Re: custom diatonic harmonicas

As usual, fjm hits a lot of chords here....No one has become a good
customiser overnight, but if they didn't start somewhere, they'd never get

It's taken me years and years to get reliable in my repairs and
custom work, but now I can depend on myself to produce a wonderful playing
instrument, done when I need it and tweaked perfectly for me. I can also
rapidly repair my harps when needed, and quickly get them back up to the
starting gate, sometimes right at a gig. I continue to learn and improve
each time I approach a harp. And lots of people who have my videos have
written me gratefully with similar comments.

If someone has any interest in working on their harps, starting with clear
directions will help the learning curve. I would never claim that anyone
could develop these skills in an instant, but most people with an interest
and some patience will get better and better as they continue to experiment
and apply proper principles.

As far as paid customisers go (I'm also one) I really think that people
learning about their own harps will help that profession. The more that
people realize what is really involved, the more they are willing to pay for
the extreme detail and hours that are necessary to produce a fine harp. It
was my sincere hope that the videos would help all customisers, as well as
individual players.

Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes! And now, it's back to
reorganizing my entire house...carrying tons of stuff upstairs, trucking
stuff downtown, applying plywood to the windows and doors, and getting ready
for Isabel to make landfall............


Rupert Oysler
- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: "fjm" <2738540@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "h-l" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: custom diatonic harmonicas

> I applaud Chris Brunner's where with all and initiative.  My hat's off
> to anyone willing to take the hours required to custom manufacture their
> own replacement harmonica comb.  Joe Filisko didn't make the same
> product he makes today ten years ago.  It's one step at a time.  If
> someone wants to buy a video and begin that long journey towards viable
> custom quality harmonicas good for them.  I play pretty much all custom
> harmonicas but my current favourite is an A Marine Band on a composite
> comb that was built by me.  I'm no James Gordon but this harmonica
> really works.  The upsides being the application of a lot of little bits
> of knowledge into a single location and actually having a favourable
> result.  Then there's Steve Guyger, all stock harmonicas and the guy is
> a monster player.  Personally I think it's worth the investment to at
> least buy one decent custom but I certainly understand just playing
> stock harmonicas and or adjusting them yourself.  The impression I get
> from watching Richard Sleigh work and explain his methods at his various
> workshops and seminars is that what he knows is just the sum total of a
> huge amount of observation and experience and a lot of it is simply
> investing the time that's required to acquire the context. It does help
> that Richard's an extremely intelligent and talented individual but he'd
> be nowhere without having put in the time.  fjm
> --
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