Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

We have some evidence, however, that you may have to pay for the reeds.
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boyd
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Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by boyd »

OK...not an expert here !!! But I can bang out a good few tunes now.

I have a wee collection....Some Suzuki valved ProMasters and a Seydel, all in Paddy Richter tuning.
The Suzukis are around £50 and the Seydel circa £35.

So...
The Suzukis are much lighter to blow/draw on, which allows speed but demands breath control. Too much air and the note will be out of tune at times (though on a moothie that doesnt matter too much I reckon).
The light set-up has pros and cons....I think a small amp will help as the light playing is also quite quiet. Gets lost in a session, and when you try to play louder the tuning on one or two notes goes, or they just plain stop.

The Seydel is a bit more like a trad harmonica since the lack of valves means you need to shift more air through the reeds to get them to work. Its still an easy blow really (I have a good blues harp by Hohner that is much stiffer to play, prob designed for really muscular draw-bending) and the tone is also good. Bit louder/more forgiving if trying to be louder but might still benefit from a small amplifier.

If buying again I would invest in either Seydel or Suzuki..... Now I have a G, a D and a B I might get a Bflat if I can find one (to play along with a flute player mate who has a flute in Bb).

Incidentally, I also manage some tunes on conventional harmonicas, the Paddy Richter tuning allows a scale right down to the lowest (left hand) notes...1, 2 and 3, which sound great. The only missing note down there is achieved via a bend on the 2 draw, ok at times but not so good in fast note sequences.

Posting this mainly because there seems a lack of harmonica "stuff" here and its a grand wee instrument to add to the mix.

Boyd
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by Ian Parfitt »

Hi Boyd

I also play ITM, mostly O'Carolan but will attempt any piece that takes my fancy and accompany my wife who plays fiddle, mandolin and Lap Harp.

I find that diatonics have their limitations, I have Hohner Silver Star in A and Lee Oscar in G . I play mainly Chromatic's (Hohner both Chromonica 270 in G and CX12 in D, Planetone C, Susuki Chromatix SCX-48 in D, Seydel De Luxe D and Standard G) which I know are far more expensive they do however give me that advantage of playing a range within a given key and by judicial breath control play in different keys and you don't have to bend to get the lower notes. I also play whistles.

I also agree not much on the forum regards these instruments. I would also say I too am far from being an expert.

Ian
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by VosperD »

I see this topic is a bit old but I have only just seen it.
I am a new to harmonicas and it will be a while before I play any Irish music in public!
Having recently discovered a few of the exponents of the various type of harmonica I realise that it is indeed an underrated instrument.
I started with a hohner Silver Star in G (now retuned to Paddy Richter) and started learning that there is more to Harmonicas and their tuning than first meets the eye. Then I got a Seydel solo config "Session" in G with valves on the lower notes. One reed broke and they replaced the whole thing with the steel version.
I have an old G Hohner 270 that I am bringing back to life. I would like to convert it to the irish tuning with the lower reed plate a semitone flat instead of sharp.
This should work with a lower reed plate from a 270 in F.
So if anyone reading this has one that might be a bit knocked about they want to sell cheap please get in touch.
I also live in north Somerset. Or BANES as they call it now.
Don
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by hans »

I am a beginner and tried a few. I like the sound and feel of Seydel harmonicas more than Hohner Special 20s and Lee Oscars. On my Seydel low D Session the 7-blow reed gave up after only a short period, which was very disappointing. I was told that this is not unusual for the low D. Now I got a Seydel Session Steel low D, and just hope that the stainless steel reeds will last much better. A Seydel Session G has lasted well.
Hans Bracker - Handcrafted Whistles from Scotland - http://www.music.bracker.uk
Custom built aluminium whistles in any key and other speciality whistles and flutes
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by VosperD »

I have to say that I do like the Seydel Steel, and the company itself.
I ordered the G config Solo with brass reeds and they got my valve spec wrong so they just sent me a new pair of reedplates.
When the high G reed broke they sent me the steel reedplates and an orange comb plus the covers and all my old bits.
So short of a few screws I have enought to build a brass solo!
The spacing is fractionally wider than the Hohners so for me as a beginner it was better for me.
I'm tempted to buy a new Chromatic from them..... when I get some spare cash that is!
The Hohner Silver Star needs a bit more breath but it is amazing value. Might fit some windsavers one day to see what it does.
Not into bending notes I'm afraid. Doesn't work for me.
Don
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by boyd »

Its good to see some interest in this thread.
There must be a few moothie players out there, surely !!?!!!

:)
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by VosperD »

Well I don't see many harmonica players at sessions.
However, one did turn up at the sessiion in Priddy, Somerset a few months back.
I think he was playing Suzukis in various keys.
Don
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Re: Some Paddy Richter tuned Diatonic Harmonicas for Irish Trad

Post by boyd »

There's a few around in Inverness-shire and Aberdeen-shire, I am finding.
Often the players have other instruments and the harmonica is an "extra".

I find the moothie lacks volume and gets drowned when competing against accordians or a loud flute or uilleann pipes.

Boyd
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