“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.
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.
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
"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"
"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
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
I received yesterday the 3 ordered combs and an extra one "pure black corian" high glossy . Great thanks
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
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
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:
like glass..is this made from glass?" - Paul N., Black DuPont™ Corian® Comb Review
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!
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
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.,
"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
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
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
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."
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:
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!" -
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
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
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!"-
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!!"
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:
comb is absolutely perfect. It looks every bit as good as it plays." - John Shults
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
I received my Hetrick Harmonica Hohner Golden Melody today and I'm very pleased!!
I recorded my message
to you, Matthew
Thank you very much for your fine work.
“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