4 blow flat on my 4 week old seydel session pro

The 4 blow on my harmonica is flat, it’s almost as low as the 3 draw. ?Had the covers off, everything looks ok, no obvious crack in the reed, but I’m a very new boy at this. Only been learning for about 4 weeks, am managing to bend some notes on the draw, and all was going well until this afternoon when that 4 blow went flat mid tune. Is filing off a small tip of the reed the way forward, that seems to be what I can understand so far by reading arounf the subject this evening, although I’m a bit unsure of how to proceed? Any advice most welcome.


Remove the reedplate from the comb, use something thin enough to lift the reed (feeler gauge). Lift the reed aprox. 1/8" and allow it to slip from the tip of gauge/feeler and “plink” the reed, if the reed is unobstructed or otherwise good it will make a plinking sound. No sound, or a dull sound indicates that the reed is obstructed due to foriegn matter, like dried spittle, pocket lint, etc. If the reed breaks instead of plinking you indeed did have a crack in the reed and it needs to be replaced. While you have the reedplate out hold it up to a light source and look to see if the reed is centered in the reedslot. Hard blowing can cause the reed to cavitate and twist sideways causing the reed to jam against the slot at some point along its length. If the reed plinks, is not obstructed, or jammed in the reedslot, but is still flat you can bring it back into tune by filing material from the tip, last 1/4 inch. Filing form the tip raises the pitch, filing the first third of the length closest to the reedheel (rivet end) will lower the pitch. You can download a free chromatic tuner here www.seventhstring.com. Look under utilities on the left of the page. Remember to calibrate the tuner to 442Hrz. Most harmonicas are tuned a bit sharp as the act of activating the reed causes it to flatten a bit. I hope this helps you out some, don’t be afraid to lift the reed as I indicated, being a spring the reed can take quite a bit of lift before it bends. Good Luck! Super President

Well, I tried this out this morning. Looked at youtube footage of Richard Sleigh and tried to follow his procedure for gently raising the reed. I already had some small needle files and “blunt pointy things”. As I raised the reed, “snap”! So I guess that was my problem.
Replacement reed plate investigations to follow, in the meantime I’ve ordered a big river, which should arrive tomorrow ( I can just about wait that long to address this craving I have developed to play harmonica!!)

I have a lot of reading to do, but is this usual for a reed to blow so soon? I guess it depends on the nature and amount of use, and reed quality I also expect figures?

Beginners quite often blow out reeds quickly trying too hard to bend. Once you figure out how to bend it’s not that stressful on the reeds and a harp should last quite a while.
I suggest writing to the company or place you bought it and tell them your story. They may replace it, being a better than average harp.

Yeah, if you try to blow bend hole 4 it will definitely go south 'cause there is no bend.

Well my new Big River arrived today, quite different to the Seydel. I can get the 2 draw much easier, it’s a bit heavier than the Seydel due (I think) to the plastic comb. Also the steel plates are concave making it feel nicer to position my thumb and forefinger. Sound is a bit richer too, less “metalic” in my view. Only had it a couple of hours but given it cost less than half the price of the Seydel, it dosen’t yet feel it’s half the quality. Especially as it cost less than replacement reed plates for the Seydel. I was reading on another forum that the 4 blow on the Seydel quite often goes, sometimes even after a month, not sure what you folks think over here?

I have around 12 harps and have yet to break a reed. I thought I blew my first harp out of tune and bought another to replace it only to find out it was my technique that was bad. I only have Special 20’s, a Marine Band, and a Blues Master. I’m no pro by a long shot but do enjoy playing.

I been playing for many years. Bought my first Seydel (blues session)and 2 notes went flat within 2 weeks. Guess that is why they changed to different reeds. OH yea, The manufacturer’s “so called warrentee” was no help. They just sent it back with same two reeds still flat. Of course Hohner is no better. I would suggest that you buy all your harps from a reputable company like Musician’s friend. They will replace them within 30 days free of charge and they will match anybody’s price. You can’t beet them.