Tutorial – How do Hammond drawbars work?


About time you may think but this week we ask ourselves what are Drawbars and how do they affect the sound of a Hammond Organ? In this video we go through the basics of building and enhancing a note by using a whole host of mechanics and machinery and probably answer the question “why is it do difficult to emulate a Hammond Organ on a synth or soft synth”.

Drawbars totally confuse the rest of the band, they kind of don’t make sense. I mean how can a note have an accompanying drawbar that produces a different not yet you identify with it as the first note? What!?

How Organ tones are generated through drawbars
The diagram above shows how drawbars relate to tones on an Hammond Organ.

What I would like to know as your is what are your favourite drawbar settings and why? Do you like it bright and zingy or dark and dirty, let us know what you prefer and why! All types of Hammond sound have their place but I tend to favour the slightly darker sound when playing in my band and only brighten it up if I am taking the place of a brass section for example, or usually when I am doing session recordings – sessions really want the Organ to be bright and stand out more than in the groove in an stabled 5-piece band.

Here is also a little extra information on drawbars and how they work from this website . Its a good site that is/was run by my friend Darren Brown from his shop “Music World” out in Northampton. I am not sure if its maintained any more but Darren was a great source of information when it came to Hammond Organs and latterly the KeyB Hammond Organ clones. I think it was at his shop I first met Malc Deakin from Hammond UK, many moons ago!

Thanks for stopping by,




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