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Dee's Finely Tuned Instruments
Harmonica Gaskets, Breath Max Valves, Customization, Tuning, Sales, and Repair
Welcome to my website and thanks for taking the time to check me out! My name is Don Makowski but my friends call me Dee. I have been a musician all my life starting with the drums, I wanted to be a guitar player but at age 8 my Father knew that what I really needed to do was learn rhythm so he bought me a drum set and paid for lessons. I am eternally grateful to him for this! Having a sense of time has helped me tremendously in my musical life making it easier to pick up other instruments. I learned to play the guitar at age 13 and by the time I graduated from high school at age 19 I was teaching at a local music shop. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn but soon I fell in love with my wife and we had children so I had to give that up to earn a better living. I worked for 10 years at General Electric in Erie but was so bored with the repetitive jobs that I soon found my way back to school to get a degree in Design Engineering. After many years I was able to pursue my musical dreams again and joined and formed several bands playing the local scene. I got that out of my system deciding eventually to give up playing cover songs and start writing my own music. In 2016 I released a CD of original songs, written, recorded, and mixed in my home studio. I can't believe that was over 20 years ago! The CD is titled Waiting on the Gods by Dee Girard (my middle name is Girard). I am still very proud of that disc and love every song! I think that is a great fear for songwriters, writing a tune that you hate! Anyways, after I released that CD I got extremely ill with ulcerative colitis. I suffered for almost 10 years with this condition and needless to say my career was on hold again. Doctors could not help me. I was on my own. Finally I cured myself and you can read that story here cure for UC.
As I was recovering I needed music. I decided to fiddle with a simple instrument, the harmonica. Man was I in for a treat! I played simple tunes and scales for about 5 years before I even attempted to learn a real song. My first tune was Juke by Little Walter. That was such a challenge but I did it and moved on to other difficult songs such at Whammer Jammer by J. Giels, Orange Blossom Special by Charlie McCoy, & Davidson County Blues by DeFord Bailey. I have been playing with a band named Hear No Evil for several years now and have enjoyed that immensely.
In my spare time I have designed and produced harmonica gaskets to improve the response by making the harmonica more air-tight. These harp gaskets form a seal between the comb and the reed plate. They do not absorb moisture and can be washed with warm water and a mild detergent. I have also designed gaskets for the mouthpiece of most chromatic harmonicas. My harmonica gaskets are available for sale here . Since learning to play the chromatic harmonica I also spent 5 years developing the Breath Maximizer (Breath Max)Valve that requires no glue. My latest design is the best ever! The Breath Max Valves are easy to install and will not stick in cold weather. They reduce the flapping sound since they are made of felt with a Mylar backing spring. These glueless valves are also available here for sale.