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Now That I’m Playing Loud Rock & Roll Again, I’m Blowing Out My Seydels

I’ve been playing mostly acoustic music onstage and in the studio for a while now, and my harps have held up very well. But in the rehearsals for the Battle of the Bands in Cleveland, I’ve been playing loud rock and roll, and it’s showing in wear and tear on the harps.

The two harps I use most with Gartner in the Cloud are a Seydel Session Steel in D and a Seydel 1847 Classic in A. One of the blow reeds on the 1847 has dropped in pitch 2-3 cents, and the draw 4 reed on the Session Steel went a half step flat last night. Sheesh.

I’ve ordered extra reed plates for the 1847 and an 1847 Classic to replace the Session Steel. But it’s still spooky. These harps are loud and tough, equipped with stainless steel reeds. Am I really blowing that hard? Apparently. Y’know, when you’re surrounded with big guitars, you tend to play harder even when you can already hear yourself well (which, in fairness to me, I can’t always do in rehearsals with this band). I’ve just got to throttle it back and go for deep rather than loud.

2 replies on “Now That I’m Playing Loud Rock & Roll Again, I’m Blowing Out My Seydels”

The beauty of the RPs is that you can use the headphone jack with in-ear monitors which will attenuate the volume about -20 dBA, so you can play at a lower volume. I use a Radio Shack inline headphone volume control and a headphone extension cord attached to my mic cable – wireless in-ears are a pricier option. As a safety guy I can say that if the band volume is loud the in-ears provide important hearing protection

I play seydels till 2009, I never blew out any reeds lower that 6 draw, mostly I ruin 9 blow: 2-4 reeds a year. Seydel steel reed’s trick is a dynamic range. You can play them much louder than brass but if you can it doesn’t mean you need to play as loud. I noticed mine bad habit to wail high blow bends rather loud start to avoid it and didn’t kill any reed for more than year. Because I do a lot of tine precise microscopic custom job I always replace single reeds, not a reedplates.

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