Replacement reeds odyssey

Reeds are metal springs. They are made to convert the kinetic energy from the flow of air into decibels by vibrating though the slot of the reed plate.

Springs can last a long time. So can harmonica reeds. But there is no expectation they will last forever. They go out of tune and they break. A reed can be re-tuned without any loss of power or tonal quality many times before it fails.

With good technique, I feel it's reasonable to expect to have to adjust the tuning of your harmonicas every two months or so and you will have to replace between 1-3 broken reeds per year.

You can change harmonica reeds yourself. You will need tools to remove the bad reed and tools and supplies to attach a new reed. It doesn't matter which method you use to attach the new reed to the plate. Use a rivet, use a screw, buy a welding torch and weld it on. Pick the easiest, most accessible method and get good at it (Use a screw!)

To learn how to replace reeds can take practice. You must not only take off the bad reed and put in a new one, but you must not damage or warp the reed plate while you do it. You must also adjust the shape of the new reed so that it plays well. And once you have done that, you need to adjust the tuning of the reed since it will likely be off. Even the slightest change in a reed's placement on the plate will change the pitch.

You can scavenge reeds from other harmonicas of the same make and model to replace broken reeds. You must use a reed of the exact same size from the same slot of another harmonica. You may use a reed that is 1 to 4 semitones higher and tune it down. A really easy way to tune down a reed is to use BLUTAK:

It's more difficult to use a reed of a lower pitch and tune it up. It can be done. Don't try to raise it more than one semitone. Any more than that and you will not like the tone. And it's too much work to be worth the effort.

Hohner Marine Band type reeds use two different slot configurations. Long Slot are used for keys of C and lower. Short slot is used for keys Dd and higher. This can complicate things since the size of a 6 slot in a D harp is different than the size of the 6 slot of a C harmonica.

Still, you have lots of options. See this chart for Hohner MB, GM, Special 20 and Rocket reeds:
Reed Chart Hohner

You can buy new reeds from the Hohner and Seydel factories. There is no such option for Suzuki nor Lee Oskar.

It's straightforward to buy packages of three reeds from the Seydel website.

It's easy to buy packages of five reeds from Hohner from their USA/Canada shop. Go to

For the rest of the word, you need to use the website. At the time I am writing this, the links to single reeds are broken.

They can be found as you navigate for diatonic harmonica, Marine Band type parts. They offer a product that is quite expensive which includes five pieces of all 20 reeds for a key.

I don't think that's a smart investment. Mostly reeds 4, 5, 7 and maybe 9 blow out the most frequently. You do not need to have five extra reeds for all the other holes.

If you select a key, you will be shown the individual notes and reeds on the bottom of the page. If you click on one of those notes, you should be able to add a pack of five of those individual reeds to the cart. But those links are broken.

I suggest you use the contact page to ask about ordering individual reeds. Specify the key, the hole and whether it's the blow or draw reed you need. If you want to use rivets instead of screws, ask them to supply you with some rivets. They usually can provide them in sticks of 50. They are excellent and you can use them on Seydel harmonicas.