Playing my new harmonica

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

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby barbequebob » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:24 pm

I'm totally with JBone on this and I look at this as nothing but a poor excuse for not learning how to break in and properly maintain your instruments. Most of the real air leakage is not from the comb, but reed slot tolerances that are too wide,and this is where the greatest amount of air leakage is really coming from. Continued soaking will only ruin harps at a far quicker rate.
User avatar
barbequebob
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2003 3:30 pm
Location: East Boston, MA, USA

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby jbone1 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:13 pm

...and believe me, i once soaked a harp repeatedly, half drunk, hanging out on a college campus at a party, really blowing. and i mean REALLY blowing, probably one of the worst examples of a bad player playing badly. the "teeth" of the comb swelled so much they literally tore my lips to shreds by nights end. which was maybe a good thing since i played so badly back then. this was the 70's. i think i've improved a bit since then. after that night that harp really just would hardly play at all. the comb was warped so bad the teeth still stuck out and 1/3 of the reeds were shot.

i thanks the powers there was no video back then, and nobody did any sound recording...........
jbone1
Regular
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:43 am

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby JohnnyB » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:59 pm

Ah I see.. my Special 20 is not wood comb. It's all metal and plastic on the outside so no water, sounds like it's not the best idea unless I don't mind buying new harps often anyways. Thanks for all the replies guys, I appreciate it.
JohnnyB
Regular
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:27 pm

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby roadkill46 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:49 am

jbone1 wrote:soaking a wood comb harp is guaranteed to shorten the life of a harp. and ultimately the comb will stay swelled out of shape and potentially tear a layer or 2 of skin off your lips if you're not careful! i know this from early experience.

dude i agree, i was just stating what the older players used to do. the swelling will tear your lips up after it dries out...chill
User avatar
roadkill46
Regular
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:04 pm

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby 601blues » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:22 pm

Starts out as grass, gets chewed up and ends up Bullshit!! I still soak my harps for a few minutes Iam an old Guy, but not for all da bulls^&^% reasons stated here Its simply to clean all the mouth fungus from them or your reeds will start to stick! I simply use warm water with just a small amount of dish soap and rinse, been doin this for plastic ,wood, whatever since 1965, with never any intention of any thing else , I don't pound em out!! simply tap against my plam to git all the water or as much as possiable out, or durin playin to get salava out etc. "POUND EM OUT FO BREAKIN"????BS
User avatar
601blues
Regular
 
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: Mississippi

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby roadkill46 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:52 pm

they do get gross after awhile
User avatar
roadkill46
Regular
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:04 pm

Re: Playing my new harmonica

Postby jbone1 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:30 am

i either do a gentle warm water rinse or i take the covers off and use 91%-strong- rubbing alcohol and a lint free cloth to de-gunk when it's needed.

as for the high end of any harp, if you pull the covers off you'll see that those reeds are very short. this is what gives them the high pitch they need. it also makes them a challenge to sustain a note on and esp to bend a note. drawing and bending above hole 6 is still a booger for me usually. blow bends are not as tough. i listen to jimmy reed sometimes to get the feel back for that high end straight harp work he made famous.

if you're serious about learning to blow harp, breathing exercises like those singers use are helpful. getting your breathing deep and relaxed gives you the control you need. also allows more volume with less wind which will help a harp last longer. opening the throat gives you more options as far as how you bend, as does relaxing your jaw. playing should be a relaxed easygoing affair to start with. it's the basis for all sorts of cool effects that can be done with practice and knowledge.

for knowledge, a teacher or a good instruction set is a great idea. jerry portnoy, mark hummel, jon gindick, and a host of others have book/cd sets available, and there are some great insights on youtube, the one who comes to mind is adam gussow. and there are others.

i am old school, i just did the monkey hear-monkey try to copy philosophy for years. along the way a couple of good guys kind of guided me along.

i will guarantee you this: if you want to stay basic on harp, you can do that and sound good. but if you want to delve deeply into a lifelong project, you can do that also! i keep realizing there is so much i DON'T know about harp and playing different styles, different tuned harps, different genres. i will be busy with this for the rest of my time on the planet! not a bad thing at all.
jbone1
Regular
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:43 am

Previous

Return to Blues Harp

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

cron