Soar lip

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Soar lip

Postby Erikjr21 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 1:35 am

Any advice on keeping your lip from getting soar after playing harmonica for a long time?
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Postby jeffl » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:50 am

It sounds like you are getting your mouth too wet when you play. This is a tendency that will go away with experience,most likely. You might be playing too hard,and creating too much saliva. I don't know what kind of harps you play,but plastic combed harps with reed plates that do not protrude upward near the edge of the comb are easier on your mouth than any harp with protruding reed plates. If you haven't paid attention to the difference in harp design, you might wanna start there, and then work on getting sounds without workin' so hard at it. It sounds like you're slidin' the harp back and forth too much on your lips as well...you might wanna try hittin' notes with more efficient movement of your mouth and the harp. I could be all wrong here,without observing you,but I'd say you need to cure the problem at its source.
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Postby dcblues » Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:08 pm

If I play a lot (like two gigs during a weekend) my lips usually get sore. I use Blistex Lip Medex on them (the kind that comes in a little blue jar) the next day. I find it helps if I put the Blistex on before I go to bed and let it work overnight.
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Postby Erikjr21 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:24 pm

thank you
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Postby jeffl » Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:12 pm

I apologize if I was jumpin' to a conclusion there, Erikjr21. I just haven't had a problem with sore lips since my early days of playin',about 30 years ago. Maybe I don't play as many notes as you guys. I'm also curious as to whether either you or DCB utilize the lip pursing method of playin',or the tongue blocking method. I play almost 100% tongue blocking, using lip pursing only for certain transitions and some bends. I don't play any "Popper type" runs, and I play almost exclusively plastic combed SP20s. What about you,dcblues and Erik....?
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Postby Erikjr21 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:28 pm

Well i have a vintage marine band witch im sure is alot of the problem it has a wooden comb. Im going to order a few new ones next weak and all get a sp20 and see if it helps. I actually didnt used to have the probem so i gues it might be from playing different styled things and sliding around more like you mentioned, and yes i use the pucker type methiod and almost never block with my tongue unless im trying to make a specific sound like block 2 and 3 to play 1 and 4 together ect... Thank you for the advice its good to have a place to ask people who have played for 30yrs questions 8)
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Postby jeffl » Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:10 pm

"It's good to have a place to ask people who have played for 30 years..." That is true,bro'; I have benefitted immensely from the knowledge of the veterans around here,as well. Jus' remember- many of us developed alot of our stuff before we bothered to get any real education on our instrument,and even though our techniques may vary, they work for us. So, you'll have to sift through the textbook advice,and the personal experiences of all of us, and find out what works for you. The best stuff to learn from other guys is the stuff that makes tough licks the easiest to play. There's nothin' more frustrating than trying to play difficult transitions and licks with poor techniques when there's easier ways to do it,lol. I wish you the best.
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Postby Erikjr21 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:50 am

That is true alot of people do just start playing trying to figure it out on there own, i know i did. I also know alot of guitar players who have never taken lessons. It does create a special opurtunity to find and share unigue stuff. This forum is good for me becuase im the only harmonica player i know personaly. From time to time i will run into one on the beach and that is always a treat.
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Postby dcblues » Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:15 am

I mainly play Marine Bands and the CX12 and 280 chromatic. I tongue block more than I pucker - I probably tongue block about 70% of what I play.
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Postby jeffl » Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:40 am

Erikjr21 wrote:That is true alot of people do just start playing trying to figure it out on there own, i know i did. I also know alot of guitar players who have never taken lessons. It does create a special opurtunity to find and share unigue stuff. This forum is good for me becuase im the only harmonica player i know personaly. From time to time i will run into one on the beach and that is always a treat.
Erikjr21: alot of us harpers spend most of our playin' lives alone. I live in SE Minnesota,where there are no big cities,and not alotta blues players. I've been the only harper most of the places I've been. There's only about 3 decent harpers in my area, including me, and that's too bad. There are a number of harp camps, seminars, and fests with harp workshops, that you can go to if you're interested in rubbin' shoulders with other harpers, and pickin' up some instruction and fellowship. It takes some money to do that stuff, but it might be something to take a look at in your future.
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Postby Erikjr21 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:14 am

Yeah i live in a small town two, we have a safeway and thats about it but its the beach so you cant have it all i gues. I would like to go to a seminar or camp but there usually really far away but maybe sometime if one comes to portland thats the closest big town, its about a hr drive. Im happy playing for and with my friends for now and practicing and learning is all part of the fun thanks for the ideals.
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