Harmonica Care

PROPER CARE OF YOUR HARMONICA

 

Never use your harmonica with any foreign substance in your mouth.  After eating, thoroughly rinse out your mouth with water before starting to play.

 

  • CLEANING OR STERILIZING THE HARMONICA IS NOT NECESSARY or desirable and should not be attempted. Give your harmonica the care you would give any musical instrument and it will repay you with an added measure of service.
  • DON’T SEE HOW LOUD YOU CAN BLOW, it will only strain or wreck the reeds and, in doing so, ruin the instrument. You should strive for sweetness and expression.
  • PLAY WITH A DRY MOUTH! Placing metal between your lips will often cause an excessive flow of saliva.  This creates what is known as a “wet player”. Try to swallow from time to time until you learn to control the saliva flow, and hold your head erect to cultivate playing with a dry mouth.
  • DO NO ALLOW SALIVA TO REMAIN IN THE REED CELLS. After playing, invert the harmonica and tap it several times firmly against the palm of your hand.  Dry the mouthpiece and covers with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth.
  • DO NO TAMPER WITH YOUR HARMONICA. If you do so, you will void the guarantee which provides for repair or replacement (at our option) for defects found in materials or workmanship.
  • AVOID CONSUMING ANY LIQUIDS CONTAINING SUGAR (e.g. soda pop, juice or alcohol) while playing. Residual sugars and saliva left behind in the harmonica can cause the reeds to stop playing. If you must drink something, drink water. Some people like to brush their  teeth prior to playing which is fine, but avoid using toothpaste. Again, just use water.
  • Lubricating the slide of a chromatic should be avoided as oils attract dust and the oil can be blown into the cells, causing reeds and windsaver valves to malfunction. A sticking slide (and slide assembly) should be placed on a hard surface and cleaned with fine steel wool.
  • NEVER soak, rinse or boil a harmonica. Exposing a harmonica to excessive moisture and/or heat can cause painted surfaces to peel, cause wood combs to warp and crack, promote corrosion of metal parts and destroy windsaver valves as well as voiding the warranty. Trying to dry a harmonica using a hairdryer or heat gun can melt plastic combs and windsavers.

 

CHROMATIC HARMONICA TIPS

 

  • IN THE “LOW REGISTER” the reeds have to be unusually long, and if you hit them with a force of breath you will slur or even choke the reeds so that they cannot respond at all. All you have to do is breathe in a perfectly normal manner and the reeds will respond with a low, clear, sweet tone.  Once vibration has begun, additional pressure may be applied.
  • IN THE “UPPER REGISTER” the reeds are very short and extra pressure of the breath is required.

 THE “REPETITION” OF TONES. Tones are repeated in holes 4 & 5 and 8 & 9 of the CHROMONICA and the SUPER CHROMONICA.  The PROFESSIONAL MODEL 64 CHROMONICA repeats tones in holes 4 & 5, 8 & 9 and 12 & 13 (the newest models of this instrument employ a somewhat different numbering system and the above stated repetition will be found in the holes marked: 4 & 1, 4 & 5 and 8 & 9).  This system of repeating certain key notes offers the most advantageous complete chromatic scale possible.