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Seydel Chromatic Slide Maintenance – Bumpers

Ever pick up an old chrom and hear that annoying “click” sound when you hit the button? Harmonica companies use “bumpers” around the mouthpiece set screws to prevent this. Bumpers are tiny pieces of rubber hose that go around the screws. They serve to dampen the sound of the metal slide hitting the screws. Bumpers are basically very short pieces of fuel hose or something similar.

I’ve written previously about the need for regular and frequent slide/mouthpiece assembly cleaning. This is necessary to remove the dried saliva particles that build up inside. Regular cleaning will keep your slide moving freely and it is highly likely it will get smoother over time.

However, many players complain that if they disassemble the slide mechanism, the bumpers eventually get out of shape and make re-assembly difficult. You may purchase factory bumpers through me or through Seydel.

However, I have found that standard coffee stir straws work very well. Simply stick the stir straw through the mouthpiece hole and cut it flush with the mouthpiece. Sometimes you need to snip a little more, but this is an efficient workaround to the problem of bumpers. The stir straw solution will not dampen the slide noise as much as the factory bumpers, but I have yet to have a player complain. If you have questions about your Seydel chromatic, please email me at

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