I live in a very dry climate and my lips seem to get sticky while playing. It is caused by the low humidity. South Texas is burning up as a result of the drought. Any suggestions on what is best to use to keep the lips smooth other than Chap Stick? Also I notice periodically that some notes get somewhat more difficult to play sharp, especially drawing the 8-10 holes. I keep my harmonicas clean and inspect them to make sure no deposits are present. Both are Hohner Crossovers and played well out of the box. I wash out my mouth before playing to avoid the grit build up. My question is what an be done on the spot to stop this? Its usually the draw notes but at times is the blow notes. It is periodic but the notes or a note are a bit harder to play sharp and the tone seems to get a bit harder to play. The B flat is more prone to this than my C. Any suggestions?
so far you’re doing everything right before you start playing and when you’re done to take care of your harps.
It may help if you chew some sugar-free gum between games. This stimulates your salivation. At the same time, drink sips of sparkling water.
I don’t like using those lip balm sticks. It has been proven many times that these dry out the lips even more in the long run. A kind of “dependency” develops.
I like to use milking fat with marigolds (very productive and economical) or vaseline without additives.
Here it is important to put only a small film on the lips and mouth area. Wipe off residue on the harp with a soft cloth.
I’ve been doing this for 1.5 years. However, I only have heating air here in winter or, like last year, a hot summer.
Test it out and adjust accordingly.
Astrid wishes you lots of fun harping
Thanks for your reply. We are having a severe drought in south Texas and our water was out for three days because the river is getting so low. I have heard chapstick as alcohol in it, which will dry out your lips over the long run. My biggest concern is clogging reeds over a period of time with it. Ill try something else. Drinking water here is a must as it has been over 100 degrees every afternoon for about a month with no let up in sight. I go through about a gallon or more a day, including nights. Highest was 106 just before w my wife and I went to Peru. No end in sight. Fortunately rocks and cactus do not require water and I have no yard. Forty years of maintaining one is enough.
Thanks again for your help.
I live about 40 miles north of Baton Rouge, took this thermometer picture about 10 minutes ago, I do have a lawn and I cut it today. Sorry to dissent, but I use Chapstick, not so much for dry lips but because I play hard and they get scuffed up. I have some big old lips and Chapstick keeps them from peeling. It’d be crazy to use Chapstick and then play a harp, just use when done, or use an hour before playing. I already showed a picture of this harmonica tool kit from East Top ($29), I have used these tools to clean the reeds on some old harps I had that were really dirty, they now play again.
Thanks I need to get a tool kit as well. seems like the heat is everywhere around the south. I wonder what all the illegals let in do when they get 0 miles in and run out of water. Another 50 miles of rugged mesquite and cactus to deal with and no water. I live on the Guadalupe and our well as out for three days as the river dropped so low with no rain in sight. We have to pump it to the well storage, treat it and have water now. I do have 17 gallons in storage. I am hoping for a small hurricane to move through. We did have a hail storm and some were larger than a baseball. No real damage but many cars, windows and roofs are being repaired or replaced. I never bought the baseball size hail storms but they are very real
Here’s a video from my teacher/friend with general cleaning tips. It doesn’t go into cleaning the cover plates, but this will give you the gist about cleaning harps
In regards to cleaning the covers, I don’t use lip balm the moment before I play. However, I have played with Liquid Lipstick and Lip Cream on my lips with the lip cream is a lot messier than the lipstick because the latter’s long lasting. If I ever were to use lip balm I would do like what @KeefDeBluesHarpRobot says, apply a few minutes before or immediately after you finish a show or practicing for the day. If you do use lip balm immediately before playing, make sure to wipe it off with a polishing cloth after you’re finished playing.
Anyways, I hope my advice isn’t too shabby.
I think you are spot on. my concern about Chapstick is it may clog the reeds over time. Thanks for your response. I drink water about every five minutes as the humidity here is next to nothing.
Agree with everyone here. Use chapstick as needed. No problem. Give her a wipe down after playing.