Why valving harmonica reeds?

Valves minimize air loss when playing blow or draw notes resulting in a better overall tone control for the player.



If both reeds of a corresponding reed pair are equipped with valves, the possibilities of >bending the notes is very limited.

In our valved serial models we do not valve the very high notes (e.g. holes 11 and 12 on a Chromatic in D). If you would order a config instrument and you would select valves which will not operate correctly in the given note layout, we shall not attach them!

The same functional principles of how valving works apply for Chromatic Harmonicas and Diatonics.


Half-valving (Chromatic Harmonicas)

If a valve is closing the higher tuned reed of the pair in one hole then >bending notes remains possible to play . This is referred to as HALF-VALVING

If you like to get extra-bendability of certain notes on a Chromatic harmonica be sure to valve the lower tuned reed of a pair in one hole: e.g. hole 1 blow is a C and 1 draw is a D: If you put a valve to the C-reed the draw note D can be bended down to Db (draw bending).

However this principle works as well vice versa: for a pair of reeds like blow D and draw C with a valve on the C reed you could play an additional blow-bending note, namely the Db.

Other example: if you consider a pair of reeds in one hole like: blow C and draw E and there is a valve on the lower tuned reed (blow reed, C), the draw note can be bent down from E to Eb, to D and even to Db.

Please note: due to the construction of a Chromatic bending of notes is more difficult in general compared to bending on a Blues harmonica. 


Half-valving (Richter-tuned diatonics)

The valves are put on the draw plate of 1-6 (valve is on the inside of harp hole) and valves on blow plate of 7-10 (valve is on outside of upper plate). This leads to better air-tightness of the instrument - bending notes are still playable!

In addition a skilled player can get the blow-bending notes in holes 1-6 blow and the draw bendings in 7-10 in a certain range. So all notes of the chromatic scale become available without the need of the >overblow technique!

 >PT Gazell is the master on the half-valved harmonica and showed what becomes possible on these instruments!We use the same material for the valves that PT uses in his instruments!

The >1847 SILVER and the >SESSION STEEL is available half-valved in all standard-keys. 


Advice: Differing from the half-valve standard product you can figure out an individual valving set-up with the >Harp-Configurator.



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