[Harp-L] Re: The "newest" Stradivarius of Harmonicas! (Rick Dempster)

jon kip jon@xxxxx
Mon May 9 14:45:58 EDT 2016

On May 9, 2016, at 6:29 AM, harp-l-request at harp-l.org wrote:

> Crikey! The old comb debate...after all these years. I'm with Vern,
> personally, but beside that,
> seeing 90-odd percent of harp players I come across all put the dear
> innocent little instrument
> through diverse, devilish engines of distortion and general aural torture,
> I can't see that it matters a hoot
> (or a honk) in the final, usually deafening, outcome.
> RD

a good point, and very nicely understated....and very polite.

I've recently fitted most of my way-too-many Deluxe 270's with combs made by the elves in Brendan's backyard sweatshop, and it's been a change for the better. Never again will I wonder if the combs will be the same size the next day. 

On the other hand, when I make a mistake, I'm no longer allowed to say "Damn This Leaky Comb!" Luckily, based on fifty years of playing woodwinds for money, I have at least five other ways of deflecting blame, so I'm ok.

For those wanting to investigate the less interesting side of  chromatic harmonica, I've got some good info and links to even better info about practicing, hidden up on my web site. Effective use of practice time gives you more time to pick comb colors and squeeze magnets into the available spaces in the cover plates.

Learning chromatic harmonica in the way that others have learned The "Real" Instruments, is a Good Plan if you do want to expand your playing and, after some frustration, your skill, to the point where you realize that Mastering the instrument gets further away the closer you get to it.

It's not at all mandatory. Fun can be had at all levels, as can frustration, of course.

jon kip
jon at jonkip.com

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