first time player, and i got 2 questions already

I never touched a harmonica, but, god know why, i decided to try and love it.
However, i got two questions :
I own a hohner blue midnight in C which i bought, and a seydel session steel in A which i received, and both seem to have this weird same issue:
when drawing from hole nr 2, the sound is everything but normal, like it was filled. it’ s hard to describe. I first noticed it on the hohner, and thought “well, i must have bought the one that is broken, heh whatever” :-p, but then when i received the session steel, exact same issue, so i was wondering maybe that’s normal?
i tried with a sound tuner (i don’t know how to say in english, but you play the note, and the app tells you what note it is), and everything (almost) sounds ok, except that 2nd hole draw, the tuner tells me it’s the exact same note that the 3 blowed…

i don’t know if i explain myself correctly.

2nd question is: on the seydel session steel, the metallic exterior seems not to be “air tight” (see this photo).
is it normal? does it matter?

thanks a lot for all your infos !


I am a newbie too. I don’t know about your second question but I think I can answer the first one based on my limited experience and knowledge of music in general

Two hole draw is a pain point for most beginners and takes time for getting it right (the leaking & hard to draw feeling goes away soon) also most beginners tend to automatically bend the note a little due to the tounge shape. As far as your harp and tuner is concerned, it seems to be ok as 2 draw and 3 blow are the same notes in a diatonic harp. i.e. in a C harp 2 draw and 3 blow is G

Hope it helps.


Wolvorine ;D

I too had a lot of problems with 2 draw, even to the point I thought it was broken and thought about sending it back.

Then I stumbled across a book called Instant Blues Harp by David Harp (before JP Allen’s) and almost fell over when the author described my exact problem!

It was like he read my mind.

It seems if you have problems with 2 draw it is because you are in the prebend zone. Raise your tongue up a bit to restrict your air flow or slant the harmonica up about 20 degrees and see if that doesn’t work.

Harmonica for Dummies does the best job of describing the tongue position and JP Allen suggested the slant to the harmonica. Ultimately, whatever works for you is right.

The good news is bending your first note isn’t far behind.

I remember my first bend. I heard the tone change, the chromatic tuner registered the lower note, AND I felt the bend resonate all the way down my windpipe into the chest.

I also like JP’s method of using your lower lip to play single notes. No one else I’ve talked to locally has used that, but instead of puckering up for a single note and getting my face muscles tired now, the lower lip does the work and doesn’t get tired.

I also took JP’s advice and bought a Honer Special 20. Plays well and bends pretty easily. His latest recommendation is the Suzuki Manji. It’s a $60 harp while the Special 20 is $33. I suspect I’ll end up with a set of 7 Manji with case at about $280.

I like the David Harp Book first. It got me tootin and now I’m working through JP’s stuff.

Responding to your 2nd question:
I like to play the Session Steel myself and it is absolutely airtight and one of the best harmonicas to get your harp journey started on. It is very easy for learning how to bend