Fixing a stuck reed?

Need a little help. I’ve searched the forum the best I can and I can’t find a direct answer, so sorry if this one has been beat to death. I continually have problems with killing the #5 draw on my harps. Of course it died because I haven’t been cleaning my harps. I know…I’ve been playing harp for better than 30 years and I just learned today about cleaning them as routine maintaince.

So what can I do to save my Special 20 that I just killed? I can’t afford to keep replacing these things. And yeah I’ll be cleaning all my harps in the next few days. I’ve got a gig this week and I really want to get this harp working again.

OK Mick, just pull off the cover plates (if you have already tried
tapping the harmonica from both sides against your hand or leg).
Gently press the reed just barely through the slot with a toothpick.
You don’t want to bend the reed so that it wants to settle too close
to the reed plate (then you’ll have to re-gap the reed…not difficult,
just check out some of the videos). If there is some interference,
let us know and we’ll tell you what to do. If it swings freely, check
for foreign material (brush easy with a soft toothbrush with the
direction of the reeds to clean).
Plink the reed with a thin flexible piece of plastic such as a thin guitar
pick. BE GENTLE. Don’t use your credit card. Listen to the sound,
comparing it to the adjacent, known good reeds. If it sounds dead
or fuzzy, you could have a cracked reed.
Some of the other guys do more repair than I, so they might chime in
or correct me. I seldom need any repair.


Thanks bud. I’m going to pull it apart this morning and see what’s there and give it a good cleaning while I’m at it.

Cracked reed dang it. Broke about a 1/3 of the way up when I plinked it. Looks like I’m buying a new Special 20. I did take all of my other ones apart and give them a good cleaning so it was a productive morning. My guess is it’s been a cracked reed on all of them that’s done this. Now I’ve gotta figure out a way to stop doing that.