Alternative Tuning

Alternative Tuning configurations; Part of our main services at the moment include different alternative tuning configurations such as ‘Paddy Richter’ tuning used in Irish music or ‘Powerbender’ both by Brendan Power of course, the latter used in blues and jazz. There are various tunings such as diminished and country tunings favoured by Andy Irvine for example. Other harmonica work available on request, so please feel free to inquire.

Also available, setting up the harmonica for custom OVERBLOW harmonicas for the advance diatonic blues harp player, so do please feel free to inquire about these hand crafted harmonicas.

Alternative Tuning

12th August, 2014.Cathal Johnson, Harmonica musician and Service Repairer for All-Ireland for Hohner pictured in his workshop at Distillery Lane, Dundalk..Photo: BarryCronin/ 087-9598549/046-9055044

Other service in development with the Tremolos harmonica are also catered for too. With prices of tremolos going up it makes sense to avail of our service here. Some tremolos are costing up to 150 euros. We can repair tremolos back to their original state if not better than before for a fraction of the buying cost.

Alternative tuning

Picture taken 12th August in Distillery Lane, Dundalk 2014. Cathal Johnson, Harmonica musician and ‘Service Repairer for All-Ireland’ – Hohner, pictured. Photo: BarryCronin/,, 087-9598549/046-9055044

Available also are arrangements and recording of Irish traditional music such as jigs and reels for diatonic and chromatic harmonicas. If you would like to learn how to play the harmonica why not avail of some lessons. Cathal offers harmonica lessons for beginners to advanced level players.

Please find below, a price guide for some of the services on offer. Basic costs, as each harmonica has its peculiarities:

  • Cleaning and sanitisation: = €5 to €7
  • Replacing one reed: = €10 -/+
  • Valving/valves: = €50 -/+
  • Embossing: = half €20, full €35-/+
  • Retuning to different keys: = vary €15 to €35-/+
  • Marine Band Paddy Richter = €45 per item

Paddy Richter tuning. Ideal for playing Irish Music, Brendan Power devised this popular tuning by altering one note to allow the player to play many Irish traditional tunes by providing a missing note not in the original standard Richter harmonica. This gives satisfaction and relief to the player. Brendan provides a superb book called play Irish Harmonica on a Blues Harp, check it out too!

The Melodeon Tuned = €75 per item

Check out Johnny Johnson’s Melodeon tuned harp. This tuning configuration is the same as a melodeon and allows players to play along with other melodeon player note for note and in and out with the bellows. This in turn teaches the harmonica player vital aspects of the melodeon and allows them to easily learn the melodeon and accordions alike. With material available such as arrangements, compositions and tutorial work with an accompanying book with CD retailing at €20.

Marine Band Powerbender Tuning = €100 per item

The Powerbender is another tuning by Brendan Power. This is fully chromatic and easily achieved chromatic scale by just bending notes, a real blues/jazz harp. Brendan Power supplies this also with a book and CD with it, which is highly recommended. This product allows the player to play easily in 11 keys and allows for the bending of all notes were with standard only nine bend.

Drone/Emerald Tuning = €75 per item

Old Hohner posters show a harmonica designed for the Irish market called Emerald, but that’s all we know about that harmonica! So we have reinvented it!! This tuning comes with drones to emulate the Irish uileann pipes. Reeds tuned the same on blow and draw provides drones while playing melody! Players can play popular songs and Irish and American old timey melodies while droning on these reeds.

Marine Band Solo Tunings also available in keys C major for €35 and tuned to different keys of A, Bb, D, E and G for €75 per item.

Different to the normal Richter scale blues harps, Solo Tuned harps play great for traditional Irish music and song. There is much demand for solo tuned diatonic harmonicas for Irish music. This handcrafted tuning is a standard scale that repeats for two and a half octave. Players can enjoy playing without having to bend notes to achieve certain phrases and patterns in Irish music. These are also available valved and half valved, so please feel free to inquire for more details!