Re: [Harp-L] Paddy Richters out of the box

About the salivation, everyone who plays valved instruments has some
degree of trouble with valves sticking and buzzing due to accumulation
of sticky residues from the player's breath.

Judging from your questions I'm assuming you're not a novice. New
players often experience a lot of salivation when they first take up
the harmonica; the mouth seems to treat the harmoncia as a foreign
object that can be floated away on a swell of saliva, but after awhile
this calms down.

If your mouth isn't going to be convinced that it's not fighting off an
intruder (would mental imagery work?) then there are two things you can
concentrate on:

--What you do before you play

--What you do after you play.

Before you play, avoid eating and drinking for awhile. These stimulate
saliva production. If you wait awhile after eaating, the saliva
production subsides.

Rinse your mouth (and gargle) before playing to get rid of sticky
residues from sugars, starches, and any other gluey food substances,
along with particles that could clog the reeds.

After your play, rinse the harmonica in warm water to rinse away any
accumulated saliva, then tap it out several times and play it for a
couple of minutes to loosen up the valves before letting it air dry.


I've found that I can get away with drinking a good, hoppy bitter between tunes, but sweet drinks don't half make my mouth water. I have to avoid anything citrussy and especially coke like the plague. Just water is OK. It's a good idea to keep the head well up as well, not just for playing dryer but also because it helps good tone. I seem to play with the harp angled upwards at the back. I don't know why I do that but it's bound to make it easier to play dry.

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