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Repairs & Maintenance

Art- Mics & Amps

Repair FAQs
Maintenance Chart
Parts of a Diatonic

Stuck Reeds
Replacing Reed Plates

Unfortunately, like all products, harmonicas do go bad and ultimately need to be replaced. But, in many cases, minor problems that occur can be fixed. With simple instructions for repairs and maintenance, your harmonicas will not only last longer, but will also play better. Even a brand new harmonica may need some adjustment for different playing styles.

SAMPLE VIDEO:  Harmonica Lessons for Beginners
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A simple playing tip to speed up your movement and add accuracy in single notes.
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Dave gives a general overview of what you can obtain from both diatonic and chromatic harmonicas in regards to harmonica chords.
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In this excerpt, Dave discusses some of the reasons for playing in either 1st Position or 2nd Position.

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Topics for Repairs & Maintenance Instruction with Full Membership include:

"Repair FAQs"
"Maintenance Chart"
"Parts of a Diatonic"
"Stuck Reeds"
"Replacing Diatonic Reed Plates"
"Chromatic Harmonica Repair"
"Hole/Note Layouts- Diatonic"
"Hole/Note Layouts- Chromatic"
"135 Terms & Definitions"

  • Harmonica Maintenance- Maintenance for harmonica does not amount to much, sometimes absolutely nothing. Ocassionally a quick cleaning, gapping, or light tuning is in order. Generally speaking, the old saying "If it works, don't fix it" applies perfectly to harmonica repair.

  • Harmonica Repairs- Unless you like to tinker, you are best off spending your time playing the harmonica versus becoming overly involved in repairing them. Simple repairs like freeing a "stuck" reed or installing new reed plates are worthy tasks. Because of the disposable nature and initial cost of the instrument, many other repairs are not cost effective. Knowing what's "fixable" and what isn't is the real key. Save your old harmonicas, you never know when you may need a spare part.

  • Harmonica Modifications- The popularity of the harmonica and spread of the Internet has made finding qualified harmonica repair and modification specialists musch easier. There are now numerous folks throughout the USA and the world that can take a standard diatonic or chromatic and make it play better. The most common and useful "mod" is done to upgrade a Hohner Marine Band by sealing the comb and adding screws to make it more airtight.

  • Repair and Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- You'll want to start off with this page. We of course answer the most common questions about this subject.

  • Hole 2 draw won't play... if you think you have a bad harmonica, you're probably wrong- Beginners and some intermediate players have a tough time getting holes 2, 3, 7, 8, and 9 draw to make a sound. This almost never a stuck reed or problem with the harmonica. It's caused by incorrect breathing technique (i.e. sucking the air in from your lips). The solution is improving the player's technique and not through harmonica adjustments.

  • Terms & Definitions section- If you find a repair term you do not understand, visit the Terms & Definitions section where you can find the definition. You'll be surprised how much you can learn about the world of harmonica and music by just reading through this section.

  • Repair Kits and additional repair tools and instruction- Repair Kits, tool kits, and additional repair instruction are available at our Harmonica Repair section. If you plan on doing any reed tuning, you will also need an electronic tuning device to insure you've attained the correct pitch.

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