Learn to Play Blues Harp Harmonica
Put Your Blues Harp Harmonica in Tequila ?

Let’s go back to the importance of breaking in your brand new harmonica.  I’ve been reading about different methods and there seems to be some disagreement among the blues harp lovers out there about which technique is best or even necessary.  Some say it will extend the life of your harp and others say it does not even matter. 

 Back in the ‘old days’ they used to soak a new harmonica that had wooden combs in beer or whiskey or a vinegar solution as it was believed that soaking it would help to keep the wooden combs from getting warped and also make the harmonica airtight for a better play.  Some harmonicas are too ‘loose’ and leak air.  Many say that soaking causes more damage than good and the wood will warp anyway and it only causes corrosion on the reed plates.  So this method is not generally recommended nowadays by either players or manufacturers.

Another breaking in method I’ve read about (and chuckled about) is to just hold your new harp out the window while you drive down the highway and let the wind of nature blow upon and through it.  Or this one: some diatonic players use a 12 volt car vacuum to work the reeds which is claimed to avoid premature stress cracks.  Could work – who really knows?

Someone else said to simply play the blues harp gently (without bending notes) for about the first ten hours you put on it and then gradually increase the power you use to play.  It seems that the more it is played the better response you can get from the reeds. If it is not played gently you can ‘blow your eyeballs out’ because the new reeds are so stiff.  (Again chuckling while envisioning the popped out eyeballs of a blues harp harmonica player!) 

To break it in or not to break it in?  That is the question.  I think it’s a personal choice and for us beginners we will find our own way and style as we go.  It seems logical that we’d be taking it slow anyway as we are beginners right?  I don’t think a first time blues harp student is going to be popping eyeballs! 

Anyway here is a free Video Series I found online with some more awesome harmonica lessons from another teacher on the internet named Jim Luke .  He offers 12 easy to follow lessons and all are rated 5 Stars! Check out his video tutorials on how to play the blues harp harmonica and what he recommends on breaking in your blues harp. Tequila?   That’s in video number twelve!


Please leave a comment or tip on whether you think a blues harp harmonica needs to have a breaking in period or not.

For the more serious player: Hohner Bob Dylan Signature Series C Marine Band Harmonica

Love this Blues Harp Jam

Technorati Tags: Blues Harp Harmonica, breaking in a new harmonica, Harping the Blues, Jim Luke, learn to play harmonica, tequila

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