F vs. Low F -- whats the difference?

I do understand the key itself, but what is and why is there an F and a Low F? I see this for other keys as well.
Is it just they way it’s tuned?

And why would one get an F vs. a Low F and/or vice-versa?

Hoi TicaToodle,

Your right, it’s just a lower octave harmonica. I use a low D to play my Irish- and Fiddle tunes.
Most common for this tunes are the G and D harmonica’s. Playing Irish you use a lot of the upper holes (6-10) of the harmonica. Using a D harmonica it sounds pretty high, specially if playing alone.
Playing the low D makes it better for the ears :wink:
This is also a subject of your own taste and choice, the same as special tunings. I play mostly on Paddy Richter Tuned harmonica’s but others just want to play a Richter Tuned harmonica with all the “challenging” 3" draw instead of the easy 3 blow on the Paddy.

Hope this answer is a bit what you were asking about.

Have Fun, John

Thanks John. That helps. I was looking to get a low harp to more dedicated work on chugging rhythms.

TT if you want a low harp suited for chugging ie train sounds check out the Hohner Marine Band 364 in C. It is a 12 hole Marine Band and is an octave lower than a normal C.

Actually, I believe it’s the Hohner 365 14-hole in Low C:

http://coast2coastmusic.com/cgi-bin/cart/HH365_28.html

I have one. Plays nice. However, one of my near-future projects will be disassembling it and sealing up the wooden comb, along with some reed work as well.

Same goes for the 12-hole Hohner Solo Tuned I have also.

Seydel has 10-hole diatonic Low Cs. I have the 1847 Classic style. Yet within less than an hour, the sealed/treated wooden comb blew up as big as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon.

As Seydels are exceptionally well made instruments, some believe this was just a rare dud. I have to work on getting it replaced. They do have non-wooden combs as the overall harp is a pleasure to play.

Rock on, yo!

OK, just a follow up. I got a Low F - a LOT of fun, especially working on some Bye Bye Bird attempts.

-But- can someone clarify? Is a Low D lower than a Low F?

And what is the lowest key one can get? I’m especially interested in Sonny Boy Williamson’s low key chugs and rhythms. My Low F does not sound as low as some of the keys I’ve heard SBW play.

Hoi TT,

Low F is off course fun ;D
Bye Bye Bird is best played on a Low C harmonica, that’s why it sounds lower as your Low F.
Low D is lower than Low F (G is the lowest normal harmonica) going more down you will find
for example Low F, Low D, Low C. The lowest I know is a Seydell Low Low F, it takes special skills to make that one sing.
Take a look at:


Ben Bouman at the NHL Festival H2008, UK

have Fun, John

I must admint I’m quite interested in the lower harps, being a bass player an’ all. Quite like the idea of being able to get a good bass riff going.

John, thanks for the further clarification - I think I understand it now.
I just ordered a new Hohner 364 (12 hole) in Low C. I can’t wait!

Although I’d LOVE to score a vintage Echo Vamper!!! As I understand it, Hohner marketed the 364 over in the UK identical to the “Echo Vamper” except for the cover plates. (not to be confused with the Super Echo Vamper - not the same thing)
Some say to keep an eye out on the UK ebay site as they pop up every once in a while.

And check this out. It is an entry on Dave Barrett’s website chugging competition. This particular chug was the second place winner and was done on a Echo Vamper in Low E. It’s awesome IMO.
http://www.bluesharmonica.com/strollin_down_tracks
(You need to click the play button on the little ‘Audio’ icon under the title "Strollin Down The Tracks)

It almost sounds like a digeridoo (sp) at first.

Same here. Guitar player turned bass player myself so the lower harps like Low F and G sound great to my ear. I “put up” with C since it’s kind of the “standard” harp that most people start with and most of the lessons are in C but anything over D just sounds squeaky to me.