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  • Writer's pictureTony Peri - Owner of Reedworks Pty Ltd

What are 'LOW' key harmonicas?

Low keyed harmonicas are tuned an octave lower than normal.

A standard Hohner Marine Band harmonica in the key of G starts on the blow 1 hole at the G3 note. And an F# key harmonica starts at blow 1 hole at the F#4 note.

In more recent times Hohner have produced a High G (blow 1 starts an octave higher at G4); and a series of Low tuned harmonicas such as Low F, Low C and even Low Low F (down 2 octaves from a standard Key of F harmonica). There are other keys as well, but not all keys come in low tunings.

These options give you some great new tones and a bassy sound to seperate your tone from other players. The harmonicas are tuned one octave lower than standard keys, but play exactly the same way that you are used to. There is no relearning a scale. Just air pressure and bending notes may differ slightly. The note layout is the same. But an octave below.

Not all keys are covered. Hohner, for instance, do not make a production Low F# diatonic harmonica. Which would be good, because the F# harmonica is very high in pitch.

I've had a few requests for this tuning before, as the F# key is very, very high. The top octave range goes up to a piercing F#7 note. Its really a bit too high except for special circumstances.

I have made a batch of Hohner Marine Band Deluxe harmonicas in the key of Low F#. Contact me if you would like to order one, or go to my Reverb store online to purchase them.


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