hohner blues band

Hi everyone,

my wife got me a hohner blues band set for my 20th birthday last week and the key of c one is already locking up!! :’( i know they are chepos but she didnt know and i would like to know if there was some way i can fix it or even make it into a comparable version like the special 20!! i have no idea so any advice is appreciated! thanks in advance

Hey Taps,

I’m a beginner myself. Is there a specific hole locking up? Bottom holes, especially some of the draws may leave the impression that it’s broken while the problem is actually you not pulling the air through right. Search the forum, there is info on ‘broken’ 2 draw. There are things you can do to try and improve it. I never tried it myself but the blues band’s I got with the course are candidates for me to thinker with.

-Take it apart and put it back together. Read somewhere that that already could be an option for improvement.
-Search for info on reed alignment/offset. comes down to reeds not being aligned properly in the slots.
-Search for reed gapping. Which comes down to space between the reeds and the reed plate.

Don’t think you’ll get it comparable to a special 20. I bought a Tombo Folkblues before I received JP’s course with the blues band’s. My first impression with the blues band after the Tombo was going back from good to less good. While I do have one of the blues band’s in my car it’s actually the Tombo I take with me in my pocket and play. the breathing through the Tombo in my experience is easier then the blues band. I don’t think that’s something you can easily change.

Good luck, hope you get it sorted!


Thanks for the advice!! And its not just 2 draw its most of the bottom blow notes!!


Bottom draw notes require less air in my experience. Try to relax and pull as less air through it as possible until you get the note. If that does not work you may be bending the note which happens often. Key in that is your tongue going up in your mouth. try to jawn, which should lower your jaw and lower your tongue while drawing the note.

see if that works.


Something I do to check to see if its me or a bust harp is to sit normaly but lean my head way back (so I am staring at the ceiling) a try the draw notes. The draw notes sound wonderful in that position, lol.

Am betting the blow notes would sound even more wonderful in that position too! :o

Hey now! Mwuahahahaha!!!

But yeah…I recall seeing some posting by Pat Missin, JT-30, or HarpSurgery somewhere saying that playing the harp while laying down flat on your back will give you the proper embouchure and breathing techniques. Once you have all that in your muscle memories, one only needs to repeat them when standing/sitting up!

JP’s youtube lesson on proper breathing is a great primer to get you started too:


Keep On Harpin’!

To expand on that with a bit of my experience on excercising and breathing, imagine you’ve cut the top half of a plastic bottle, and you have what seems like an upside-down funnel, feed a balloon through the neck and you’ll have a basic representation of the ribs and lungs.

If you inflate the balloon you’ll see that the funnel remains somewhat unchanged whilst the balloon expands under it.

Now let’s apply it to the body. breathing from the chest is essentially trying to expand that plastic funnel. It’s alot of effort for little air than to rely on the stretchy flexibile balloon we have. Imagine that every time you’re breathing you’re filling up and deflating that balloon and you’ll be making solid and strong notes.

Best of luck!