Re: Harmonica Maintenance Tools

Vince wrote
>Pat, I use a trick that Tim Northcutt showed me in Memphis. I take the tip
>of the reedplate and put a small scoop on the tip. Then I narrow the slots
>and drop the reed down in the slot a little (the reed sits down inside the
>slot) with the tip barely scooped upward. After a LOT of practice, it
>results into a very responsive harmonica. Sure you ruin a couple of harps
>till you get it right, but it's worth it. Now I haven't ruined a harp in
>several months and I have set-up about 20 of them. I only "scoop" the reeds
>on the harps I am performing on and the ones I record with. 

That's a quite an old trick, but that's the first time I've ever heard
it called "scooping". "Scooping" usually refers to a modification of
the reedplate rather than the reed.

At my workshop at Buckeye, I revealed the top secret tools I use for
setting the curvature and height of the reeds - my fingertips and
nails. Actually, if you have particularly sweaty hands, then it's
probably not a good idea to handle the reeds more than is absolutely
necessary, as the salts in your perspiration could harm the brass, but
as my customers' reedplates all go into a cleaning dip before they are
sent back home, I'  don't think I'm risking anything. 

For what it's worth, you could probably use a toothpick to do these
adjustments with much less chance of damaging the reeds.

 -- Pat.

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