RE: [Harp-L] Breaking in a new harp

> Lare Sattler wrote:
> <I have read conflicting things about the need to break in a new harp, like gentle playing at first to ease the movement of the reeds so they have less <shock. Another will say they need no break in, just blast the hell out of them. I am normally a pretty hard player and have taken the give 'em hell <approach, but I have wondered if my harps might last longer if I treated them gently for a bit before gigging with them. I thought I'd ask for opinions <on here and see what the experience of some other players might benefit me. Thanx in advance.
> So far as I can tell, there's no advantage to breaking in a harp slowly, especially harps of the quality standard that's common nowadays.
> I do find that different makes and models wear differently under hard playing.  I find that my Seydels with stainless steel reeds hold up very very well under hard playing; I have yet to blow a reed flat on any of them, and I've been playing a few of them regularly for at least a couple of years.  The 1847s are more responsive than the Session Steels, but they both play hard and well.
> I will just note here that when I told Dennis Gruenling that I had blown the draw 5 reed flat on two Marine Band Deluxes in a row, he told me not to play so hard.  Pretty good advice, I think.  I remember Annie Raines telling a festival seminar that in her opinion it was better to let the amp do the work.  Also good advice.  
> Regards, Richard Hunter

Well, I'm pretty good with harps apropos of making them last. I can whack a Special 20 for a year as my workhorse and it'll stay the course. I have Oskars and Suzukis that get constant hammering, even my C Hohner MS blues harp, still going strong after ten years, and they're bombproof. But last year I bought two Seydel Session Steels and neither of them went past an hour's playing before a reed went totally south (and with other reeds drifting out of tune).  They are not the most expensive harps in the world but any harp that lasts an hour or less is astronomically expensive. Find out what *lots* of people have to say about any harp before you invest is my advice. 
Cheers, Steve 		 	   		  

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