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Harmonica Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Root » Chromatic questions?
    Synopsis: Commonly asked chromatic questions

    Question: What if I can't get a clear tone in the lower register of my chromatic?
    Answer: Sometimes individual players have problems achieving clear tone in the lower register of chromatic harmonicas. To determine if this is a shortcoming of the instrument or the player, we suggest that you conduct the following test. Depress the slide, then separately draw holes 2 and 3. If the same difficulties exist with slide out, then the instrument is most likely not at fault. The player should exaluate his playing technique.
    Question: Should I remove the valves from my chromatic?
    Answer: NO! The white plastic valves found on the reed plates of chromatic harmonicas should not be removed. These are wind saving valves and serve a very definite purpose. Removal of these valves usually will require extensive and costly repairs.
    Question: If you can play a chromatic in any key, how come the "Super" 270 , comes in different keys?
    Answer: A different blowing and draw pattern is required for each key played on a single chromatic harmonica. There certainly is a great advantage in learning the different scales on a single harmonica, especially for jazz and other modern forms which modulate frequently. But for those who prefer to play in only one or two scales, the Super 270 & the CX12 7545 allows the player to join in music played in all the most common keys. Greater use of chords is also possible by using a chromatic tuned to the key of the music being played.
    Question: Why do 4 & 5 blow and 8 & 9 blow of my chomatic produce the same notes?
    Answer: The duplicated note in the chromatic is the key note, which by being doubled, allows for the same blow and draw pattern in any octave.
    Question: Why are there plastic reeds on the chromatics?
    Answer: The small plastic parts visible are not reeds, but are wind saving valves, which allow for greater volume and tone at lower breath pressure.

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