a new mouth?

I mentioned in my intro that I had laid down my harp due to illness, well that same illness came with some nasty nasty medications. I am alive, but they wrecked havoc…and I lost most of my teeth.

I pretty much have a new mouth, with implants and a fixed bridge. It all looks like my very own teeth, but they are different. The very shape of my mouth is different than it was before, as is the back of my throat.

Due to the changes, I am having some difficulty getting a good air seal, and am losing a whole lot of air, esp on draw notes.

I know that I need to practice,( re-learn is more like it), but has anyone else on here faced this sort of challenge? If so, do you have any suggestions?

Also, I have some sound files of my playing before my illness and would like to share them with you. How would I go about doing this? Right now they are in windows media player format.

As for right now, I am takin’ my poor ole sore lips to bed. They are tired!


You should open an account here (FREE) www.box.net

Then once your files are up there you can share them by highlighting the link to
the file you want to share. Then right click it and copy.

Then back to the forum and right click again and paste.

hope that helps


If you can’t figure out how to get them up there let me know and if you can email them to me I’ll put them up for you.

That is a toughie!

All I can say is…have you tried sticking the harp further back in your mouth? Tongue blocking would be a bit wider if you did that, but I guess my idea is that the farther back you stick the harp the more lip you can put on it, and thus a better seal!

But I’m just taking a granny shot, I really have no idea!


Granny shots may well be what works.

Gotta rest my lip, but tonight I will give your suggestion a try.


Really sorry to hear about your health issues, we will be praying for you.

As to the “shape” of your mouth, basically it is just a matter of patience. I had a severe case of Bell’s Palsy seral years ago and the entire left side of my face was completely paralyzed. I had feeling there, but absolutely NO movement it seeemed like forever. I could not whistle, and forget about blowing up a blloon for the kids. But eventually…

So, first of all, don’t panic or feel like you have to ‘re-learn’ it all today, just relax and take your time. And, a big plus is that the harmonica will be a great help in getting everything else back to normal.

In the meantime, just hang in there, but don’t forget to just enjoy.


HI harpman

Thanks for the kind words.

I am sorry to hear about your troubles with Bell’s. I was a nurse before I got sick of it and quit, but I took care of a few people struggling with that. It can be a terribly frustrating, and traumatic experience for some. I was glad to see the “eventually” in your post.

I am making some progress, thanks to the great advice on this forum. I am stubborn tho, and keep forgetting to stop before I get frustrated, lol.

I had a breathing tube for a while, and I think that my lips changed from being molded around that tube. I do angle the harp like JP shows in the video, but I also have to have one side of the harp higher in order to get that air seal. I dunno, maybe that side of my mouth is weaker and will improve as I use it.

As for my health issues, I am well now (thanks be to God). It’s been a year now, and I am still gaining strength and trying to lose the weight I gained from a year and a half in bed.

I love how helpful this board is! Ya’ll are great!

Just wait until we get goin’!

Take care of yourself!


[u][i]Gotta rest my lip,[/i][/u] but tonight I will give your suggestion a try.
Figures! Most wimmens I know can keep their trap going on with only one pair of lip working! :P

But er um, seriously and no bullshit aside though…

When it comes to ‘air tightness’ is this due to the harp, the embouchure, or both?

If you can manage a whistle and form an ‘o’, you can get the single notes easily enough:


I believe in ya! :wink:


Keep us posted! :slight_smile:

Keep On Harpin’!

Well, I whistled before all this, but no whistling now, lol.

I am making some improvements, though. Jus gonna take me a while.

and honey, aint nuthin EVER shut me up. lol