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TOPIC: Konnichiwa!

Konnichiwa! 1 year 5 months ago #4317

  • Kanpai
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I have been a trombone player since I was in elementary school. I never really had the desire to play any other instrument, but jamming with my friends was a virtually impossible task. I decided, more or less on a whim, to branch out and try something new, so I bought a harmonica and I couldn't be happier. I've only been playing for a few days now (my harp arrived on 7/4), so I'm extremely green, but I feel like I'm making good progress. Years of trombone apparently help with the learning curve. *shrug* I currently live in Japan, so finding anyone to offer lessons is a bit difficult. There are players here, but my Japanese isn't quite good enough to take lessons yet. I know enough to play trombone in a band here, but not enough to try and get detailed advice on embouchures and technique. I look forward to hanging out and expanding my musical repertoire with y'all.
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Konnichiwa! 1 year 5 months ago #4322

  • Harmlessonica
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Welcome, kanpai, great to have you with us.

Sounds like you'll be up to speed in no time.
Feel free to ask any questions and share your progress.

Cheers! ;)
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Konnichiwa! 1 year 5 months ago #4323

  • Sarge
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Welcome kanpai. You're in the right place, lots of helpful folks here.
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Konnichiwa! 1 year 5 months ago #4330

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One of the benefits of living in Japan is that products made here can be stupidly cheap. Case in point is the Suzuki Maji harp. I can buy them via the Internet for roughly $30 USD shipped. Because they're cheap and seemed to be highly regarded, I purchased one in A to go along with the Hohner Special 20 in C I already had.

In short, I absolutely love the Suzuki. I do have a question about it, though. When playing a single note on it, whether blow or draw, I get a brief hiss before the note can be heard. Kind of like on a brass instrument when you have air escaping from the side of your embouchure rather than going into the mouthpiece. The Special 20 doesn't do this and I have to wonder if it is an effect of having the open vents, a product of my embouchure, or what. It's more of an annoyance than anything else, because the tone and resonance is fantastic. Any thoughts?
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Konnichiwa! 1 year 5 months ago #4331

  • Eric33
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Hi Kanpai, and welcome to the club.I was looking at your latest message concerning your problem with your Suzuki and its first note.It does sound as though you are drawing in air or perhaps the windsaver has some moisture on it.
It may be worth looking on You tube for the Hohner workshop video and asking your question.I don't think Suzuki do one.I have a Suzuki Chromatix and find it to be very airtight and it is the best harmonica in my collection. I wish you all the best with your new venture.Eric33.
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Konnichiwa! 1 year 5 months ago #4339

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Kanpai wrote:
In short, I absolutely love the Suzuki. I do have a question about it, though. When playing a single note on it, whether blow or draw, I get a brief hiss before the note can be heard. Kind of like on a brass instrument when you have air escaping from the side of your embouchure rather than going into the mouthpiece. The Special 20 doesn't do this and I have to wonder if it is an effect of having the open vents, a product of my embouchure, or what. It's more of an annoyance than anything else, because the tone and resonance is fantastic. Any thoughts?

You do seem to be in a fortunate position, Suzuki harps are highly regarded.

The Manji is a diatonic so windsavers won't be an issue in this case, and my guess is embouchure is not a problem for someone with your experience.

I suspect the gaps on some of the affected reeds are set too high for your style. A wider gap suits playing with harder breath force, In your case, narrower gaps would probably be called for. Here's a link with some more info to get you started.

Also, you're comparing phosper-bronze reeds with brass, so another (debatable) possibility is that you will need to play slightly harder to actuate the reeds. That's my experience anyway, I do find brass reeds more responsive. That said, gapping is still relevant to reeds of any material.

Gapping is a delicate art, so exercise caution. Let us know how you get on.
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