Re: Future of the Marine Band

>I'm curious about how you set your embouchure when you play. Do you
>pucker? Tongue block? Both? Do you purse your lips, or do you sort of
>bite the harp? Whatever you're doing, I'd say that you're playing too
>hard in some fashion. I've heard a lot of beginners complain about the
>wooden dividers in the Marine Band swelling and irritating their lips and
>tongue, but this is the first time I've heard anybody mention bleeding
>because of the fronts of the reed plates. I think you need to lighten
Kim, thanks for replying to my post. As for the lip cut, you are right I may 
have been playing a little too hard. However, it happened on a Golden Melody 
not a Marine Band. I got a 14 hole marine band last week and worked on it. I 
filed down the plates on the front and polished them on a jeweler's wheel. I 
also polished up the cover plates near the embouchure and it sure makes a 
big difference to my sensitive lips.
As for how I play, well I pucker and tongue block and basically use most of 
the techniques. I guess that my biggest problem is keeping an airtight seal 
on a Marine band. I don't think that it is because of the reed plate to comb 
seal either. The air seems to leak from betweent he comb and the side of my 
mouth. I will try and work on relaxing my technique somewhat and see.

>Although I don't know for sure, I'm assuming that Hohner doesn't offer
>plastic 12- and 14-hole "Marine Bands" (of course, it wouldn't be a
>Marine Band if it was plastic, it would just be one of those lame
>plastic harmonicas) because there isn't much demand for them. It doesn't
>necessarily follow that because the plastic harps last longer (which I'm
>not convinced is really true anyway) that they're superior in any way.
>There--that should get the plastic aficionados up and posting.

But really if wood was so good, why would they bother with varied plastic 
bodies in the upper end chromatic harps. the Lee Oskar harps have a good 
reputation and their design feels great on the lips. Let's face it, this is 
the age of technology! Doesn't Jolliet Joe Filisko make brass combs for his 
harps. If he uses brass instead of wood, there must be a reason.

For me the perfect out-of-the-box harp would have a Cross Harp reed plate 
with Marine band reeds, a Lee Oskar plastic comb and Meisterklasse cover plates!

Thanks for your input Kim.
                          Christian Laferriere
                           Gatineau, Quebec

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