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Harmonica HelpHelp Please?!?


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#1 Ninjalific

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 09:14 PM

I just bought a new Harmonica (Hohner Marine Band, Wood Comb) and after bringing it home and playing it a while, I soaked it in warm water (As I've been told by various musicians and articles). Not two minutes later I took it out and the wood slots (?) seperating the holes extended beyond the metal casing, so it bumbs my lips when I play. Can this be fixed?

#2 zooloo

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 04:23 AM

Apart from sanding it down (Bit hit and miss) you have a dead harmonica.

Wetting your harp before playing is good, it loosens the reeds up... haven't heard about actually soaking it though, sounds like a bad idea biggrin.gif

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#3 Ninjalific

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 08:58 AM

Thanks, Thats what I figured.

I sanded it down to the bare wood, and it works as good as new, and I like the color better smile.gif , needless to say i'll refrain from soaking the thing from now on.

Is there something I should coat the bare wood with?

#4 andrewtravel

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:56 AM

QUOTE (Ninjalific @ May 3 2009, 11:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks, Thats what I figured.

I sanded it down to the bare wood, and it works as good as new, and I like the color better smile.gif , needless to say i'll refrain from soaking the thing from now on.

Is there something I should coat the bare wood with?


I shouldn't bother it would soon dissolve from your mouths saliva.

#5 dadfad

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:51 AM

Soaking a harmonica in water (or beer) is often mentioned by some players. It actually will give slightly more sound to your playing for a short time. It will also cause your reeds (internal plates) to fatigue or blow out faster. The wood swells, which causes the comb to expand outward. When it dries thoroughly it will go back. (This wood expansion slightly seals the gap between the cover-plates and the combs, which is what gives the slightly more sound.) Moisture from playing will do the same thing but since it's much less moisture than from actual dipping, it takes a lot more to make that happen (if it even happens at all while playing).

Myself (I've been playing harmonica for about thirty years), I wouldn't dip them. Actually, while the Hohner Marine Band has a slightly (very slightly) different tonal quality (slightly more trebly) I prefer the Hohner Special 20 myself, which has a plastic comb. No variables with that, no changes from moisture or humidity, etc. Hohner Golden Melody is good too, but it is a little bulkier for playing and its tone is more mellow.

It's a good idea to clean your harmonica in water after a gig or playing it for awhile. Spit residue, food-particles, etc, etc gets inside and can cause the reeds on the plates to stick eventually. Dip and slosh it around in warm water, then tap it hard against the plam of your hand a few times to get the water out.

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#6 torres007

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:06 PM

Hello friends.Nice to meet you again.I have a problem.I just bought a new Harmonica (Hohner Marine Band, Wood Comb) and after bringing it home and playing it a while, I soaked it in warm water (As I've been told by various musicians and articles). Not two minutes later I took it out and the wood slots (?) seperating the holes extended beyond the metal casing, so it bumbs my lips when I play. Can this be fixed?
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#7 dadfad

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:21 AM

It will dry and the wood will go back to where it was. Don't smooth them down now with sandpaper or something, because when it does dry, the wood will go back and then there will be air-leakage between the holes. Just let it dry out.

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

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