Category Archives: Drawbar Settings

Hammond Console Factory Presets

Hammond Console Presets Upper Manual

Preset KeyDrawbarsDescriptionLoudness
CNoneCancelNo sound
Db00 5320 000Stopped Flutepp
D00 4432 000Dulcianappp
Eb00 8740 000French Hornmf
E00 4544 222Salicionalpp
F00 5403 000Flutes 8' & 4'p
Gb00 4675 300Oboemf
G00 5644 320Swell Diapasonmf
Ab00 6876 540Trumpetf
A32 7645 222Full Swellff
BbUpper Left drawbarsNo percussion
BUpper Right drawbarsWith percussion
Overview of the factory presets on a Hammond console (B-3, C-3, A-100) Upper Manual

Hammond Console Presets Lower Manual

Preset KeyDrawbarsDescriptionLoudness
CNoneCancelNo sound
Db00 4545 440Cellomp
D00 4423 22Flute & Stringmp
Eb00 7373 430Clarinetmf
E00 4544 220Diapason, Gamba & Flutemf
F00 6644 322Great without reedsf
Gb00 5642 200Open Diapasonf
G00 6845 433Full Greatfff
Ab00 8030 000Tibia Clausaf
A42 7866 244Full Great with 16'fff
BbUpper Left drawbars
BUpper Right drawbars
Overview of the factory presets on a Hammond console (B-3, C-3, A-100) Lower Manual

Whereas the preset sounds seem to be more targeted towards the emulation of pipe organ sounds and have as such limited usage in the typical blues / rock Hammond vocabulary, some of them are quite usable, Here’s an example using the ‘Ab’ (‘Tibia Clausa’) on the lower manual:

The Hammond Drawbars secrets revealed

Hammond drawbars
Hammond drawbars

The drawbars on a console Hammond (B3, C3 or A100 and variants) and the clone wheels can be a source of much confusion. They are also sometimes called tone bars, and they are used to shape the sound.

Each drawbar is marked with a number in feet. As an example, the first (brown) drawbar is marked 16′. This terminology is borrowed from pipe organ technology, where this number actually describes the length of the pipe that is used to get a certain tone.

Every drawbar has eight settings, which indicate how much of a particular drawbar’s tone is added to the final signal, with 1 being the softest, and 8 being the loudest. When the drawbar is pushed in all the way, no sound from this drawbar is used in the final sound.

On a console, you will have five groups of drawbars, two for the lower manual and two for the upper manual, each of which consist of none drawbars, and one for the bass, which has two drawbars.

Drawbar colours

There are three different colours on the drawbars, brown, white and black.

The fundamental, ‘core’ tone is created by the first white drawbar. The other white drawbars are octave intervals of the fundamental tone of increasingly higher pitched notes.

The brown drawbars are the two ones to the left, and these produce harmonics below the fundamental tone. The first brown Drawbar is the sub-octave of the fundamental Drawbar. It is “one octave” lower in sound. The second brown drawbar is the “sub-octave” of the third harmonic. Pulling the brown drawbars makes the tone deeper and fuller.

The black drawbars introduce dissonant harmonics, which serve to color the tone and give it character.

Lower manual settings

The lower manual can be used either for playing walking bass, or comping chords. For the former, 808000000 works really well; add more of the 2nd drawbar to get a heavier, more ‘growly’ tone. This setting is not ideal for playing chords on the lower manual, since this makes the sound often too muddy. 008800000 seems to work better for chords down below, or you can just play them higher up the keyboard if you want to switch between walking and comping.

It is often is suggested to turn off V/C when using a walking bass – I think it can work either way, depending on the mood of the song. You can also turn off the bottom rotor to get that ‘Memphis’ sound, which also works well with walking bass lines.

Reggae Drawbar Settings for Hammond

Playing Reggae on the Hammond is a very different kettle of fish. Here’s some ideas:

Practice the ’bubble’. Many people seem to get this wrong – don’t play on the down beat, but just after it. Here’s a good video that demonstrates the technique:

The basic bubble sound is clean (no or little drive), no percussion, C3, sometimes C2; the Leslie does not always need to be on fast, the VC on its own can be very effective

Drawbar setting:

888875568 (with 3rd perc for solos)

Sometimes the Jimmy Smith settings can also work well (888000000, or even 888800000), but depending on the organ you’re playing you may want to reduce the lower 8’s to 7s or 6s to soften the sound, and get a lighter more airy sound that may sit better in the mix.


For that Bob Marley sound, try 864202468 upper, 808 or 838 lower

More drawbar settings

Preset NameUpper BUpper ALower BLower ABassV/CPercussionVolDecayHarmonicLeslie speedComment
888 base88 8000 00088 8888 88872 7000 00000 6620 00073no (C2)OffNormSlow2ndSlowDrive
8888 base88 8800 00088 8888 88872 7000 00000 6620 00073no (C2)OffNormSlow2ndSlowDrive
Alone in the City00 7740 034Fast/Slow
Ballad80 0000 00073 5000 000
Billy Preston00 8000 000C3StopGlissando
Blues88 5324 588
Booker T. Jones 188 8800 000OffOn2ndNoGreen Onions
Booker T. Jones 288 8630 000On2nd
Brian Auger 188 8110 000C3On2ndNo
Brian Auger 288 8805 000C3OnNorm2ndNo
Bright Comping87 8000 456Fast
Brother Jack80 0000 888C3Fast
Dark Comping84 3000 000C1Slow
Dark Solo82 8200 00288 8888 88860 6000 00066 2000 00071OnNormSlow2ndSlow
Fatt88 8000 888C3Fast
Flutes00 6802 00020 7004 000OnSoftSlow2ndSlow
Full and High88 8666 888Fast
Full and Sweet86 8868 068
Full Organ88 8888 88885C3Fast/Stop
Funky Comping68 8600 004Fast
Gimme Some Loving88 8800 000OnSoftSlow3rdSlowDrive
Gospel 180 8808 008C1OnNormSlow3rd
Gospel 288 8000 008Stop/FastGospel
Greg Allman 186 8666 568FastMiddle kbd section
Greg Allman 288 8600 000C3OnNormFast3Slow
Greg Allman 388 6000 040C3OnNormSlow3rd
Greg Rolie 188 8800 088C3OffFastEvil Ways, Soul Sacrifice
Greg Rolie 288 6400 000OnSoftFast3rd
Greg Rolie 488 8886 66685C3OnSoftFast3rdFast
Jack McDuff00 0000 00060 6000 000C3OnNormSlow2ndStop
Jazz00 8800 000 (23)OnNormSlow2nd
Jimmy McGriff86 8600 00683 8000 000C3Gospel
Jimmy Smith88 8000 00088 8888 88883 8000 00000 7500 00073C2OnSoftFast3rdSlow
Joey DeFrancesco 188 8400 08083 8000 000C3
Joey DeFrancesco 200 0000 000C3OnNormSlow2Fast/SlowPiano sound
Jon Lord88 4400 000On2ndOverdrive
Matthew Fisher80 0808 000Procol Harum
Melvin Crispel86 8800 004C3
Paul Shaffer 188 6800 300OnSoftFast3rdStopThe Late Show
Paul Shaffer 288 8768 888C3FastI am So Excited
Paul Shaffer 388 8878 678C3Fast
Pink Floyd85 0005 000Slow/FastDon't leave Me Now
Power Chords88 8800 000
Ray Charles00 6876 400Stop
Reggae80 8000 008Slow
Shirley Scott00 8888 800StopChopped Chops
Shouting Chords87 6556 788
Slow Balllad00 8400 000C1Off
Slowly06 8840 003Slow
Soft Chords80 8400 008
Steppenwolf88 8643 200C3OnSoftSlow3rdFastBorn to be Wild
Steve Winwood88 8876 788Roll With It
Strings87 6543 211Slow
Sweet00 8000 000OnSoftSlow2ndSlow
Tom Coster88 8800 00088 4400 000C2OnSoftFast3rdFast/SlowAll perc "On"
Whistling80 0000 008
Whiter Shade Of Pale68 8600 00088 8808 00688 0070 77000 4440 000OnSoftSlow2ndSlowProcol Harum
Wide Leslie86 6800 000Slow

Common Hammond Drawbar Settings

DescriptionUpper ManualLower ManualBassComments
Jimmy Smith88800000080800000070Percussion: On, Soft, Fast, Third
C3, Leslie: slow
Rock, R&B88880000084800000070Percussion: Off
C3, Leslie: slow, fast
Simmering830000378Percusion: Off
VC Off, or C3, Leslie: Fast
Mellow803600000Percussion: Off
No VC, Leslie: alternate slow/fast
Shouting668848588Percussion: Off
VC: Off, C3
Leslie: alternating slow / fast
Whistle888000008Percussion: Off
C3, Leslie: fast for solo, slow for comp

It is important to note that no Hammond sounds the same, so to get the desired sound you may have to adjust the drawbars slightly from the settings shown above. Especially on wax-cap Hammonds, which can sound more muted, you may want to add some more treble (higher drawbars).

Hammond drawbar settings – Gospel

Here’s a number of setting that are commonly used in gospel – a good starting point for experimentation.

Gospel Hammond Drawbar Setting

DescriptionUpper manualLower manualBass
5th Organ08008088300880600073
Born to B388880800800772540084
Full B3 Clean88888888877777777785
Groove Holmes88842008000050500072
House Bass88000000000808000080
House Church8088080080880802180
Jimmy McGriff88320012544865000083
Meditation Time00780045300670054063
Soft Backing88870000055540000062
Speaker Talking67840423100660202463
Testimony Service78774604600880067371
Theatre Organ87865646700884400075