A historic harmonica in natural minor tuning that's ideal for playing in minor keys and genres like minor blues, rock, country, reggae, pop, and jazz.
As expert harp player Steve Baker describes in his book, The Harp Handbook, the Marine Band harmonica in Natural Minor tuning means that "all the 3rds in the blow and draw chords...are tuned a semitone lower than the Richter system, so that both blow and draw chords are minor...." This "tuning is great for blues and rock numbers in minor keys..." and is "also very good for minor key reggae numbers, or similar spacey groove music...." In general, natural minor harps have a very bluesy, soulful sound that's perfect for playing minor blues, rock, country, reggae, pop, and jazz. This fabulous tuning is set up to play minor music easily without straining the lips, the lungs, or the mind! All of the notes and chords that were missing on the major diatonic harps for playing minor blues are right there on the natural minor. Natural minors are designed to be played in cross harp (draw), not straight harp (blow) style. In cross harp, many of the draw notes can be bent, allowing for a much more expressive, fluid style of playing. In addition, cross harp is a very popular style used by most players for today's music.
The natural minor-tuned Hohner 1896 Marine Band Harmonica follows in the footsteps of harps played by world-famous musicians like John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Little Walter, and Paul Butterfield. The Hohner Marine Band is a number-one choice among top professionals and one of the most recognizable harmonicas all over the world. Known for its full tone, wood comb, and its patented cover plates, the Marine Band harmonica was there when harmonica blues was born. The Marine Band harp is a results of over 100 years of Hohner tradition and German craftsmanship.
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Hohner is a family company founded in 1857 in Trossingen, Germany by Matthias Hohner. Hand-made quality and close attention to detail has set Hohner apart from the beginning. A top leading brand in harmonicas, Hohner harps are distributed worldwide. Hohner harmonicas are played on the street by buskers, in intimate nightclubs, on festival stages, and even in Carnegie Hall. Despite a diverse harmonica line used in music from country to classical genres, the most famous Hohner harmonicas are their simple, 10-hole diatonics used frequently by blues, rock, country, and folk musicians.