Re: [Harp-L] Please, help me save my upper lip!
Well, depends on what's tearing your lip. The usual suspect is a sharp-edged reedplate. First thing I always do on a harp is sand those down. If don't feel comfortable tearing one apart, you'd be better off with the Blues Session, with the recessed reedplate, there's no reeplate to cut you.
If it's not the reedplate, and you still have this problem with the Session, it's the top cover and the adjustments you make will be quite different. If I'm playing fast, I always lick my lips well, run my lips against the harp a couple times, lick my lips again and play. If I'm playing fast, I maintain that lubrication on the harp, otherwise the friction from the harp on my lip slows me down. Otherwise, I just play it.
Here's what you can try: First, you're going to have a lot more trouble if you're lips are dry or cracked to begin with. Use some lip balm (I use this stuff called Eco Lips, it's organic, and the company founder is a heckuva harp player) to keep my lips healthy. Second, keep the covers clean. This isn't as much of a problem with the new chrome plated covers like the Session, but if you don't buff the harp clean with a cloth after you play each time, that film on the cover can slow you down, or, especially if it's nickle plated, the harp oxydizes, pits, etc. to make a rougher surface.
Just in case it has something to do with embochure, If you could maybe send me a video off list, I could get a better idea what's going on. I only know what I've read in the post, but my first guess is your lips are dry, or there's a reedplate issue. if there is a reedplate issue, the tear will be closer to the corners, if you're having problems with the covers, it will probably be more in the middle of the lip.
Dave Payne Sr.
Elk River Harmonicas
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