I have a Suzuki Chromatix SCX64 16-hole chromatic harmonica. Recently I find that the slider becomes less smooth (or even gets stuck somehow) after I play for about 30 minutes. I tried disassembling the mouthpiece and the slider, cleaning them and putting them back. After that the slider usually became better for a while but then got stuck again. I use no slide oil.

I suspect that the problem might be caused by the tiny wrapper around the mouthpiece screw or the spring but I have no clue as I can't see what's actually happening under the piece of metal.

Did anyone have similar issues with the slider and possibly any solution for this?

  • Start by inspecting before cleaning. Is there particle buildup, for example? Are there any burrs or scratches either on the slide or the ways which, combined with moisture lead to drag? Any why not apply a little silicon spray? Jun 18, 2020 at 13:38
  • @CarlWitthoft Because I was convinced by this article: patmissin.com/ffaq/q39.html. I've played it for only 2 months, ~2 hours each day. Actually every time I disassemble it and reassemble after a while the slider works perfectly smooth. But it only lasts for about 30 minutes so I guess it can work but there's something building inside as I play it. Thanks :)
    – pjhades
    Jun 21, 2020 at 20:37
  • Could it be a physics problem? After playing for awhile, the instrument will heat up to body temperature and expand, perhaps just enough to jam the slider mechanism. When you disassemble and clean it, it will have dropped back down to room temperature and will work normally. Jul 21, 2020 at 18:22
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    @dissemin8or I was wondering about the same thing but not sure. I wish the mouthpiece could be transparent so that I could see everything happening inside.
    – pjhades
    Jul 22, 2020 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


I've had issues like these too, the problem is u really need to use slide oil. That's the only way to solve this problem. Most harmonica comes with slide oil inside it, after using it for some time (depends on the quality of slide oil), the slide oil will run out and you'll have to apply slide oil again. That's what slide oil is for.

  • I read this article: patmissin.com/ffaq/q39.html. I've only played it for ~2 months, 2 hours each day...and each time I disassemble and then reassemble it the slider works very smoothly, so I think there should be something building under the hood as I play it, just not sure what.
    – pjhades
    Jun 21, 2020 at 20:39

So my solution was vaseline. In SCX 64 (should be true for SCX 48 and 56) the spring goes through a hole on the slider and is held in a concave space located on the mouthpiece. I applied a tiny amount of vaseline on the slider and mouthpiece in those areas. I also applied it on the slider near the button. Now it has been one or two weeks and the slider NEVER got stuck again.

I tried to keep the amount of vaseline as little as possible to avoid any bad thing it might bring. (e.g. melting or making the components greasy)

A bad news is I accidentally folded the draw valve on hole 16. Now it needs a bit more air to draw that B note. So be very careful when you handle things on the reed plate.

Good luck. :)

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