Re: Out of the Box

Mike wrote:
> When you gap and tune a harp, how do you know you are doing it correctly? Do 
> you have to reassemble the thing, play it, say to yourself 'um, that's not 
> right', take it apart, file something down a bit more, reassemble, play 
> it,,,,,etc. 
> Somebody just mentioned in this thread that you can take an out of the box 
> harp and spend 10 minutes on it, gapping and tuning, and get a harp that fits 
> your needs a little better. Given my question, does it really only take 10 
> minutes to gap and tune a harp? 

Different harps are assembled in different ways.  Different kinds of setup and 
maintenance take different amounts of disassembly.  You can gap a harp just 
removing the covers, which can certainly be done in 10 minutes or less, 
particularly if the harp is assembled with screws, like a Special 20 or a Lee 
Oskar.  Marine Bands or other nailed-together harps might be a little more 
difficult to reassemble.  You can check your work by just holding the harp 
together with your hands, unless you're pretty confident that you got it 
right.  Tuning generally requires removing the reed plates from the comb, 
although if you are patient and careful you can do some tuning without removing 
the plates.  If you need to work at the base of a blow reed, which is mounted 
on the inside surface of the reed plate, you're going to have a difficult time 
getting to it with the reed plates attached to the comb.  Draw reeds can be 
worked without removing the plates.  In any case, you can adjust the tuning a 
little, hold the package together with your fingers and test it against your 
reference -- either a tuner or by blowing chords or octaves -- to see if you've 
got it right.  It's a good idea to check the tuning with the covers in place as 
well, as covers affects embouchure affects tuning.  If you plan on checking and 
adjusting all the reeds you'll spend more than 10 minutes on a harp, though 
with practice you should be able to do it in less than an hour, depending on 
how far you're changing it from where it is.  With new harps, most folks don't 
alter the tuning much, just make sure the octaves are clean.  Then there are 
those of us who retune the whole thing...

- -tim

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.