Important information for your Doromb

Thank you for purchasing a Szilágyi jaw harp. We hope it will bring a lot of joy to you and your loved ones with its sound. In order for your new instrument to sound as beautiful as possible and to be a source of fabulous sounds for a long time, we have collected some important information.

Product name: Doromb (jaw harp in Hungarian)
Type: you will find the type designation at the end of the box
Tuning: if the jaw harp is tuned to an exact musical note, the tuning and the specific register (e.g. A2, C1, etc.) can be seen at the end of the box, and the letter at the base of the jaw harp's spring indicates the tuning. If there is no label, it means that the jaw harp is not tuned to a specific note, but it sounds perfect, just not exactly A, C, G, or any other musical note related to A at 440 Hz.

Material: heat-treated, refined carbon steel
Packaging: paper
Made by: Áron Szilágyi, more</a >

The jaw harps undergo a surface treatment: the silver ones are nickel-plated, and the black ones are so-called browned, they have an iron oxide layer (not rust) on them. If you bought a gold-plated jaw harp, the layer order looks like this: brass, nickel, and 99.9% pure gold coating.

If you bought a black jaw harp, there is a very thin oil coating on the instrument. This is pharmaceutical-grade, completely neutral paraffin oil. You can wipe it before first use. The oil helps preserve the durability of the instrument, it will corrode less later.

Each jaw harp is handmade, so even within the same type, they all differ a little from each other. Subtle differences can appear in sound, external appearance, and the feeling of the play.

Although we strive to make the jaw harps not only sound fantastic but also look good, it may happen that something needs to be adjusted on the instrument before packaging so that the desired sound will be heard by the player. In this case, the pliers sometimes leave a mark on the already surface-treated instrument. However, since 1979, the most important aspect of the instruments coming out of the Szilágy doromb workshop is that the SOUND should be good. One that, with the resonance of the jaw harp's spring, also moves the human soul.

Using the jaw harp
Watch the tutorial video for beginners and more videos by dorombsuli!

With your left hand (left-handed people should hold with their right hand), hold the jaw harp as shown in the photo, so that the vibrating tongue remains free and the pick of the jaw harp faces outwards! Press the tapered part of the instrument against your slightly open teeth, and use a loose hand movement to pluck the pick inward! You can control tone and pitch by moving your tongue. If you lightly breathe on the vibrating tongue while plucking, the jaw harp will make a stronger sound. Wipe dry after use, protect from strong physical effects.

If the jaw harp doesn't sound right
If the jaw harp "rings", i.e. the spring touches the frame of the jaw harp and makes a metallic, rattling sound, try the following:
Pluck straight outwards or inwards, not downwards, "scratching". Do not press the frame with your lips or hands. If the instrument makes a dull sound, press it more boldly against your teeth, making sure that they are sufficiently open! Do not push the instrument to the corner of your mouth, where your lips can stop the spring! If the sound of the jaw harp is soft, pluck it harder!

Don't panic if the jaw harp doesn't sound exactly like you hear it in the videos at first. Although the jaw harp is a very intuitive instrument that can be learned quickly, it also takes a lot of practice to play beautifully.

After playing, you should wipe the jaw harp dry by hand (wiping by hand has a good effect on the instrument, as the slightly greasy skin delays corrosion) or with a cotton cloth.
The instrument should be treated with doromb oil once a month. Pour a few drops of oil on a piece of sponge, wipe the instrument thoroughly with it, then wipe off the excess with a dry cloth. The oil also gets into the invisible microcracks, thus preventing their further rusting and extending the life of the instrument.

Do not lend the jaw harp to someone else for a longer period of time! The instrument "gets used" to the playing technique of its owner, the plucking angle and force with which he is used to playing, and the chemistry of the mouth. If another player starts using the instrument permanently, the steel "switches" to the new playing technique. However, when you get the jaw harp back, it is not certain that it will be able to adapt for the third time and small cracks can very easily appear at the base of the spring. These first cause the sound of the instrument to deepen, the spring to rattle, and then in a short time, they can lead to the spring breaking.

The most important thing is to take care of the jaw harp's trigger, do not change the pre-set angle. You can also store and transport the jaw harp in its original cardboard box. If you place the instrument on the table, make sure that the trigger is facing upwards, i.e. the jaw harp is lying on its "back".

For transport, we recommend that you get a small jaw harp holder or neck strap. You can also make a simple jaw harp holder at home from a dish sponge or styrofoam. All you have to do is cut a slot in them or drill a hole for the spring of the jaw harp and fix the instrument with a rubber band.

Don't put the jaw harp in your bag or put it in your pocket without taking care to protect the instrument's spring!

If you have a problem with your instrument, contact us with confidence! There are small, delicate techniques that do not require tools, can be performed at home, and can be used to remedy minor problems. (We won't share them here, because you can easily damage the instrument.) If the jaw harp spring is broken, we cannot replace it.

Steel is not a homogenous material, so it is very rare, but there may be a structural problem in the jaw harp that is not visible to the naked eye, which causes the instrument to break within one year of purchase, despite proper use, storage, and care. In this case, contact us. We'll treat the problem.

We do not repair jaw harps. If you have an old, presumably Szilágyi doromb, or a special doromb, we would be happy if you could share it with us.

Have fun with your new instrument, we wish you happy boinging!

Áron Szilágyi and Anett Madla / Doromb Kft.