Types of harmonica

Further to Chris's call for a list - well wow! It might be easier to
talk about the kinds of harmonica there *aren't* it would take a lot
less space!
I'm going to work on the assumption that everyone knows about blues
harps and chromatics, 'cos I'll be here till the end of time, if I
So in the "also available" department, we have:
1) Tremolo tuning. These instruments are laid out the same as a blues
harp usually, though sometimes you miss a couple of notes at the bottom
(depending on the tuning). For every reed on the blues harp, there are
two on a tremolo, which are tuned very slightly apart, giving, well, a
trembling effect when played. Usually they have one reed to one hole,
so one hole on the harp becomes FOUR small ones on a tremolo. ASCII
artwork time.....
Blues Harp

    |C |E |G |C |E |G |C |E |G |C |
    | d| g| b| d| f| a| b| d| f| a|


Hope that makes some sort of sense - I can get this all together in
most of the standard graphics formats, if enough people are

Anyway, you can see that the "top end of the Richter tuning minefield
really gets into its stride on these babies, but nonetheless, they're
great for playing folky music, especially Irish and Scottish stuff - I
wouldn't be without them! They're also available from Huang in solo
(chromatic without the slide) tuning, and Tombo make them in all major
and all minor keys, and I think a harmonic minor as well, though I've
never played one, so I don't know what the layout is.

A variation is the Hohner "Johnny" ( a somewhat unfortunate choice for
the UK market, but there you are!), which is only available in G, but
rather than having the same note in each hole, it has a G major scale
on the top plate, with harmonising notes on the bottom plate - again
it's brilliant for folk, especially if you play unaccompanied - I don't
know if these ever made it to the States, the last I heard, Virginia
were saying they'd never sell.

2) Octave tuning.

	A variation on tremolo, really, except that here the reeds are
tuned an exact octave apart, giving a very full sound. They're good for
being loud on, but maybe someone knows a use for them. Hohner make
octave tuned Marine Bands, called the Auto-Valve, which bluesers might
like to try, 'cos effectively you have two harps tuned an octave apart
on one instrument - see HIP #2 for details on this - you have to doctor
them a bit to make them usable.

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