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

Chris Reynolds c_reynolds2571@xxxxx
Mon May 9 17:50:50 EDT 2016

Wow, as one of the longest running comb makers who was first to introduce several materials like fantasy marble/fancy acrylic, micarta, etc. I'm blown away by the level of tension this conversation brings out. Everybody just calm down, relax, step away from the mic and take a deep breath. 
Whether you think material makes a difference or not, just relax, its cool. I mean a fancy paint job doesn't make a hotrod go faster, but if it makes you more proud of it then right on, mission accomplished. I make combs from a lot of different materials so folks can personalize their harps, that's always been my main goal, make them last longer and look nicer. When I want to make them play better I work on the reeds. 
There's nothing wrong with changing the look of your harp because you like the look of another material, there's also nothing wrong with doing it because you think it sounds better. Ultimately its all about what makes you happy, and honestly that's the most important part. 
I'm jealous Jon, you replaced all my acrylic combs? Haha
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
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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