**Hello to all. My p c went ka put and I have been dealing with a new one and transferring data, etc. I have been practicing more and getting reed adjustment and tuning down. The more I play my crossover the more I prefer it over my Osker. Both are good but when single note practice starts to pay off I now prefer the crossover. Its a cleaner note and requires less breathing. The Osker holes are a bit larger but the L O seems to have a larger air chamber. Some of the l O notes are somewhat oily, even when the note is played clean. For some reason the eighth hole is the one that seems toughest for me to get correct but slowing down and relaxing helps, especially on a draw. **Getting rid of the wooden combs and making sure the reed plates are flat helps significantly. Its a must. One thing I have yet to find is something that I can apply to my lips so the harp slides easily. I live in a very dry climate and Chapstick is a short term fix and can get into the reeds, Any suggestions for a cure would be greatly appreciated.
Hope all are well and Slim is on the mend. Thanks Dai for all your help. The tunes you were kind enough to post for me are appreciated as I learn by doing. As much as I dislike reading about reed gapping and tuning I do quit a bit of it. Its evil but a necessary evil,
Summer finally passed and it was the hottest one I went through in over
60 years of Texas life. All I did was practice as when its well over 100 F going outside is no fun. Cannot even play with my R/C plane, which I loved to do since I was 12. Learning to fly one correctly prepared me well for learning the harp. Both require a tremendous amount of practice, Flying a plane standing on the ground requires lots of practice as does the harp. Its one thing to sound a harp or turn a plane but both are difficult to really master. I define mastering something difficult look easy and enjoyable to watch or hear. I can fly with the best of them but the harp is a long term work in progress.
I don’t think there’s any sort of product to apply to one’s mouth to allow the harp to move more easily. I always try to make sure I don’t eat bacon before a gig or a practice session, or anything else that makes me thirsty. In fact, if I know I’m going to be playing I don’t eat anything for at least 4 or 5 hours. Make sure you’re well hydrated when you play, and you should be ready to go. That’s what works for me, anyway.
I know people who drink beer, cocktails, soda or coffee when playing, but I wouldn’t do that because those things are diuretic.
Thanks I stay well hydrated but when the humidity is often less than 20% dry lips are always a problem. Not much of a drinker and bacon is not my thing. Same for coffee. I was considering a bit of Sure right out of a new dispenser, no smell. Its fighting the friction that gives me the problem and makes sliding the harp across easily difficult. It grabs the lip.
What do you fly? I have a great aerobatic plane and a 1/5 Mustang, powered by a DLE 55, which is a perfect fit. Cannot fly them now because of everything being on a hill with rocks and cactus. I grew up in west Houston and there were many flying fields. None in south Tx near Kerrville. I sure miss flying and still hope to find a land owner that will let me fly. Finding a place W/O power lines or other plane killers is tough as 97% of the land here is private.
If you want to see what sort of music I am trying to learn Google up Lefty Gardner P 38 Lightning. He was the best mustang pilot I ever saw and managed to get a real ride in his. The P 38 had only a single seat. He raced it at Reno for many years. He could fly those war birds so gracefully and was the only pilot checked out in all the CAF planes. He is gone now but the ride he gave me will never be forgotten. Those V 12 Merlin and Allison sound so cool but being inside one is a very different story. I have never hear anything as loud a a merlin with the helmet off. Going a bit over 400mph in a 90 degree bank at 200 feet was euphoric. Now all the pilots are afraid of these planes and just will not get them inverted. Makes no sense to own one and not fly it right.
One harp question. When you hit an 8 draw do you inhale very lightly? Its the only note that gives me any trouble. I play it lightly but it seems someone could not hear it well, which is best for my wife as I practice 2 or 3 hours a day.
I’m not sure what Sure is. If I have a dry mouth I just drink water. An excessively dry mouth could be some kind of medical issue, although I understand that this might be more of a problem in a dry climate.
Unfortunately, I’m not qualified to comment on the upper register because I almost never go there myself. I play blues exclusively and I’m high-register-impaired. My playing tops out at hole 6.
I believe I may be able to help you with your RC hobby, though. I went to visit my brother in Center Point last month, and one of the items on the to-do list was to take a bunch of trash to the dump in Kerrville. While we were there he pointed out that there was an RC flying field at the dump. It turns out they have a facebook page. Kerrville RC Flyers | Kerrville TX
That’s a long way from my place, though. I live in Missouri. I build planes mostly from old magazine plans. I appreciate scale planes but I never build or fly them. Incidentally, I’m a manufacturer of balsa kits. www.balsaworkbench.com
I heard that the Reno races have finally come to an end this year. Times have changed, all the great pilots are gone, there’s too much urban sprawl, and there isn’t as big of an audience any more.
Thanks We are also entering into brush fires legal season but you are a long way from me. Our summer was brutal and a burn ban in force. Rednecks like me could not even cut up wood with a chain saw around the house and burn it.
Where can I get Dermeze? Hopefully otc at the local CVS. I will give it a try.
Thanks and enjoy a warming period. We had enough heat over the summer to keep Texas warm for a decade. Highest I saw was last June @ 106F . A great time to practice the harp and read some on how to maintain them. It could be snowing here in a month or sunny short sleeve weather or both. We had an hail storm in June with some as big or bigger than a baseball. It does exist. Ten minutes later it was sunny. I never though the baseball size hail existed but it does. Many new cars showing up as the storm demolished several.
If you dont like the weather here wait about ten minutes. It will change.
It surely is off topic. Sorry about that, and I hope I didn’t make you late for a gig.
Back to the original question, I just had a thought. If you have a water softener, you might consider drinking regular water instead. I’ve never had a water softener myself, but they certainly are popular, and every time I’ve been at a house with a water softener I’ve noticed that the water just won’t quench my thirst, and it always leaves me feeling like my mouth is a bit dry. I’m pretty sure the only reason anyone has a water softener is to prevent mineral deposits on the fixtures, but I’m convinced that the water isn’t good for you. And for anyone who is keeping tabs, I’m pretty sure that’s a harmonica playing topic.
I do have one and its a must. Today was better as the humidity went up some. W/O a softener iron would build up as the well a neighbor does not and his water stains his fixtures and his driveway now turning brown. Not something I would drink.
I am getting some of a Dermeze as recommended by toogdog that might help and be a long term solution.
My 8 D on my Osker is simple but the Crossover seems to want to play with less pressure. I think the problem has been identified. The Osker has a somewhat larger air chamber but the more I play the more the Crossovers are becoming what I like the most. Both are good harps and its a tradeoff as the l O lays single notes easier but the crossover sharper.
I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley drinking the hardest water you can imagine. It destroyed faucets. The fixtures actually corroded and grew crystals, but I loved drinking the water. It was very thirst quenching, and I just can’t take softened water seriously. It literally makes me thirsty, and I strongly suspect that it may have something to do with your own issue. The minerals in central Texas water won’t hurt you. If anything, they’re good for you. The well water I have here in Missouri leaves brown stains, but it’s great stuff to drink. (I wish I could get that south Texas water, though.)
If you try it for a week, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Regarding Lee Oskar harps, I am not a fan. I used to play Hohner Special 20s, but I found them not very durable. When I started replacing them with Lee Oskar, I noticed that the Oskars were just clunky to play. It was sort of like switching from a sports car to a dump truck. Sure, it drives and gets the job done, but it didn’t have a light, nimble feel like the Hohners. Now I play Suzuki Bluesmaster and I find that they are durable, and they also have the light feel of a Special 20. So if you say that something plays with less pressure than a Lee Oskar, it doesn’t surprise me.
Thanks I drink a tremendous amount of water before and during playing. I have been bird hunting many times in the valley and Batesville, I came in and turned on the shower and had to decide if the sulfur smell was worse that me. I showered. Here you can drill and get sweet water and a short distance away get terrible water out of the same aquafer, extreme iron.
My Osker is very bulky and the lower notes sound oily. The Crossover is best all things considered, especially if single clean notes become more consistent. The Crossovers I have all needed some work out f the box and the comb replaced. One reed plates was is great need of straightening. Once a Crossover is straight and tuned I/M/O its the better choice.
I have been using a lip lube for years when playing my horn. It’s has helped me with a few issues, chapped and dry lips and has even reduced the swelling when I am getting over a cold sore (death for a trumpet player) it is non wax based! I have tried it with my harp and so far it really seems to help with my lips getting too dry, always good to have other options
Just throwing it out there gang!
Bender1 Thanks i could not get an email through. What I ant is something that will allow me to slide my harp easily. I live in a dry climate and other things like Chapstick won’t last log and then cause friction.