Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 292 #336)

Recital Prep!!!

We spent the evening rehearsing recital songs - people are sounding great and it's going to be a terrific show! You can see the full Recital line up here. Remember to study page two, the Review Checklist so that your time on stage is efficient and polished.

Hohner Harmonica Instant Workshop Toolkit!!!

The new “Harmonica Instant Workshop” from Hohner is a treasure chest of tools and tuning reference material for the harmonica professional and/or serious harmonica technician. 

Above all, it is comprehensive.  It starts with their “Service Set” kit, which has all of the quality tools you would need to accomplish basic tuning, as well as servicing Chromatic harmonica wind savers.  This kit includes a nice instruction manual that is very easy to follow.

In addition to the Service Set kit (which is available separately, by the way) they add a collection of specialized tools that are needed to replace reeds.  Once again, they have assembled a very complete package to accomplish this delicate task, including a custom de-riveting tool, reamer, drill bit and holder, tap, screwdriver, spanner and nuts and bolts.

Just in case you are not already an experienced technician, they include a DVD that covers all of the operations that the tool kit supports.  Narrated by the famous Steve Baker with assistance from Hohner tech, Gabriele Hand, this DVD does an outstanding job, with step-by-step instructions for each of the major service operations.

Ok, at $299.00 msrp, it may seem expensive. In fact, if all you want to do is tweak the pitch of an occasional reed on one of your harps, you may be better off with just the Hohner Service Set kit.  However, if you are interested in setting up your harps to match your personal playing style and you want to keep them in peak performance condition, the Harmonica Instant Workshop has all the professional grade tools and easy to use reference materials needed to help you succeed… in one high value package.

No matter what tool kit you use, you will need a good tuner.  Most players already have one (or more) tuners and personal preferences vary widely, from a cumbersome “old school” strobe to a smartphone App.  Personally, I like to use the “Clear Tune” App on my iPad.  

Also, I would be lost without my “Tuning Table”, which is a unique device that makes changing the pitch of both draw and blow reeds a simple process without having to remove the reed plates from the comb.  (For a review of the “Tuning Table” see the YouMissedMonday issue, Tuesday, June 22, 2010).

Good Timing…
Many more harmonica enthusiasts are working on their own harps these days and by introducing the Harmonica Instant Workshop Hohner is certainly making it much easier for a motivated player to also be a true harp technician.

- Al Taylor

Note: Although Hohner's site shows "temporarily out of stock" we've been told there are kits on their way to the states, so ordering should be possible soon.

Class Notes
  • Our last class of 2012 is December 17.
  • If you have upgraded, renovated or otherwise modified your goals as a harp player recently, be sure to let Joe know. The better he understands your goals, the better he can help you.

Kirk Manley Report!!!

We're sad to report that Kirk's parents were in a very serious car accident recently. They seem to be recovering well and our thoughts go out to them and to Mr. and Mrs. Corporate! We wish them all the best and hope to see Jim and Carol cheering Kirk on at gigs again before too long.

B1 is thinking of you!

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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