Tip Scooping

Tip scooping is what customizers call the use of indentations in the reedplate around the tip of the reed. At the tip of the reed a part of the reedplate is taken away with a small file to create a small indentation in the reedplate edge. This is said to increase the laminarity of the airflow.


The indentation can be made both on the reed side of the plate and the backside of the reedplate.

Personally I like to make the indentations on the reedside of the plate in the corners of the reedslot at the tip of the reed. This practice could be seen as a combination of corner rounding and tip scooping in one.






User Contributed Notes
20-03-2012 03:30
no le veo la diferencia con esta tecnica :( usted?

I do not see the difference with this technique: (you?
07-10-2009 14:24
Hey Billy, if the blowreeds chokes when isolated this isn't a guarentee that it will overblow well. It has to choke in the right pitch range. I suggest closing the reed too much and then play the overblow. That should work. Obviously then the blowreed won't play normally. You can then slowly open up the blowreed in small increments to find the point where you can both overblow and play the normal note.
06-10-2009 01:39
B illy Vienneau
Also my draw reed sounds a little on my blow.
06-10-2009 01:13
B illy Vienneau
See if i do choke the reed when I hum the poitch I need (starting hight) I loose the choke.
06-10-2009 01:10
B illy Vienneau
I can do the overblow without choking the reed and humming. The blow reed makes a little deep bumpy noise.
06-10-2009 01:08
B illy Vienneau
Hey tinus. I have been doing some tip scooping. I have a problem choking the one blow reed when it is not by itself. When I isolate it it does it fine and I can do it. When I do not I cant get it to choke. Would this be due to lack of skill. In other words(If it chokes isolate is it garunteed to choke not)
02-10-2009 23:52
It changes the airflow around the tip of the reed so it becomes less turbulent. This will make a low gapped respond faster.
02-10-2009 23:45
Billy V
what does this do exactly
28-09-2009 00:16
Just enough :)
27-09-2009 23:36
Billy V.
SO are you just taking some of the brass out of the corners?: How much?
13-03-2009 12:33
@Joe: you can tune reeds both up and down. Scraping material from the tip makes the reed go up in putch, scraping from the base near the rivet makes them go down. Take a look at your reedplates and you will probably see the markings from factory tuning both at the tip and the base of the reed.
13-03-2009 09:38
Joe C.
Aren't most harmonicas slighly sharp when they are new? And, you cannot make them longer to get them in tune. So, do you have to use a harmonica that is a half step below the desired key in order to get a harmonica in tune (i.e. filing the slightly sharp 'B' harp reeds to get a tuned 'C' harp, since filing makes the reeds more sharp)?
03-08-2008 15:11
Tuning a harmonica is easy and you only have to do 20 reeds. Tuning a Piano you have to do 200 strings. pff that's a lot of work
03-08-2008 15:07
Wouldnt it be easier to tune your piano up than your harmonica down?
28-03-2008 14:53
Tuning a harmonica has nothing to do with tip-scooping. You just need a chromatic tuner, a file and a little time.
27-03-2008 21:39
I need to make a harp 1/4 tone flat to match an old piano. Can you help?
27-08-2007 11:32
Laminar flow is, according to Websters Dictionary, the uninterrupted flow in a fluid near a solid boundary in which the direction of flow at every point remains constant. It is the oposite of turbulent flow.
24-08-2007 01:47
rockin rich
what is laminarity... never heard of it... could not find it in the dictionary... please assist... or fix spelling... rich
30-06-2007 11:47
I scoop both reeds in the channel. I also wax both reeds, because the wax changes the tonal colour of the reed slightly and by waxing them both I feel I get a more even response.
30-06-2007 10:31
Hi Tinus. Great website. I can achieve overbend for three years but never use it live, but when i read about waxing and try it I start to use overblow more and more as it become natural to me no squeezing, easy produce. Thank you very much!

My question. Do you scoop both reeds in channel? Or only higher pithed reed?
I've noticed obout waxing, that waxing of higher pither reed is not really necessary, why are you wax it?

06-11-2006 09:40
cera das abelhas
06-11-2006 03:06
Eu gostaria de saber qual tipo de "resina "que vc usa nos arrebites das palhetas,ok Valeu Good luck!!
31-08-2005 09:48
Thanks for the link Fernando. Now that you mention chamfering I remember doing that a couple of years ago after a discussion on harp-l. I wasn't too thrilled with the results back then, but I wasn't as trained at working with reeds as I am now so maybe I should give it another try to see what the difference is between chamfering and tip scooping.
30-08-2005 16:20
Hi Tinus. I guess I know what is causing the confusion between chamfering and scooping.
Chamfering is when you clearly make a chamfer on the front edge of the slot. The cavity is a flat surface.
If you scoop, the form of the cavity is rounded. For example, you scoop ice cream with the spoon, which is round.
27-08-2005 21:20
Fernando Bresslau
Hey, Tinus. Nice new pages. I hadn't seen tip scooping in this way, only in the way below, take a look:

All the best,
22-07-2005 20:29
Apparently some people (Pat Missin among others, www.patmissin.com) call tipscooping on the reed side of the plate "chamfering"
Feel free to add a comment to this page.
The email and website fields are optional.