Re: handling diatonics on stage

About tthirty years ago, I had a leather crafter make me a belt.  It holds
ninediatonic harps, and has four flaps that tuck behind my regular belt.
Kina looks like the old busman's change belt.  I can change quickly for
modulations, and always have the harps ready at instants notice.  Been using
it all this time and only had to have it restitched twice.  Works well for
me.  I keep my chromatic in a hohner holster case on my belt.  bullfrog
- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: "" <mlefree@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 1:40 PM
Subject: RE: handling diatonics on stage

> Scorcher asked:
> > How do you veterans (or neophytes) handle your diatonics on stage?
> Hey, Scorch!
> I've mentioned this before so if you sense some deja-vu, please ignore the
> remainder of this message.  It's such a good solution for this problem
> me) that I think it bears repeating.
> I'm quite pleased with a solution I found for organizing and holding my
> harps both on-stage and in my gig bag.  In an exhaustive internet search
> a good solution to this nagging problem, I found some customizable foam
> trays that are normally used by hobbyists who are into renacting famous
> battles with miniature soldiers.  These trays are 13" x 7 1/2" wide and
> in various thicknesses to accomodate objects of varying size.  They are
> with perforations in the foam every 1/2 inch or so that enable you to
> out sections that fit the objects you are organizing/transporting.  (I've
> seen similar foam in expensive Pelican cases.  These are fine cases for
> cameras and such, but they don't fit my harp case needs or budget.)  The
> foam trays I refer to are part of a system that also includes a ballistic
> nylon carrying case that holds a number of these trays stacked inside (I
> skipped the carrying case and use a couple of 1" deep trays as I will
> describe).  The 1" deep "figure foam" trays cost $6 each.  You can check
> them out and purchase them here:
> I plucked out sections of foam to create pockets that just fit my
> harmonicas, including an array of normal 4" diatonics, several long
> diatonics, and a chromatic.  I have two of these trays that fit nicely
> an old soft-sided laptop carrying case.  As a bonus, they leave a section
> inside the laptop case with just enough room for my mic's.  When I close
> case, the trays of harps are sandwiched inside, nestled alongside my
> At a venue, I simply remove one or both foam trays and put them on top of
> amp or other suitable nearby surface.
> Another perennial problem is a way to label harps so you can avoid the
> player's classic "harmonica shuffle" between every song.  You know, where
> you squint (or put on your reading glasses) and shuffle through each of
> harps in your kit to find the correct key.  I found an inexpensive Brother
> brand label maker that makes easy to read plastic laminated labels that
> trimmed slightly fit nicely on the back of the comb of harmonicas.  These
> are very durable and sticky labels that have held up through multiple
> cleaning sessions submersed in warm soapy water.  I arrange all my harps
> increasing pitch, label-side up, in the foam trays.  I can spot the harp I
> need at a glance in any sort of stage lighting.  When the song ends, I
> return it to its slot and grab the next one.
> At the end of the gig, I pick up the foam trays and mic's, return them to
> the old laptop case, and I'm outa there.  Works great for me.
> If you'd like additional details, contact me off-list.
> Michelle
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