Hohner PentaHarp : Eight Easy Pentatonic Scales

Anything apart from the two mainstream default harmonicas (Solo-tuned fully-valved chromatic, and un-valved Richter 10-hole diatonic). Alternate tunings, different construction, new functionality, interesting old designs, wishful-thinking... whatever!
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Hohner PentaHarp : Eight Easy Pentatonic Scales

Post by Brendan » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:35 am

Hohner sent me a PentaHarp and requested a video playing it. At first I didn't like it but later discovered it has some nice expression hidden inside. Because of its symmetric tuning (all octaves have the same breathing pattern), it's pretty easy to play in all three octaves in eight different pentatonic scales if you have decent bending skills. Here's the tuning scale for the Cm version:

Hohner Penta Harp.jpg
Hohner Penta Harp.jpg (176.78 KiB) Viewed 705 times


After posting the video I realised I'd missed two more nice pentatonic scales... Damn! They are the Db Major and Bb Minor Pentatonic. Here's how to play all eight using TAB (Numbers represent holes; plain numbers are Blows, notes with negative sign are Draws, notes with star preceding are full 2-semitone Draw Bends).

1. C Minor Pentatonic: 1-1 2 3-3 4
2. Db Major Pentatonic: *-1-1 2 *-3-3 *-4
3. Eb Major Pentatonic: -1 2 3-3 4-4
4. Eb Minor Pentatonic: -1 -2 *-3-3 *-4-4
5. F Minor Pentatonic: 2 *-3-3 4-4 5
6. F# Major Pentatonic: -2 *-3-3 *-4-4 -5
7. Ab Minor Pentatonic: *-3-3 4-4 5 *-6
8. Bb Minor Pentatonic: -3 *-4-4 5 *-6-6

(These TABs will work for any key of PentaHarp, but the names of the scales will change).

I'd never encountered this tuning before, but started to really appreciate it the more I explored. If you like to be able to play in many keys on one harp it makes it easier than most others I can think of. I found out later the tuning is actually quite old, going back at least to the early 1990s. Pat Missin made one for himself back then, and apparently a couple of others did as well. Pat has done an excellent analysis/review of this harp and tuning here:


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Re: Hohner PentaHarp : Eight Easy Pentatonic Scales

Post by triona » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:56 am

I had been even some minutes earlier than you. :lol:

dear greetings
Aw, Thou beloved, do hearken to the Banshee's lonely croon!
sinn féin - ça ira !
Cad é sin do'n té sin nach mbaineann sin dó

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yI3H ... 9ktgzTR2qg

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Re: Hohner PentaHarp : Eight Easy Pentatonic Scales

Post by Piro39 » Fri Apr 22, 2022 3:19 am

Hi Brendan I found a mistake in the Ab minor pentatonic listing the b3rd is wrong you have C and it should be B which can only be gotten by overblowing and the 5 blow is the VI F should be 5 draw for the b7. I know you know this stuff inside out and you seemed to have partially switched to the major pentatonic.

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