Harmonica Cleaning and Maintenance: 7 Simple Tips

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog: Harmonica Articles, How to Play the Harmonica

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Would You Like Your Harmonica To Last A Long Time And Stay Free Of Rust?

Check Out This Free Audio Recording from Expert Harmonica Teacher JP Allen >>

Comments (114)

  • Amir Hosein

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    You’re Amazing man , i’m from iran , and what u teach is like “Gold” in our country , cause here nobody knows what a Harmonica is …

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Amir!!!!

      I just got your message. Like gold in my heart.

      Warmly,

      jp

      Reply

      • james

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        Man, jp you are amazing on the harmonica i’m only 14 about to turn 15 jan.13. thank you jp !!!!

        Reply

        • james

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          Do you think you can teach me a old nigro spirtal.

          Reply

        • JP Allen

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          Keep it up, that’s a great age to start…by the time your my age you’ll be a master. jp

          Reply

      • bahram

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        But unfortunately we cant buy your lessons in Iran because we cant get master cards.
        🙁

        Reply

        • JP Allen

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          I’m sorry about that Bahram. I have lots of free videos and articles here: http://www.harmonica.com/go/fhl. Also look me up on youtube, you’ll find lots of free lessons there also. jp

          Reply

    • Stephen maddox

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      Hi im just starting out i have a marine band b 10 harmonica. Im being taught by your lessons on the internet and i find it very helpful,since i dont have the money to go to a trainer in my area.Thank you very much for the lessons and i will continue to teach myself through your lessons. ALOHA!!! :0)

      Reply

  • Gerald Fry

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    Some good tips there J.P.; I have never experienced problems with rust in a harp unless it is a very old hand-me-down but the thing to be cautious about with an old harmonica, particularly if it has a wooden comb, is the possibility of mould growth which can be very hazardous to health if inhaled. I never let others play my harps, mainly for hygiene purposes but you have given me a few more good reasons. Thanks .
    kind regards, Gerald.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Gerald,

      Thanks for the feedback on the wooden combs. I never knew that and it makes sense. Particularly for people who live in humid places in the world…. Like me in Kauai, Hawaii.

      Thanks!

      jp

      Reply

  • Bill Prohs

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    Another thing that one could do to help dry out their harmonica is place a packet of silica gel desiccant crystals in the harmonica case. These can be purchased in various sizes and can be found included with many of the common products we purchase. These generally say do not eat or discard. They are really harmless and readily absorb excess moisture. Once saturated they can be dried out in your oven on low heat.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Great idea!

      jp

      Reply

  • Mark Kotula

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    jp,

    I just picked up the harp after 20 years. I bought your cd package ’bout a year ago (It’s Great!). I’ve been playing in a rockabillie band for 10 months. We have opened for two nationals and been playing around town (Detroit ). You can check us out on face book. The bands name is “Yankee soil”the gig is at Harpos Detroit.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Mark,

      This is so great to hear.

      It’s actually a dream come true for me to find out that my complete lesson series has supported you in playing in a band.

      HOW COOL!!!!

      I get this feedback from tons of people all over the world and I never get tired of it.

      I’m so happy for you MARK!

      Keep it up!

      jp

      P.S. Will you contact me here http://www.harmonica.com/contact and send me that link of your video. I’d love to see it!

      Reply

  • Greg Willis

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    I really liked what you had to say about giving your old harps away. I applaud you for that. I have giving away several guitars, organs and harmonicas over the years and the return has been fantastic… Several of the young kids I gave instruments to have become quite the musicians and there’s nothing better then to know you had a part in there love for music….Good job J.P
    Sincerely Greg M Willis

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks Greg!!!!

      Seems to me that making others lives wonderful is just about the “funnest” game in town.

      And sharing music….that tops the cake for me.

      jp

      Reply

  • gordon

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    I learned to play the harmonica when I was around 8 years old, I am now 71. I have never put them down because there were so many memories attached to my harmonicas. Always Honer and always at my side. I never learned how to bend a reed but that’s ok as I never played anything other than Civil War songs and turn of the Centry songs. You have brought more to me than money can buy and I thank you for that. As for cleaning, all I ever did was take my hankercheif and one finger and dip it in my whiskey and wipe it down. Cleaned out the holes with a jack knife. Oh, by the way, I am now teaching the scale to elderly people who are blessed with COPD. I too have that lung problem. But with the harmonica I have learned all over again how to breath and I have licked my inability to walk, talk, and play the harp just because of needing to breath. Dam the COPD. Thanks again I am known as just the “Old Guy”.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey “Old Guy” with the young spirit.

      If you can take a video of helping people with COPD that would be priceless.

      Many people don’t know how much harmonica is helping people with all sorts of chronic lung conditions (i.e. Lung Cancer, emphysema, asthma…)

      If you shoot the video I’ll post it on my blog. Together we can help a lot of people who are challenged by these heath conditions.

      Harmonica can make a huge difference in these people’s lives.

      You can send a link to the video here http://www.harmonica.com/contact

      I’ll do my best to serve the cause.

      With Love,

      jp

      Reply

      • Carol Frink

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        jp: Have appreciated your free lessons. Some day hope to be able to get the full lessons. I salute you on your service to the world! And I salute, Gordon, for his service to people with lung problems. I play fiddle with our local ‘fiddlers’ and we play for area nursing homes and senior meal sites, about 14 plays per month. We have an elderly veteran who played his harmonica in the trenches of France, etc and still plays with us. He had 1/2 of a lung removed recently due to cancer and while laying in the hospital recovering he asked the Dr when he could start playing his harmonica again and the Dr said, “That’s the best thing you can do for recovery!” So I’ve started playing harmonica in earnest! And the older people love to hear harmonica. Keep up the good work!

        Reply

  • gordon

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    Thank God for people like you……

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Receiving your blessings Gordon! And it feels good!

      jp

      Reply

  • David b

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    hi jp,

    im a big fan of you and harmoicas, and your dvd’s cd’s & website will help A,LOT with me learning the harmonica.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks David!

      I’m so glad my lessons are helping you.

      Keep in touch.

      I’d love to hear about your progress.

      jp

      Reply

  • Jack C

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    I play a Hohner Marine Band. I am very careful wiping down the front of the harmonica, so I tap dry it so that the wood does not catch on the cloth. Also, to keep out the moisture after I am done playing, I take an office depot cleaning duster (A pressurized air can, can be bought anywhere else), and use it beetween the combs, and throught the back of the harmonica where the reeds are. Do not spray it directly on the cover of the harmonica. Instead, use a non-staining disenfectant and then polish with a jewelry cloth. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Put your harmonica in its case when not playing, and tap the harmonica on your leg to remove moisture right after playing if you don’t have time to clean.

    THANKS JP, YOUR GREAT. GOD BLESS.

    Jack

    Reply

  • Jack C

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    An Office Depot pressurized can cleaning duster works great on the combs and the reeds to remove loose particles and dust on and in the harmonica. I forgot to mention in my comment above that this pressurized cleaner is MOISTURE AND RESIDUE FREE, SO IT WILL NOT DAMAGE THE HARMONICA OR CAUSE RUST!!! Great.

    Thanks for all you do JP.

    Jack

    Reply

  • LaMarr Dotson

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    Dear JP,

    I’m just starting to play the harp. I hope to play as wellas you one day I know it will take time as well as a lot of practice.That’s why I’m so thankful for your E-mails. I do my best to try to play with you but some of the you do is still to hard for me to do, but I still try. I’m a minister at my church and I sometime play to some of the old gospel songs during service. I sometime have a time hearing the right key, but if I get it ,I’m on it and if I don’t, I stop playing. I would like to know do you or did you ever have that happen to you, and how did you deal with it? In closeing I would like thank you for the videos they are a real help!!!

    Yours truely,
    LaMarr

    Reply

  • Terry Macioge

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    HI JP.,
    Thanks so much for responding to me on how to maintain my instrument. I’ve been having some fun with it and really need to get my breathing exercises going as my wind capacity is low. Amazing how much air you use.

    Wish I had know earlier that you are on Kauai as my Cousin and his entire family just visited there. He was a former movie actor and was the Captain in the movie Hawaii which was years ago. Had I known you were there I would certainly have told him to look you up. He’s quite the entertainer himself, sings, dancers and acts.

    Again thanks for being there for all us novice. We certainly appreciate any information you give.
    Best Regards,
    Terry

    Reply

  • S I Trivedi

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    Im a big fan of you and harmoicas,
    I am playing it since last 30 years in between I was not playing,Your lessons gave me boost to revive again against my present age 51 years.
    Kindly suggest best way to buy the DVD to learn more and wher can I purchase good Harmonica in INDIA (Ahmedabad).
    Great to be in touch with You

    Reply

  • Bob Dawson

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    Hey JP!
    Thanks again for all you do for all of us.
    I recommend your forum to all who play or are interested in information about harmonicas and playing, or just want to be around a great bunch af people who “keep on harpin’.”
    Go JP!

    thebugleboy

    Reply

  • Reg. LeBlanc

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    Thanks for the free harmonica lessons. I’m finally getting single notes (sometimes). Maybe I need to learn to sit like your student Robeca??? If I can bend this old body to sit like that I’ll be able to bend notes.
    In a short while I’ll be ordering the DVD and see if I can produce a tune or two.
    Thanks again,
    Reg.

    Reply

  • Richard Wynn

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    I want your program but I have my own harmonicas

    Reply

  • Santa Monica Mitch

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    Hey JP;

    I really appreciate your consistent good wishes & good vibes!
    Regarding moisture in a harmonica. . . . I’m sitting in my office listening to your advice & am staring at a can of Compressed Gas Duster that I use to dust off my computer & desk & keyboard. . . . dontcha think it would do a really good job? By the way, germs gotta live too! It’s sorta like a good Weber BBQ. . . . you don’t really won’t to get it too clean as that would rob the end product of a certain amount of “character”!
    Let me know if this helps.

    Mitch

    Reply

  • Sonny Lee

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    dear JP

    After tapping the harmonica, can I use my wife hair dryer to
    blow dry after many hours of playing? Very ambitously I bought the C and G two way blow harmonica and found bulky to carry every where, so i bought the tiny tot C but keep the big one. Do I have to take it out to air from time to time if I dont play for some time?

    Can I get your CD/DVD at one of the many Malls in Kuala Lumpur, Malysia? I have no confidence purchasing through the internet.

    Reply

  • Richard

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    Hi JP, if hygiene is of real concern to some Harmonica users a product here in the UK called Milton Sterilising Fluid may be useful to them. It is intended for the sterilisation of babies feeding equipment and there is no need to rinse in clean water after use as it has no after taste. Just dilute Milton according to the instructions on the bottle and drop your harp in for about 3 minutes.
    Q: Why 3 minutes?
    A: I checked with the manufacturers if Milton would stain metal and they said that prolonged or very regular use will stain some metals. So 3 minutes every few months is no problem.
    I am sure similar products are available elsewhere in the world…it must be safe if it’s designed for use on ‘your’ baby!!;O)

    Reply

  • Tom Carrothers

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    I have enjoyed your lessons and emails I get. I’ve played since 1990. I don’t read music, I just play by ear. I Love John Popper from Blues Traveler. That is more my style, although I love to listen to the Blues and play along with it. I can really hook up with a song most of the time. Sometimes I can’t seem to find what key the song is in, by the time I do, the song is over. I play Lee Oskar Harps, and love them to death. I play in the Praise Band at Church. I have all 12 keys plus a HG harp LF harp and a MM C harp and a MM E harp. I use a Green Bullet microphone when I plug into an amp. God Bless, Keep sharing what you have with others, it’s your gift. TC

    Reply

  • Frank(i)

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    Hi, dear Apostle’n Instructor Proessor of Harping,
    My humble person can only repeat all the former blessings & opinions and beg the God to multipy them.
    As to lung cancer and such problems, the Sodium Bicarbonicum 4-5 grams a day has been proven helpful prilactycally too. (Viz.: Dr. Tullio Servicio, Rome)
    Harping is the best reconvalescens way even in heart illnesses ! Due to breathing like in the Hatha Yoga…
    May Peace and Good Will always be Yours !
    Your truly,
    Frank

    Reply

  • tim

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    Hey J.P.
    Your DVD’s should arrive today. I ordered them last month. But I live in Honduras and a friend is hand carrying them down for me today from Texas. Can hardly wait. I’ve played for 45 years and really “suck” (no pun intended). Never had a lesson and have learned a ton from you on youtube. Now the serious lessons begin. I WILL jam with a band this year. It’s my 2011 dream.

    Reply

  • Edward Brien

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    Hey JP.
    thanks for the riff after your audio on cleaning.
    I heard a fellow make a really low growl on his C Spec 20 and asked him how he accomplished it.
    He said it was like snoring through the harp.
    So far no luck with this, any thoughts, and is it worth learning.
    it did sound pretty cool as an effect when he was playing.
    Thank up front for any help you can give me
    Ed Brien

    Reply

  • ali sadeghi makki

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    Hi. I love your harmonica lessons. Amir hosein told true. You are a golden man and your lessons are the best.(I am your freind in face book). Thank you again and the best wishes for you.

    Reply

  • cara

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    g’day thank u sooo much for ur lessons i got a harp for christmas and am so appreciative of ur free lessons they r sooo helpfull 🙂 im just starting to get it now lol i would love to be able to play xavier rudd stuff hes the one that inspired me to play it…. then i found u and u keep me inspired thanks so much… wish u where here to teach me in person lol u r awsome…

    Reply

  • bobz1b

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    hi JP

    I am a 51 year old guy from the uk who has played guitar off and on for 40 years or so. I recently took up harmonica and have made great progress since following your lessons, your awesome dude. My top tip for keeping the harmonica clean and dry is to gently blow it through with my girlfriends hairdrier,

    keep on rocking in the free world
    Bob

    Reply

  • Lawry Yerby

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    Terrific article ! Just found my Marine Band Hohner and would love to learn to play it. I’m getting up there at 69. So glad I found you on the inernet. Played professionally drums for many years in dance bands. Also for quite a few years in a Dixiland Band. I gave up playing some time ago but really miss the good times and music. I think learning to play this harmonica will be fun at this stage of my life. I’ll most likely order one of your DVDs. THank You JP. I blew a few notes and wanted to treat it properly when I put it away. Your artical was just what I needed to answer the question of how to keep it clean and in tune. Thanks again.I’m getting too tired tonight to even try the free lesson. Will log on tomarrow. You are terrific ! Old Lawry Yerby

    Reply

  • John

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    you are the man loving the dvd and cd lessons

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Right on! 🙂 jp

      Reply

  • arghavan

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    hiiiiiiiiiii
    love you man! i am from iran and this is too hard to learn harmonica 🙂 and i am so happy that i found you .
    xoxoxo

    Reply

  • Dr. Bene Ferenc

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    Hi, dear Apostle’n Instructor Professor of Harping, as to drying the Harp, I’d like to draw your kind attention to the battery or car electric operated small ventillator that could or should be an every case useful and handy drying tool for all Harpings.
    Are you praised already by the Hawai Governor and the US Pres. for your enormous worldwide best work and results for education, music, humanity, health, well-accomplishment, happyness, gerontology, etc.? If still not, it’s a big bad mistake of them! I suggest to do it utmost and beg the JP Allen World of Harp to join to my suggestion personally or collectively. Thanks in advance!
    May Peace and Good Will always be Yours!
    Yours truly,
    fan Frank(i) from Hun-gar-y

    Reply

  • Budd Colby

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    Hi JP- Several people mentioned the problem of identifying the key being used in recordings they wanted to play along with and I have the same problem. Is there a useful trick? I just started a few weeks ago and I’m ready to jam with recordings. Many thanks for those DVDs! Best, BuddC

    Reply

  • Glen Goddard

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    Re: “…place a packet of silica gel desiccant crystals in the harmonica case…Once saturated they can be dried out in your oven on low heat.”

    Another way is with the microwave oven. 10-30 seconds max depending on the size of the packet.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks for the tip Glen,
      jp

      Reply

  • Laurence

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    that was great, thanks allot

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Your very welcome Laurence.
      jp

      Reply

  • Laurence

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    P.S i’m fairly new to harmonica playing and in turn harmonica preservation but i tend to leave them out of the cases on the side with the blow and draw holes facing downwards in order to keep air flow and moisture draining out

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Brilliant Laurence!
      jp

      Reply

  • eva birincsik

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    Hi Mr Allen. Also Everybody.
    Thank you the cleaning tip. It brings back to me a sorrowful memory. My Dad give me, for my 20 birthday present, a harmonica and case which belonged to My Grandfather. It had a beautiful sound. I was very happy. So I followed my dad’s advise to clean it well. I washed it good with soapy water, then dried. Next day I was about to cry. My beautiful harmonica was stinking like sausage. I feel bad because it belonged to My loved Grandpapa.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Sorry to hear that Eva! I’m do hope others learn from this post what to do and what not to do. Let’s persevere those harmonicas memories folks!
      jp

      Reply

  • Alberta

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    How do you learn to play songs that you can’t find harmonica tabs for? Thank you

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      If you can’t find a tab on-line, I would say the best way is to learn it by ear. But that technique is very advanced and it starts out by listening to the tune over and over again. It takes a lot of experience on the harmonica to get it right.
      Otherwise you can get the sheet music for it. And as long as you can read music, you can take it note for note and find the notes on the harmonica.That’s take’s a while to do also! Have fun and I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • RS Rawat

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    I could play all songs on the Harmonica over 50 years back. I have started again & find that I haven’t lost that talent. Your lessons are a greaaat help. Thanks

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Awesome news RS! jp

      Reply

  • Sabine

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    Similar to “Old Guy”, I have asthma. Coincidentally, i also happen to be a respiratory therapist. One of the reasons I want to play an instrument is to help me with my breathing. Most likely, a brass or reed instrument would be more beneficial in helping to splint open the airways – but I don’t think my neighbours would appreciate that too much, so the harmonica is a really great alternative.

    I haven’t been very diligent in my practices. I hope to feel more confident in my harp technique foundation before proceeding on to your CDs, JP – really looking forward to it.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Sabine, it’s true that the benefits of harmonica for respiratory health is well known…being that you are respiratory therapist it would be a great resource to have a testimonial of your progress in helping your asthma with harmonica. Please email me if you are inspired to share your experience as a professional and a student for the benefit of others who struggle with similar respiratory challenges. jp

      Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks for sharing Sabine. jp

      Reply

  • yhoshua joshua

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    jp your lessons have helped me greatly. i am a viet nam vet since purchasing your dvd’s i sleep better and my nightmares have decreased. i continue to suggest playing the harmonica to others with ptsd. thank you.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Wow joshua, I can’t tell you how happy that makes me to hear that. Would you do me a favor and send me a personal testimonial on http://www.harmonica.com/contact It may benefit other vets to hear your experience. Warmly, jp

      Reply

  • wayne childress

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    J. P. Thanks for your help. i try to play fiddle tunes in both staight and cross position. The problem of course is speed, but I’m working with your blow and draw tucka-ticka routine and hope that will help speed me up over time. I admire the clicking sounds that you make and your speed. Also, I have been using hydrogen peroxide on my harps. I soak them overnight and the effervescent action lifts a lot of crud out of them and there’s no aftertaste as with alcohol. Thank you for your help. I have been playing for over 20 years but not really playing until recently.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      That’s a great method Wayne, thanks for your input. Glad you are making progress. jp

      Reply

  • vespry

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    Hi jp how are you I used to play the harmonica when I was a kid about 5 years no one ever taught me , it came naturally I stoped when I was about 10 years old and never picked it up again till about three weeks ago am now age 57 it’s such a lovely instrument I bought your package and it’s helping me a lot thanks Although am having problem with bending the notes but all in time i’ll get there keep up the good work

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Wow, I bet it’s all coming back to you like a second language. jp

      Reply

  • Stanislav

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    sounds reasonable the “slap” on the palm is what Baker also suggest people to do; I started actually with Baker and I like his way of explaining things

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Yea, that will do the job. jp

      Reply

  • jake

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    thanks jp,
    ill try some of those

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Sure thing. jp

      Reply

  • Tommy

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    JP,
    Thanks for the lessons!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      You got it Tommy! jp

      Reply

  • Dan

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    Hey JP,
    I`m just getting back to accompaning myself (singer/songwriter) on harp after a break of several years and am really appreciating all the great instruction I`m getting from you. Love your enthusiasm for the insrument as well (its infectious!).
    I do have a quick question for you:
    How do you feel about cleaning and treating oxidization on reeds using a food grade mineral oil?
    Thanks again, all the best!
    Dan

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      I’ve never heard of that technique but who knows… Just might work. jp

      Reply

  • Dan

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    I`ll give it a try (on an older harp) and let you know how it works out…
    Thanks for getting back to me, all the best!
    Dan

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Great, I’d be curious to know how it works out. jp

      Reply

  • Dan

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    Might be a while before I have a few minutes but I definitely need to open up my old (D) Big River that`s not in tune anymore and do some filing. I`ll try the mineral oil then for sure and let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all the great harp tips, very much appreciated!
    Dan

    Reply

  • Jon C.Allen

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    JP,

    I’m having a problrm getting alll the bend notes an hole three. any suggestions

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Jon, check out my bending lesson:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv1bQDdpOIs
      Its a very detail description on bending even though I’m showing you on the 1D, the same basic principles apply for the 3D.
      Please be patient with yourself, I’ll come with practice. jp

      Reply

  • Rick Robinson

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    Hi JP et al…Food-grade hydrogen peroxide is available at most health food stores. 1oz. dilluted with 11oz of water makes the perfect dental rinse. It cleans teeth and gums better than a hygienist and would be perfect for mouth and harmonica maintenance. …Rick

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks Rick!

      Reply

  • arian

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    hi good man
    i’m arian and i’m a lover harmonica
    you are very lovely teacher.
    thanks a lot.
    please help me. I playing diatonic 10hole harmonicas and I have blues harp(ms) in Bb, fire breath in C, harpmaster in C, marin band crossover in F, but I haven’t any harmonica in A tune.I want to buy one harmonica in A.
    please help me and tell me what harmonica in A is the best?
    SP20 in A or crossover in A or you tell me in my Email.
    with the best wishes for u man.thanks thanks thanks dude.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Arian. Go with special 20 in A. jp

      Reply

  • arian

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    hi good man.
    i’m arian and i’m a harmonica lover.
    you are lovely teacher. thanks a lot.
    please help me.
    I play 10hole diatonic harmonicas.
    I have own blues harp (MS) in Bb, suzuki fire breath and harpmaster in C, and marine band crossover in F key. But I have not any harmonica in A key.I want to buy one harmonica in A key.
    please help me and tell me what harmonica in A key is the best?
    SP20 in A key or crossover in A key or you tell me in my Email please.with the best wishes for U dude.thanks thanks thanks.

    Reply

  • arian

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    thank u so much man.
    sure.
    I love it.I’m very happy that found u.
    best nice wishes for UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      I’m happy you found me too Arian. Glad your happy. jp

      Reply

  • arian

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    hi jp. whats your idea about manji suzuki?
    I want to buy two harmonica now.
    sp20 in A and manji in D? or manji in A and sp20 in D?
    thanks a lot for your guide and help.
    I confuse about harmonica keys and models.
    thanks a lot man.
    I try to help the other harmonica lovers. thanks thanks thanks dude.

    Reply

  • arian

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    hi again man.I want to buy these harmonica from you,But I can not. Because I am in iran now.I am sad about it.we have not any perfect harmonica models here.I was have to buy crossover in F because I think we have not any other crossover in our country.one shop is in my city that has different kind of seydel and a few model of hohner except crossover.it sells the harmonica very very expensive. he sells seydel session steel 183$. Or manji 165$. i am very upset about it.I am telling U these because I underestand that U are my good friend. we love harmonica in sad days.best wishes fro U dude.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      I’m sorry it’s so challenging for you Arian. Really though any harmonica you can get will work, it’s more what you put into it, your soul will shine through even a junky harmonica. But there is an ease to playing a better quality one for sure…..do you have a friend or relative that travels outside Iran that can bring one back for you? jp

      Reply

    • Bijan Zarei

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      Hi Arian
      I’m from Iran. If you are also, as I could understand from your name, contact me with bjzarei@gmail.com. The harmonica models JP always says I can find here. Price is fair, about 30$ for a Hohner special 20. It is in usual range of price, and they have a good range of harmonicas also.

      Reply

    • Bijan Zarei

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      Dear Arian
      I’m from Iran also. In my city there is a dealer that provide several harmonica types.
      The price is also fair, about 29$ for Hohner special 20 for example.
      my email is bjzarei@gmail.com. just send me a text or telephone number, I’ll get in touch with you. I can help you to find you desired harmonica locally if you’d like to.

      Reply

  • arian

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    hey good jp.
    no I have not any friend or relative that travels outside Iran.
    these days our country is like prison.
    our governments are like hungry animals.
    dont worry friend.
    I will try to travel outside this prison myself.
    I dont know when but sure come and make great happiness.
    you are my best friend jp.
    I am so happy that know UUUUUUUUU.thanks again dude for everythings.
    I wish that you be happy in all your life dude.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Hey Arian, I’m glad to have a harmonica buddy in Iran. Just know you have a harmonica buddy in America, when you make it over here you can look me up. Sorry to here it is so challenging there. jp

      Reply

  • Pamela

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    I had my first “lesson” by you today JP! I am on cloud 9 and had the best time!!!! I have no idea what I am doing but whatever I did felt amazing 🙂

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Awesome Pamela!! Sounds like you’re off to a great start. jp

      Reply

  • Sam

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    Hi JP it me again. Just wonted to let you know that I am now
    Using my ,left to hold my harp. I can cup my hands. I was trying to do this laying on my bed. I could not get my air g
    Right like you were showing in lesson. 67 68′ because I was bending me nick and could not get the air flow, so I will be setting up to play along with you now.
    Thanks Buddie
    Sam for south carolina

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Nice going Sam. jp

      Reply

  • Owen Humphreys

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    Hi, JP.
    Tha for your invaluable tips and lessons. I started off at 9 yo with a 5 octave Hohner Chromatica that a friend’s dad gave me. He taught the techniques of (a) covering 4 holes with your mouth, and the lower 3 with the tongue, to blow a single note, then flicking the tongue off the. 3 holes to keep the beat. Called “vamping”. (b) same thing but cover the middle two holes to play octaves. (c) tapping out the instrument on your hand after a session, and then leaving it to dry out in the open for 12 hours. No soaking in any liquid and definitely no microwaving. No metal goes in microwaves.

    As a teacher, I taught folk dancing with a Hohner double hole harp, 10 sets of two holes, with the same note arrangement as the standard blues harp you use. Boy could that one produce some volume!
    I’m now 71, and have had more harps than I can remember. Some are over 50 years old, and still going strong, with the only moisture control as described above.
    So, I have been a vamper all my life, but have discovered the blues harp thanks to you. Can bend notes, and use “tucka-tikka’ and other techniques you taught. Thank you so much.

    Owen Humphreys.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Wow, thanks for sharing Owen…sounds like you’ve got a few tricks of your own up your sleeves. jp

      Reply

  • bobby

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    thanks JP! FOR SHARING ON CLEANING MY HARMONICA.

    Reply

  • Bijan Zarei

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    So I’m not alone!
    I love you JP. You are a great man. And a really great teacher also.
    I’m so happy finding other men from Iran following you.
    I know how to take care of my harmonica now.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Right on Bijan! And thank you for you compliments. jp

      Reply

  • Bijan Zarei

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    Hi JP!

    I think I damaged my first harmonica because I had chewing gum in my mouth most of the time playing with it.

    After about one month playing frequently with it, I noticed that one C reed, the one in the middle that I used more often, is out of tune. It became flat, and required more blow pressure to produce sound.

    I first thought the angle of the reed needs to be adjusted, so I started playing with it with a small screwdriver. didn’t take long that I had the reed in my hand! my harmonica was done!

    I now have learned enough to take care of my new instrument. Both manufacturer’s paper and of course YOUR great audio file above.

    May I say, the way that you teach to take the harmonica in moth, with angle, reduces the amount of moist or small drops to go deep into the instrument. This I’ve discovered myself!

    I also take the opportunity to say that I believe in you, really really appreciate your efforts and the time and lessons you give freely to harmonica lovers like me. I’ve listened to other harmonica teachers over the internet. none gave the details that you provide. i.e. bending lessons.

    Before I find your site, harping was a fight that went on slowly. after I found you, it is really HAPPY HAPPY HARPIN’

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Thanks for sharing your experience and enthusiasm Bijan! I really appreciate it. jp

      Reply

  • Robert

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    Hey JP, Robert here

    I bought this Blues Band Harmonica off your website and I love it. I thought I’d have no trouble at all bending notes, I’m a great kisser! But it’s much more difficult then I thought. Do you have any extra tips? I’m big in my uhh.. special medicinal marina and it just feels so right playing this beautiful instrument while I am one with nature. (:

    – Robert

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      If you really want to get into bending and your psyched about it. I would highly recommend upgrading to the Hohner Special 20…way easier to bend! I believe it’s on sale right now. http://www.harmonica.com/hohner-harmonicas
      jp

      Reply

  • Aiman Halim

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    Hello JP Allen. I’m from Malaysia and had recently started playing harmonica. I have to say that you are one of the people that inspires me to play. Thank you for sharing your knowledge & experience with us all.

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Wow, thank you for being open and enthusiastic to learn. I’m happy to help. jp

      Reply

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