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Hohner invented the Chromatic harmonica in 1924 and has since then created and developed many chromatic harmonica models.
The basic principle of the chromatic harmonica is to blow to get the notes C E G C (a C major chord) and then Draw and get D F A B (a Dm6 chord).
This is very similar to the diatonic harmonica but where it differs is that the chromatic has a slider. When you push the slider and blow or draw at the same time the original note is raised by a half step. So for instance on Hole 1 a C becomes a C# when you blow and when you draw and push the slider the D becomes a D#. The Chromatic harmonica is also symmetrical by nature, the first octave is exactly replicated to the second and third octave making it easy to repeat patterns or scales from one octave to the next. Something that is much more complicated to do on a standard diatonic model.
Hohner chromatic harmonicas come in 10, 12, 14, and 16 holes. The most commonly used chromatic harp is the 12 hole and covers 3 full octaves. The 16 holer is usually found in Blues and mostly Classical music where the extended low octave comes in handy to play violin parts. Some 12 hole models like the Chromonica 270 and the CX12 black are also available in other keys such as C, D , Eb, E, F, G, A, Bb and Low C or C tenor. Even though a chromatic harmonica in C is enough to play any tune, any scale, any arpeggio in any key some beginners or intermediate players find it easier to just reuse the same patterns they know to play in other keys on another special tuned chromatic harp instead of learning new patterns and scales.
Harmonica players who made the chromatic harmonica popular are Larry Adler, Toots Thielemans, and Stevie Wonder.
Here is a list of Hohner chromatic harmonicas sold on harmonicaland
Entry Level Hohner chromatic harmonicas:
Classic Chromatic harmonicas:
You can access our best selection of Hohner chromatic harmonicas below: