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The chromatic harmonica contains all natural notes plus all sharps and flats, thus enabling melodies to be played that include all standard Western notes. They come in a range of sizes, but the most popular models have either twelve or sixteen holes, giving a tonal range of three or four octaves. Like diatonic harmonicas, many models can be purchased in a variety of keys, but, as they are, by nature, fully chromatic, key choice is a function of what tonal range is required, and whether a particular pieces of music is more easily played on a specific key of chromatic harmonica.
2 Keys availableThe Hohner Chrometta 12 has three complete octaves from C4 up to C7 which provide a tonal range suitable for most classical works. It has wider channel openings making it easier for the beginner to play single notes. The Chrometta 12 is the third sized harp in the Chrometta series. Comb: ABS, black Number of holes: 12 Reeds: 48 brass Reed Plates: 1.05 mm brass Read Plate Surface: brass Cover Surface: stainless steel Slide Construction: zigzag Plastic injection moulded comb 48 notes, 3 octave range, C-major Length: 16.5 cm Keys: C & G ... Read more
13 Keys availableThe Hohner Chromonica 48 has set standards for chromatic harp manufacturing for several decades. Loved by professionals, it is the mouth organ which is most frequently recommended by teachers all over the globe. Its simple construction makes it an affordable, compact and reliable instrument. The beautifully crafted pearwood comb is optimized for great response over its complete range, from the mellow low octave to the bright and clear top octave. Play sophisticated, tasty jazz melodies! Like the majority of Hohner's chromatic harmonica range, the Chromonica 48 is manufactured in the compay's state of the art factory in Germany. For those looking for the same great tone and playability as the Chromonica 48, but with increased range, check out the 16 hole Chromonica 64. A deluxe version of the Chromonica 48, which updates the standard harp with additional reed plates screws in order to maximise air tightness and thicker reed plates for a fuller sound is also available here. Comb: Pearwood, brown Number of holes: 12 Reeds: 48 brass Reed Plates: 1.05mm brass Read Plate Surface: brass Cover Surface: stainless steel Slide Construction: straight Mouthpiece Surface: Nickel 48 Classic chromonica reeds (full 3 octave range) Length: 15.5 cm Comes in a plastic snap box Keys: C, D, E, F, F#, G, A, Bb, B, C Tenor. Made in Germany ... Read more
10 Keys availableThe Hohner CX12 black is the standard version of the CX12 harmonica and comes in a sleek black case with reed plates of standard thickness. It features all the amazing characteristics of the CX system at a great value and is available in several keys, including C Tenor. The CX12 is the chromatic harp for all rock, pop and jazz players. The CX12 is a unique instrument in the world of chromatic harmonicas. Ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in the hands, and with tool-free disassembly and reassembly for cleaning, it is very different from traditional chromatics. The ABS cover plates are durable and also form the mouthpiece, ensuring that the CX12 is lip and beard- friendly and is remarkably easy to play. The CX12 is made in Germany and is available in a wide range of keys, from C Tenor to G. Comb: ABS, black Number of hole: 12 Reeds: 48 brass Reed Plates: 1.05mm brass Read Plate Surface: brass Cover Surface: ABS Slide Construction: zigzag Mouthpiece Surface: ABS Length: 16.8 cm Comes in a plastic snap box Made in Germany Keys: C, D , Eb , E , F , G , A , Bb , B , C Tenor About Hohner Hohner is one of the world's leading harmonica manufacturers and has been producing harmonicas in Germany since the middle of the 19th century. It produced the world's first production chromatic harmonica in the 1920s and has been at the forefront on harmonica design for well over a century.... Read more
9 Keys availableThe Seydel Chromatic De Luxe Steel Harmonica is a chromatic Mouth Organ with 12 holes, 48 Stainless Steel reeds and orange-tinted acrylic comb and half-moon shaped mouthpiece. The Seydel Chromatic De Luxe Steel is the 'little sister' of Seydel's top Chromatic model, the Saxony Chromatic and is equipped with Seydel's unique Stainless Steel reeds. The half-moon shaped silver-plated mouthpiece is designed from scratch and provides wonderful sliding properties. The Seydel Chromatic De Luxe Steel stands out because of its brilliant and full sound through all registers and amazing tone response, achieved by an extreme airtight and solid construction. The use of anti-corrosive materials for all parts guarantees a long service life and high reliability. Tuning: Solo-Tuning (Contact us if you would like to order the Orchestra-C tuning option) Rich, full sound and fast reed response of the 48 Stainless Steel reeds: High durability and tuning stability even with heavy duty playing Solo tuning: 12 holes correspond to three full octaves, equal temperament, A4 = 443 Hz Galvanic silver-plated mouthpiece with round openings and a half-moon shaped cross-section for better haptic properties excellent sliding features of a high-end model Smooth and quiet working slider for sensitive and fast playing Reliable valving - approved valve material from the Seydel Saxony Chromatic Less air loss due to optimised tolerances and flatness of the German Silver reed plates Robust and corrosion-free covers made of Stainless Steel High-end CNC milled acrylic comb with ideal air-flow properties in a half-transparent orange finish If you would like to adjust the tonal layout, please contact us with your specifications and The Harmonica Company will accommodate, Special tuning's of any kind can be produced individually and the concert pitch frequency can be altered if needed. ... Read more
3 Keys availableThe Seydel De Luxe Chromatic is a Harmonica with 12 holes, 48 notes and brown-tinted acrylic comb. The Standard tuning of the Chromatic Harmonica Purists among the players insist -and they stress- that the key of C is the only tuning necessary when playing 'Chrom'. They say, that a violinist also does not carry several tuned violins around to be able to play all classic works. This may be expected in a classic environment. However, not everybody practises 8 hours a day to overcome the limits of knowledge to play in all scales. Now, if you simply change your instrument you have them all available. This is why Seydel have made this model in a few keys. Number of Holes: 12 48 notes Comb: Brown-tinted Acrylic Tuning: Solo-Tuning Available Keys: C, G & Low C Mouthpiece Hole Shape: Square Cover plates: Stainless Steel Reed Plates: 1.00mm, Brass Comes in a hard shell case with Seydel cleaning cloth We also offer the Seydel De Luxe Steel Chromatic here... Read more
2 Keys availableThe NONSLIDER Chromatic DE LUXE STEEL - playing chromatically re-thought Is there a chromatic harmonica ... ... with direct tone response like a Blues Harmonica? ... that works WITHOUT slider and WITHOUT valves*? ... on which techniques like bending or overblow are playable? The answer is YES. We name it the NONSLIDER Chromatic DE LUXE STEEL. The instrument is equipped with a newly designed mouthpiece that opens up many new possibilities for the players to play chromatically, no matter if they have played chromatic harmonica or diatonic blues harmonica before! The NONSLIDER Chromatic is a very reliable instrument that is virtually maintenance free. 48 tuning stable, stainless steel reeds guarantee a great sound and a long playing pleasure. Furthermore, stuck valves or a jammed slider are things of the past. * Please note: In order to achieve an optimal tone responses, the reeds of the LC, LD and LF variants, as well as the C 'Orchestra tuning' are equipped with valves (full and/or half-valving). Bending of certain half-valved notes is still possible - all valved blow notes can additionally be bent down in pitch. Overblows are not playable if the reeds are valved. How does the NONSLIDER Chromatic principle work? With the help of the newly developed double-row mouthpiece, the semitones are reached simply by tilting the instrument. A slight angling down or up is sufficient to reach all chromatic notes by directly playing the corresponding holes on the respective row. The notes on the lower row of holes are the same like in the "slide-pressed position" on standard chromatic harmonicas. The instrument is tilted down or up, or the player changes the position of his lips (pointed-mouth technique/lip-pursing) to reach the right notes. ... Read more
8 Keys availableThe Seydel Saxony Chromatic Harmonica was the first mass-produced chromatic harmonica with stainless steel reeds. The Seydel Saxony Chromatic is a professional chromatic harmonica with unique playing features. The instrument benefits from the stainless steel reeds well known from the Seydel 1847 Blues harmonicas and the timeless precision manufacturing of the Renaissance chromatic harmonica. This is tuned to "solo-tuning", for Orchestra tuning, please contact us. Full, loud sound and fast tone response due to the stainless steel reeds: durable and stable in pitch even with heavy duty playing. Reliable valving - (windsaver material) Less air loss due to optimised reed plates made of German Silver - optimised flatness and extremely small tolerances between reeds and reed plate slots New mouthpiece with round openings Improved slider package design – optimised for air-tightness and comfortable action New matt cover plate surface – comfortable on the lips and glides easily during playing Cover plates opened wide at the back and crimped to allow the overtone-rich sound to spread out unhindered High precision manufactured aluminium comb – optimised for ideal tone-response, with design coating in metallic look Tuning: Solo-tuning ... Read more
2 Keys availableSeydel Symphony 48 Chromatic Harmonica - The SYMPHONY 48 - with the newly developed Magnetic Slider System - plays and feels like a dream. We at SEYDELs rethought the 12-hole chromatic from scratch. Many innovative ideas made their way into this contemporary musical instrument. Discover the newly developed springless slider system: We replaced the traditional slider spring mechanism by an ingenious magnetic system where two repelling magnets serve for an extra smooth, low friction, fast and accurate slider action. Enjoy the pure harmonica sound with an unmatched clarity and sonority: for the first time we implemented polished stainless steel reeds - these are more durable plus they create a new sound experience. Playability taken to a higher level: extremely airtight mouthpiece construction as well as recessed reedplates on a solid aluminium comb combined with the newly developed polished reeds make the tone perfectly controllable. Warm tone and even sound distribution: the injection molded aluminium coverplates with their specially coated even surfaces are slightly curved and opened wide at the back for the best sound projection towards the audience. Perfection in all details: - CNC precision milled aluminium comb, black anodized: well ballanced and solid - anti-corrosive German silver reedplates screwed onto the comb individually - anti-corrosive polished stainless steel reeds, screws, rivets and polished reeds for improved durability - optimized tolerances between reeds and reedslots for a fast tonal response as well as less air-consumption - special SEYDEL valve material: less adhesive than conventional valves - for stress-free playing - the overall air-tight construction of the instrument plus the use of polished reeds lead to an optimized tone control and a very brilliant sound Best protection: the instruments come in a versatile and stable carrying case made of durable polymer hard shell. Best service: We care for harmonica players - all parts are available individually and we offer maintenance (cleaning, revalving, retuning) as well as replacement service for individual reeds. The SYMPHONY 48 is MAGnetIC: less friction, smooth action... Read more
2 Keys availableUnique: comb, mouthpiece and the coverplates are made of solid Brass, polished and lacquered - the heart of the instrument are our proven reeds made of Stainless Steel. This unique combination of soft and hard materials guarantees astonishing haptics and a very sophisticated tone. The VOLCANY Chromatic - THE ERUPTION OF SOUND! Technical details: high-precision manufactured brass comb, polished to a high gloss and with special coating covers made of highly polished brass; special coating with very good gliding properties - very lip-friendly, wide open on the back - for undamped radiation of the overtone-rich sound mouthpiece with very good gliding properties made of highly polished brass with special coating; crescent-shaped and with round channel openings slide package - optimized for improved air tightness; very good sliding properties due to fixed tolerances between mouthpiece and slide track full, loud sound and fast response due to the use of stainless steel reeds - very durable and tuning stable even under heavy use less air consumption due to optimized reedplates made of German Silver - optimized flatness and extremely small tolerances between reed and slot reliable valve action - proven valve material (burled) in Solo- or Orchestra tuning - straight (upper plate C; lower plate C#) total weight of the instrument: 440 g / 15,5 Oz ... Read more
7 Keys availableThe Suzuki Chromatix SCX-48 Harmonica is part of the luxurious Suzuki Chromatix Series. The SCX-48 is the 12 hole version, however they also come in 14 and 16 hole. They are gorgeous to look at, substantial to hold and a pleasure to play. Comfortable and completely air tight, the Suzuki Chromatix Series is specially designed for professionals and hand constructed by skilled workers. Exquisite attention to detail make these harps the one of the most airtight chromatics ever produced by a major harmonica manufacturer. Play one once to hear and feel the difference. Their smooth tone production and quick response will allow you to advance your playing level far ahead of what you thought possible. Each Chromatix harmonica is packed in its own deluxe soft lined case. Chromatic Valved Harmonica Ergonomically designed mouthpiece Precise and smooth slide mechanism Holes: 12 ABS comb Phosphor Bronze reed plates Chrome plated covers Soft lined case Available in 6 keys: C, G, A, D, F and Bb ... Read more
3 Keys availableThe Suzuki Sub30 Harmonica is a normal 10 hole harp, that has 20 reeds: two reeds in each hole (one blow & one draw). The 30 reed Suzuki SUB30 UltraBend harp has an extra Sympathetic Reed in each hole, one tone below the pitch of the lowest note. This reed is normally passive. It only becomes active when the player wants to bend the low note in each hole. (1-6 low & 7-10 draw). On a normal C harp in hole 4, you can get a bent note C# between C and D, but you cannot bend the C note. To bend C, you need a reed lower then C. That is the 3rd Sympathetic Reed of the Suzuki SUB30 UltraBend! In hole 4, this reed is tuned down to a Bb. That means you can now bend the C down to B! The same applies throughout the range. Every single low note in each hole can now be bent down a semitone! It is these 10 extra Sympathetic Reeds which allow you to play fully Chromatically by bending technique alone. This Easy, Soulful New Approach to Chromaticism on the Blues Harp is Addictive! In order to play a chromatic scale on the normal 10 hole harmonica (Below: 10H), you have to use difficult overblow/overdraw techniques, which require harmonicas with very delicate reed setup. The new Suzuki SUB30 UltraBend changes all that! Now you can get a chromatic scale by normal playing using a simple bending technique. With the SUB30 UltraBend, you can easily play phrases and music styles that you gave up on before, because you could not get some notes. The revolutionary new Suzuki SUB30 UltraBend harmonica gives you 18 bends of a semitone or more (instead of the usual 8 on a normal harp)! And these are all stable bends, easy to control at the correct pitch, bend up and down, add vibrato etc - just the same as the bends you're use to already. In addition to its chromatic ability, the SUB30 UltraBend you lots of extra expression on every note. Its fresh new possibilities will bring the creativity flowing out of you. The Same Size as a Normal 10 Hole Harmonica To achieve this compact size, Suzuki designed the major parts from scratch. The upper reed plate for a normal harp has 10 reeds. But using our precision slot cutting and unique reed-welding technology, Suzuki has managed to put 10 reeds in the same space! We also designed a special comb to fit the reed plates, The size of the mouthpiece is exactly the same as normal but the space inside each chamber is wide enough for 3 reeds instead of 2. This design is practical and functional, massively expanding your creative possibilities. With the Suzuki SUB30 UltraBend, Suzuki has created a powerful new tool of expression for the modern harmonica player. 10 holes 20 notes, 3 keys (C,A,D) Chrome plated brass cover Plastic Comb Weight: 70g Size: 104x30x22mm Comes with a plastic case ... Read more
How do Chromatic Harmonicas Work?
In terms of construction, it is easiest to visualise a standard chromatic harmonica as being akin to two diatonics arranged on top of each other and tuned a semitone apart. The slide, which is activated by a button on the side of the harmonica, directs air to the top or bottom reeds, thus enabling all standard Western notes to be sounded without the need to resort to bending.
Is the Chromatic Harmonica More Difficult to Play than the Diatonic?
It should be noted that, as the reed plates contain multiple octaves tuned a semitone apart, there is some overlap in notes when the slide is in or out. For example, a harmonica with C and Db reed plates will share the notes C and F on both sets of reed plates, meaning that C and F can be played on the harmonica with the slide in or out. This makes the learning curve of the chromatic somewhat steeper than the diatonic, although this is partially offset by the fact that bending notes is not required on the chromatic - something that beginners often find difficult initially.
The Most Popular Chromatic Harmonicas
The most popular chromatics are those with 12 holes, but they are commonly available in sizes ranging from 8 to 16 holes. The German made Hohner Chromonica 48, Seydel Saxony and the SCX range from Suzuki in Japan tend to be the best selling chromatic harmonicas, and represent excellent value. The Harmonica Company also stocks and extensive range of other models from Hohner, Seydel Suzuki and Tombo and offers fast worldwide shipping.
Suzuki Chromatic Harmonica
Suzuki manufactures all of its chromatic harmonicas in Japan, and they are renowned for the quality of their craftsmanship, their playability and tone. The SCX range, in particular, offers what must be the best 'bang for your buck' in chromatic harmonicas. Further up the range, the Gregoire Maret harmonica teams stunning looks with best in class sound and feel.
8 Hole Chromatic Harmonica
The smallest of the widely available chromatic harmonicas is the 8 hole version, which, as the name suggests, features 8 holes, giving a tonal range of just over two full octaves. 8 holes are a good choice for beginners and for those who don't require the range of larger chromatics.
10 Hole Chromatic Harmonicas
10 hole chromatic harmonicas, such as the Hohner Chrometta 10, are fairly rare, but offer most of the tonal range of a 12 hole usually at a lower price point.
12 Hole Chromatic Harmonicas
The 12 hole size of chromatic harmonicas is the most popular type of chromatic, and a wide range of harmonicas, from entry to expert level can be found in this size. 12 hole chromatics provide three whole octaves of tonal range, which is sufficient to cover most pieces of music. 12 holes are also often available in a wide range of keys, which enables players to choose a lower or higher tonal range than the stock C tuning.
14 Hole Chromatic Harmonicas
14 hole chromatic harmonicas are fairly rare, but offer most of the range of the largest chromatics, but with a slight reduction in size. They are generally available only in the key of C.
16 Hole Chromatic Harmonicas
The largest commonly available chromatic is the 16 hole, which provides 4 octaves of tonal range. Generally only made in C, these chromatics have the ability to reach very high and very low notes, making them extremely versatile for all genres of music.
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