I started playing harmonica about 6 months ago, on a Hohner Marine Band. I quickly learned to play clean, single notes, and draw bends have become second nature (I'm starting to integrate blow bends, but it's still hard) - anyway so I love my Marine Band harps, but I don't like that they're nailed, I fear to break them whenever I take them apart... and I play them a lot so I have to, otherwise the reeds end up getting stuck.

So I recently got myself a screwed-cover Hohner MS-Series Blues Harp, key of A (got a Marine Band in A as well, and a C, and a Bb... all with excellent responsiveness), and I quickly noticed that there's a huge difference in how responsive holes 2 and 3 are (esp. draw notes). The instrument is essentially the same price as a Marine Band, but it feels like it's losing air, and bending is much harder.

Is it because of the model (i.e. it's inherently different and I need to re-learn some techniques /will adapt eventually)?

Or I was just unlucky and got an leaky instrument out of the box?

If so, is there any way I can fix this and get it as responsive as a Marine Band?

  • 1
    Been a while since I played any harp, but the Marine Band was always the model of choice for the greats because of the reasons you stated, even when other comparable models started showing up. The Marine Bands are a pain to maintain, especially if you tend to play "wet" , but you get paid back by its performance. Maybe your MS Series is a lemon (it certainly happens) but the Marine Band remains tried and true. I believe there are some other alternatives out there that you might want to explore too, if you are willing to spend more $. This is an interesting site: harmonica.com – Stinkfoot Aug 20 '17 at 23:28
  • Hard to see in the photos but here's an artist's rendering: jjaynef.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/wpid-20140402_195702-1.jpg – Stinkfoot Aug 20 '17 at 23:55
  • My brand new one is leaky at draw 3 too. As you can see on the picture, the reed was not fixed in center. Howwver it was cheap... ![hohner reed 3 ](i.stack.imgur.com/h8dLo.jpg) – Bog Jo Feb 24 '18 at 18:09
  • It does (to a certain extent) if the OP's harmonica matches that picture. ...Does it? – Dekkadeci Feb 24 '18 at 20:55

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