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Chromatic harmonica repair question

19 Jun 11 - 08:36 PM (#3173138)
Subject: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Cool Beans

Any harmonicats out there? The bar on my chromatic harmonica doesn't spring back after I depress it. Would oiling it help? It's a Hohner 8-hole chromatic, made of metal and plastic. The bar is metal. Thanks.


20 Jun 11 - 07:51 AM (#3173241)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: The Sandman

you could try Steve Shaw, who is a member here.


20 Jun 11 - 08:23 AM (#3173252)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Splott Man

It may just need a clean out.
If the harmonica is held together with bolts or screws, use a fine screwdriver to dismantle it carefully, laying everything out so you can reverse the process afterwards.
Brush gently with an old toothbrush, being careful not to damage the reeds. Use tap water at first.

Whatever cleaning agent you use subsequently, remember you're going to breath the vapour and taste the residue after.

Splott Man


20 Jun 11 - 10:14 AM (#3173291)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Steve Shaw

The slide may be sticking for any one of several reasons. If you overtighten the screws (one or both) holding the mouthpiece on, the slide will stick. If you've dismantled it and bent any of the sections, it will stick. Gunk, aka dried-on saliva complete with its array of nasties, will make it stick, as will old goo such as Vaseline. Don't dismantle it just yet. Try this first: Fill a shallow container with HOT water. Hold the harmonica, mouthpiece down, in the water to just cover it up to the slide mechanism. Work the slide rapidly back and forth under the water for a little while. Remove from the water THE SAME WAY UP, then shake/tap out excess water. If this doesn't work, it will mean dismantling and a thorough clean. Get most of the dirt off with soapy water, poking away stubborn deposits gently with a matchstick or similar, then rinse. The combination of harmonica and toothbrush is an accident waiting to happen. A drop of isopropyl alcohol (the stuff that comes in little bottles with record cleaners) will shift greasy remnants. My underwater cleaning method, used after every session, has meant that I never have to dismantle the slide mechanism. I would counsel against using any lubricant at all. They all do the same thing: attract dirt. Good luck!


20 Jun 11 - 10:25 AM (#3173297)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Leadfingers

You should only need to take the two screws out of the front and NOT the reed covers , unless you need to clean a reed or two !
Just be careful reassembling to make sure the holes are lined up correctly .
There is a simple V spring at the button end - if its broken you will have to replace it , but a clean of the slider and its front and back plates should suffice


20 Jun 11 - 10:28 AM (#3173298)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Leadfingers

I was busy finding my old Hohner while Steve was posting ! Do s he said !


20 Jun 11 - 11:21 AM (#3173330)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Splott Man

What Steve said.


20 Jun 11 - 03:52 PM (#3173465)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Cool Beans

OK. What Steve said. Thanks, all!


20 Jun 11 - 05:59 PM (#3173548)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Steve Shaw

Hey, tell me if it works!

Chromatics can be temperamental beasts. Not only can the slide get sticky, the little valves (those white plasticky bits over the reed slots) can play up like mad. Valves can stick, buzz and pop. In most cases you can avoid such difficulties by thoroughly warming your harmonica before playing it. I use those gel hand-warmers, the ones you boil up to regenerate after each use, to keep my chroms cosy during the session. Just activate one of the hand-warmers and put it in some kind of bag with your harp. Works a treat. If you can ever get a stone-cold chrom to play properly you've had a lot more luck than I ever have!

If you can't track down a hand-warmer, you could always try the time-honoured technique of putting the harp down the front of your trousers for ten minutes or so. Don't demean yourself by putting anything less than a 16-hole harp down there, though, and be prepared for lots or people to think that you're pleased to see them.


20 Jun 11 - 06:00 PM (#3173551)
Subject: RE: Chromatic harmonica repair question
From: Steve Shaw

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