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Richter tuning, which is common on 10 hole diatonic harmonicas, was originally designed for playing traditional German folk tunes. Although techniques have been developed throughout the years to overcome its limitations, for country music the lack of an easily accessible major 7th note has always caused issues. Enter country tuning - available in Hohner and Seydel harmonicas - and which raises the 5th hole draw by a semitone. This makes a whole range of country style melodies more easily playable, opening up new options for the harmonica player
9 Keys availableSeydel Concerto Steel Octave Harmonica - Seydel's best Richter-tuned Octave Harmonica with 40 stainless steel reeds for folky music and melodies of any kind. The CONCERTO STEEL is a high grade octave-tuned double-reed diatonic. The notes are aranged exactly like on a 10-hole diatonic (Richter tuning). The compact design and the typical full sonoric octave sound makes the CONCERTO STEEL the ideal musical companion for events of all kinds - the ideal pocket orchestra for assertive melody and full chord playing. The CONCERTO STEEL has a divided comb made of maintenance-free plastic and profits from the approved stainless steel reeds well known for durability and tuning stability. Tuning stability is especially important for octave-tuned harmonicas where two reeds in one channel are either tuned exactly an octave apart. When drawing or blowing, the two reeds oscillate simultaneously, giving a full organ-like sound. Built-in windsavers (half-valving) minimize air loss, improve tone control and increase the overall volume while the playing pressure remains moderate. Stainless steel reeds ensure that the Concerto Steel outlasts conventional octave harmonicas with brass reeds, and provide a clear and bright tone. The CONCERTO STEEL comes in ten different keys and is the flagship of the SEYDEL STEEL OCTAVE series. About Seydel Seydel is the world's oldest extant harmonica manufacturer, and has been producing harmonicas and accessories in Saxony since the middle of the 19th Century. All of Seydel's harmonicas are produced in Germany, and most feature its signature stainless steel reeds, which provide unsurpassed durability and longevity. Many of our customers have found that Seydel harmonicas outlast equivalent harps with brass reeds by a factor of two or three. This represents a significant saving on replacement reed plates in the long term, and more than justifies the small additional expenditure over a harp with brass reeds. Seydel makes a wide range of harmonicas, from 10 hole diatonics through to 16 hole chromatics. ... Read more
4 Keys availableSeydel Fanfare-S Tremolo Harmonica The Seydel Fanfare-S Tremolo Harmonica – the first Tremolo harmonica with stainless steel reeds - unprecedented musical presence whilst minimizing air-loss. Precision made acrylic comb – very airtight and durable. Stainless steel covers – no possibility of corrosion. Mouthpiece with round holes made of stainless steel - for lip-friendly playing. 48 stainless steel reeds tuned according to the Solo-tuning with three full octaves – loud and overtone-rich sound with an unbeatable easy response. built-in valves are optimized for the Tremolo sound – minimized air-loss at the same time as loud tone and a faster development of the desired beating. The Fanfare-S – ambitious players of many traditional musical styles (Shanty, Alpenländische Volksmusik, Irish Folk, Cajun, etc.) will not want to miss out on this fantastic instrument. Many of the outstanding features of the Fanfare-S derive from our top chromatic model, the SAXONY ! About Seydel Seydel is the world's oldest extant harmonica manufacturer, and has been producing harmonicas in Saxony, Germany for over 150 years. They are, perhaps, less well known than their competitors and compatriots, Hohner, primarily as a consequence of their having had the misfortune to be located behind the Iron Curtain following the division of Europe after World War 2. In the 1990s the company was returned to its original owners after a period of East German state control, and since then Seydel has built its reputation on high quality German-made harmonicas, predominantly featuring stainless steel reeds.... Read more
5 Keys availableThe Seydel Sailor Steel Tremolo is the first traditionally-shaped tremolo harmonica with stainless steel reeds. The Seydel Sailor Steel Tremolo is a traditionally built diatonic tremolo-harmonica has a divided plastic comb: four holes in a square correspond to one draw and one blow note. If a single note is played two reeds that are tuned a little bit different start to operate together. As a result the floating tremolo sound is produced that has grown into a typical stylistic element of many different kinds of folk music on the harmonica. The Seydel Sailor Steel Tremolo harmonica is well suited for playing melodies or chord accompaniment. If played with the "tongue blocking" technique both can be done simultaneously and then the full and rich sound of the Seydel Sailor Steel is reminiscent of a big styrian accordion. 24 double-holes 48 Stainless Steel reeds (and rivets) with a very good pitch stability and a loud with full sound Body: divided, plastic black - non-corrosive and swelling-free Stable covers made of Stainless Steel Airtight reed plates made of German Silver (1.0mm) with very good flatness Weight: 134g (4.73oz ) Dimensions: 182 x 30 x 24mm (7.16 x 1.18 x 0.94inches) The Seydel Sailor Steel Tremolo – ambitious players of many traditional musical styles (Shanty, Alpenländische Volksmusik, Irish Folk, Classical, etc.) will not want to miss out on this fantastic instrument.... Read more
6 Keys availableThe Seydel Session Steel Country Tuning harmonica is the upgrade to Seydel's successful Session model, and it comes presented with a bold new look and superior technical reliability, excellent playability and a fantastic sound. This is a blues harmonica with corrosion-free stainless steel reeds, ergonomic covers and plastic comb. Like all Session Steels, the Country tuned model features: Ergonomic cover plates made of stainless steel, completely rounded at the mouthpiece ABS comb with recessed German Silver reed plates Rivets and screws made of stainless steel Lips and beard-friendly design Minimal air consumption achieved by fine-cut reed plates, optimised flatness and extremely small tolerances between reed and reed plate Stainless steel reeds provide the best clear and full sound and response of the 1847 models Up to 5 times longer playing life compared to models with brass reeds Comes with a genuine leather pouch Tuning: Country ... Read more
12 Keys availableBlues Harmonica with corrosion-free stainless steel reeds, ergonomic covers and plastic comb. The Melodic Maker tuning is the combination of Country and Paddy Richter tunings; compared to the Richter tuning the notes in channels 5 and 9 are raised for a semi-tone.In addition, the blow note in channel three is tuned two semi-tones higher. Many melodies normally only playable using bends or overblows become easily playable with the Melodic Maker tuning.Since the Melodic Maker is played mainly in 2nd postion the key label refers to the note in 2 draw! The SESSION STEEL model is presented with a bold new look and superior technical reliability, excellent playability and a fantastic sound. ... Read more
5 Keys availableThe Seydel Skydiver Steel Tremolo Harmonica is a traditionally-shaped tremolo harmonica with stainless steel reeds. The Seydel Skydiver Steel Tremolo Harmonica offers an incredible musical presence and assertiveness while providing a subtle and sweet tremolo sound. The tuning on the SKYDIVER is the most commonly used tuning of tremolo harmonicas (also called 'Asian tuning'). polymeric comb with single chamber per reed – very airtight and durable stainless steel covers – no possibility of corrosion traditionally-shaped (double-row) tremolo mouthpiece 48 stainless steel reeds tuned according to the solo-tremolo tuning (without double notes) providing three complete melody octaves of tonal range full overtone-rich sound with an easy response approved tuning stability due to stainless steel reeds sweet sounding tremolo available in many keys: G, A, C, Db and D if you use two instruments tuned in a semi-note distance (e.g. C & C'/Db) the SKYDIVER is even suited for playing chromatically! The Seydel Skydiver Steel Tremolo Harmonica – made for ambitious melody players of many traditional musical styles.... Read more
1 Key availableThe Suzuki Baritone SBH-21 Tremolo Harmonica is pitched one octave lower than Suzuki's standard 21 hole instruments, allowing for an unusual warmth and depth of sound ordinarily not found on a tremolo harmonica. The Suzuki Baritone SBH-21 Tremolo Harmonica can also be used as to add bass to an ensemble performance. Tremolo harmonicas have two sets of reeds, one on top of the other. In this way, they are similar to a chromatic harmonica. However, where they differ is that chromatics have a slide to divert air to the top or bottom reeds, which are tuned to provide a chromatic range of notes; tremolos, in comparison have the reeds tuned slightly apart in pitch, and both sets of reeds are activated for each hole, whenever this is used. This provides the thick and distinctive warbling sound for which tremolo harmonicas are known.... Read more
2 Keys availableThe Suzuki Humming Deluxe Tremolo Harmonica is a superb example of state of the art technology that produces a beautiful old world sound. Many different kinds of gospel and old world music sound wonderful using tremolo style harmonicas. This one just makes them sound that much better. The Suzuki Humming Deluxe Tremolo SU-21H is one of our most popular Tremolo Harmonicas. Range: 21 (double) hole Cover Plates: Brass, chrome plated Body: ABS Comes with a case and cleaning cloth Warning: It has come to our attention that counterfeit Suzuki Harmonicas are being offered for sale through overseas sellers. Please do not fall victim to these illegal sellers of Suzuki Harmonicas. All our Suzuki range have been purchased directly from the official Suzuki distributors. ... Read more
2 Keys availableThe Suzuki Humming Mate is an easy to hold compact version of the popular SU-21h Humming Tremolo. Available in keys of C and Am, it has 13 holes and 8 notes, and produces a beautiful old world sound. Tremolo harmonicas are diatonic models constructed with double holes, each containing two reeds tuned to the same note. Each reed is tuned slightly higher than the other and when played together, this slight difference in tuning creates a beautiful vibrato or tremolo sound. Many different kinds of gospel and old world music sound wonderful using tremolo style harmonicas. This one just makes them sound that much better. Includes clear plastic box.... Read more
3 Keys availableThe Tombo Band 24 Tremolo is the longer length Band series harmonica by Japanese manufacturer Tombo (the choice manufacturer for the Lee Oskar series) that has double air channels containing 48 reeds set in a plastic comb, which adds extra range to this bright sounding tremolo model. 48 reeds 24 tones Plastic comb Stainless steel cover plates Tremolo tuning Keys: C, A & E ... Read more
Out of stockThe Hohner Big Valley 48 is a tremolo model for beginners which is simple to use with good response. Well formed cover plate design for easy handling and sturdy construction combined with modern materials such as stainless steel cover plates. Well suited for cowboy songs. Comb: ABS, black Number of holes: 48 Reeds: 48 brass Reed Plates: 0.9mm brass Read Plate Surface: brass Cover Surface: Stainless steel Mouthpiece Surface: ABS Length: 18 cm Comes in a plastic snap case Keys: C major, D major. ... Read more
Out of stockThe Hohner Echo 32 is part of an ever-popular tremolo harmonicas range that sound really great for traditional folk music and evergreens. . Their stylish cover embossing and attractive designs exude an irresistible touch of nostalgia which is an invitation to dream away while you play. • 32 brass reeds • Maple wood comb • 0.9 mm brass reed plates • Stainless steel covers • Available in Key: C & G • Made in Germany Hohner Echo 32 Harmonica Tuning Chart... Read more
Out of stockHohner Kreuzwender Six Sided Tremolo - If you really want to go the whole hog, you sometimes need a little bit more. Our Sextuple Kreuzwender, the world’s largest tremolo harmonica, comprises a set of six instruments in all the most popular keys, held together like a paddlewheel by six-pointed star shaped spindle grips at the ends, so the player can rotate the entire instrument to switch keys, while holding it in both hands. Whether you play in a harmonica ensemble or on your own, with this amazing HOHNER exclusive you can almost feel the cool mountain water flowing around your toes. Great for all traditional folk music styles. ... Read more
Out of stockThe Tombo Band 21 Tremolo harmonica is part of the Band series by Japanese manufacturer Tombo (the choice manufacturer for the Lee Oskar series). It has extremely precise tuning, is fitted with 42 reeds and 21 tones, a strong plastic comb and strong metal sheets. 42 reeds 21 tones Plastic comb Stainless steel cover plates Tremolo tuning Comes in a plastic case Keys: C, A, D Flat ... Read more
Can I Change My Richter Harmonica to Country Tuning?
There are two ways to modify a Richter tuned harmonica to play in country tuning: change the reed plates; or modify the 5th hole draw on the existing reed plates. The former is relatively easy, but does involve the purchase of new reed plates, which are usually around 40% cheaper than replacing the entire harmonica. The latter technique requires a bit of skill and some basic tools. To raise the pitch, you just need to remove a small amount of metal from the surface of the requisite reed at its tip. Don't attempt this for the first time on a brand new harp, though!
How Does Melody Maker Tuning Differ from Country Tuning?
Melody Maker tuning is also suitable for playing country tunes, but it is significantly different to standard country tuning, as it changes 3 notes: the 3rd hole blow is raised by a tone, the 5th hole draw is tuned up a semitone and the 9th hole draw is tuned up a semitone. Unlike country tuning, it is designed to be played in second position.
Melody Maker tuning doesn't feature the major 7th note that is available on country tuned harps, but is does provide a complete two octaves of its key, and access to some minor chords. This makes it more suited to certain pieces of country music than others, so it's worth having both country and melody maker tunings in your collection if you intend to play a wide range of country tunes.
Type of Country and Melody Maker Tuned Harmonicas
Both tunings as stock are restricted to a relatively small number of manufacturers. Hohner produces the Special 20 in country tuning, but offers no Melody Maker tuned harmonicas. Seydel offers country and Melody Maker tunings as extra cost options on a number of its diatonics. Lee Oskar produces a Melody Maker tuned harmonica, but has no country tunings in its range. Suzuki offers a country tuned Manji, but it is exceptionally rare.
What Key of Harmonica for Country Music?
Country tunes are most commonly played in the key of C. Like most other forms of popular music, this key accounts for around a third of all country songs, with the key of G being a relatively distant second. Our advice, therefore, is to purchase keys for country tunes in roughly the same order as for blues; that is to say, C, followed by G, then A, then D. These four keys should cover the majority of country songs.
Hohner Country Tuned Harmonica
Hohner currently produces only the Special 20 in a country tuning, although it is possible to modify any of Hohner's 10 hole diatonics to country tuning using something basic tools, such as those that are available in the Andrew Zajac Basic Toolkit.
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