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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > It sounds wrong?
It sounds wrong?
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7 posts
Feb 19, 2020
10:11 PM
Im still new and admit i have a longer break When learning harmonica because of diffrent things happening in my life. I’ve got a Hohner Special 20 and a Seydel Session steel. When i Use Hole 1 and 2 on the harmonica it sounds weired When i draw it sounds like something is stück but When i watch inside the harmonica i Can se there is nothing Stock in it? Maybe i breathe to hard and make the Sound worse? :)

Last Edited by Dennis82 on Feb 19, 2020 10:11 PM
6499 posts
Feb 20, 2020
2:38 AM
Hard to say, Dennis. If the problem is happening with both harps, it seems likely it’s about technique.
There are people here who know about the common problem with hole 2. I don’t remember ever having that problem, maybe I had it when I began playing the first time but I just don’t remember. Anyway, I know there’s a quick fix but I don’t know what it is. I’ll go look
6500 posts
Feb 20, 2020
2:46 AM
Here’s one from Tomlin Leckie


Another, this one by Liam Ward


More, some text from Tony Ayers site


And some more, this from the British ‘harp surgery’ site


And here is young mr Gussow talking about it All those years ago


Last Edited by SuperBee on Feb 20, 2020 2:01 PM
115 posts
Feb 20, 2020
6:50 AM
I agree with SuperBee, "it ain't what you do it's the way that you do it".
When you first start the one and two hole draw are hard to get, that first video by Tomlin Leckie should help, that and a load of other stuff on the internet will tell you that this is normal most people have problems with it when they first start.
6501 posts
Feb 20, 2020
2:12 PM
It is interesting that Tomlin attributes it to the long reed of hole 2.
Logically, if that’s the case, I’d expect hole 1 to also be indicated.

Sometimes it is mentioned too, but mostly people seem to focus on hole 2. Maybe just because of the importance of the note in second position and the popularity of that approach.

This might also tie in with Adam Gussow’s observation that it usually isn’t a problem on a D harp:
Adam plays Marine Band, and on those the 2 slot reeds are the same length as the 4 slot of C harp and lower.
Not every harp is like that though. Steel reed Seydel for instance use the same slot size template for every key, so potentially the advice to get a D harp would not help a Seydel player.

It’s just occurred to me that I bought a D harp quite early on, and maybe that could be why I don’t recall a problem. Maybe I learned a few things before I really got into it
116 posts
Feb 21, 2020
8:55 AM
I thought Tomlins explanation was odd as well, but I haven't got a better one and he knows a lot more about than I.
Like Dennis82 I started with a special 20 and had a lot of trouble with the 2 draw and a bit with the 1 draw.I also have a Session steel but by the time I bought that the 2 draw was no longer a problem.
I cured it by just breathing in very gently through the harp so I could feel a cool flow of air over my tongue, then gradually increasing the flow until it started to sound something like it should. It took a few attempts but I got there eventually.
Keep at it Dennis it's worth the effort.

Last Edited by knight66 on Feb 21, 2020 8:55 AM

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