Metal free reeds are used for musical instruments like harmonica. Free reeds are small, thin cantilevers, and oscillate by blowing air. It is reported that free reeds break due to fatigue during play. In order to elongate the life of free reeds, the fatigue properties should be investigated and a motion analysis method should be developed. The experimental and analytical research on metal free reed, however, has been rarely reported. In this study, two types of fatigue testing machines were developed to obtain basic fatigue characteristics. The fatigue testing machines are designed for bending fatigue of actual free reeds whose thickness is less than 400 μm. An S-N diagram is successfully obtained up to 107 cycles by using the developed fatigue testing machines. The fracture surfaces of fatigued specimens are in good agreement with those of free reeds failed in use. Then, an analytical method for the self-excited oscillation of free reeds was developed based on a mass-damper-spring model. The proposed method can take account for the shape of free reed. The self-excited oscillation of free reeds with different shape are analyzed and in good agreement with experimental results.