Repairing Your Harmonica
Far too many harmonicas end up in the bottom of desk drawers waiting for some
magic repairman to come to their aid. Their owners get frustrated with one hole that just doesn't sound right. Is
there any hope?
That weird sound coming from that mysterious hole may be the result of any one of
a number of things.
1. It may just be one of those difficult holes to produce a clear sweet tone.
Actually, every hole requires a little different amount of air to make it sound right. And most reeds are pretty
good at making a sound that comes pretty close to what it is supposed to be. But almost always there is one hole
that just seems to sound off no matter what we do. Even if we go out and buy a brand new harmonica that same hole
seems to give us problems. The problem may not be in the harmonica. It is just that it requires a more precise
amount of air pressure than the other holes. Experiment with varying amounts of air pressure to see if that does
not make a difference.
2. It may be that your harmonica needs to warm up, this is especially so if it is
a new instrument. It may be a little stiff and if it is cold it just makes it even more stiff. If you carry your
instrument in your pocket, close to your body, then it will warm up naturally. But if it has been in a purse or
cigar box, then you may want to hold it in your closed hand for a few minutes.
3. It may be that a hair or thread has found its way inside your harmonica and is
the cause of that weird sound. This happens to me all the time as I carry a harmonica in my shirt pocket everywhere
I go. I also carry my comb in the same pocket.
4. Or, it may be that a small drop of moisture that was allowed to remain inside
your harmonica actually formed a tiny bit of rust. To knock the moisture out of your harmonica, pound it in the
palm of your hand from time to time to shake any moisture out of it. You should do this between every song if you
are playing before a group. Moisture has a way of building up inside your instrument quite often and if you don't
knock it out then you may get these weird notes right in the middle of your song. Besides, you always see the harp
players on stage pound their instruments in the palm of their hands. If the crowd sees you doing the same then they
will think you must be experienced and know what you are doing.
If the problem is caused by something blocking the reed, such as a hair or bit of
rust, then you can easily repair your instrument if it was constructed with bolts and nuts. You simply, and
carefully, remove the plates to your harmonica and break free or remove the obstacle. Just don't use any pliers or
screwdrivers on the reeds. They can easily get bent permanently and then you may as well chuck your harmonica in
3 4 -4 5 5 5 -4 5 4 4
You are my sun-shine, my on-ly sun-shine,
4 -4 5 -5 -6 -6 6 -5 5
You make me hap-py when skies are grey
4 -4 5 -5 -6 -6 6 -5 5 4
You'll nev-er know dear how much I love you
4 -4 5 -5 -4 -4 5 4
Please don't take my sun-shine a-way.
Play this song on your C harmonica
Suzuki Promaster Harmonica
from Coast to Coast Music