Bandmaster with Solo tunning

I’ve been gifted this fun guy, but I’m struggling to find information about it.

It’s got “Real BRASS Reedplates” as it says proudly on the back of the box, a wooden comb (cannot tell which wood essence was used) and it was made in Germany.

It took me a moment to figure out that there was 2 C on (4B, 5B), then I noticed a couple of other stuff and eventually found out that the tuning is not standard but “Solo” (from the list provided by @Luke 's link about alternative tunings).

Does anyone know anything about this brand? Or about this harmonica?
Also, what are the bend that can be produced from it? So far I’ve only managed -1’ (and to control the pitch and transition from -1 -1’ -1) but I’m not sure which other holes can be bent and to which notes :slight_smile:



Hi Leo @LeoJ

You should be able to bend the following draw holes:

Hole  Unbent  Bent

 1      D     Db/C#

 3      A     Ab/G#

 5      D    Db/C#

 7      A    Ab/G#

 9      D    Db/C#

In other words: the layout should be like that of chromatic harmonica that does not have a slide and only has ten holes (rather than the usual 12).

I do not know anything more about the harmonica that you have. I do know that the German company Seydel makes a ten hole harmonica called the Orchestra S. This harp has “solo orchestra” (aka “orchestra solo”) tuning. This is somewhat different than your harp because the Orchestra S tuning begins with hole one blow being a G, -1 is A, -2 is B, +2 and +3 are each C. It is listed as being in the key of C (not G) and resembles your harp, but rather than +1 being C, -1 being D the Orchestra S begins this sequence with +3 = C, -3 = D, etc.

– Slim


Cheers for the info :slight_smile:

I’ll draw myself a harmonica chart with that info.
I quite enjoy its responsivity (but what do I know, I’m a beginner :laughing:)

Back to practice!

Thanks again!


Hello @LeoJ and @Slim,
the Bandmaster was also manufactured by Hohner in the GDR.
Is that a tremolo variant?
Unfortunately there is no photo of it. In any case, a beautiful old sweetheart. :slightly_smiling_face:
Greetings from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


Hi Astrid!

Thanks for the info!
No it’s a “standard” 10 holes with a weird tuning :laughing:
I quite like its profile shape (I’ll try to take a picture of it when I get better lightning), it makes for an easy “grip”.


Hi Leo @LeoJ

Something that might help you with your solo tuned harp is that it is relatively easy to play songs or improvise in the key of D minor.

For Dmin the pentatonic scale notes are found at:

-1 -2 +3 -3 +4 or +5

These are: D F G A & C (+1 is also C). The next octave is:

-5 -6 +7 -7 +8 or +9

Above that you get part of the scale at: -9 (D) -10 (F).

To play the Dm blues scale simply add -3’ and -7’ to the above. Also often handy are the bends at -1’ and -5’ and -9’.

Of course, playing in C major is easy, but also A minor (same notes as C major).

Have fun,
– Slim :sunglasses:


Nice thanks a lot I’ll train that :slight_smile:


Here is a pick of the cover profile (sadly, my phone’s a bit shitty)

and in case someone else’s got the same harmonica (or the same tuning), here is the layout with the bends:

and here is the Dm scale highlighted:

Thanks again for the information!!