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How To`s Every Harmonica Player Should Know?

Back to the Maintenance, Repair and Customization Room

Reed Triller
Feb 06, 2010 1:05 AM GMT

For those who repair/customize harmonicas what are the things every harmonica player,novice or professional should know how to do to their harps to make them perform better.

After about 7 months of playing and learning I have learned to notice subtle flaws in my harps.Especially air leakage, which was a simple fix thanks to David Payne and Joe Spiers Youtube videos and a gentle touch.

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Comments (7)

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Feb 06, 2010 3:00 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

The bestcustomizingwork is starting to breath softer and to play bends both quiet and loud. If you can that, you maybe need some work on harmonicas.

Feb 06, 2010 6:34 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

True but that is more of a technique than a repair or customization.

Feb 06, 2010 8:59 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

If you have no deep and soft breathing any customizing are useless. Anyway if you can play all bends smooth, easy without force, both soft and loud you can try adjusting gaps. Just press down the reed closer to the reedplate to make bends and overbends easier.

Feb 09, 2010 4:56 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

Big Daddy Ray, being a newbie myself this is a great question. I try very hard to use soft breath and control. But the good question is how do you know. Is it the harp that one has that is prone to flaws after a short time even with soft breath. I know guitar players that have to retune their guitar after a few songs.

So is it the player or the equipment.

as for simple customizing I was always told learn how to gap the reed. That for me is the simple one. I have totally destroyed two harps trying to do anything else.

abner ( BluEyes, harps are too expensive to F up )

Feb 10, 2010 4:10 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Abner,that is all I have done so far.I have four Golden Melodies. I don`t play my Special 20s or my one Lee Oskar anymore.

One GM was owned by a local pro musician and I bought the other 3 at the local music shop.Two of the three new ones had good response but one of them had a lot of air leak and took a while to respond.

With help from Joe Spiers` youtube tutorialsthe reeds I needed to fix responded with barely enough breath needed to fog up my glasses when I clean them off.

As for how you know how much breath to use,,,,,the least amount needed to get a good solid steady tone.

Feb 24, 2010 5:48 AM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

Harpaholic,reed gapping.

I initially used a screw driver from my mini screwdriver set but now use an oring tool like he used in his videos.

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