E and F Harps

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

E and F Harps

Postby JakeyVimto » Fri May 04, 2007 11:42 am

Afternoon all,

I've finally run up against a couple of tunes that take me away from my well-loved G, A, D and C harps. I opened my case and reached for the E. Its been a while and I have improved my playing since I last took it out, but when I went to play I could barely get a note out of the dang thing anywhere above the 2 draw. Tried the F harp, same thing. Figure either my technique gotten sloppy and the low harps let me away with it or I'm missing a trick somewhere.

Can anyone give me any tips here, or do just have to go back and check my breath control and embrouchure?

Cheers,

j
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Postby jeffl » Fri May 04, 2007 12:13 pm

You killed 'em Jakey. You shouldn't have killed 'em. Now look at 'em, just layin' there. My guess is that you produce alot of saliva when you play, mostly from playin' with too much force, and that you failed to knock the harps out when you put 'em away last time. If worse comes to worse, you might have to take the covers off the harps and manually free up the reeds, but I think that if you soak 'em in water for a while, maybe a half hour, you'll free up the gunk stickin' the reeds. Be sure to knock all the water out of 'em when you're done soakin' 'em.
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Postby angerboy » Fri May 04, 2007 3:26 pm

If they have wooden combs, do not soak them. They will likely warp. Disassemble them and take a better look at them. If they aren't messed up, you're going to need to work on your technique. If you can play the lower pitched harps, you ought to be able to get a sound out of these.
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Postby jeffl » Fri May 04, 2007 4:11 pm

Honest question angerboy: do you really think it'll hurt a wooden combed harp to soak it once, as long as you shake it out good and let it dry afterwards...? I quit using wood combed harps a few years back, but I used to soak 'em occasionally, and it seemed like they came back alright.
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Postby angerboy » Sat May 05, 2007 7:03 am

I haven't used a wooden comb harp in a long time. One of the last ones that I used got soaked for about 30 minutes and the comb warped badly where the teeth stuck out from the cover plates. I was able to trim them back.

If you're going to soak them to remove gunk, I would remove the reed plates and soak those spearately. I would scrape the crud off the comb with an Exacto and reassemble them.

Harmonicas arent $5 items anymore.
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Postby Jaybird803 » Sat May 05, 2007 5:53 pm

No more beer nuts between songs!
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Postby bosco » Tue May 08, 2007 12:38 pm

No more beer nuts between songs!

The last time I had beer nuts was when a pitcher got spilled in my lap.

:lol:
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Postby barbequebob » Tue May 08, 2007 2:39 pm

Jeffl has it right, but the other thing is that it may have either too wide a gap setting for the higher pitched reeds and/or the reed slot tolerances are far too wide, and that latter is the chief cause of air leaks in most production line harps.
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Postby JakeyVimto » Wed May 09, 2007 11:13 am

Tip taken guys and thanks, but i keep my harps pretty clean and the E and F really dont ever get taken out. Plus my A,C,D+G harps, which get played every day are still good after 6-9 months (well maybe not the C harp. ) But even I did bubba, I swear I didn't mean to kill em....

I'm going to look at my breath control, but do you find you have to adjust how you play on harps in higher keys?

PS Thanks for the replies, I would have come back before but my work computer is really touchy about letting me login here,

j
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