The Standard Spiral Harmonica

Standard Spiral Harmonicas by Seydel and Hohner

Spiral Harmonica Harmonic Minor

Spiral Harmonica Dorian

The Standard Spiral Harmonica → ↑

Blues, Rock and Pop improvisations are often based on the minor pentatonic scale. I arrange the "scale spiral'' so 1 draw is the keynote of the natural minor scale.

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Blow notes m. seventhsecondfourthm. sixthroot note m. thirdfifthm. seventhsecondfourth
Draw notes root notem. thirdfifthm. seventhsecond fourthm. sixthroot notem. thirdfifth
For that reason the naming of the harmonica is also based on

1. the keynote in 1 draw and

2. on the following scale (standard: natural minor).

For example:
Spiral Standard
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Blow notes gbdfacegbd
Draw notes acegbdface

The keynote of the parallel major scale lies in 2 draw - in this case it is the c of the parallel key c major.

Sound samples for the Spiral Standard you will find here.
Standard Spiral Harmonicas by Seydel and Hohner → Top of Page
The → Hohner Spiralhamonikas as well as the models of → C. A. Seydel S÷hne follow me in this standard arrangement.

However Seydel chose a different way of naming - Look out: Seydel calls the spiral harmonica after the note in 1 blow! According to Seydel the pictured standard note arrangement is called Circular Tuning G or Melody King G.

Seydel follows the common way of naming also known from the Richter harmonicas, but this does not say anything about the scale beginning in 1 blow. In the standard arrangement the scale beginning in 1 blow is inevitably a parallel of c major and a minor - namely g mixolydian.

You may keep in mind:
The standard arrangement of Seydel is named after the note in 1 blow, while the (parallel) minor scale begins in 1 draw.

In contrast the Hohner Spiral is named after the harmonic context and the basic chord the player also expects - in the given example a minor.

Spiral Harmonica Harmonic Minor → Top of Page
Gypsy Waltz is played on this layout (Gypsy Waltz). Deviating from the harmonic minor scale, I tuned here 1 blow to the minor seventh to get the g major chord, which is important in the typical chord progression (Am G F E). In both the upper octaves I kept the seventh of harmonic minor (4 draw, 8 blow), whereby in upper-octave melodies the typical gypsy tonality emerges, and, on the other hand, the dominant chord e becomes playable.

Spiral Harmonica A Harmonic Minor
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Blow notes gbdfaceg#bd
Draw notes aceg#bdface
Spiral Harmonica Dorian → Top of Page
You more often hear the sixth than the flatted sixth in rock and pop this tuning is quite versatile. By changing from flatted sixth to the sixth the chord in 3+4+5 blow becomes a major chord and the one in 4+5+6 a diminished chord and so on.

Spiral Harmonica A Dorian
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Blow notes gbdf#acegbd
Draw notes acegbdf#ace