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didj3
Newbie

Aug-2005
4 Posts.
 Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 6:59pm  

Hi!

I purchased my first harmonica 1 month ago, and just started playing a week ago. And I love it. It is a Marine Band Hohner.

But something weird has happened to the wood. It looks like it is bulging. What I mean is. The wood sticks between hole 4 & 5 & 6 are sticking out. The stick between 5 & 6 sticks more out that the other two sticks. It sticks farther out than the brass plate. When I place my harmonica on a table with the holes pointing downwards on the surface, I can push my harmonica on both ends. It's not flat! And some of the finish on these sticks has alreade been scratched off (probably because it sticks farther out than the brass thingie. I'm not sure, but I think the bulge grows when I play on it, and shrinks a bit, when I leave it for a day. Seems like water is building up or something. Anyone know anything about this? Is this normal? The Harmonica is practicly brand new!

All the best! And thanks for listening!

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pcguyiv
Busy Friend


May-2005
99 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 8:13pm  [ re: didj3 ]

No, your harmonica is not ruined. As long as the notes play and play properly, you're fine.

I pretty much use Marine Bands exclusively, and am quite familiar with the swelling of the comb that you are referring to. Since 4-7 tend to get used the most, those center segments tend to suck up the most moisture. The result is that they swell and poke out as you have described.

The best thing is to make sure that you shake it out after playing and let it dry thoroughly before putting it away.

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Club Member Frank

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didj3
Newbie

Aug-2005
4 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 9:35pm  [ re: pcguyiv ]

So it doesn't get worse than it already is? That's great. I don't mind the swelling, except when I do a quick draw-slide between 4 and 5 hole, hurts a bit....but hey... so does the blues.

I bought a Hohner Blues Harp today A key today (wanted a Hohner 20 special, but they only had blues harp). I'm really startin' to get hang of it. Took some blues lessons on the internet yesterday. Learnt alot! Although I must admit I like the Marine Band better.

I'm going to try to order another C from the net. But as I am situated in Europe, where is a great site to order from, to save shipping (NOT US)? (Must sell 20 specials or Bushman)

PS.
Yes I know, I ask all questions at once, but just eager to get on with my playing experience!

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Franky
Member


Jul-2005
42 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 9:59pm  [ re: didj3 ]

quote: ( from didj3 ) So it doesn't get worse than it already is? That's great. I don't mind the swelling, except when I do a quick draw-slide between 4 and 5 hole, hurts a bit....but hey... so does the blues.

I bought a Hohner Blues Harp today A key today (wanted a Hohner 20 special, but they only had blues harp). I'm really startin' to get hang of it. Took some blues lessons on the internet yesterday. Learnt alot! Although I must admit I like the Marine Band better.

I'm going to try to order another C from the net. But as I am situated in Europe, where is a great site to order from, to save shipping (NOT US)? (Must sell 20 specials or Bushman)

PS.
Yes I know, I ask all questions at once, but just eager to get on with my playing experience!



http://www.harponline.de/
available in german and english language

very good online shop in germany

Q: where did you take the online lessons ?
can you give me a link please !?

regards


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Franky

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bear
Gladiator


Aug-2004
738 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 10:02pm  [ re: didj3 ]

didj3, pcguyiv told you correctly. The swelling is caused from moisture getting into your harp and soaking into the wooden comb. (comb, thats the part in between the two brass reed plates). What ever you do make sure when your through playing your harps (and even in between songs) you shake or tap out as much of the moisture as possible by holding the harp holes down and tapping it onto the palm of your hand, or the upper part of your leg. Then lay it somewhere so it can dry out completely before putting it back in its box.

Now since you like the Marine Bands I would suggest you getting a Special 20 (even if you have to wait for the dealer to order it), you see a Special 20 is a Marine Band but with a plastic comb. The plastic comb will not swell up on you. And trust me, the Special 20 feels a whole lot better in your mouth then a Marine Band or Blues Harp. I have played all of the above harps. I used to play mostly Blues Harps (and the little Vest Pockets) but now prefer the Special 20 due to them having the plastic combs.

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BillyRay

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pcguyiv
Busy Friend


May-2005
99 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 10:12pm  [ re: didj3 ]

I wish I could help you there. I know they're out there, but I don't remember any of them. All the places I can think of are based in the U.S. (Harp Depot, Coast 2 Coast Music, & Harmonicas and Stuff)

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Club Member Frank

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McLaren
Newbie


Jul-2005
15 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-22-05 11:57pm  [ re: bear ]

quote: ( from bear ) Now since you like the Marine Bands I would suggest you getting a Special 20 (even if you have to wait for the dealer to order it), you see a Special 20 is a Marine Band but with a plastic comb. The plastic comb will not swell up on you. And trust me, the Special 20 feels a whole lot better in your mouth then a Marine Band or Blues Harp. I have played all of the above harps. I used to play mostly Blues Harps (and the little Vest Pockets) but now prefer the Special 20 due to them having the plastic combs.


I agree with Bear, I've played a Lee Oskar, a Marine Band and a Special 20. I was a bit put off by the wooden comb on the marine band, but without that "problem" on the Special 20, I loved it.

I think I'm starting to prefer the Special 20 to my Lee Oskar now actually!

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pcguyiv
Busy Friend


May-2005
99 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-23-05 12:35am  [ re: McLaren ]

Again, I'm going to concur with the praise of the Special 20, and I am also of the opinion that it is better than the Lee Oskar. Another couple of harps you might consider are the Bushman Delta Frost and Soul's Voice.

If you really want to stick with wood, though, there is also the Marine Band Deluxe (new this year) which has some improvements (like rounded corners and screws rather than nails holding the thing together) from Hohner and the 1923 Vintage Harp from Hering. Also, Bushman is now making a wooden combed version of the Delta Frost.

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Club Member Frank

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didj3
Newbie

Aug-2005
4 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-23-05 2:02am  [ re: pcguyiv ]

Well do you know if this swelling will go away, if I dry my harp properly from now on? BTW Just ordered two 20 specials from UK, and a Blues Harmonica Book. Looking forward to that.

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bear
Gladiator


Aug-2004
738 Posts.
 Re: Help! Is my brand new first time harmonica ruined?
Aug-23-05 3:13am  [ re: didj3 ]

Will the swelling go away? Yes and No!

Yes the swelling will go away when it dries out. But if you play it for long periods at a time it will swell again. Even if you play it for short periods you'll get a certain amount of swelling. The longer you play it the more it will swell up.

The big problem is after awhile from all the swelling and contracting the wood may crack, but that would take a lot of use to do that.
Wood is some funny stuff, let it dry out to much it will crack, get it to wet it will swell and split. If you have a problem with to much moisture and play for long periods of time, and want to stick to harps with wooden combs. I'd suggest having two or three harps of the same key so you can switch harps well your playing as they get to wet.

When I used to play Blues harps I always carried two harps just because of this. Thank God Hohner started using plastic. It makes a much better harp.

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BillyRay

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