New Harmonica Break-in

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Tarnisher, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    I've been playing harmonica for several years now. I've stuck to Hohner Marine Band C harps, but I've owned quite a few. The reeds eventually get sticky, and the notes come out all raspy. Sometimes I pry them apart and gently clean off the gunk, and that fixes it, but other times I can't be bothered and have a gig so I buy another one.

    I just got a new one as a backup for tour, and noticed that the high notes are choked right out of the box. I seem to remember this happening before.

    Do harmonicas require break-in? What else could be going on?

    Note: the humidity here is very high right now. Could that be a factor?
     
  2. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    My experience over the last 37 years is that many harmonicas need at least a little break in. Up above the 6th hole they may need more than a little.

    The higher keys, like Eb up to F# or a high G if you use one, need more breaking in. Spend some time blowing and drawing lightly, not trying to bend or overblow. I can't tell you how long it will take. But you'll know when it feels right.

    I wouldn't doubt that the weather affects the response, but couldn't prove it.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Have a long work commute? Take the harmonica in the car and break it in there. Keep your hands on the wheel!

    .
     
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  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A little.
    Been playing long time, recently switched to the rocket. Comb material
    just lasts longer and bends better from the get go.
     
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  5. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes a new harmonica requires a bit of set up. The reeds may need to be filed down a bit.

    You can find videos on youtube of how it's done.
     
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  6. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    I ride the subway. I’m not sure my fellow commuters would appreciate a morning harmonica recital, especially on a non-optimal instrument. I know I wouldn’t.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Tarnisher

    Tarnisher Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, I’ll do some searching. Hopefully it will loosen up with a little playing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I just did some gigs with a 3 piece acoustic band I was in back in the 80s. Two of us are multi-instrumentalists, but we mostly used guitar, harmonica, and banjo.

    I suggested we should expand to a five piece by adding accordion and bagpipes.

    ;)
     
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