[Harp-L] Comb Materials: the Perfect Test Harmonica?

Richard Hunter turtlehill@xxxxx
Fri May 13 13:21:26 EDT 2016

Players should use the instruments they prefer to use, and should pursue the sound they want to pursue, by any means possible.  I have no doubt that the way an instrument feels in the player's hands is an important factor in how the player responds to the instrument.

That said, I very rarely pay attention to the materials used in my instruments, because I don't hear much of a difference. Certainly I can't listen to a recording and tell which instrument the player was using. Especially coming through a mic and an amp, the differences in tone between different makes and models of harmonica are not in my opinion profound.  If the thing responds instantly to my playing, and I can make it loud, I can get the sound I want out of it. 

I make a point of trying almost every harmonica that's brought to market. I've recorded myself playing the same lines on various makes and models, and in most cases I can't hear the difference on the recordings. Some makes and models are more responsive, loud, etc., and I'm sure that a number of factors combine to create those qualities. In the end, the factor that makes the most difference in the tone of the instrument is the player, and I can recognize many players by their sound regardless of which instrument they're using.

Generally speaking, I find that the most important thing I can do to make any harmonica sound better is to practice more.

Thanks, RH

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