Hello everybody!


I’m a relative beginner to the harmonica, six months maybe. I got my start with a teach-yourself book that came with a pair of cheap 10-hole diatonics, one in C and one in A. They are a bit uncomfortable in the mouth, and I found it hard to get the 1/2/3 draw notes to sound at all, and eventually moved up to a Seydel Blues Favorite ©.

I bought a better book, too, and I’m now collecting music to play.

– Steve

Hi Steve,

I just joined. How are your lessons progressing? Enjoying your harmonica?


Hi Gayle,

Welcome! There’s some good news, and some bad news. The bad news is that I broke a reed in my Seydel Favorite. :frowning: I used too much force on the poor 10th hole while trying to get it to bend like the others, and it now plays F on the draw instead of A. Bah.

On the up side, I bought a Seydel Deluxe chromatic, and I’ve been working on that instead of the diatonics. I’m finding it to be much easier to play, and there’s the bonus of not needing to bend it in order to get it to play whatever notes it can produce. I’ve also concluded that the soundtrack for Once Upon A Time In The West was not played with a diatonic, even though the character in the film is shown using one. There’s a particular effect I get with the slide halfway in (so the normal and shifted reeds are both playing) that sounds like the harmonica playing in the film.

So despite the mortal wound delivered to my Favorite’s 10th hole reed, I’m happy, yes. ;D

Howdy and welcome to both of you!
Steve, are you certain you cracked or broke the reed?
Does it sound odd in some way? It could be repairable.
The reed or reed plate can be replaced too.
Here is a good example of not needing force to play a harmonica.
Just breath in and out through it…especially your chromatic.
Why not come on over to slidemeister.org and visit there too.
It’s for chromatics, though there are areas set aside for diatonic discussion.
Don’t abandon JP’s site. You will find much enjoyment here. Use both as I do
and get the best of both worlds.
How are you liking using the slide on your chrom?
Gayle, how long have you been playing?


Hi Bugleboy,

It doesn’t buzz or anything like that. It’s just very very flat, and it gets worse over time. Last time I looked at it, it was playing somewhere around the first F below the C it should be playing (10-blow on a C diatonic - ignore what I said earlier about 10-draw). I expect that it’s just a case of replacing the reed - just that one reed is affected. I bought the chromatic partly out of curiosity, partly to have something of reasonable quality to play while I decide how exactly to deal with the broken one.

I live in France, and there aren’t any Seydel authorised repair shops here (even though I live in one of the larger cities in the country) - the official one for France is in Holland, and his web site got munched by pro-Kurdish hackers. So either I send it back to Germany, or void the warranty by opening it myself to replace the reed or the plate. Either way it’s going to cost a bit as reed replacement isn’t covered under Seydel’s warranty.

The chromatic is good fun, and much easier to get all the notes in the range than on the diatonic. I love the mellow clarinet-like tones in the lower octave. There’s an awesome sound you can get from it if you close the slide about half-way, especially around the C/D on hole 5, where the two notes interact in a particular way.

Yup, I know about slidemeister.org, and I’m signed up there as well.

Be sure to say hello to me there.



Brand new. 1 month. Started site lessons yesterday.


Over there I call myself “cynique”. ( French for cynic… )