Re: Some Harp Questions

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Posted by Bill ( on October 16, 2000 at 23:32:29:

In Reply to: Some Harp Questions posted by John Prichard on October 11, 2000 at 01:59:55:

: Got some harp questions:

: 1) I still have my first harp, it's a Hohner Golden Melody in C, and it sounds great. the place where I play mostly (towards to bottom end) is tarnished on the plates. is this normal wear and tear or is this poor mouth cleaning/etc? I thought I was doing fine but after a few months its become rather black. how do I clean it?

Metal polish works well. But this is normal wear and tear and sometimes the original lustre only returns when you buy a new harmonica!

: 2) Will the alchohol on my breath hurt the wood body of my Marine band harp? It's really my favorite and I'd like to not ruin it.

No more than just playing. Alcohol evaporates quickly. Beer however, it's residue, may help clog things up! Always good to rinse the mouth out before playing.

: 3) When I try to get 3 draw bend down low enough to get the 9th/2nd in songs like "corina corina", it sounds. . . funky. Very loose and hard to hit first off - and so quiet! . Many times I just get a very flat minor third, which is a good cheater, but I'd love some input on getting a full-bodied sound out of the thing. I'd expect the difficulty on my Marine Band in A, but my trusty Golden Melody in C should be easier, right?

Yes. The lower the harmonica, the harder the bend (in the lower chambers). Also Marine Bands are very leaky. Try the Special 20. The Marine Band in a more airtight package!

: 4) Any tips on using a microphone? I started just cupping a mic in my palms and holding the harp on the edges, and I've fallen in love with the raw, yet sweet tone of amplified harmonica. great for jamming with my friends.

Sorry, I'm working on this one myself.

: 5) Am I eventually going to have to learn tongue blocking? tongue position is important for my personal bending technique, and I really would rather keep up this whistle method - i always hit single notes and have good pitch control.

It's ok to change style for different effects. It doesn't have to be whistle or tongue block. Use both.

: feel free to email me with an answer, I'd love someone to correspond with about harp.

John, I'd also enjoy the harmonica corespondence. Be sure to read all the info on playing at Harmonica Lots of great little tips for playing.

Keep it up,

: -John prichard

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