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The tremolo harmonica's distinguishing feature is that it has two reeds per note - similar to octave harmonicas - but with one tuned slightly sharp and the other tuned slightly flat. This provides a unique wavering or warbling sound created by the two reeds being slightly out of tune with each other and the difference in their subsequent wave forms interacting with each other.
What are Tremolo Harmonicas Used For?
These so called 2-voice instruments are ideally suitable for traditional folk music, but can find uses in a wide variety of musical styles. They are generally not used in blues or jazz, though, as the note layout and reed setup makes them unsuitable for bending - something that is key to harp playing in these genres.
Sizes of Tremolo Harmonica
This type of harmonica is available in a wide range of sizes, from 10 to 24 double holes, giving a variety of ranges. Like octave harmonicas, the 24 hole versions tend to be the most popular, as they provide sufficient range to play a wider variety of music.
What is the Note Layout of Tremolo Harmonicas?Like octave harmonicas, tremolos are typically tuned to the Wiener system or solo tuning. The former is similar to Richter tuning on the 10 hole diatonic, albeit with a greater range, whilst the latter is the same as most chromatic harmonicas (minus the ability to play the sharpened or flattened notes).
What are the Best Tremolo Harmonicas?
Unlike octave harmonicas, where many manufacturers, such as Hohner, have slimmed down their ranges in recent years, tremolos are still widely available in a large variety of types and sizes, from 24 holes down to 10 holes.
Japanese manufacturers, such as Tombo and Suzuki, are particularly prominent in the production of tremolos, with the former manufacturing what many players consider to be the best bang for buck tremolo harmonicas available. However, there are some stellar performers from Seydel and Hohner, which are worth considering too
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