Replacing the Weighted Reed
This modification is specifically aimed at the blow reeds that have a small weight at the tip, usually only hole 1. For playing the hole 1 overblow you need to be able to stop the blowreed from vibrating. The blowreed in hole 1 usually has a weighted tip that makes it difficult to stop this reed. In theory you could grind down the tip of the reed and then tune the reed back down to the right pitch, but a much easier way is to just replace the reed by a reed from a high pitched harp. This reed can then be tuned down by removing material from the base of the reed to get it to the right pitch.
There is one problem with this method, the new reed will be very flexible and is very likely to hit the opposing reed plate when it is played with any force. This will happen on playing the normal blow note and also when playing the  hole 1 drawbend.

Since I have never used this procedure myself I have not made a video of it. However I do replace reeds from time to time so the following video shows you how to replace a reed. Although the video uses some specialized equipment this can be done with just a hammer and an awl as long as have a good surface with room for the rivet to move.


User Contributed Notes
17-02-2015 15:49
Yes removing the tip or changing the reed is not needed. I think it is a shortcut that you should avoid. With the right gap and some practice the hole 1 overblow will work fine and can be bent up a semitone or two on a normal reed.
17-02-2015 11:34
Hey tinus great website. It helped me a lot.
but are you saying that it is posible to play an overblow on the first hole without
removing the heavy tip or replacing the reed?
16-11-2009 12:33
Hey Tanios,
I think the Deluxe and the Firebreath will be good harps for playing overblows on. The overdrive will be helpfull in learning them beacause you can easily isolate the drawreeds. The XB40 doesnt overblow it bends (hence the name xtreme bender) and I don't know about the SBS.
Look at this page if you want to know which harps overblow weel: http://www.overblow.com/index.php?menuid=190
16-11-2009 04:24
hi tinus, awsome website man, i am tanios from lebanon.
i started playing harmonica at the age of 6 but on
a chromatic hohner 270
i didn't believe that oneday i will discover the secret
of the diatonic harmonica i saw it playing in the movies
and sounded like a chromatic without the botom
until i knew this site and so youtube (J.rici,T.parrot, A.gussow...).
i've been bending blow and draw notes on lee oskar
for 2 year and i mastered them but sick of lee oskar
cz of the missing notes brought by what i am
discovering lately the overblows/draws.
so i bought marine band deluxe, suzuki overdrive and fire breath
hohner xb-40 and hohner sbs, for starting learning
the overblow/draw technics
are they good for overblowing as out of the box harps?
thanks forward tinus
03-10-2009 23:38
I do not advise doing this at all. I just mention it because I want to be complete, but I would never do this myself. The reed will start hitting the oposite plate when played with any force and therefore I think you would be better of just learning to play the overblow properly rather than doing this mod.
03-10-2009 17:20
Billy V
Can you shave it off and not replace it by another harps reed. Or will that make the tune you need to do near the rivet end to much to the point it will snap? What tools do you advise us to use for this? Any good videos that will say?