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3 Draw
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23 posts
Mar 05, 2020
1:33 AM
Anyone else have trouble with three draw. Both C harp and D harp have needed adjustment to my playing style straight out of the box just to get the three draw bends to work for me. The one,two and Four no problems just the three draw.

Had this problem on two Seydels, Blues and Session steel in C also a Suzuki Blues Master so it's me not the harp and the reed needs adjusting to me.

Just wondering if anyone else has these issues.
327 posts
Mar 05, 2020
3:43 AM
I had problems on the 3 draw bends, so set my harps aside...for 30+ yrs..
So I don't recommend doing that.

Turns out it was me that needed "adjusting" not the harps. Mostly thinking the same for you, if the note is not playing on several harps then you would need to change the way you try to play them, most likely.

I would always try way to hard to bend the note and basically choke them out. Then basically I would panic everytime I had a 3 bend and try to nail it like I needed a 3 pound hammer or something.

It's a light touch..also I needed to learn what the notes I was trying to play actually sounded like in the various keys and harmonicas things like that.

good luck...have fun

Last Edited by Spderyak on Mar 05, 2020 3:45 AM
6531 posts
Mar 06, 2020
3:31 PM
I don’t have much to add.
Just some clarity; it’s bending the 3 draw which is the problem, rather than just playing the natural 3draw?
24 posts
Mar 09, 2020
10:30 AM
Just the bent notes on the C and D harps. Sorted the C harp out by adjusting the reed. Need to get the D harp sorted.
6538 posts
Mar 09, 2020
4:18 PM
Do you have anything higher than a D?
It sounds likely a question of calibration but it’s interesting you can adjust reeds and get results. This indicates it may not be totally a technique problem, but I’d probably need to understand exactly how the reeds have been adjusted.

For advice, I’d say mainly just keep at it.
Apart from that, the 3 draw whole step on a D harp is note ‘B4’.
This is the same note as draw 4 on an A harp, and Draw 3 of a C harp.
Try playing that straight draw 3 on your C harp and then take that thought to the full step 3 draw bend in the D harp.
25 posts
Mar 16, 2020
1:22 PM
D is highest one I have. On the C I bought three of them Seydel session/steel and a Suzuki Blues Master adjusted the reeds on the three draw till it worked. On the D still needs a bit of adjusting but seems to need opening up for me. Must be the way I play. Me and standard gapping on the higher reeds don't seem to get on.
6547 posts
Mar 16, 2020
8:49 PM
It’s getting to be a long time ago now, but I remember struggling with 6 draw bend on my D harp, and sometimes the C. I also recall that I started playing F harp and it was very hit and miss for a while, as was the high end of many harps.
I had to persist with the F and eventually it came right. This was likely before I was really down with adjusting reeds.

One thing I’ve noticed, or keep noticing, is that there are things which once I found impossible but which I can now do, that I never specifically practiced, or did practice but gave up without ever achieving anything like ‘success’.

I can only attribute these things to the fact I play a lot and am constantly trying to play better, listening critically to not only my playing but also every bit of harp I hear.

This might seem a bit off track, but I think it isn’t really; Jimi Lee showed me a scale exercise which involved an overblow. I couldn’t do the overblow, so he tried for a while to tell me but it wasn’t happening. At one point he said it’s a lot like blow bending the 8. He gave up when I couldn’t do that either.
That was the moment I decided to take blow bending seriously and that’s a whole line of enquiry in itself, but it turned out JL was correct and once I could reliably bend 8 blow I could also hit the 6 overblow. I hadn’t been practicing the overblow at all, it was just there.

And then a little later I found I could play the 4 and 5 overblows which I’d never got near before.

Gradually, even though I still don’t practice overblows, my ability to play them has continued to improve.

What I’m getting at is that sometimes you just don’t have the muscular control to pull off some techniques and it can take time to develop that, and you might not ever get there just by trying to do a thing you can’t do. You might get there by doing something else which gets you incrementally closer.
These days I can pretty well draw bend the 1 hole in a Low Eb. My Low E can be played as easily as a harp in the standard range.
When I bought my first Low F though, I simply couldn’t bend that 1 hole and only with great effort could I get the 2 hole.
I’ve really never consistently practiced on any of those low harps. I actually do not use them except to occasionally pick up and see if I can play them, yet somehow my ability to get those low bends has continued to grow. So how does it happen? I can only guess that it’s a combination of my general growth as a player and vocalist, that my control of the vocal tract, diaphragm, and strength of embouchure has all developed over the last few years.

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