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Harmonica Teacher Testimonials

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“I worked with Matt Smart for three days at the Charlotte Harmonica Jam Camp, November 3-5, 2006. Other teachers were Dennis Gruenling, Richard Sleigh, Allen Holmes. Here’s my impression.  Matt Smart is an astonishingly gifted teacher/player of the harmonica.   With demonstrated expertise helping people bend, get vibrato, and just flat out play the thing. His personality is excellence without attitude.  He puts even the most anxious learners at ease.  He is also a good harp repair man. He opened up my  own clogged Special 20 and made it play much better. Took him about 5 minutes. For him, no big deal. We are lucky to have him as  Jam Camp coach,  and I highly recommend him for personal lessons.” Jon Gindick http://www.gindick.com/


"I've pick up the harmonica several times over several decades and after messing around for a few weeks I gave up. This time around, on the backside of the usual mid-life stuff, I decided to try something different. I started looking for a teacher. That was the best decision I made in a long time. Meeting Matt at a local harmonica club meeting, I was impressed with his knowledge, skill and patience. In less than an hour I learned more than I would have in a month on my own. The lessons I started after that meeting have far exceeded my expectations. Matt's lessons are methodical, have a good balance between listening and playing, and have encouraged me to practice, practice, practice. Both my confidence and ability have grown under Matt's gentle guidance. I'm playing more and sounding, at least to myself, a lot better. Don't get me wrong. I'm not ready to leave the wood shed just yet. In fact, I'm a long way from that. But I'm not about to quite in frustration like before and actually have lots of fun playing my harp now.
If you're like me a always wanted to learn how to play this thing before you die, then Matt will get you on a solid foundation and give you the skills needed to keep playing for the rest of your life.."
- Khalil J.

"There are tons of good harp players out there...but for some reason, really cannot teach others how to play.  Matt knows how to teach a person how to play. I know, I asked several of Atlanta’s top harp players if they would provide me some lessons.  Everyone of them either turned me down or said they just did not know how to give lessons.  Matt loves to teach!" Al R.


"Matthew makes it easy to learn blues harp"
Jim M.


"I figured I could teach myself the harp, and learned I was dead wrong.  I started lessons with Matthew, and within a month, I felt I had made strides in my playing I could never have made without his help.  He's a good teacher and is great at explaining the nuts and bolts of what you have to do, and how you have to do it." Andrew I.

"I started playing harmonica about 2 years ago, but never got anywhere and quit several times until I started lessons from Matthew (whom I found through a member of ModernBluesHarmonicaH).  He is a talented teacher and has a passion for what he does.  I work as an instructor for my job and also teach martial arts and base what I say from this experience." Ed T.

"Matthew helped me, met me, at my level and always made me feel comfortable. He used my strengths to teach me the techniques that I wanted and needed to learn. He was not selfish with my time and he did not show off as some others do. My lessons were all about and for me exclusively. I have been to his place on several occasions for harmonica jams with a wide variety people and playing levels and he has housed many group lessons as well. He would be an asset to anyone looking for lessons in the Atlanta area. Ellen D.

"Matthews harmonica lessons have advanced me tremendously in a short period of time. I started with little knowledge of the harmonica and in a few months I was on stage for the first time at a Blues Venue open mic night playing with some professional musicians. Along with teaching you how to play the harmonica, Matthew also teaches you how to care for and customize your harmonicas to get the best sound and ease of playing from them" George F.

"Matthew has played a huge role in contributing to my long desire of becoming a decent harmonica player.  His talent and skill level I could never match but he has a genuine way of teaching those that don't grasp it like he does.  He is patient, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.  If it weren't for him I wouldn't be this far along." Patrick F

Harmonica Gear Testimonials and Reviews

My other company is Hetrick Harmonica. These reviews say that name. I am just listing them here and offering custom harmonica gear on this site to get more exposure on the web. Thanks

"As a professional player, I need my harmonicas to be as airtight and responsive as possible. Hetrick combs accomplish that goal with stylish flair by providing many different color options. With the different comb material options  that they have avaliable, I am able to fine tune the tonal characterestics of my instruments, which I consider to be an extremely important feature. I am proud to put my name behind Hetrick combs, a company that really gets it."- Brandon O. Bailey

Hi Matt,
I received yesterday the 3 ordered combs and an extra one "pure black corian" high glossy . Great thanks Matt.
What a nice surprise! The high glossy pure Black is very, very attractive and so "classe". This comb is quite perfect.
I have quickly completed with a GM key A harp and.....whaou!!! So beautiful! - Serge Dalex, 4-2012

Hetrick Bamboo Comb Review

"Hetrick Bamboo combs on my Custom Special-20 Pub Kit: These SP20s scream now, 100% improvement over stock combs. Tuned 19LJI, embossed, profiled, sanded, gapped w/ 1896 covers :) Changing the comb was the last thing I did, but it should have been the first thing I did; the performance improvement is that dramatic." - Jim Duke, 4-2012

 

Hetrick Harmonica Comb Reviews
"My Hetrick 's Custom Combs. (White Corian and DymondWood)
And I have to say that are just amazing, are really comfortable, they change the performance of the harps to a next level and make the harmonica more airtight (100% flat).

I would highly recommend Hetrick's combs.

By the way, the service it's completely awesome."

- Ivan Arg Rdz 5/3/12

Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review:

"I just can't believe how glossy it is!" - Colin H., DuPont™ Corian® Harmonica Comb

Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review:

"It feels like glass..is this made from glass?" - Paul N., Black DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review

Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review
"below are photos of a platinum Hetrick comb. this is a white/grey color but i've seen a blue/white color also labeled as 'platinum' on the Hetrick site. The photos don't do it justice. these are gorgeous combs!

this SP/20 comb is drilled for 8 screws (stock SPs come w/ only 6 screws)--so i tapped the the extra holes in the bottom reed plates; they aren't tapped to accomodate the 2 extra screws.

there is a little extra weight with the corian as opposed to the ABS plastic. i think corian may be even heavier than dymond wood. maybe not..

this C SP is definately a 'go to' harp. i've semi retired my '30s MB which was my main C harp previously.

i don't like to bother w/ debates about the tonal differences between different materials. what i will say is that i believe the corian is flatter than the injection molded ABS so therefore the harp is more air tight.

i believe Hetrick combs are still on sale for $20. if so, friggin' deal!

even though my favorite Hetrick combs are the natural woods and dymondwood..these are sweet!"-- Mark Prados, MBH

Hetrick Bamboo Harmonica Comb Review

"I just got them all done yesterday - what a huge difference!  I'm a believer - I'll take some pics this weekend and post them on Facebook.  Many thanks for making awesome products." - Jim D., 4-13-12

"The performance of the bamboo comb in my Seydel 1847 Classic was absolutely phenomenal...what a big difference! The maple is out, and the bamboo is in. The craftsmanship was also impressive. I look forward to receiving the other combs so I can transform my entire 1847 collection into the ultimate harmonicas." - Carl, 3-20-12

Recent posts from modern blues harmonica:
Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review
"Just an update that I got some more combs from Hetrick including Corian. The Corian combs now come in some solid colors like red and black as well. They are now polished and have a glossier finish. This is the result of several rounds of polishing as part of the finishing process. I found the "new" combs to be even flatter from the shop and noted that there is an option of having MB combs with rounded tines that are pre-drilled for three screws.
Hetrick Wood Comb Review:
The combs are $30 or less (most around $24) and come with a flattness guarantee. This, IMO, is a tremendous value. IME, they carry a lot of combs for immediate shipping, but if your order something they don't have in stock, they cut new combs on weekends and ship on Mondays. I make ZERO money from plugging these combs. I am just a very satisfied customer who is very impressed with the turnaround and value of what I've ordered. I did pick up a black dymonwood comb, which is also great. I've had no problems with dymonwood, but realize that some people prefer a glossier looking comb comapred to their matte dymonwood finish."

- Mike, Quicksilver Harmonicas

Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Harmonica Comb Review

'I ordered a "cobalt blue " corian comb from HETRICK .It really upgraded my D SP20."

Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review

"Been using hetrick combs for awhile, I love em, they work great right out of the box. I've replaced ALL of the factory combs on my LO's and SP20's with them and some of my MB's. as for washing I just soak the harps in warm water with a couple of squirts of antibacterial soap in a tupperwhare dish and let the stuff soak off, rinse them and thats it."


Hetrick Harp Case Reviews


Check out a nice write up about us in Harmonica Sessions magazine!


A Brief Video Introduction to the Case


Watch a video review by Ronnie Shellist!

Read Planet Harmonica's Feature Article


"During the Harmonica World Convention (SPAH) in Denver, people were carrying harmonica cases that were much larger than my new Hetrick harp case and could not carry as many harps as I now can. Anyone at SPAH that looked at this new case realized immediately that it could hold more harps than cases more than twice its size. You get 25% more harmonicas in a case that is 1/3 the size; I really need that because I play in a lot of keys - minor and low harps included - and its nice to have them all in one small package." www.JIMILEEBAND.com


"An altogether great product which I heartily recommend." Ben Felten, Planet Harmonica  READ Ben's Full Article on the Hetrick Harp Case


"I have many different harp cases including the Fender Mississippi Saxaphone case and a brief case that I reconfigured with petitions which holds alot of harps.The main problem I have had with all of them is harps falling over and not staying in their place so they can be easily identified.Hohners case solved this problem by putting slots in the foam of their case.The only problem I have with this case is that it only holds 12 harps. I recently purchased Hetrick's case and they solved the major problems for me.The harps stand vertically in their own space and don't fall over.My case right now has 56 harmonicas in it including 3 tubolids and best of all in only measures 11 1/2" x 7 1/2"x4 1/2" and is very sturdy. This case can be reconfigured to hold chromatics and a mic but I prefer to have it packed with diatonics because I use alot of different tunings.This case is a great advancement in the realm of harmonica storage and I highly recommend it" Paul Shapiro, NM


"The Hetrick case is awesome! I love mine and find it to be much more useful than the black hohner case or even those tweed harp cases made by a guitar company. The case was designed by a gigging harmonica player and is well thoughtout for even the pickiest of harmonica players. I love the customization capability and how I can carry more harps within a smaller space." Chris Michalek www.thebuddhasgroove.com


"I recently reached out to the Harp-L list for a harp case referral other than the Hohner-Fender-Masterclass options. I have the Hohner and it is good and cheap but not big enough for all the diatonics I need access to when playing out . I have the Masterclass set up on a mike-stand in my apartment and it is good but to big to bring around to small shows, jams, etc. I don't own or like the Fender. While I'm still working on the fine details of the case I received from Hetrick I'm liking it very much. It's smaller but deeper (diatonics stand vertically in the case compartments) than the hohner and similar in size to the fender. It's black with a silver faceplate and solidly built. There are strong plexiglass dividers for 24 diatonics (I'm working with him on making it accommodate 30 with an added row of compartments) with some room left over for a bullet and maybe a short cord, card case, or whatever. A little tweaking will be required to get this particular case to accommodate a 64 chromatic but Hetrick are being very generous in their responses to my requests to specialize the case for me. I just wanted to quickly acknowledge enjoying the prototype and thank all that responded to my requests for case suggestions." Dennis  Moriarty, NYC


MORE Hetrick Harmonica Comb Reviews:

Hetrick DuPont™ Corian® Harmonica Comb Review:

"And corian - my first impression picking the comb up was "wow, that is dense material"! I thought it would be like plastic, but it's really heavy and sturdy... and loud when in the harp, very strong tone. I admit, I ordered it mostly out of curiosity, but now I'm understanding what all the fuzz is about!" - 3-13-12

 

Bamboo Harmonica Comb Review:

"I bought some Bamboo Combs from Hetrick Harp Co for my Delta Frost and Harpmaster harps. The Bamboo wood is very pretty with 3 coats of lacquer and is loud." - 2011 Harp-L Forum Member

Hetrick Bamboo Harp Comb Review:
"If you put a Hetrick BAMBOO comb on a Crossover after sanding the draw plate, the compression improves dramatically. The Hetrick BAMBOO comb is like magic the way it improves air tightness and response on Crossovers and MBDs--much better than the stock combs and better than any other Hetrick combs. Dunno what it is that's so special about Hetrick BAMBOO Crossover/MBD combs, but they really perform excellently." - Modernbluesharmonica.com 2012


Hetrick Special 20 comb Review:

"These combs really improved the tone and playability of my Special 20's. Feels good in the mouth and responds beautifully to every bend."
- Jon Gindick http://www.bluesharmonicajamcamp.com

 

Hetrick Special 20 Harmonica Comb Review:
"I also just wanted to mention how pleased I've been with the comb I previously recieved (Special 20). The build quality is awesome (coming from an engineer) and the tone is great! I'm very impressed with how much the air tightness of the harp is improved with your combs.  I'm able to easily overblow on a stock harp that I've done nothing to but replace the plastic comb with yours.  Keep up the great work, and let me know about new products coming out." - Brian Falther


"Yes, I got the combs and immediately put them in a couple of Bushman Delta Frosts. They fit perfectly and add a different feel to the harp. It feels kind of like a Marine Band with it's wooden comb. They are a little different to play compared to the plastic comb. Feels great but still has the ease of playing and bending that I like in the Delta Frosts. Thanks for the great service and a great comb!"- R. Nowlain


Hetrick Harp Comb Review:

"I received the comb today and just wanted to let you know that it is really nice. The fit and finish is all first class. It's only been on for a couple of hours and life has a way of getting in your way, so I haven't had too much chance to use it. From the little use that I put it to, though, I have no doubt that I'll be completely satisfied with it."
- Paul N.

 

harpcase.com harmonica comb review:
"I really like the combs for my Special 20s! I've converted 3 harps so far and really like them for amplified playing. All I did was replace the plastic combs with the new maple ones and open the backs up on the coverplates. These combs allow a lot more air to go through the reeds. They seem a bit louder to me and the sealed combs really make them airtight. Keep up the good work!"- Jay Thompson


Hetrick Dymondwood Comb Review:
"Received my new wood combs for my Sp20 harps the other day and have now installed a couple of them. My biggest concern was how they would fit and I can say these combs fit like the originals, had no problems installing. The different types of wood are visually pleasing and unlike the standard MB wood comb these have not swelled at all and are very comfortable to play. That's again for a great product and outstanding service!!"
 -Mark www.suncoastharmonicaclub.org


Hetrick Marine Band 1896 Comb Review:
 
"Hello,  I wanted to give you an update on the combs I just received.  We've all had a Marine Band 1896's that played poorly from the start.  I had replaced nails with bolts, opened up the back, sanded and sealed the comb, tweaked the reeds, and still it lacked volume and was leaky. After seeing and reading the reviews for your products I decided to dust it off and try your comb's.  I noticed right away that it was slightly longer from front to back than the stock one and it allowed me to mount with the comb even or even slightly protruding from the front of the reed plates. I think this alone would have helped, but the entire comb was stronger, smoother and more robust.  To make a long story short I couldn't be happier,the harp looks and plays better than any custom M.B. I own.  I'll be back for more." - Steve Thompson
Hetrick Sealed Wood Comb Review:
"The Mahogany comb is absolutely perfect. It looks every bit as good as it plays." - John Shults

 

Hetrick Marine Band Comb Review:
Quote of the Week: "Hi, I finally got time to install my Bocote and Bamboo MB combs and I can't believe the difference. Sounds better, looks better, feels better. They're great!" - Phil M.
"The combs are very beautiful and they really change the sound of the harp." - Paolo, Italy 4-2012


Hetrick Custom Harmonica Review:

I received my Hetrick Harmonica Hohner Golden Melody today and I'm very pleased!!

I recorded my message to you, Matthew
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1OZM06XUHg

Thank you very much for your fine work.

Greg.M

 

“Just wanted to say that I have known and dealt with Matthew Smart (Hetrick) for over ten years. His professionalism as a both a harp player and a harp coach are top notch!When it comes to a true eye for perfection…he is on it. He has that ability to catch the smallest details. I have been to his shop many times and seen him work up close. His combs are exacting. His quality and attention to detail are the best. If there is something that is not right… he fixes it. I have purchased over two dozen combs from Matt and will continue to do so because I trust the man.Nuff said! - “Big Al” Robinson  (Harp player—The Loose Shoes Band)”


"Hi Matthew, harps arrived the other day, you've done a great job on both,they play like a dream. All the best." - Chris F., UK 11/2011


"I was getting good sounding overblows on the first try with the Lee Oskar. No squealing noise. My Seydel responds much more quickly now and the buzzing low notes arehistory. It also overblows easily. The combs will give a big improvement to playability even if you just install them without changing anything else. All the excess holes and gaps have been eliminated." - Tom, USA

Customized Hohner Crossover: "Thanks for the harp. It sounds great. I find it easier to hold bends now. I'd been having a lot of touble getting accurate bends before. It helps a lot." Ian C., UK

Customized Bushman Delta Frost: "Received the harmonica on Friday. Our mail delivery has to be the world’s worst. Great job once again, delighted with the result, plays superbly, great sound." - Colin H., Canada

"Every diatonic harmonica player knows that some harmonicas are harder to play than others. I usually struggle with the E, F and G. Matthew set up my Marine Band Deluxe in G. It is louder and the bends sound much better. What a difference!  - Patrice C., Australia


" Mathew your harp is superb. My first impressions are that it is just as smooth as smooth can be. The responsiveness seems to be sweet and even all the way around and it seems to play too easily to be a Db. I have a custom Bb that is harder to bend on certain notes than your Db. What I really like is that all of the bends (including the 10 blow) are easily had. I'm in no way any kind of advanced player and yet I know exactly what i'm after in the 3 hole bends and you seem to have pretty much nailed it. Thanks for this. I have to try and buy some digs here in Mn but after that I want to buy another one of your harps. First order would be for a replacement of that aforementioned custom Bb. Many Thanks."
- Greg G. 4/2011

Quote of the Month: "I've been a Hohner Endorsee since 1989 and have always played stock Marine Bands exclusively. Never really considered custom harps at all till I recently had Matthew Smart do his thing on a MB Deluxe and a Crossover. He did a real fine job and both harps are easier and smoother bending as well as noticably more airtight and generally quicker action and response not to mention louder. Anybody else out there wanting to see what the custom thing is all about ought to look up Matthew over Hetrrick Harps. They make an array of custom combs for just about any harps too." - Mike Wesolowski "Wezo" www.megatoneamps.com, www.bluesworldorder.com

 

 

* Copyright 2012 Matthew Smart, AtlantaHarmonicaLessons .com *