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What Do You Listen For If....

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Reed Triller
Jun 22, 2009 7:17 AM GMT

What do you listen for if....you are just starting to learn harmonica and you end up getting some used but visually good condition harmonicas but are not sure if reeds are blown or if the harmonicas are out of tune?


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Comments (9)

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Jun 22, 2009 9:32 AM GMT
Ricardo Replied:

Buy a good new one and use it for comparison.Alwayslearnon a good qualityharp. Cheap or busted ones will make it more difficult to hit the right notes.


Jun 22, 2009 12:49 PM GMT
Philosofy Replied:

An easy way to check some of the reeds is to blow octaves: if an octave sounds off, you might have a reed problem (or one just might need to be cleaned.)


Jun 23, 2009 7:01 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Can you easily create a note in and out? Do any notes sound off key? Are there any odd clicks or other noises?

I just put "online tuner" into Google and came up with a bunch of sites, so you may be able to see if the notes are correct at one of those sites.

Last but not least, does it sound good?


Jun 24, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
snakeman r Replied:

i agree with ricardo ,buy new harps ,trying to learn with used harps is like trying to drive with a flat tire


Jun 24, 2009 10:18 AM GMT
Ricardo Replied:

"trying to learn with used harps is like trying to drive with a flat tire". Thats agood one Mr. Snakeman r.


Jun 27, 2009 5:18 PM GMT
Tony W Replied:

The flat tire thing is great but let's take it a bit further. You don't drive with bald tires do you? It is important (IMHO) as new player that as Ricardo said, you use good quality harps. Used is out for me and the cheap ones are usually so leaky and difficult to play that you may give up. The condition and quality of your harps are unknown to us here but... for $30 you can get a good harp. Which one is best? Of course I have my own opinion which will differ from others.


Jun 27, 2009 5:43 PM GMT
Tony W Replied:

Sorry I missed the initial question. I think OrthodoxBlues answered it. I would try playing the major scale (do re mi fa so etc...)and check it that way and if you get lots of air before a sound is made, it is leaky so then you could check the screws to see if they are loose. You will need to pull the covers which may or may not be easy.


Jun 28, 2009 3:52 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

If they are blown or out of tune, maybe you can learn how to fix them...

if not, put them aside and buy some good harps.

My first harp came from a store it was a Marine Band in "C".

Once I got the hang of it I started getting harps on line, not all the same brand. each brand has a different tone and feel to them.... I have only been playing for a few month now, and I am not a musician. When I accidentally busted my sp 20 i tried fixing it.

when I blew out my "G" turbo harp I tried fixing it gave up and gave it to my wife....

Ray, if your asking you need to hear

Blueyes, hearing is believing.


Jul 05, 2009 5:45 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Abner,I think I will be tinkering with learning how to fix them soon.

I started out with a few used SP20s that had rusty pins/screws holding the covers on right before I joined HS.

I have since gotten more SP20s in much better condition but still used and a used for about 2 minutes Golden Melody from a guy who hated how they felt.

I can tell a big difference in the ones I first owned and this new batch which was certainly well cared for.

I will use the first batch I had to learn repairs on.



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