Hello Harmonica Lovers!
I’m going to be talking about repairing your harmonicas, and harmonica tuning that you can do yourself, with some practice on some old harmonicas, until you get good at it. I would suggest not trying it on one of your good harmonicas, or expensive ones. Depending on what your harmonica is doing, determines on how you go about repairing it. If when you blow, or draw a hole, and get no sound out of it, that is usually because of some sort of obstruction like food particles, normally that’s why you should never eat, and play a harmonica, I covered that in a earlier post on The Care of your Harmonica! The way to repair your harmonica is to remove the cover screws, or nails on the cover plates, and place the screws inside the cover plates. so as not to lose them. When you open the harmonica up, you will see a reed plate with three large holes, and three screw attaching it, this reed plate is the top plate, the blow reeds. The bottom plate has three small holes, and three screws attaching it, this is the draw reeds. Look at the hole that’s not playing, and see if there’s something in it, or on the reeds, to keep it from vibrating, if so take a toothpick, or a pick from the Lee Oskar repair tool kit, and pry it out carefully then try playing the harmonica again, it will play with the cover plates off, if you don’t obstruct the reeds with your mouth or mustache. That’s an easy fix, also if you get no sound out of a hole, it might just have too much moisture in it to play, so gently tap it in the palm of your hand, to release the moisture out it then try playing it again. If your harmonica has a buzzing sound, or no response, this is usually means a reed is out of alignment which prevents the reed from vibrating freely. The way to repair this, is with the cover plates off, find the reed out of alignment, use a small wrench, and move it back into alignment, but be careful not to move it back, and forth too much, or you will loosen the rivet, and you won’t be able to adjust it.
If the harmonica sounds flat on a note, or sharp you can repair it, but this is a little bit more complicated, and delicate so practice on your old cheap harmonicas, or ones you don’t care about, until you get proficient at it. With the cover plates off, remove the three screws from the reed plate, and put them in a safe place for when you put the harmonica back together, also be sure to put the three screws, back in the reed plate, exactly how you removed them, this is important. Ok with the reed plate off, handle it by the edges, not touching the reeds, lay it on a flat surface, then slide a index card, or stiff paper under the reed to lift it up, then with a jewelers file, gently file off the end of the reed, away from the rivet to raise the pitch. Gently file the back closes to the rivet on the reed, to lower the pitch. Some harmonica designers like Lee Oskar has taken all that work out of this, and made it a lot easier with “The Art of Harmonica Maintenance Manual, and Repair Tool Kit.” Also rebuildable harmonicas with replacement reed plates, that you can install easily, and quick for half the price of a new harmonica, well worth checking out. I have a Lee Oskar Tool Kit and I love it, but it mainly works on Lee Oskar harmonicas, all though you can use, some of the tool on other brands of harmonicas too. I did a earlier post on Lee Oskar Harmonicas Rebuildable that you can check out, it’s worth checking out!
Please let me know if you have tried, any of these ways of repairing your broken harmonicas?
Have you had success at repairing your harmonicas?
Have you ever heard of the Lee Oskar Harmonica System?
Which repair technique do like the best?
I would love to get you feedback, please leave any comments, or questions below, and I will reply as soon as possible.
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Have a blessed day!