no problem. What happened in between to convince them?


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