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Tremolo octave range in single reed harmonica?

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:25 pm
by Malarz
I like the three octave range of the Suzuki Humming (D) tremolo. Which of the Brendan Power harmonicas will give me that 3, or more, octave range? I’m new to playing harmonica and had no idea there actually were options in tunings. I’m playing primarily Quebecois, Scottish, Irish. I understand that one harmonica won’t do it all but so far I am able to play all the tunes I need to play on the tremolo but am looking for a single-reed sound.

Thanks for any help.


Re: Tremolo octave range in single reed harmonica?

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:50 pm
by Malarz
To be more precise, I like the full low octave with no missing notes.



Re: Tremolo octave range in single reed harmonica?

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:26 pm
by CrawfordEs
Check out the lucky 13 harmonicas in solo and power chromatic tunings.
I like the paddy Richter ones, but they are missing a note in the bottom octave.

Re: Tremolo octave range in single reed harmonica?

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:38 pm
by EdvinW
From what you describe, if you want one of Brendan's tunings with no missing notes in the low octave, it sounds like you're after a Lucky 13 in PowerChromatic tuning:

The PowerChromatic tuning has all the notes in the key you choose without bends, and all chromatic notes but one. This means that in theory you can play 5 complete major scales, and their relative minor keys, using bends. The instrument labelled G can play the major keys F, C, G, D and A and the one labelled D can play the major keys C, G, D, A and E.

If you're feeling a bit adventurous there are lots of other options as well. Why not check out the Inverted Bebop, first published in the thread viewtopic.php?f=9&t=612#p2619 and recently discussed further by Brendan under the name "Regular Scottish" tuning? It lets you play two different keys without bends, but because it's missing not only one but two chromatic notes it only lets you play in four keys compared to the five of PowerChromatic.

Either of the two tunings I've mentioned have two major chords and two minor chords, but related in different ways.

If you want one you can buy off the shelf you probably want a PowerChromatic. Could you tell us some more about what you're after? :)

Re: Tremolo octave range in single reed harmonica?

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:57 pm
by Malarz
Thank you for your advice and the links to the Lucky 13 and the Inverted beBop/Scottish tuning. I’ll take time today (day off from work!) to read and investigate and listen to and watch the videos and examples. After about a 45 year lay off from playing harmonica, when I was working out Duke Ellington melodies on a Hohner C chromatic, I’ve been enjoying the rediscovery and pleasure of playing.

My first goal is to be able to play as many as possible major and minor Quebecois melodies on one harmonica along with the few irish and Scottish tunes I play. Most of the Quebecois tunes are in D, G, A and C major (in order of frequency) and then their relative minors. Also, the ability to play American Old-Time melodies in those major and minor keys which are similar to the above since most if not all the tunes are fiddle-based.

A secondary goal is to be able to play in the horn keys (F, Bb, Eb, Ab) and I think that will require another harmonica—which isn’t a bad thing!

Any further advice and thoughts will be welcomed and appreciated.

Again, thanks for your help and Happy Holidays to all.