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What's New: Overbend Study 1 Tech Videos by Richard Sleigh

David Barrett Admin's picture

A new addition to the Overbend Study 1 Lesson (http://www.bluesharmonica.com/lessons/bending_study_8_overbend_study_1_t...)

Anything that improves the response of bent notes will improve the response of overbends because they are ALL bent notes. Kinya's resources on the site give you plenty of ideas on upgrading reeds for high performance. When you apply these ideas you’ll improve the response of bends and overbends. When you do your fine-tuning, work on one hole at a time and go back and forth adjusting both reeds and testing your results. Thinking in terms of pairs of reeds will make you a much better harp technician.

This series of videos I’ve created for you shows you how to work on your reeds and slots to improve the response of your harmonicas. These videos show you how to use improvised tools like toothpicks and single edge razor blades to work on your reed plates.

I focus on low risk techniques that get noticeable results. You still need to practice first on disposable harmonicas and scrap reed plates.

I make suggestions for tools for tuning harmonicas, but I did not demonstrate tuning harmonicas—Kinya Pollard has excellent videos on the site that covers tuning quite well.

If you follow the advice and techniques I show you in the videos in this series, you’ll have very little tuning to do. That is the beauty of this system—I give you the least invasive techniques for upgrading reed response. When you do radical reed/slot work, you’ll also have to do extensive retuning.

If you plan on doing reed replacement, it’s much easier to do if you have done little or no embossing of the slot.

Here are the videos in sequence, with a description of what is in each video:

Introduction and Checking your Harmonica
Checking a harmonica by playing it.

Gathering Tools
Overview of basic tools to collect for the work

Tools Demo
Demonstrations of how tools are used

Basic Adjustments
Checking reeds while reed plates are on the comb and making basic adjustments

Reviewing Basic Adjustments
Raising and lowering reeds while reed plates are attached to the comb. I review this because it is one of the most important skills to develop. This is your last step for final adjustments and your first step if you are having problems with reeds sticking or not responding.

Sighting Reeds Through the Slot & Reed Tips Down
The transition from simple to advanced reed adjustments. This is also the best way to assess the work of a harmonica customizer. I also show you what to do when the reed tip is too low and enters the slot first when you sight reeds through the slot.

Reed Tips Up
What to do when the reed tip is too high and enters the slot last when you sight reeds through the slot.

Embossing Overview
A cross section drawing of a reed plate and reed and what embossing does.

Embossing Process
How to do low risk embossing with an improvised tool.

Embossing vs. Waxing Reeds
The pros and cons of embossing slots vs. waxing reeds. I’ve seen way too many harmonicas destroyed by embossing. These are my tips for avoiding disaster or working way too hard when you could be playing the harmonica. Why waxing reeds with Crayola dry erase crayons is such a great idea.

Videos Include:
Introduction and Checking your Harmonica
Gathering Tools
Tools Demo
Basic Adjustments
Reviewing Basic Adjustments
Sighting Reeds Through the Slot & Reed Tips Down
Reed Tips Up
Embossing Overview
Embossing Process
Embossing vs. Waxing Reeds