Harp On! Harmonica Tech Tips

Make Your Harmonica Work Better
by Douglas Tate

Useful articles & links to pages on tweaking your harmonica.


Harp On! Articles

G's reed tool design
This is the brass tool I make for harmonica reed work.

Reed Adjustment by G, Pat & Mike

Altered Tunings by G

12tET scale, frequencies, & range of harmonicas
(Excel Spreadsheet, 22kB) by G

Sanding Stick
A sanding stick which I use for most of my tuning and reed polishing. I have three, colour coded for 240 grit, 320 grit & 400 grit abrasive strips. These are also called sanding wands.

Hohner reedplates with factory tuning gashes
Tuning Gashes
by G

Replace plastic comb chromatic nails with screws by G

Comb Sealants and Health Related Issues by Pat

Comb Materials Debate by Pat

The Health Considerations of using ethyl cyanocrylate
(Super Glue) in your Harmonica
by G

Windsavers! by G

Rick Epping's Valve Tool by G

Teflon Harmonica Valves by G, Vern & Doug

Retuning tools by Mike Easton

Hohner's Major Richter Diatonic Tunings by Rick Epping

Half Valved Diatonics by G

How to clean your harmonicas by G

Peterson VS-1 tuner I use a Peterson VS-1 virtual strobe tuner. Its consistant, accurate and easy to use. If you are thinking of getting one, I suggest the newer VS-SAM which includes a built in speaker so it can generate a tone to tune by ear to, and can be programmed with fine tunings.

Fine Files
For tuning harmonica reeds more than a couple of semitones I use files, not rotary tools.
Swiss cut, No.2 & 4, round ratstail and flat equaling needle files.

Harmonicas by G
Harmonicas by G

Articles on Other Sites

Altered States
includes: how to rereed, retune and totally customise your harmonica reedplates, and an encyclopedia of altered tunings by Pat Missin

Squeaky reeds & how to fix them by Pat Missin

A good take on the comb materials debate by Pat Missin
Let your ears be the judge.

Lee Oskar Toolkit reed article

Franz Chmel's method of retuning

Reed replacement article by Bill Romel

Turbo Tape explained

Putting reeds under the microscope
by Gianandrea Pasquinelli

Harmonica Research by Antakamatics

Scientific article on harmonica reed behaviour (PDF, 1.7Mb)
by Dr Antaki and Henry Bahson.



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