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beginner forum: for novice and developing blues harp players > How do you warm up harp in winter?
How do you warm up harp in winter?
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49 posts
Feb 09, 2018
10:54 PM
I read some where about heating pad to warm harp but I do not know what they are.

How to warm up a harmonica before playing?

What is your tip?
2501 posts
Feb 09, 2018
11:29 PM
Put in your pocket for a bit.
6 posts
Feb 10, 2018
3:06 AM
Of course only if I have a shirt on,but I put it under my arm like in armpit. After a few minutes it is nice and warm.
Glass Harp Full
184 posts
Feb 10, 2018
3:55 AM
Hold it in your hand with the holes facing your palm for a few minutes.
2503 posts
Feb 10, 2018
4:08 AM
I don't like the underarm idea very much. Depends on the state of your underarms I guess.

Sloppy1 - what are you doing wearing just a shirt when it's so cold?

Last Edited by MindTheGap on Feb 10, 2018 4:18 AM
104 posts
Feb 10, 2018
6:06 AM
The heating pad thing is really more for chromatic harmonicas, and could help half valved diatonics as well, just a regular heating pad you might buy to warm up sore muscles.
For a reg diatonic though that's most likely overkill,
just warm them in your hands.
And if your hands are cold, warm them with you armpits.LOL.
2504 posts
Feb 10, 2018
7:49 AM
Armpits again! :)

Maybe another argument in favour of a bandolier, worn under the shirt. It's all pointing to 'harp bandolier' for next birthday present.
7 posts
Feb 10, 2018
10:54 PM
Another plus with using the armpit method is I get that nice old spice scent when I play.
107 posts
Feb 11, 2018
5:37 AM
MTG there are other areas of the human body with concentrated body heat, but the armpits are the ones we typically apply deodorant to,just saying it could be worse.
2513 posts
Feb 11, 2018
8:57 AM
Ha ha, yes indeed!
Chester Draw
3 posts
Feb 11, 2018
9:07 AM
Wife's can come in very useful here aswell.....................................as they may have bought you a harmonica warmer for Christmas.
5262 posts
Feb 11, 2018
2:02 PM
Maybe the climate here is so mild it’s not an issue with non-valved harps.
I’ve taken to sitting my chromatic on my amp at the beginning of a gig, as I’m setting up and I switch the amp on. The P.T. gets quite warm and I’ve yet to have a problem with valves sticking.
I only use the chromatic on one tune but I can’t see that lasting. There’s pressure to learn something more.
Before I did this, I did find the valves would be quite rattly at first, and if I just put the harp away after playing I’d usually have problems next time. I took to using a toothpick or a split matchstick to prop the slider open and allow all chambers to ‘air out’ before I put it away.
This practice was fine until one time I forgot to put it away and it sat on a table next to a north facing window (southern hemisphere). Next time I picked it up I found the comb was cracked badly enough that one chamber was not sounding.
I didn’t make the connection with the sunny window at first. I was just perplexed. I put the harp away.
When I next got it out, to my surprise the crack had closed and the harp played fine. I wondered if I’d dreamed the episode with the crack but on close inspection I could see there was a crack just where I remembered, just it was no longer gaping.

I still hadn’t connected the table/window/sun with what happened. That explanation came to me when I again left it on the table, picked it up in the evening and found the gaping crack had reappeared and the harp was again unplayable. This time I twigged the brass was expanding and had dragged the comb along with it. The comb was reluctant until it gave way at the weakest place, in the low Octave where it had been penetrated by nails on each side.
Oh. Of course.
1673 posts
Feb 12, 2018
12:17 PM
You can find heating pads like this one https://www.amazon.com/Sunbeam-King-Size-Heating-UltraHeat-Technology/dp/B000FGDDI0/ at just about any drug store and many super markets. I've really only used it for chromatic harmonicas.



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470 posts
Feb 12, 2018
8:40 PM
If you only play Diatonic harmonicas i can't see why you need to warm them up given that you will likely be
pulling them out in a warm bar and/or your home.
Valved Harmonicas are different beast so yeah they do require some added love...in my experience you just put them onto the top of your amp or even a S/S PA(it still gives out some warmth)
It doesn't require overthinking.
70 posts
Feb 13, 2018
1:00 PM
I wrap my chromatic up in a hand towel or a couple of pieces or kitchen roll and put it on top of one of the central heating radiators. Take care it can get hot if you are not careful. If they are not running I warm it up in my hands, not as good though.
Now all I have to do is learn how to play the thing.

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