Hot Rod Videos

Don’t let crappy harmonicas hold you back from playing your best! 

Learn How Customize Your Harmonicas Like a Professional Harmonica Tech…

Do you ever wonder “is it me or is it this harmonica?” Maybe you’ve had this experience: You try two harmonicas. Same brand, same model, same key… One feels like part of your body. It’s right there – plays easy, sounds loud and clear. The other makes you work twice as hard for half as much sound. And you are scratching your head, wondering WHY??…

If you’ve  ever played a great harmonica, you KNOW it’s hard to go back and play leaky, out of tune harps.I’ve been there – I’ve also quit playing the harmonica more than once cause it got too frustrating. I just got tired of playing an instrument that could break down at any time for reasons I did not understand.But I kept coming back, cause I just hooked on the damn thing and I could not live without it. I spent years beating my head against the wall, blindly trying to make my  harmonicas play better. I was obsessed. I invented new harmonica designs and tried to build them (that’s another story for another time). I read everything I could find on harmonica set-up and repair and and learned from anyone who was willing to show me ANYTHING.I finally had a real breakthrough. It happened in one single afternoon in an apartment in Philadelphia in the early nineties.

A legendary harmonica tech sat down with me and showed me what he knew. It was one A-ha moment after another. There is something magical about watching someone do things that are a mystery to you and make them seem plain and normal.    I went home with a solid working knowledge of how to set up and repair diatonic harmonicas.

About a year later I quit my job and became a professional harmonica customizer. I’ve been making a living doing harp tech work about 20 years now…

When I first started in this business, I had to promise to keep what I learned secret. That was part of the price for learning. I respected my teachers and kept the agreement.

I will not bore you with a long story about how this has all changed. What is important to you is this: I am now free to reveal secrets I have kept hidden for years. Secrets that will save you a lot of pain and frustration. You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way…

Introducing Hot Rod Your Harmonica – The Movie!…

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Here’s what I got for you: A series of videos that show you in great detail the best techniques I have learned over the years from building hundreds of high end custom harmonicas. My promise to you is that you will finally understand what you need to do to make a great custom harmonica. You will learn “fast track” methods to quickly pump up response of your harps. And if you want to go nuts and take it to the limit, I will show you how to do that, too…

Once you learn these skills they can never be taken away from you. You will have a mastery of the instrument that comes from a deep understanding of how it really works. I make this easy for you by breaking everything down step-by-step.

And if you are not blown away by what is in these videos…. Tell me and you get your money back. It is that simple. I want happy customers. My reputation is a lot more important to me than making a few extra bucks by enforcing some tricky return policy.

Not slick, but they get the job done…

These videos are not Hollywood productions. I sent them to a friend who works with a major publishing house and he said I looked bad in the intro. That the lighting was not great. That I should have worn something spiffier than an old denim shirt. Not enough jump cuts and other fancy techniques…

HOWEVER – when I asked my friend about the content, he said “it’s killer! – It’s easier to see what you are doing than when I watch you in person”. Many of my harp tech students have said the same thing.

Here is just one example of the kind of feedback I am getting about “Hot Rod Your Harmonicas – the Movie!”:

“Hi Richard- Your videos have helped me immensely.  I now play almost exclusively harps I’ve used your techniques on.  These harps are incredible – I can sustain bends & overbends now that were almost impossible before…

-I also did a friend a favor who had some harps with bad reeds & other problems.  I applied your techniques to 8 of them total and below is a text he sent me:

“Mark… Played a gig with reworked harps. I am amazed bro. Played like butter. Notes that use to take some effort came so easy! Took me to a new level. Heard myself playing new things  tonight.”

I really do hope some day to learn firsthand from you.” – Mark Vesser, St. Louis

You know, I get a kick out of hearing from people who are this jazzed about what they can do with their harmonicas…

My goal is to give you a rock solid grounding in the principles of harmonica customizing… as well as plenty of tricks that will save you tons of time and money. Here are some of the things you will find in these videos:

  • How to look at a harmonica reed so it is plain as day what is wrong with it and how to make it right.
  • How to cut tuning time in half, and get better results while you are at it.
  • How to tune a harmonica reed without making it weaker…
  • How to collect reed plates for repair reeds and keep track of them.
  • What to look for in a tuner (there are tuners on the market that cost around $20, and give you everything you may ever need to tune a harmonica).
  •  How to get started tuning harmonicas with cheap hand tools.
  • Exactly what is happening when you emboss or burnish a harmonica reed plate… (this is also called slot-reconstruction) If you have ever wondered how the worlds most insane, obsessed harmonica customizers close up a slot, it’s all here, including the specialized tools. You may never want to do this to an entire harmonica, but it is great to know when you have a problem reed and slot, and want to squeeze a little more response out of it…
  • The steps you need to take to upgrade your reed plates and which one to do first, second, etc… get this right and stop fighting yourself as you work
  • How to shape reeds without destroying them in the process…
  • The most common mistakes people make when embossing or burnishing reed plates, how to avoid them, how to fix them…
  • How to make a cheap light box for checking reeds as you emboss them
  • How a simple mixture of wax and mineral oil can get rid of the annoying squeaks and sizzles that happen when you play overblows or bend notes, and the best place to put this wax.
  • How to replace harmonica reeds with inexpensive screws (you can buy 144 of these screws for about $20)…and you don’t need to buy nuts to use with these screws…
  •  A way to guarantee that the reed you put in with a screw will not start to “walk” or move out of place from vibrations…
  • How to make your own tools for removing reeds…

Why it is more important than ever to learn how to work on your harps…  or at least understand them…

Harmonica manufactures have always had a love – hate relationship with harmonica customizers and harmonica repair people. It’s understandable. They love free research, but they make money selling harmonicas. For at least a hundred years it was a disposable instrument. You had to keep going back to the big companies to replace your broken harmonicas. If you can repair your harmonicas, you don’t need to go back as often for new ones.

The days of cheap, decent harmonicas are long gone. If you are obsessed with the harmonica, here are your options: 1. Spend serious coin to buy and maintain a fleet of high performance harmonicas from a professional harmonica customizer. 2.  Learn how to customize and repair your own. 3. So some combination of building your own and buying some customs from the pros.

When you learn how to customize your harmonicas, you take matters into your own hands, and you stop waiting for someone else to come to the rescue.

And if you do buy custom harmonicas, you can be an informed customer…

You can use the information in these videos to make sure the people you buy custom harmonicas from are doing the work right. You will know what to look for when you peek ”under the hood” of a custom harmonica.

This Information Works for Any Kind of Harmonica… Not Just Marine Bands…

The main focus of these videos is on the Marine Band Harmonica. Why?

Because it is the most well known harmonica in the world. It also the most basic harmonica design you will ever work on.

It is still the same design that Matthais Hohner put into production in 1896.  A reed from a Marine Band made in 1896 or 1935 fits perfectly in a Marine Band made in 2013.

The same thing that makes a Marine Band reed play well will make any harmonica reed play well….

You can hot rod Seydel Harmonicas, Suzuki Harmonicas,  any kind of harmonica on the market once you understand how a reed really works and how it should fit into the slot of a reed plate.

OK, so what is this going to cost?

It takes a lot of time to create good close up videos of harmonica customizing. These videos show you techniques that took me decades to refine and test.

I have dome my level best to make these videos tightly edited, no nonsense tutorials on what to do and what NOT to do.

If you came to my shop to learn the techniques on these videos, you could easily spend $3000 on the trip, lodging, and my fee for one on one instruction. I have had many people fly to Central Pennsylvania over the years for this purpose and do just that.

But you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to get a first class education in tweaking, tuning, and repairing harmonicas.

As I said before, I often hear “its easier to see what you are doing on these videos than when I watch you in person”.

That is the power of video. All sorts of details that are hard to put into words come to life. It is the next best thing to private instruction AND in some ways, even better. And if you’ve been doing this work for a few years, keep in mind- you only need one new idea, one new technique, to give you a fresh start on tweaking your harps.

I’ve been advised to sell these videos for at least $125, what I charge for one hour of instruction on harmonic technology. But I have decided to sell them for only $49 as downloads, a little more for the physical DVDs with printed manuals.

I’ve done everything I can do to make my experience and knowledge available to you in these videos. And remember my personal guarantee:

Check out these videos and use them. If you’re not happy with the results you get, return the physical DVDs and manuals to me and I will refund your money. All you risk is the cost of return shipping.

 If you bought the downloads and you are not satisfied for any reason, then contact me and I will refund your money. You risk nothing… 

 Act now and I will add one more thing to make it worth your while: buy these videos through this offer and you can contact me to send me one of your customized harmonicas for my inspection. I’ll check it out and give you feedback, tweak a couple reeds & mark them, and tell you what you need to do to take it up to the next level.

This offer alone is worth at least twice the price of the videos. I don’t know how long I can afford to do this, so this offer could vanish at any time…

Here is where you go to get your videos:

http://hotrodharmonicas.myshopify.com/collections/videos

PS: For a lot less than the price of one custom harmonica, you can get yourself a complete education on how to make your own custom harmonicas. Even if you only learn how to get rid of the worst problems of “out of box” harmonicas, you’re ahead of the game…