Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Gerhard Mueller interview

April 14, 2022 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 59
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Gerhard Mueller interview
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Gerhard Mueller joins me on episode 59.

Gerhard is the Product Manager for Hohner harmonicas, a role he has held for 28 years. His father worked as a gardener at the Hohner factory in Trossingen, and as well as getting his son harmonica lessons, he even had a hand in helping Gerhard land his dream job at Hohner.

Gerhard talks us through the fascinating history of Hohner and how it was established as the leading harmonica brand in the world having sold over 1 billion harmonicas since the company began. Gerhard tells us all about Hohner’s harmonica offerings as well as some of the accessories offered and the yearly events hosted in Trossingen.

Gerhard is also a fine chromatic player himself, having been part of the Hohnerklang Orchestra in Trossingen for over 25 years, he also regularly performs in his harmonica quartet Harmonicamento. 

Hohner website:

Trossingen harmonica museum:

Marine Band 125 in 2021:

Harmonicamento quartet:

Toots Thielemans 100th birthday concert:

Other Toots 100th birthday celebrations in Brussels:

Hohner endorsees:

CShop for parts:

Harmonica Masters Workshop, happening in June 2022:

Sheng harmonica:

Harpin’ By The Sea Hohner presentation (including Trossingen Factory Tour):

Harmonicamento at SPAH in 2011:

Steve Baker discussing the HB52 microphone:

Podcast website:

If you want to make a voluntary donation to help support the running costs of the podcast then please use this link (or visit the podcast website link above):

Spotify Playlist:
Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains most of the songs discussed in the podcast:

Podcast sponsors:
This podcast is sponsored by SEYDEL harmonicas - visit the oldest harmonica factory in the world at www.seydel1847.com  or on Facebook or Instagram at SEYDEL HARMONICAS
and Blows Me Away Productions: http://www.blowsmeaway.com/

Gerhard is the Product Manager for Hohner harmonicas Germany, having worked at Hohner for 38 years
Has been Hohner harmonicas Product Manager for 27 or 28 years
Father also worked at the Hohner factory (as a gardener)
Started playing harmonica age 7, and his father also played
History of Hohner, which has founded in 1857 by Matthias Hohner
The Marine Band is the iconic diatonic harmonica played by most of the great blues players
The harmonica museum in Trossingen and the numerous harmonica manufacturers who were based in Trossingen
How Matthias Hohner founded the Hohner harmonica company
Why Germany was the leading harmonica manufacturer
Marine Band was 125 years old in 2021, and Hohner released commemorative harmonica
Mr Ritcher, who invented the Richter tuning used on most diatonic harmonicas
How the Richter tuning was accidentally suited for the blues
Harmonicas were originally mass produced cheap instruments
Hohner’s presence in the US
Hohner manufacturers in Germany and China
Online presentation given at HBTS event in 2021 includes a great factory tour
What does being the Product Manager for harmonicas at Hohner involve
Development of new harmonica products
Attends harmonica festivals around the world
Gerhard is a player, mainly of the chromatic, and part of the Hohnerklang orchestra in Trossingen
Has own harmonica quartet: Harmonicamento
Also plays some diatonic and harmonetta
Won group competition in Trossingen in 1997 and played in lots of countries
Advantages of being a harmonica player when the Product Manager for harmonicas
Quality of Hohner harmonicas and role of customisers
Hohner accredited customers and what they do to improve harmonicas
Why don’t Hohner use steel reeds
Hohner diatonic range
Plastic bodied diatonic range
270 chromatic (Gerhard plays 270 deluxe)
Toots 100th birthday celebration concert in Brussels (Gregoire Maret playing harmonica)
Performance range of chromatics
Gerhard plays 12 hole chromatics
Hohner’s orchestral range, which is still popular in Asia
Other harmonicas sold by Hohner
Flex cases sold by Hohner
Hohner’s HB52 microphone is designed by SE Electronics
Hohner endorsees
Shop for Hohner spare parts
World Harmonica Festival happens every four years in Trossingen
Masters Workshops happening in June this year, with Jason Ricci teaching for first time
10 minute question
Gerhard’s harmonicas of choice
Different tunings
Diatonics of choice
Mics and amps
How did Hohner fare during the pandemic