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!
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