I don’t like to play with tubes, but for several of my keyboard harmonicas, I need to use a short tube.
The OEM tubes that come with Hohner keyboard harmonicas are black, which is nice, but the tubes are way too stiff, especially if you cut them to a short length as I do. They pull at your mouth and pop out. They are unusable.
So I have been using the much more flexible tubing that come with Suzuki melodions. There are several problems with these Suzuki tubes. One is these tubes are white and stand out like a sore thumb. Second, they are so flexible, that they just fall over and wave around when you are not playing them. Third, it is difficult to mount a Hohner mouthpiece and fitting on some types of Suzuki tubing.
So I was thinking today, I wonder if I can thermoset the black Hohner tubing using my wife’s hair drier? The answer is, yes!
Using a hair dryer to heat the tubing, and quenching the heated tube in cold water, I was able to form the tubing to my exact needs. See the photo below.
This is a blessing: (1) The black tubing looks much cooler and blends in to the background on stage; (2) I can use the Hohner OEM small round mouthpieces that I like (instead of munching on the white Suzuki tubing); (3) The mouthpiece is always right next to my mouth ready to go; and (4) While it is not always easy to mount the fitting and mouthpiece on the cut tubing, it is much easier than trying to get them mounted on the Suzuki tubing.
I use a wire tie at the keyboard harmonica end to to secure the fitting to the tubing to ensure the tubing does not pop off.
Interesting, and much nicer look than it just loose. I never use the soft flex tube but do use the the hard flex tube for the Hammond Melodions when playing in a sax position. I now tend to use the more conventional trumpet position just because I like playing in a downward position. I will have to give it a try and see if I like it. A few years back I connected a long clear tube to my Vibrandoneon and taped it to my mic stand? I sat the Vibrandoneon on shelf above my keyboard so I can play chords on my Kurzweil and lead on the Vibrandoneon that was fun.