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Brendan Power
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Lucky 13 Logo Lucky 13 Logo


I'm proud to be able to offer the Lucky 13 in Diminished Tuning - the first time this simply brilliant harmonica scale has been offered in an out-of-the-box harp! If you want to play in all 12 keys on one diatonic (as an increasing number of players do), Diminished is undoubtedly the easiest and most logical way to do it. The Lucky 13 suits Diminished Tuning perfectly because it gives you a full three-octave range - and my unique LOOK-DOTS on the front of the comb mean you will always be able to keep your place with a quick glance! Here's the tuning layout, with Look-Dots shown:
Tuning Diagram
The reason Diminished tuning is so powerful for diatonic harp players is that it allows you to play FULL CHROMATIC SCALES WITH DRAW BENDS ALONE (no overblows/overdraws required). In other words, if you can bend a draw note, you can play easily in all 12 keys! Because it is a symmetrical tuning (every hole has the draw reed one tone above the blow, the next hole always starts one semitone up, and every octave is the same), you can instantly transpose phrases into different keys and octaves, simply by moving them to different places on the harp. That's particularly helpful for jazz improvisation, where rapid key modulation is essential to get around the chord changes. But Diminished is great for other styles too! As every draw note can be bent a semitone, it's very expressive for playing in any genre: Jazz, Folk, Pop, Country, Blues, Balkan, Middle Eastern... you name it.

Besides full chromaticism with simple draw bends, the big advantage of Diminished Tuning is that there are ONLY THREE PATTERNS TO LEARN for any scale or lick, in all 12 keys! That makes it way easier than any other diatonic harmonica tuning in existence to transpose your favourite phrases quickly to whatever key you want, without changing harps.

PHRASE MAPS help speed the process of learning, by giving a clear visual reinforcement to what's happening with the harp in your mouth. They simply involve making lines between cells in a tuning table, to indicate the path your mouth takes and the breath changes and bends involved. Because of its inherently symmetrical repeating structure Phrase Maps suit Diminished Tuning perfectly, and can help you master it quickly throughout the whole 3 octave range. Here are Phrase Maps of the three Major scale patterns that will allow you to play in all 12 keys on your Diminished harp (you can play along to me demonstrating these patterns in the VIDEO).

Major Scale Patterns:

Tuning Diagram Tuning Diagram Tuning Diagram

Blues Scale Patterns:

Now let's look at a pentatonic blues scale (otherwise known as a minor pentatonic scale) to see how it lays out in the three patterns, giving you the scale in all 12 keys. The scale numbers are 1, b3, 4, 5, b7, 1.
Tuning Diagram
You can see from these Major and Blues Scale Phrase Maps that each of the three patterns is very simple to play, for any harp player who can bend a draw note in tune. I hope that's whetted your appetite to try a Diminished Lucky 13 yourself! Even if you stick with your standard harp tuning for most playing, having a Lucky 13 Diminished harp in your arsenal will give you the ability to play tricky tunes and phrases that simply don't come easily on normal harps.


The comb is marked with a letter C. However, this is a bit of a misnomer because, unlike almost all other harmonicas (whose tunings are based in a particular major or minor key) A DIMINISHED HARP IS NOT ROOTED IN ANY KEY! All 12 keys are equally easy to play, using draw bends as part of their scale. C is one of the blow notes of this model. Harmonicas are traditionally designated by a blow note, so it's just a convenience really! Going on that logic, the comb marker could also have been A, Eb or F#, since they are the other blow notes (A being the lowest, in hole 1). I simply chose C because it gives a 'friendly' feeling 🙂 If the demand is there, I'll add a couple of other Diminished Lucky 13 harps with different blow note markers so they can be distinguished from this one. Hope that makes sense!


All prices include international shipping.
For full details see our Terms & Conditions

Lucky 13 Single-Harp


Discount Codes:
  • L133 16% off - THREE or more
  • L136 21% off - SIX or more
  • L1312 33% off - TWELVE or more
(You can mix and match ANY Lucky 13 type and key together to get the bulk discount.)
Lucky 13 Dimi #1 (C)


These harmonicas are sent to you direct by my good friend and business partner Roland, in Shanghai. This helps us to keep prices low and re-stock quickly. We use a respected Chinese courier company with tracking on all orders. In the rare event that your parcel gets lost, the courier company will need your contact telephone number. The number will come through automatically from PayPal so please ensure it is uptodate. Without a valid phone number we cannot guarantee delivery.
Roland & Brendan Brendan & Roland
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