2 draw 'slow'

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    AvatarDanny B

    I’ve read in many places that beginners often struggle with the 2 draw.

    Though I try to play it really in the front of my mouth, my 2 draw reacts slow, making a tiny pause before it starts, and often start slightly bent.
    I can only get it clean with breathing in.
    Whenever I try ‘T’ing it, it makes a ‘dooiie’ sound.

    How can I practice to get the 2 draw, while also creating an attack?
    Playing Blues with a soft, breathy start of the tone sounds awful…




    Could you please upload a recording of your bend experiments? Mitch has created a section for uploads in the forum section.

    In the beginning It helped me a lot to have a tool at hand to see if I succeeded. It’s called Bendometer and available for Android and iOS: http://www.harpsoft.com/. There are other tools out there as well, have a look.

    It took me 3-6 months till the bends started to sound the way I hoped they some day would.

    Perhaps it helps to start bending with a lower key harp (A major) – they react quicker to bends.

    Keep harping

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by UdoUdo.
    AvatarDanny B


    thank you for the answer.

    I’m not struggling with bending.
    The 2 draw bends too easily.

    I’m struggling with playing the 2 draw just clean, unbent.

    Just to clarify my question.



    Thanks for the clarification.


    Have you tried speeding up the Ting (t-t-t-t-t-t) to get a better attack? For me the Ts get the best attack if it the inward air flow is supported by the diaphragm.

    AvatarDanny B

    Hi Udo,

    thanks again.

    My problem is not creating the attack, the ‘T’.

    But the 2 draw bends immediately.

    Today I’ve tried different things with my mouth, and it seems I need to play the 2 draw only with a ‘Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ (tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii) shape.
    As soon as I try ‘Ta’ or anything (meaning, more space above my tongue), the tone bends.

    No diaphragm at work here, so far.



    Hi Danny,

    I reckon it’s one of two things…. Or both.

    Firstly the shape of the cavity in your mouth. This is a trial and error thing, but it’s the essence of bending. If you are creating the change of pressure needed to make the bend even without trying then that’s your problem.

    The other thing, and I’m only saying this as you say there is a delay in the note starting is perhaps the gapping of the reed.
    If the gap of the reed (the gap between the reed and the reed plate) is way too small it will pause and take a heavy attack to play, or not play at all.
    A close gap is useful in responsive playing but it can go too far.
    The attack needed to make it play may be forcing a bend too.

    AvatarDanny B

    Hi Ian,

    thanks a lot for your answer.

    Yes, I think it is the shape of my oral cavity.
    With all other (unbent) draws, it is more like ‘Ta’.
    With the 2 draw, I either need to breath in through my nose (so, less air flow through the harp), or make the cavity smaller, like saying ‘Tee’.

    I don’t think it is a technical issue with the harp because I’m having the same problem on two C harps.


    When I bend draw notes I pull my tongue back and drop my jaw a little. To not bend, my tongue sits gently on my bottom teeth.
    Just relax a little I reckon.

    Hank HamiltonHank Hamilton

    Hello Danny,

    I just noticed your post. I would second what Udo suggested early on. Record yourself and post the recording in the audio forum. Then everyone can hear exactly what you are trying to say in words, and then you can get some informed feedback. There was a similar post from a new member who, it seems is having the same sort of troubles with the 2 and the 1 holes. Try articulating the “ahh” sound as you inhale, this opens up the throat as when the doctor tells you to say ahh. Again, record your playing and post it to the forum.

    Just a guess on my part, but it sounds like you are drawing too hard, and the airway is restricted; you will always get a bent 2 draw if the airway is restricted and if too much air is drawn in. Post your problem so we can hear it.

    You might also do a youtube search on the topic; try tomlin leckie, liam ward, for example; lots of good info on these sites.


    AvatarDanny B

    Hi Hank,

    I need to look up how to record stuff and post it.

    I’m a bit nervous about that too! (You others are advanced players, I’m really, really a beginner)

    I’ve noticed that I have to play the 2 draw with my tongue really flat, like “eeeee”.
    ‘ahh’ is already too much, bends.

    I’ll figure out how to record and then post.
    Thank you!


    Hi Danny,

    We all had to start somewhere and yes we to struggled along the way…. there is nothing to be nervous about.
    Practice, trial and error is the road we are taking.
    Keep on harping 😎🎢🎢✌️


    Hank HamiltonHank Hamilton

    Hello again Danny,

    Even Mitch had to be a beginner, huh? So it’s a little uncomfortable at first, and I am not an advanced player, maybe advanced beginner at best; but I have been a beginner, you bet.

    If you have an iphone, ipad, or mac computer, I can be of some assistance regarding recording yourself. That is the first step, getting a recording of your playing. I amy be able to help if you have a pc or android device, not sure. But I’m sure there are others using these devices who could help.

    Here a couple of Youtube links regarding 2-hole draw problems, take a watch/listen.

    This is (not sure, but good): https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=aQ5ELGrbrgY

    This is Tomlin Leckie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTzyM-mq7Qc&t=2s



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