I play harmonica with a neck rack while I play guitar and although I’ve been playing for years I’m no harp expert. I keep trashing harps. Hope someone can suggest something as I can’t afford to keep replacing my harps.
Recently, I have killed 3 Db harps (major diatonic) in about 3 months. What happens is one of the reeds changes pitch on me. Suddenly my harp sounds really bad and when inspecting the notes I find a note that is off a whole note or more. So I toss it and buy another one. Thankfully it hasn’t happened during a gig as it always takes a song or two to figure why things are not sounding right.
It’s happened to a Hohner Blues harp and then two Lee Oskars. I think it’s only with the Db harps not because they are Db but because I use that key the most. I tune down a half step on my guitar so I use a Db harp to play blues with the key of Ab on what would normally be key of A. I have put about 25 hours on them before this happens. I soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes, shake them dry and let them air dry for routine maintenance. But this doesn’t fix the pitch change I’m talking about.
Is this just the normal lifespan of a harp? Is it the way I clean them in the water? Is it that I blow them to hard? (I don’t think I’m pushing them too hard) Is it the brand? Any ideas?