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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > "Resistance" in the higher notes?
"Resistance" in the higher notes?
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1 post
Feb 22, 2018
1:03 PM
I bought a Lee Oskar (C) harmonica a few days ago, and have been following a few beginner videos on Youtube.
Today I attempted to play Billy Joel's Piano Man:
6 -6 6 -5 5 -5 5
and found on the 6 draw I could not get any sound, it felt like trying to suck a thick milkshake through a straw, a lot of resistance.
I tried the higher notes and noticed the same thing, I couldn't find much on why/how this is happening so I thought I would ask here.
When trying to figure out what the issue was I blew a little harder into the 6 and noticed it "loosened" and I could finally somewhat hit the 6 draw but over time it would go back to the way it was previously.
Any advice on how this could be happening and how I can prevent it would be much appreciated. Thank you.
113 posts
Feb 22, 2018
7:32 PM
Sounds like a typical beginner problem, harmonics have little in common with milkshakes, think instead of blowing on a hot cup of coffee, and then try the harp again with that amount of force, blowing or drawing.
If you need to increase the air flow, do so slowly till you find the sweet spot. With a harmonnica less is more.
2535 posts
Feb 23, 2018
12:12 AM
That's good advice. Particularly on the high notes, you have to think 'huffing' as if cleaning your spectacles.

Can't rule out that it's the harp, and that's the problem starting out - hard to tell. If it's just one note where you get the problem and the others are ok, that might indicate it's the reed needs a bit of tweaking.
203 posts
Feb 23, 2018
6:45 AM
The reeds do get smaller as we go up the harp.
I go easy up there. I am of the breathe the note to get it to sound nice and sweet, school of thought.

.. I used to clench up my mouth as I went up the high notes..it was very counter productive.

you might be finding yourself doing much the same

Last Edited by Spderyak on Feb 23, 2018 6:47 AM

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