Oh Lord, what a difference!

I’ve been going through the Beginner to Boss course with a Hohner Blues Band that I got through a promotional thing. About a week ago, I ordered the set of five Special 20s and they arrived today. I wasn’t going to play any of them until I got to Module 4, when I knew it would be a big help for learning to bend, and I still have a ways to go in Module 3. However, I just couldn’t help myself once they were in my possession.

After 5 minutes with the Special 20, here’s what I can discern so far:

It takes a lot less air to make the Special 20 work

The width of the Special 20 is much narrower, making it far easier to achieve and hold the Deep Relaxed Mouth Position

The Special 20 projects a heck of a lot more sound

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Blues Band, but it’ll always have great sentimental value for me. Maybe I’ll keep it in the truck so I can practice wherever I happen to be and have a few minutes, or maybe I’ll get a frame or a shadow box to stick it in and display it.

I also don’t yet know when I’ll play any of the other four Special 20s in the different keys, but I’m ready for it when the time comes along. I’m so glad that I finally followed up on my desire to play this great instrument!


Hello @DitchParrot, Congratulation.
You will keep walking and then have opportunities to play the other keys. Many small steps become the goal. Many greetings from Astrid


Hi @DitchParrot,

Congratulations on your purchase. I’m sure those harps will serve you a long time.

I like your idea of keeping a harp in your truck. Having an instrument handy to play for a few moments will help your progress a lot.


Hello fellow Harper’s who’s names are too long for me to write lol I always carry a case of harps with me where ever I go i don’t drive so I take public transport I have my favorite water hole and no matter where I go people seem to hang out and listen even throw in a request congrats on special 20 I myself been eyeing lee oskar and sydel. Right now I been playing fender deluxe and polar by harmo. Has anybody else played polar harps?


Hi @Boomer60,

How does your Polar compare to your Fender? Tone, playability, cost, etc?



Polar also are bigger but the grip fits perfect I left you a bigger message pine and tried to explain the best I could hope I answered correctly I’ve never took music lessons and play by ear untill recently with the internet and all I’ve been learning more everyday.


I purchased the 5 pack also about a year ago. Only played the C with the BOSS course. I should have played the others. My D harp 6 hole blow had a very low volume. I took it apart, fumbled around with it and got it to work for now. My C eventually lost the 3 draw. Could not fix it. I ordered a new one but made a mistake. Long story short this company is so great they sent me a new special 20 AND a Golden Melody and just charged me for one even though it was my error. I love the golden Melody. Perfect shape for my hand. There is supposed to be tuning difference. I can’t here it (I wear hearing aids). It’s red and is a trapezoid shape.


Hi @ingog, I also have a Golden Melody in “C” and love the shape. I am actually thinking of making up a jig to grind down the edges of some square back harmonicas and see how that works.


I’m thinking of sanding off the sharp left edge of the Special 20.


Hello @ingog, hello @Butch,
I also have a Hohner Golden Melody C and I really like it. It lies perfectly in the hands. For me she is the :princess: among the Hohner :prince:. Many greetings from Astrid


The Hohner Golden Melody is an excellent harp. The tuning difference is that it is tuned for melody playing (hence the name) rather than the rich chord sound that you get with most other Richter tuned blues harps. The Golden Melody tuning is referred to by several different names (equal temperament being the most used) but basically what they all mean is that for a given fixed tuning “start” point (e.g. concert A taken to be 440 Hz is most commonly used) all of the other notes are tuned exactly offset from 440 Hz as they really should be so that the ratio of the frequencies of any two adjacent notes is exactly the same as for any other two adjacent notes. :exploding_head:

Equal temperament is achieved by dividing an octave (two tones whose frequencies are separated by a factor of 2x (or equivalently 0.5x) from each other) and then dividing this frequency range into equal steps.

You may ask, why other harps do not have this tuning and the answer is quite complex but boils down to playing chords on the Golden Melody you do not get such rich full sounds as with those other harps. I personally do not notice the difference all that much – but then I do not play chords that often. I play more single notes (melodies) and that is where I notice a real difference: those other harps always sound a little “off” or “out of tune”, actually because they are a little out of tune! :nerd_face:

Of course, using other tuning schemes (such as that used for “typical” blues harps where the chords all sound so cool), and consider one of those to be your “in tune” set-up, then the equal temperament tuning (when you play chords) is slightly “out of tune”! :crazy_face:

Personal choice is the way to go, since not everyone likes that same cheese (so to say). Since I like equal temperament, I either order my harps with that tuning (not all companies offer that option) or I retune them myself so that they then have equal temperament tuning.

– Slim :sunglasses:


Morning @ingog, I also wear hearing aids and the last 10 years or so they have improved tremendously. Previously I couldn’t even hear the higher pitches, let alone tell them apart. My insurance allows me new ones every 4 years and the ones I got this last summer are great! Pretty nice being able to understand and actually hear subtle differences for sure. Also makes listening to music enjoyable again, not just a bunch of irritating noise anymore. Well . . . most of it anyway :rofl: :joy:


@Slim, I actually do notice the difference occasionally on some harmonica playing being abit “off” of “flat” here and there but just assumed it was me . . . good to know, thanks!


The 8,9,10 blow holes on the C harp were warbling. Then I tried with out hearing aids. No warbling. What people don’t realize is unlike glasses that can restore your vision, hearing aids really help but not close to as good as hearing like a kid.


Yes, there’s no comparison! Personally, I use my Blues Band as a beach harmonica (because I don’t have to worry about getting sand in it.) Always good to have a harp in the truck for sure!

Rock on,