[Harp-L] Airtight Chrom (was: The One Harmonica to Rule Them All)

Vern jevern@xxxxx
Sun Feb 12 17:58:19 EST 2017

The air tightness of the HFC arises from the fact that it has no slider.  The mouthpiece bears directly on the comb with zero clearance.

IF you are not using the HFC on a rack, You can place your index fingers on the ends of the mouthpiece and push down as you would push the button on an ordinary chromatic. A slight roll of your wrists moves the harp body instead of the mouthpiece.

If you are hand-cupping, the wrist-roll alone can accomplish the equivalent of pushing a button.

 The air-tightness facilitates single-reed bending.    

The vertical motion of the mouthpiece impedes playing octaves and other deep-in-the-mouth double-stops. This doesn’t matter as much if you are playing your chordal harmonies on a guitar.

The motivation for the HFC design was hands-free rack playing.  Air-tightness was an unexpected benefit.  The extra cost of the HFC may be hard to justify for air-tightness alone. 


> On Feb 12, 2017, at 12:37 PM, gnarlyheman at xxxxx wrote:
> The most airtight chromatic that I own is a hands-free model built from a 270.
> Vern Smith put this one together, but Chris Reynolds is still making them.
> If there were a way to fit a button to it, I would play it more often!
> Any idea how to make this happen?
>> On Feb 12, 2017, at 11:46 AM, Sheltraw <macaroni9999 at xxxxx> wrote:
>> Brendon
>> My suggestion for slider and air tightness improvement was aimed at acoustic harmonica manufacturers not the digital DM48. Given the potential threat to their business posed by a new species of harmonica I am hoping that acoustic manufacturers evolve. Although they won't face extinction (there are still a lot of acoustic guitars selling) their market will definitely take a big hit if digital harmonica like the DM48 are widely marketed. And they will be. But with improvements to the slider and air tightness the manufacturers of acoustic chromatic harmonicas will be able to compete more effectively.
>> Daniel

More information about the Harp-L mailing list