I am practicing the diatonic major scale but sometimes I cannot move air or sound the note on the 7 and/ or 8 hole draw. I have this problem with different harps. It feels like it is very hard to move the air or sometimes there is a lot of suction? Any suggestions?
This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by DougM101.
Doug: I also have similar problems on all of the high notes, (7-10 holes). What helps me is to do everything I can to relax my lips, mouth, and throat, then draw and blow slowly, increasing my speed when I feel that I am producing a satisfactory note.
This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Ronald James.
The higher octave definitely requires more finess in regards to technique.
Like Ron said, make sure you are relaxed. The higher notes require a fairly exact mouth cavity shape to sound properly I find. For a long time I would squeel the higher notes (only on a particular brand of harp), and I thought it was due to the reeds twisting or rubbing in the slot. Turns out it was just me! My tongue was too far forward for the draw notes which did something to ruin the note. Fine on the blow, just not the draw. So after a bit of shuffling around I figured it out, and if I dropped my tongue they sounded strong.
So my advice, keep practicing and play around with embouchure, tongue positioning, force, etc.
Finally…. If all else fails there is a small chance that the reeds are too closely gapped, meaning that the reeds inside the harmonica are closed almost shut, with no space at the tips. This can be great for good responsive playing but can cause the reeds to not sound if it’s too tight. Mitch has a video on this I think in the tool shed? It’s not hard to fix if your harmonica is kept together with screws.