Low Tuned Harmonicas

After reading @Southside_Slim’s comments on another thread about Hohner Thunderbirds and Rocket Low Tunings, I thought, “We should just have a thread devoted to this subject!” So I’m starting a new thread specifically to Low Tuned harmonica brands and models.

I’ll get us started. At the time of this writing Hohner is providing these low tuned harmonicas:

THUNDERBIRD is the name of Hohner’s CROSSOVER model, which many pro’s consider to be the best harmonica in Hohner’s lineup.
Available keys: LF, LE, LEb, LD, LC, LBb, LA, LG, LFF

They also make the ROCKET LOW - the low keys of the model of the same name.
Available keys: LF, LE, LEb, LD, LC

I believe those are the only Low Tuned harmonica’s that Hohner makes according to what I see on their website.

Lee Oskar currently makes Standard Tuned harmonicas in 5 low tunings
Available Keys: LF# / LF /LE / LD / LC

They just started offering Harmonic Minor in 1 low tuning: a LE. (I got one and she sounds amazing!)

What other Low Tuned harp brands on out there? How low can you go?? @Slim - I think you might be familiar with the Seydel offerings? (And the answer is REEEAAAALLLL LOOOOOWWWWWW :wink:)

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Seydel’s 1847 Classic and Noble models have every low key ranging from LLE to LF#.

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@KeroroRinChou has said it all (concerning the low-tuned Seydel models). Thanks, @KeroroRinChou !! :point_left: :wink:

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

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Yes! Great thread idea!
I love the sound of lower tuned harmonicas.

@Slim the Seydel Session Steel comes in Low C / Db/ D / Eb / E / F / F# too

I have the Low C which I’m using for the B2B lessons, and really enjoy it.
Comfortable to hold and use (and doesn’t rip out any facial hair either, which is always a bonus)

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Has anyone played a LLE or LLF???

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Hi Luke @Luke

The lowest that I have played is also the lowest that I own: Low D. I am tempted to get a Low C some day, but I doubt that I will go any lower than that.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

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Yeah, Low C is my lowest. I’m just curious what it’d feel like to play through a LLF…

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I tried a Low D (a Seydel Session Steel) for the first time a few days ago. I loved the tone, but playing it was quite a strain compared to the trusty Special 20 C that I’m doing Beginner to Boss with (I’ve just reached M3-L38 first time through).

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Hi David. Can you please tell me what M3-L38 means. I know it’ll be above my pay grade. But I’m curious about everything :thinking:

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Hello @stonestone63,
you should @name the users if you want to communicate.

The answer to your question, it’s the sections of the Beginner - to - Boss (BTB) course that can be purchased from Luke. M for Modul and L for Lesson, here Modul 3, Lesson 38.
The course brought me many benefits as I was able to learn all the basics and more on the harp.

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Thanks AstridHandBikeBee63. I haven’t done this sort of thing before. I got into the forum hoping to acquire some knowledge after a few day of. Getting the BTB…I’m loving it. On the third day I had already started M3. I just wasn’t thinking that way when I read the post. Something came up, getting in the way of the lessons. Very frustrating. I haven’t been excited like this in many years. But at least I can jump in and out of the forum. I’m learning much from you wonderful people. And feel I already feel I have a connection with you and some others as well. Technology has left me behind in many ways. Take care :grinning:

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Every new member is valuable and active members enrich the @stonestone63 forum. One helps the other, the professionals pass on their knowledge to the beginners. Life can be that simple, an exchange no matter what age!

When replying to individual users, remember the @! @stonestone63

When I started here, I didn’t really know what the possibilities were. Even today I still have some problems. Otherwise, I know my way around the Internet well, no matter what device. Step by step! How was it? "You can grow old like a :cow:, you’re still learning :joy:.

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Hi David @DavidW,

Some of that “strain” no doubt comes from the stainless steel reeds: they do require more effort to play compared to brass reeds. However, they do give a very good tone and definitely last longer than brass reeds.

Another factor that comes into play here is that some people find bending on holes 1-4 to be more difficult on low key harps, especially if your only previous playing experience has been on a C harp.

Reed shape and gap are just as important with low key as with any other harp. My low D is a Hohner Rocket Low (which has brass reeds) and I had great difficulty with bending holes 1-3 until I finally got the reed adjustments correctly set up for me.

My lowest key harp with stainless steel reeds is a Seydel 1847 Classic Low F and it has been a dream (although hole 3 needed some tender loving care to get it to bend easily). Actually all three of my low F harps (Lee Oskar, Seydel and Kongsheng Mars) are very easy to play and bend.

Finally, I must say that for some reason I find the Seydel 1847 Classic harps to be somewhat easier to bend than their Session Steel models in the same key. Maybe that is just me, but I would like to hear if any others have found that to be the case for them as well.

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

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Yes, as soon as I hit reply I realised I forgot to put @ in front of your handle. I wouldn’t say I’m a beginner with harp, it taught me how to play when I wasn’t much older than a toddler, so I’m told. Always felt like it wanted to sing something and wanted me to figure out how to help it. I want to go from the bottom up to make sure things are right. I know I have much to learn though. That’s why I’m here. I like to be the best that can be in all aspects of life. The only competition is with myself. Thanks for everything :v:

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@stonestone63, do you know where i stand Harp game status beginning 2nd grade… :woman_shrugging::joy:. Last year around the time still kindergarten. :smiley:
As a child I found an ancient Hohner harmonica among our toys. Hygienically determined “particularly valuable”. According to today’s knowledge, I shouldn’t even think about it :thinking:. Unfortunately, I didn’t know at the time what a small :woman_mage: work I was holding in my hands. It took me 50 years to do that, what a pity.

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I may be wrong but my understanding is that the lower tuned harps need a touch more air to get the reeds moving too, which if so would certainly be a factor.

Makes me think I’m giving myself a hard time doing the course on a Low C :laughing:

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@AstridHandbikebee63 don’t think like that. Think of what a pity it would be had you never picked it up.
Stay groovy dude :sunglasses:

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Oh yes @stonestone63, You can be sure! It’s just dug up memories with a big grin :blush: from today. I never look back negatively, only forward positively. Optimism is the precursor to madness… :wink:. There are only one copy of me! Anyone who steals me today will voluntarily bring me back tomorrow at the latest :back: :sweat_smile:.

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That’s good to know @Slim Thanks. The ‘strain’ was not so much lack of breath, more that after playing the Low D for a while I could feel the effort in my sinuses! I guess it’s something you get used to?

I read somewhere (here?) that with it’s extra holes & so on for loudness the ‘Rocket Low’ is perhaps a bit easier to play than some other low harps?
If so I’d be inclined that way if I put a Low C on the Christmas list. :grinning:

PS. When I got the Low D I’d aimed to get a Golden Melody, but they were out of stock at my favoured supplier (something about awaiting a new model?), so I opted for the Session Steel as an alternative.

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I was told the same thing from Todd Parrott, a Hohner endorsee and a prolific Golden Melody user. He said that Hohner is changing the design of the GM so that the harp could be louder and the comb sturdier. He showed me some photos he took at the Hohner booth at SPAH. The design of the cover plates look very nice and has a more butterfly shape, but the comb had a massive f*cking growth spurt. The neither of us wants to convert, but we’re both willing to try anything once.

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