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Which harmonica to buy?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:44 pm
by harmonicatunes
Beginners often ask which harmonica they should get. I've put together an article which outlines the choices available. Instead of recommending a specific instrument, I suggest a range of instruments which beginners might choose from (pictures included). Premium and custom harmonicas are also discussed.

"When I started playing there was one harmonica readily available, the Hohner Marine Band. Choosing your first harmonica back then was easy. Things have changed a lot, harmonica players are now blessed with a wide variety of instruments to choose from...."

The rest of the article is at

Re: Which harmonica to buy?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:38 pm
by jeffl
Nice page and site Tony. I've played harp since the 60's and am mostly self-taught since there weren't the learning resources available back in those days. I did read Tony Glover's tutorial, "Blues Harp", to get me kick started after fumbling around for about a year on my own, and bought Portnoy's study many years later. I don't gig anymore..just jam every week with the same bunch, splitting harp and keyboard duties, so I'm not pushing myself on harp much lately.

Re: Which harmonica to buy?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:34 pm
by Gtrist
I have a Marine Band one, because I kept reading of all these old blues players that used them. And the stuff available back then was to start with A--so I did that too.

It's mostly for fun, as I never quite got the hang of it beyond simple stuff. I still play along to recordings, for fun, and I have one recorded example of me playing, "When the Saints Go Marchin' In" The music came with the harmonica.

If I'd had more time I'd probably be better, but it would still be for fun--and I do enjoy playing harmonica here & there--but I tend to do it when nobody else can hear me.

Still good article for anyone looking to get into it--whether just for their own amusement, or to pursue it more seriously.

Re: Which harmonica to buy?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:36 am
by jbone1
that's one thing i like about harp. you can take it as far as you want or keep it very simple.

my first harp was a marine band in C. along the way i've used a lot of different brands and styles, and gotten away from the wood comb models. these days hohner makes a better class marine band called a deluxe with sealed comb and there are a lot more options for both store bought harps and customized harps. a lot more guys than ever are modifying and customizing harps for better performance.

i think my first song i learned was mary had a little lamb! been a long time since then and a lot of music.