For years, I've regularly made the joke that harmonica manufacturers shouldn't waste their time making a 10-hole diatonic, as most harp players rarely play above hole 6. Well, Seydel have made a six hole diatonic - and this is no joke!
The Big Six is essentially a chopped down version of their 1847 diatonic, featuring their unique stainless steel reeds, chromed steel covers and sealed wood comb, measuring just 2 3/4" (7cm) long. It comes complete with a lanyard to hang it around your neck, the whole deal packed up in a can that doubles as both storage and resonator. It is available in two different tunings - the blues tuning covers the same range as holes 1 to 6 on a standard diatonic in C; the folk tuning covers the same range as holes 4 to 9 on a low C diatonic. On both harps the root notes are tuned relative to A=445Hz, with the blues version version in something close to 19-limit JI and the folk version closer to 7-limit JI. Actually, I'd recommend blues players to pick up one of each, as the so-called folk tuning lends itself to some sweet third position blues. Both versions have the same full rich sound that the 1847 has and I have only one complaint - that they are only available in the key of C. I'd love to see the blues version available in the key of A and the folk version in D and G. However, I suspect that Seydel have an ulterior motive with these harps - they know that if those of you who are reluctant to shell out the money for the 1847 decide to give the Big Six a whirl, then there is a really good chance that after playing them for a while you will be unable to resist the lure of the 1847!
The Big Six Blues is now available in the keys of G, A, Bb, C, D, F. You can purchse them individually, or as a set of six. Also, they are now available with polymer combs in six different colours. Someone at Seydel really likes the number six!
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