[Harp-L] filing and solder or Blu-tac

I haven't bought a new harmonica in 10 years, and I play out 3-4 times a
week primarily doing bluegrass and old time, but also acoustic blues stuff.
The old time music in particular is very hard on the reeds. Unlike blues or
bluegrass where a wise harp player lays back most of the time, in old time
you are playing melody non stop, driving the band, often in unison with a
fiddler - so tuning really counts!  How do I get away with not buying harps
with such demands placed on my instruments? First, I'm lucky enough to have
gotten in on the ground floor with Richard Sleigh and Joe Filisko and
purchased 5+ full sets of their amazing Marine Bands. Second, I went to
Richard's and learned at the feet of the master harp tech how to not only
gap and tune, but also how to swap reeds using my F&R Farrell Co. Rivet
Knockout Tool with the old reed stock from out of tune MBs I'd accumulated
over the years.  He also taught me how to use solder to drop pitch, along
with several other advanced harp repair techniques . . .
highly recommended!!!

Tonight for example I have gig where I need a low F, problem is one of my
low Fs had a bad 7 blow and I don't have any old low Fs to grab a reed
from, but with the help of Richard's brilliant Marine Band Reed Replacement
Chart I saw that I could take a 7 blow from a G harp and know its the same
width and length as a 7 blow on my low F.  So after making the swap from
the G to the F all I had to do was add tiny amount of solder to drop the
pitch two half steps and then fine tune it with a file ( the solder fills
the teeth real fast so use a cheap file). BTW, like Richard I use an analog
Conn Strobotuner and swear by it.  The entire operation took me 20 minutes.

With just a little practice all this work is super easy to do and its
bullet proof. I've used Blu-tac for other applications but feel that if I'm
going to go to the trouble of taking the harp apart and tuning it, why not
make it permanent and do as Richard and Joe do and use solder. Its all a
bit of a pain in the arse, but it feels great to know that I have control
over the quality of my harps.

Ok, lets play!

www.myspace.com/triphenderso <http://www.myspace.com/triphenderson>n

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