Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Is it hard to learn playing a jews harp?
- How much time needed to learn jews harp?
- Is it necessary to know notes or have music education to play a jews harp?
- Are jews harps harmful for teeth?
- What jews harp is better to choose for a beginner?
- Most affordable jews harps starts from Yamanigan. And this is one of the most popular models among first-time players - they give lot of real sound for the money, right out of the box!
- Very good universal instrument, that will not restrict your potentianl DG848 "Yaman-Tau". It will you to concentrate to developing playing skills, getting lot of pleasure.
- For rhytmic/SFX/expressive/relax/meditaion and any other application types DG862 Kumardak, DG807 Mashak, DG777 Bashtur.
- Good bass jews harps are costly: DG644 Iremel. Affordable prices exists too - DG835 - sacrificing sound cleanness and speed but having beautiful reach timbre.
- Instrument with a perfect sound and maxumal overtone clarity - TV591 and TV1000 (difference is in pitch). Require extreme careful handling and systematic troat and tongue training.
- Always actual recommendations you can find here - any jews harp from this list can be purchased safely.
- If your budget is very limited, return to point 1 - all other choices will restrict you development as player. But if there is nowhere to go, here the are few options of "best toys":
- Altays PP27 are souvenirs, unbeatable shining for their price. АА937 too, differs with lower sound from the first.
- Is it necessary to start with the simplest jews harp?
- Do you have professional jews harps?
- Do you have concert jews harps?
- Do you have melodic jews harps?
- Which note should my jews harp be tuned to?
- Are jews harps minor or major?
- Are there 432 Hz tuned jews harps?
- How to tune jews harp?
- What is the difference between jews harps?
- Are expensive jews harps really so good?
- What the price of a jews harp depend on?
- Altay komuses are best choice for beginners?
- What is the difference between komuses by Pavel and Vladimir Potkin?
- is the difference between komuses by the Potkins and by Kazantsev-Minakov?
- What is the difference between jews harp, vargan, khomus, maultrommel and so on?
- What is the difference between jews harps from the different regions?
- What are the overall dimensions?
- What are the gaps of a jews harp?
- What are the gaps under load?
- What is tongue hardness?
- What is frame hardness?
- What is the base frequency of a jews harp?
- What is the tongue dimensions ratio?
- What are jews harp overtones?
- Who produces jews harps and where?
- Are jews harps made at factories?
- Which jews harp is best?
- Are forged jews harps better than the other ones?
- Is it possible to change sound of jews harp with a magnet?
- Which jews harps have strongest vibration?
- What metal jews harps are made of?
- What metal jews harp tongues are made of?
- How manufacturing technology influences the sound?
- Is the screw fastening better than riveted?
- Can I change reed on jews harp with screws fastening?
- My jews harp has no ball or ring on the tongue tip, is it faulty?
- My jews harp is broken, what should I do?
- The tongue is broken, is it manufacturing fault?
- How to play a jews harp to make it serve forever?
- How to look after a jews harp?
- How to store a jews harp?
- Why do you have different model names?
- How to pronounce names of instruments right?
- Dan Mói
- Komúz (temír-koḿz)
- How to buy?
- I want a discount!
- Best price warranty
- Where can I get account details for payment?
- Can I pay by a transfer from card to card?
- How to buy instruments from the archive?
- When ... will be in stock again?
- What is warranty for jews harps?
- What are the warranties that you will not cheat me?
- You will not send a faulty instrument?
- You will not send a fake instrument?
- Please pack my jews harp better!
- Is a case included with this jews harp?
- What cases are compatible with this jews harp?
- What is a wooden block?
- Do you deliver to...?
- What is the shipping cost?
- How much time the delivery takes?
- I do not know where I am going to be at delivery date, can I tell the address later?
- Can I meet the courier in subway?
- Can courier call before delivery?
- I cannot choose ‘pay on delivery’ option in shop cart
- I cannot input my phone number in shopping cart
- Is ... in stock?
- Is it possible to make custom jews harp?
- Is it possible to by out-of-stock item?
- What are the signs (, ) at some jews harp pictures?
- - "We recommend as the first jews harp" – if you chose this jews harp as your first instrument, we will not discourage you ;)
- - "We recommend for experienced players" – this jews harp has tiny gaps and great choice of tongue material, so it has loud sound, great sensitivity and wide frequency range. This is minimum necessary set of features of a good instrument, which can easily get lost on the background of a way larger number of different subjective parameters that can make a player fall in love with a jews harp not marked as “of high technical quality”, or put such a jews harp aside.
- What are the marks near the availability mark?
- Which notes the available jews harps are tuned to?
- How to order a certain note of the ones available?
- How to recognize the note from the sound sample?
- How to download sound samples?
- Send me the same jews harp as in the sound sample!
- My jews harp has scratches/dents/uneven gaps!
- My jews harp has burned lamel!
- My jews harp has a longitudinal reed crack between screws!
- My jews harp does not sound like the sound sample!
- Do you have jews harp, like on this video?
- My jews harp is defective - it makes metallic clanging instead of sound!
- The picture shows a white jews harp, but you sent me a black one!
- The jews harp on the picture has the case of one type, and the one received has another!
- Do you provide tracking numbers when delivering by post?
- There is no information for the tracking number!
- Post site says «Postal number format invalid»
- According to tracking number, the parcel is already handed over!
- Where is my untracked parcel?
- I made the order several days ago, but there is nothing in my mailbox yet.
- What is the status of my order?
- Where is your shop located?
- How to contact you?
- What is your phone number?
- Can I come without making an order?
- It is dangerous to put a jews harp to the mouth after other people tried it?
- I will visit you on the way in a month, can I reserve a jews harp now?
- Do you ship abroad in a current political situation (2022)?
- How notes of European/English system are converted into Solmization?
It is possible to learn producing the first sounds in three minutes, in case there is a manual at hand or a person nearby knowing how to play. In about half an hour, you will be able to use these sounds for rhythmical play. After that, the player starts to notice gradually the influence of mouth, throat and tongue muscles movements on the sound and starts deliberately making combinations of such sounds. Anything that follows depends on imagination and music abilities. In fact, the process of skills development may take the whole life, just as with any other music instrument...
To learn how to produce sounds a couple of munutes are enough. Producing sounds handsomely and play simple trained melodies/rhytms will take 100-1000 hours. Improvisation with flexible manipulation and on-the-fly creation of musical elements - 3000-5000 hours of systematic training. To became musictian from zero level, master instrument and play music at the level of art - 10000 hours.
It depends on what you want to do with the jews harp. If you want to start playing symphonies on the spot, music skills will surely be of great help, you will just need to master the instrument itself. If you take the instrument just for fun or pleasure, then, starting from producing simple sounds (which are quite interesting and unusual by themselves with a jews harp), you will actually acquire that very music experience with each stroke instinctively and unconsciously. If you have any tunes on top of your head, or, if while listening to music you feel like playing with the beat or singing along, a jews harp may in really be a great thing to materialize such a desire.
Just to the same extent as a fork or spoon. When playing normal way nothing happens with the teeth; the jews harp is just attached to them at two or three points, motionless, and, of course, without any hitting on the teeth. Although, one can hear: “Ouch! I hit my teeth again!” from some beginners (especially at first days of their acquaintance with a jews harp) following an abrupt metal clank. You can actually hear this sometimes when playing a jews harp, but this is not hitting the teeth as it seems to be, but just a sound of the tongue touching the frame caused by wrong hold or wrong stroke direction. Though no full-rate statistical studies of jews harp influence on teeth were done, a visual example of its safety is that there are professional jaw-harpists playing this instrument for several decades and having healthy teeth without visits to a dentist.
If you have never played a jews harp, all information published at the site, all descriptions, sound examples and comments will remain pure theory for you not rendering the feelings that a person experiences while producing a simplest sound. At this stage it is easiest and most trustworthy to confine yourself with a short list of exact models and make your choice based on affordability. For those ready to make jews harp a constant life mate, learn to play it, paying much attention and enjoying every step forward, we recommend any one from this list". Also, you can focus on instruments that are marked with “we recommend as the first jews harp” sign (). In case you have any additional criteria, do not hesitate to contact us. By the way, if you are really in a serious mood, we strongly recommend buying a set of any jews harp and a metronome.
Here are some recommendations from Oberton Pro:
Concerning jews harps, there are two ideas of “simplicity”: “simplicity of use” and “simplicity of design”, and in most cases these ideas are mutually exclusive. It means, it is hardest to play a “simplest jews harp for beginners”, but it would not be pity to lose it or lay it on a shelf as a souvenir, is you are not going to use the instrument for its intended purpose. Putting the price to side, it is, of course, better to start with an instrument which is easy and pleasant to play, and which would not confine you. For example, a lot of “simple” jews harps which beginners usually advise each other to use, produce quite a narrow range of overtones, and their own tones do not allow distinguishing them. One can play this many years, but, in case some sounds cannot be heard, one will not just know they exist and will not be able to use them. To develop skills of rhythmical play one can use any instrument (or anything at all) that can produce some sound.
There is no such thig as "professional" jews harp. Many sellers use this term to boost sales and usually they do it in amauterish way. Many not experienced players imagine professional jews harp as big, impressive looking thing with loud sound and lot of feedback - and such do exists but have nothing common with professional application in and aspect. We use this term ocasionally too, but for jews harps with opposite properties - clean overtones and some dificulties in usage.
The same as "professional". There is no "concert" jews harps, though some makers can give this name to some of their inetruments.
It is a common to call jews harps with clean overtones "melodic" but term is not correct because melodies can be played in any jews harp. The difference in sound producing techniques, level of purity open/close sounds. Instruments with really clean overtones are very rare and stock situation is changed othen - so it is better to as us by email.
In case you are going to play together with other instruments that are tuned, choose a jews harp tuned up to the others (in this case this question would not be asked). If you do not have such an intention or you do not know what notes are, just do not pay attention to note mark or take an untuned jews harp (those are marked as “no note”). Notes are not a sign of quality, one note cannot be better than another one.
No, they notes (overtones) organized in "Natural Harmonic Scale".
0. First, let me dispel the very myth of 432 Hz. Among esoterically minded enthusiasts, the opinion wanders that sound at this frequency has healing properties and that music played on instruments tuned to this frequency has the same properties. In principle, this does not make sense, since music is not one frequency, but a bunch of sounds, where almost all frequencies sound simultaneously, from low to high. Some instruments to a large extent, some do not - a few peaks at certain frequencies are much louder than the background. Even if you take one jews harp, its sound also contains a very wide and continuous set of frequencies from the base one (which we perceive as a note, to very high ones, sometimes reaching the limit of the ear's perception. Therefore, taking any jews harp, or piece, or starting to beat with a stick on a bucket, we will, among other things, hear the cherished 432 frequencies and their multiples.
1. Very rarely, but still there are cases when, for various reasons, the team plays with the setting 432 and over there to insert the jew's harp. This is already a physical reality. All the notes marked on our website are measured according to the 440 standard and "out of the box" will not be suitable for such a task, but any jew's harp can be rebuilt within a small range (or adjusted unconfigured) - there is nothing complicated here.
Basic principle: the frequency of sound is the frequency at which the reed vibrates. Imagine a pendulum - how can you change its frequency?
a) By changing the mass: more - slower (sound lower), less - faster (sound higher). The most common way is to put a drop of tin on the tip of the tongue or in the corner of the knee and gently grind it down, looking at the tuner for the exact hit on the note.
b) By changing the length: more - slower (lower sound), less - faster (higher sound). Of course, we can't shorten the tongue just like that, but you can imitate this by changing the angle of the knee. It is safer and most convenient when it is 90 degrees, but if there is a question of tuning, this is usually more important. Bend it very carefully, a few degrees, with your fingers and watch the changes on the tuner. For elastic tongues that tend to return to their original position, you need to practice a little and feel when it begins to bend. More than 30 degrees is better for such an angle not to change, it may break. But bend is the simplest tool instantly available in the field.
c) A special case for the jews harp - you can reduce the hardness of the reed by sharpening it as close to the base as possible - it will become softer, slower, the frequency will decrease.
Place the name of any other musical instrument instead of the jew's harp, for example, "plucked string". Guitar, balalaika, bass, electro, endless ethno varieties ... Like jew's harps, they differ in the type of use, pitch, timbre, shape-color-size, workmanship. Most of the jew's harps, made by individual craftsmen, are not made by musicians (ie not as musical instruments), but according to their own "author's" feelings - "to please." Hence, their incredible difference in all parameters, randomly suitable for the feeling of a player who is also looking for a non-musical instrument - everyone has different feelings. Of the objective musical parameters, the main ones are the pitch (conventionally, bass - tenor - soprano) and a certain "musicality" or "purity", which is the uniformity of the loudness of each note (harmonic overtone) that the jew's harp emits, and the discernibility of notes against the background of many random sounds affecting the timbre coloration. While an experienced musician can use any, the most terrible sound at his discretion and choose a vargan according to his taste or by the examples of recordings, it is better for a beginner to start a universal musical instrument as the first jew's harp in order to master it in principle. If we are not talking about musical use, then there are no rules - usually the maximum pleasure is delivered by the louder and more colorful options.
1) Price. Some of such jews harps are really good (or highly specialized and just do not have cheap analogs), but there is no any objective rating scale to assess jews harp quality, neither general one, nor for some single parameter, so everyone decides for himself whether it is viable to buy some certain instrument. As a rule, all like serious universal models, and the only questions left are the financial one and self-assurance (“I am not a professional, do I really need an expensive one?”).
2) Quality. There is actually a big difference between a good and an “ordinary” jews harps, and anyone can see it, even the one who has just started producing sounds. It is absolutely useless to describe multiple features in words – one can as well talk for hours about some dish, but in fact the only way to get acquainted with it is to taste it by yourself. Even the jews harp sound example does not allow making a precise conclusion, as it does not reflect the effort made by the player, and the pleasure he is getting. In a word, the better the jews harp, the easier and more pleasant it is to play, the more beautiful, clear and harmonic its sound is.
Jews harps are made by people in very different parts of the world, with different ideas of their labor cost, different experience and production costs. Some may make one jews harp for a month with a rasp-file and evaluate it as one month of labor, and some others invented some auxiliary mechanisms or do not pay attention to the look of instruments and/or some details producing them tens or hundreds times quicker. Also, each master has his own idea of what kind the instrument should be and his own playing experience. All this leads to huge amount of price-quality combinations or other features of jews harps, and, finally, a larger budget means only larger possibility to find the instrument meeting your preferences to the fullest degree.
All Altay komuses are souvenir, mass-produced jew's harps for tourists, travelling Altay in search of authentic exotics. But 30 years ago Potkin's komuses was most sounding jew's harps for their prices - that is why they became widely popular - it is really best choice for given price. But they can not be compared with all variety of "real" jew's harps. And, as any other so-called "simple" instrumend, they are much harder to play - to produce sound and, most important, to hear overtones.
They differ mostly in the look.
Models by the Potkins have brighter sound with strongly marked overtones; Kazantsev-Minakov’s ones have wider gaps that enable holding it very hard (if one gets used to that, further it will be very hard to play serious instruments). Wide gaps decrease sensitivity of the instrument, its loudness and spectral width. All of them are souvenir instruments, producing only basic sounds "like a jew's harp".
All of this are the names of the same instrument (jews harp - international name). Every region has its own name for jews harps - more than 1000 known now, spreaded in the world.
The difference depends on maker/model/exemplar rather on geography.
Overall dimensions are the outer size of the instrument, a rectangle that the thing can fit into. For jews harps this is the distance between the extreme points of the frame length, width and height, including any projecting parts, except for the tongue elbow. Dimensions specified help to select a case for the jews harp. Overall dimensions are specified for cases themselves, and they are always bigger than the internal ones. All shown in millimeters.
Gaps, or rather gaps width, is the distance between the tongue and the frame prongs (parallel parts of the frame). This is one of the parameters most critical for the loudness and spectral width of an instrument. The narrower and smoother the gaps, the louder the sound is, and the easier it is to produce. Shown in micrometers (10µm = 0.01mm).
These are reduced gaps when the jews harp is attached to teeth with minimal effort. The degree of reducing is calculated based on the tongue hardness equal to the force needed to deflect the tongue 10 mm away. To one extent or another, a lot of masters take the compressing force into account when making and tuning jews harps. Shown in micrometers (10µm = 0.01mm).
Hardness of a jews harp tongue is the force needed to deflect its tip 10 mm away. This is not a sign of quality; hard jews harps are not better or worse than soft ones. The parameter reflects only one mechanic feature of the structure, which force is needed to hit the tongue to make it oscillate with its normal amplitude. If you are selecting your first jews harp, there is no need to pay attention to this parameter. Shown in gram-force.
Hardness of a jews harp frame is the force needed to compress the frame prongs to zero gaps, i.e. to the moment when the tongue stops oscillating freely. The less this force, the more carefully it should be held, without compressing it with hand, lips of teeth. Shown in gram-force.
When attaching a jews harp frame to the teeth some force is applied, and in case the frame cross-section is not flat but is “wedging” between the parted teeth (like the majority of jews harps), some part of this force works to squeeze the frame. The ratio of the force directions (pressing the frame against the teeth and squeezing the frame) depends on the angle of frame slopes. Not counting friction force, the ratio of the most common jews harp structure (a 45 degrees sloped square bar) is 1:1. In this case the minimum force needed to play is half the force needed to pluck the tongue. Some are holding jews harp too hard, applying excess force. In such cases frame hardness may be insufficient, and metal clank will appear as the tongue will touch the frame.
Jews harps being overtone instruments have one certain sound frequency that is not changed during playing. It is approximately equal to the frequency of tongue oscillation (number of oscillations per second). Unlike usual music instruments producing sounds of different frequencies, changing the sound and tunes playing is enabled by resonant amplification of overtones – multifold harmonics sounding together with the base frequency (see Overtones). Parameters of jews harps shown on Site include two numbers for the frequency. These are not the frequency range of one instrument, but the range of frequencies of different ones in the batch. Some masters make their jews harps of almost uniform frequencies or even tune them all to one note. In this case, the range will be narrow up to a single frequency. Some make jews harps of one model in a large variety of tones; in this case, the range is very wide. This is not a sign of quality. For example, for XXX jews harp the range 50-100Hz is specified; if one takes several ХХХ jews harps, one of them may sound at 50Hz frequency, another at 100, then 55 etc. This information does not apply strictly to jews harps available in the shop: some time there may be no 50Hz instrument available, but any of available ones will sound at a frequency above or equal to 50, and below or equal to 100Hz.
The ratio between the length of main part of tongue and the elbow-to-tip length. Provided the tongue hardness is uniform, the shorter the elbow against the main part, the less side-sounds are produced when making an “away-from-face” stroke, the more comfortable quick play is, and the clearer the sound is.
Overtones is the usual name of side-sounds with frequencies multiple of tongue oscillations (main frequency multiplied by a prime number, 2, 3, 4 etc.). All of them are sounding at the same time, each with its own moderate loudness, and together form the overall tone of the instrument, also together with eventual mechanical side-sounds. It is up to the player to amplify one of the overtones significantly, make it dominant over the others, and make it clearly audible – this is what overtone note play is. This is caused by resonance at overtone frequency appearing when a jews harp is approximated to an enclosed cavity: sound waves with wavelength multiple of the dimensions of this cavity, are reflected multiple times from the cavity walls, and thus they are amplified significantly.
All models available in our shop are authors’ work; all of them are made by the authors themselves, often all by hand, as piecework. Different mechanical devices or common tools are used in producing elements for popular models, but finishing is done by the master “individually”.
All jews harps that have production region specified are made just in that region. Russian ones are made in Russia, Chinese – in China etc. All of them are a work of authorship, no sane person will make a jews harp and mother it on another master or country of origin.
There is no best one. Each instrument is good in something. Some are good in all features little by little, others are very good but in a couple of features.
Forged jews harps are not better or worse than the others, this is one of “jews harp myths”. See How manufacturing technology influences the sound.
You can not use magnets with any jews harps. If you magnetize both the frame and the tongue, they begin to influence each other - the sound deteriorates, at a low volume an extraneous buzz appears. Unfortunately, the addition of magnets to jews harps, not intended for this, has become a ubiquitous fashion. Everyone wants to magically make two or more from one instrument, and the masters act to please customers. However, most of them simply do not pay attention to the nuances or are not able to make sound cleanly. Moreover, many jews harps are good only in one high-altitude configuration and greatly increase or decrease pitch by any outer means - a compromise with sound quality. Jews harp can be magnetized, in which at least one of the parts - the frame or tongue - is not magnetized.
1) The vibration force is objective, depends on the mass and stiffness of the tongue and is inversely proportional to the mass of the frame.
2) Vibration also has a frequency, its perception is absolutely subjective and is usually confused with strength (for some it is strong when it "buzzes", for someone when it "shakes").
3) Indirectly, the vibration is inversely proportional to the sensitivity of the jew's harp (one of the aspects of the "technical" quality) - you have to hit very hard on tight, primitive harps, while touching the sensitive harp lightly enough to get the sound of the same volume.
Jews harp frame material is not significant at all compared to the tongue material. The majority of frames are made of steel or brass, but this information alone does not make any difference, the final features of instrument depend on certain steel grade known only to the master, careful manufacturing and geometry. The most important features are material and other parameters of tongue, not frame.
Those who has already heard that the material of tongue is one of the two most critical features of jews harps as an acoustic music instrument usually ask this question. The answer to it cannot be so easy as they want to hear it, like “steel”, “brass” or “wood”. Tongues of 99.9% jews harps are made of steel, but “steel” means actually a very loose concept as its features depend on the amount of admixtures, and there is a huge number of different compositions. Often masters themselves do not know the exact composition, just selecting ready “non-specific” steels by the sound. More than that, different steel features may better or worse combine with different geometries of instruments, so the most trustworthy way of selection is experiment (i.e. trying it by yourself), the matter of material does not make difference from the player’s point of view.
No certain technology influence the result more than the combination of all solutions used in the instrument, materials and overall structure. From the aspect of final instrument, it is impossible to split jews harps into forged and curved, brass and steel, thick and thin etc. Each one should be considered separately, with no respect to the way it is manufactured.
P.S. Please note the terms; "technology" means how to manufacture, not what to make; for example, in which hand to handle the hammer.
No. It is up to the maker and depends on it preferences, habits and tools/technologies available. Any fastening with good implementation will produce the same results; there is not difference in sound or reliability.
The screws are not for changing reed. It is just the way master using. Every reed must be tuned to frame - it is most important process in jh assembly and requires to be very careful. If you can adjust reed - it will be easy to make a jh from the scratch... We do not offer reeds because it work only souvenirs with big gaps, allowing screwing-unscrewing at home... For modern jews harp with tiny gaps (up to 10um) there are great chances that after unscrewing reed and attaching it again it becomes decentered and start clanging or changing timbre - because of micro deviations in screw and hole diameter. Usually all customer repairs ending in whole jh replacement.
Different masters make different tongue tips, some actually use different solutions within one model, just occasionally. This is normal practice. A tin ball is not at all a part of the structure as it is, but is just needed to load the tongue when tuning the instrument to some note, it means, if a jews harp matches the note without loading, the master may not add any tin. Depending on the exact jews harp, the master may consider one of options more suitable than the others: each method has its advantages and disadvantages; but compared to the main jews harp features those usually may be neglected. Smooth ball or ring makes the touch of the finger smoother and more comfortable; L-shaped elbow provides better finger clutching which enables pressing the finger against the tongue with less effort when playing “towards the face” -> elbow is moving less -> sound is clearer.
In case the tongue of an arc-shaped jews harp or the frame of a lamellar one, unfortunately, in most cases nothing can be done. However, some masters make advance and replace or repair instruments; some even do this for free. Please contact us to clarify this possibility, and bring or send the jews harp to us. In case the master who made the jews harp does not do any repairs or is not available, it is possible to try and contact another one. However, keep in mind that the sound depends entirely on the tongue – its geometry and material – so, even if one makes a copy of the original shape with maximum accuracy and set the same gaps, most probably the sound will be different. And it will not necessarily be worse. The extreme way of repairs is to use the same broken tongue in case it was broken at the very base (which usually happens). That will require shortening the frame. In this case the tone features will remain the same, but the frequency and specific hardness will get higher.
A jews harp is faulty if it does not play from the very beginning. If it was broken later, that was caused only by hitting the tongue too hard. After such a hard stroke, even if the tongue is not broken away at once, a crack at its base will appear, which may be invisible, but will grow with each stroke. Often this is accompanied by steep decrease in oscillations duration, and a mild chatter appears, especially at low amplitudes. Finally, the tongue is broken apart, even with a slight stroke. How to avoid this.
Do not make very hard strokes, and everything will be okay. One can control stroke strength two ways: 1) geometric: do not let the tongue tip deflect to distances longer than the elbow; and 2) watch the loudness; when you make weak strokes, the tongue is oscillating with minimal amplitude, and the sound is quiet; as strokes become stronger, loudness is increasing more or less evenly, and then the moment comes when the force is increasing, but loudness is not; stop at this moment and step back a little.
Jews harps do not need any special care. The majority of them are made of steel and corrode in course of time, but this does not influence the sound. If one does not just leave the instrument in water for a week, the rust will be only a slight brown coat. The most efficient way to clean it (regarding effort and result) is just wipe the tongue at both sides with a finger to remove most of the moisture. The rest will evaporate itself, especially if the metal is warmed up. You can do it with a cloth. In any case, any foreign substance collected on the tongue should be periodically remove, otherwise, coming into the gaps it will cause weak side-sounds – rustle and chatter.
Just like a knife. If you put it on the table and go away, nothing will happen ;) In case you are leaving your home for a long time, and the only place available to store your jews harp is bathroom (all living rooms are already stuffed with other jews harps), or if you are living in a swimming pool, then a non-stainless jews harps may be covered with oil or grease and put into a leak-tight plastic bag to save the look. And in case you are not leaving you jews harp at home, please note that salty water impacts metals many times harder, so be more careful when near seas or oceans.
We trying to maintain correspondens between JH "model" acoustics but most makers changing them time after time, keepeing the same name and frame design only. So we change names with significant changes in internals. Also, huge possible difference between "same" instruments ("models") in different bunches makes naming useless - you can find visually similar instruments with from old stock in one store and from new stock in another that will sound differently. Do not read names - read descriptions in our site.
Let’s start with the names themselves: all of them - Jews harp, Vargan, Doromb, Maultrommel, Khomus etc. are national names of one and the same instrument. It means, in Russia one can easily name instruments of any nations as Vargan, in Germany – Maultrommel etc. And they usually do so. Common English name, recommended by International Jew's Harp Society is Jew's harp.
How to stress the names right:
When being on instrument description page, press "Add to cart" button – the product will be added to shop cart. You can close this window and add something else, or fill in the form and submit the request. Further instructions or confirmation will be sent to email address stated in the form. For more detail about terms, delivery and payment please see here.
We have cumulative discount system. Discount rates and triggers are shown at prices page. Orders accounting is done based on your email address; if it has been changed, please contact us, and we will synchronize the old and new orders. No other discount provided, as we do not make any fake sales, but right away propose minimal prices which are often close to wholesale ones and times lower than in the majority of offline shops.
If you found the same item with lower price in other shop, we will offer the same price. Please make and order using cart and supply link to the item page in competitors website. Item must be in stock; shipping cost counting too.
Account details will be sent to your email automatically after order checkout and confirmation.
We operate a highly automated Internet shop, not single private sales, so we have no possibility to receive transfers from card to card. But we have possibility to receive payments from any VISA / MasterCard, and it is not worse than the first option. It takes the same time as transfer from card to card, but in most cases there are no service fees for customers.
There is no way, that’s why God invented archives. All instruments that are not sold here any more, are stored there (although such ones are supplied to shop sometimes, but that may take several years).
If we know aproximate date range, it is shown in item description page. It there is no restock estimates, this means that the manufacturer itself does not know them or has not streamlined production process. It can be a month or years. You can subscribe to estock notification to receive email right after item will be back.
We guarantee the instrument is functional and has no defects at the moment of selling. In case you received a damaged instrument, please contact us by email, and we will replace it or return the money. The majority of problems with jews harps, if they appear, are tongue breaks, and they happen only by player’s fault, so there is no sense to set any warranty period, this is not necessary. But in case something happened to the jews harp except a break, for example, tongue attachment went loose, and the tongue started wobbling or touching the frame with no visible damage (one case for 10000), we will solve the problem within a reasonable time.
Just the same ones as provided in any ordinary shop, when you give money to a shop assistant – he can grab it and run away. Though, it is way easier to catch a running Internet shop than a nameless shop assistant, as after making payment you will get proving documents with all account details and other seller info. More than that, we have been working for several years already, have good reputation and a lot of positive feedback from our customers whom we helped to join in the world of jews harps. One of indicators is our forum, which is the biggest and most active jews harp community in Russia.
All jews harps are checked before shipment. By the moment of parcel hand over we are responsible for each delivery; in case anything happens, we will just replace the jews harp or return money (for this you need to check the instrument integrity right at the post office when receiving the parcel, and make an enclosure damage report). It is in our interest that customer receives a good and functional instrument – everyone will be happy with that.
All jews harps are authors’ piecework and handwork. There cannot be any original or false ones; though, in non-specialized shops one can face mistakes in names or authorship of instruments, as often jews harps are supplied to them from third parties of third parties. We are working directly with masters and, thanks to high specialty, we provide information of all instruments with encyclopedic accuracy. See also " Who makes jews harps?"
We have been delivering jews harps for several years already, and pack them taking into account highest possible loads. Actually there have been no cases of instrument damage during delivery, but if it happens, we will just replace the jews harp or return money (for this you need to check the instrument integrity right at the post office when receiving the parcel, and make an enclosure damage report). It is in our interest that customer receives a good and functional instrument – everyone will be happy with that.
You cas see this clearly in every jews harp's description page as "Case included:" string. If case is included, it will be shown as "YES". If no case is present, we will made wooden protector block and you will see "woodblock" in the site.
Please use "compatible cases and other accessories" link in the each JH description page. It will show cases that surely fit selected jews harp. If it is empty - there is no suitable cases. You can use "Case Constructor" for ordering custom-made case for any jews harp.
We made custom protective wooden block for every jews harp without case included. This primitive construction can be used on a constant basis due to its compact size simplicity.
Shipping cost depends on the combination of payment method, delivery method and your location. The most convenient and visual way to look through all options and choose the most suitable one is adding product to cart and enter postal code and city. The amount of items ordered does not influence the delivery cost in case you choose prepayment. See also how much time the delivery takes and overall description of buying and delivery process.
After we have sent the order, delivery time fully depends on shipping company, taking into account such changeable factors as flights schedule at some directions, and your post office postman’s speed. For example, train from point A to point B goes once per week; in case the parcel comes up right before train departure, it will go right away; if it comes the next day, it will await the train for a week. There might be several such points through the route, plus segregating and execution paperwork. As a result, for Post of Russia delivery time is a lottery, but sooner or later the parcel will surely be delivered to the destination point. Delivery time for shipping companies is strictly stated and observed within the accuracy of 1-2 days. This situation is actually equal for all destination points throughout the country. Approximate timeframe for each shipping method are shown at "Shipping". Average time for all directions and methods is 10 days. See also What is the cost of delivery and overall description of buying and delivery process.
No, courier’s trips are planned in advance, so it is necessary to know the exact address, and there should be a guarantee that somebody meets the courier and receives the parcel.
In Saint Petersburg, in case you choose delivery by Oberton Pro courier, it is possible to agree with him any place to meet. In other cities delivery is done by third parties’ couriers which obligatorily need the exact city address, though you can try and discuss this issue with them also, but in this case you need to address the transport company directly.
In Saint Petersburg, our courier agrees with you on the delivery time by phone or email. In case the order is delivered by a transport company courier (as it is done in other cities), they will not call, as the delivery date is established when making the order, and it is fixed. The courier comes according to his schedule (usual working time is 9AM-2PM, 1PM-6PM, or 9AM-6PM). You can state the time convenient for you in the comment to order or contact the transport company directly and postpone the delivery date.
Availability of payment method options depend on delivery method. Pay on delivery works only with Class 1 post delivery through Russia, with delivery by courier to some communities, and with customer pickup.
Possibility to input phone number depends on delivery method. It is used only with delivery by courier, pickup from some towns, and with payment by card or QIWI. In case we have any questions, we will contact you by email.
All information on site is actual; everything shown as available is available (information is updated real time).
No. We order items for restock regardless of your orders - only waiting is possible. See also When ... will be in stock again?
This shows the jews harps available within the batch at the moment. For example, if this is a Latin letter C, D, E, F, G, A, B(H) with a dash and number (for example G/1) – this is the note and octave number according to scientific notation. Also, color, shape or another feature can be stated. See also Which note should my jews harp be tuned to?.
All notes available for each jews harp model are stated at description page of each instrument near the availability mark (close to ‘add to cart’ button). If you dont see notes listed, thes means we dont have duned specimens in stock. "Not tuned" means the instrument's base frequency is not matching some note frequency with good precision (our standard is +/- 10 cents). It can be somewhere between notes - which is not acceptable for playing with precisely tuned instruments.
Selection of the note the jews harp is tuned to, or another feature, is done at shop cart page after adding the product into it by clicking "Add to cart" button at its description page. I.e., first you add it to cart, and further, when making the order, choose the note (modification).
We have no data about the tone of sound samples recorded many years ago. Please use a tuner (for example AP Tuner) or a spectrum analyzer (for example, in Audacity). ). In most cases, a tuner will well identify the frequency of the sound even played through loudspeakers. To analyze the sample it is necessary to download the mp3 file and open it in the program; then select a small part and choose "Analyze->Plot Spectrum" tool from the menu.
Open the page with the instrument you are interested in, look at its number after the symbols "id=": for example, link to Tibet jews harp is "https://www.oberton.pro/?id=101", so its number is 101. Audio files are stored in /audio folder and are named by the formula "
One can be making a selection among jews harps by sound for the whole day in case a lot of examples are available. To do this we would need to hire a separate employee, and include his salary into the jews harp price... in any case, this does not make practical sense taking into account the diversity of jews harps and difference between the recorded sound and “perceived” one (more detail...)
many jews harps are made by hand and there are practically no absolutely identical visually or acoustically copies among them, and the presence of traces of the toolss, any irregularities, etc. allowed. Masters who make good musical instruments focus primarily on sound - and it may not match the look. Many people know that even and small gaps are one of the key components of success and begin to examine them, instead of playing. This does not make sense if you do not know all the intricacies of the correspondence between visual geometry and sound - the harp can play perfectly, being curved in appearance, and vice versa. Just close your eyes and play)
To bent knee in a lamel, made from certain marks of metall, without broke, it must be heated. Trace of heat is a common thing and is presented on most of jews harps in various degree. It is not related in any way to quality and clearly seed in moth photos.
It is not crack but a technological notch and this is how it should be.
1. Sound sample is recorded once, and further a lot of jews harps of this model follow during many years. As each of them is an acoustic music instrument made by hand, in fact there are no complete copies, one can always notice some minimal difference. 2. A lot of masters produce jews harps in a big tone range, there can be both low-toned and high-toned ones, or just several neighboring notes. Notes that jews harps are tuned to are marked at site pages and can be selected when making the order. Sound sample is made as a rule for just one instrument. 3. The jews harp sound perceived by ear has little in common with the whole complex of feelings the player feels; for some people, especially having no skills of playing music instruments and analyzing their sound, some “feelings” can be more perceptible than the acoustic features; while recording reproduces only the sound. 4. The sound recorded and played is formed rather by the player, room, microphone, recording system, loudspeakers, and again the room, than the instrument itself. Therefore, in case just one component of those is changes, the sound cannot be the same.
A common scenario - you saw a video with a wonderful melody or an enchanting trance, played with a jews harp and want to play the same way. Of course, "for this you need straight exactly the same tool"!
But alas. The problem is that most of the emotions gives the melody and the level of the artist; many, of course, can force themselves to focus on the sound - but there is even greater treacherous. The sound on the records is created by a) room b) processing c) with your acoustic system / headphones d) microphone and other hardware ...
It is possible to play the worst jews harp so that the tears of diesel moves and the best one like 2 ear kid on piano. You should not drive yourself into the framework of the "instrument like that" - the market develops very dynamically, and several years ago, even some cool jews harps virtuoso could not have a tools of such quality, which are available now. If you want to learn - take any instrument and learn. If you want, whatever jews harp would be good and liked by itself - read our descriptions.
It is wrong handling, not the defect. Read here how to handle it properly. The frame hardness is different for different jews harps and, in cooperation with reed hardness and gaps width (see "gaps under load"), it determines handling simplicity. Hard frame and big gaps an be handled in any style, roughly squeezing by hand and teeth, but most of such instruments produce only primitive sounds - gaps size is the first level of technical jews harp quality and the smaller they are the better the sound (volume/sensitivity is higher and spectrum is wider). But smaller gaps increases requirements for handling accuracy and some instruments are very capricious - but resulting qualities are really rewarding. There are many case when somebody used to play "simple" jews harps like altay komuses or USA/China Snoopy JAW HARPS can not understand why new instrument not working and reed constantly hitting frame... Most common reasons for this, as stated in handling guide (see link above) are squeezing the frame with lips and hand.
This is most probably about Hungarian dorombs; each of the models is manufactured in two colors, black and white. This covering does not influence the sound, these are equal instruments, and there is no clear indication of color in order. In any case, if there is something you do not like, we can replace the instrument or return money.
Cases sold together with jews harps are a free attachment, and their look may be different. Their function is the same for all – to protect the tongue against mechanical damage.
Yes, for any postal rates.
The information is updated with some delay, about 1-2 days; please try later.
Though very rarely, misprints may appear when filling in a postal number. Please contact us by email to clarify the number.
Strange as it may seem, Post of Russia periodically runs out of “fresh” postal numbers, and statuses of totally different parcels may be related to one and the same number. Usually it happens with a several years interval. Just do not pay attention to old records, see only the latest dates.
You have chosen untracked economy mail in your order - "untracked" means exactly that it has not tracking number. We do not have any tracking information about it. The shipping terms are stated here, please take a look. Only one thing is possible for untracked - wait and ask sometimes at your local post office about any incoming mail to your name and address.
The first email is sent to you immediately at the time of making order and it arrives in a few seconds or minutes in most cases. Check:
1) the "spam" folder
2) "promotions" tabs and similar "smart" sortings
3) search for messages by "email@example.com"
3) is there free space in the mailbox and is it not disabled (are there any other letters?).
If nothing was found, most likely there was a typo when entering the address at the checkout (this happens more often than everyone thinks) or there was an eclipse on the mail (yandex, rambler and hotmail are very unreliable). Write to us the name / phone number specified in the order - we will look.
All information about order status including shipment notification and postal number, are sent by email. In case you have not yet got a shipment notification, most probably the order has not yet been shipped. Shipping is done according to the terms stated on site per each delivery method. If this time is expired, please contact us, as emails sometimes get lost in spam flows.
Our material representation in Saint Petersburg is not a shop, but a jews harp center, combining a lot of jews harp activity aspects. Those include a demonstration room where all instruments available in the Internet shop are displayed, a place to carry out trainings, a workshop and a mini-museum. You can come to our Center not knowing anything about jews harps, and go with an instrument, at least knowing how to play and handle it.
At "Contacts", page to which there is a link on top of all pages, email address is shown. Oberton Pro manager Oleg Rodnin will reply to emails. Also, you can contact us via online consulting system by clicking the green button in right bottom corner of the page.
Saint Petersburg Jews harp Centre phone number is shown at directions page. Please note that the Centre and the Internet Shop are not one and the same; If you call that phone, not a specialist may answer, but an administrator on duty. The phone is intended for common questions.
Yes, and we advise to do so. In case you have an opportunity, it is better to try and select the instrument by yourself. In this case we make the order on the spot. In case you are sure what you want to buy, order it by internet, and it will be immediately reserved. This is relevant to the last examples available.
After each visitor the jews harps are disinfected with certified medical equipment that provides full inactivation of all viruses known. When you receive a jews harp by post, we recommend first to slightly wash it with soap and water at least to remove the grease which could remain after long storaging.
• Reservation is done automatically when making an order (in this case you should choose customer pickup option), and its maximum time is 5 days (it can be prolonged only in case there is a payment notification from you, but bank transfer is delayed).
Yes, but shipping and payment options are limited. We still ship using generic mail and DHL. Generci mail speed can be slower by pair of weeks. Payments from foreign JCB cards are not working - you can still use Visa/MC, Paypal, SWIFT, QIWI, Yandex.Money and private custom transfers (by request). SWIFT transfer requires asking your bank first, if they handle payments to Russia. Also you can use Advcash or Payeer services, similar to paypal - you should register, add your card details and choose this payment option in our cart.