Choosing the Best Harmonica for a Beginner
When looking at which harmonica is the Best Harmonica for Beginners it is best to take into account the following four factors:
- What type of Harmonica
- What Key to buy
- What kind of comb does it have
- What is a good price point
What type of Harmonica
For beginners common wisdom has them starting on a 10-hole Diatonic which is used for most blues, folk music, rock and country styles of play.
What Key to buy in
The most commonly used Key is the “C” Key and this is also the traditional one that beginners start with when learning to play. This means that there should be plenty of beginner songs available to practice on.
What kind of reed does it have
The comb comes in several different materials including wood, plastic and metal. Beginners tend to over blow or to push to much moisture into the harmonica. For wooden combs this can cause them to swell and can cause damage over time. This is less of an issue for plastic or metal combs.
What is a good price point
Generally you want to stay away from the really cheap harmonicas. The chance of getting a poorly assembled harmonica goes up greatly the cheaper the harmonica. If a harmonica is not sealed correctly it will allow air to leak which will force you to over blow to compensate. This actually introduces bad habits and makes the learning process harder as you are struggling potentially with a flawed instrument. The good news is that quality or even professional level harmonica’s are not that expensive and can usallly be found between 25-50 U.S. Dollars.
Our Recomendations for Beginners
Amazon links provided on the images and Harmonica Names for your convenience.
Hohner Special 20 Key of C - Good response, good bendability and a sweet tone. This harp is a favorite for those learning to play. Its special airtight design makes it a recommended harp for harmonica players of any style, including blues, country, folk or rock. The plastic comb doesn’t absorb moisture making it longer lasting.
Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Key of C - This has many of the same attributes and is at the same quality level as the Hohner Diatonic Special 20 but for those that prefer a Lee Oskar then here is a good choice for you.
Hohner Marine Band Crossover Key of C - The Marine Band Crossover Harmonica’s laminated-bamboo comb is completely sealed, making it water repellent and stable. In combination with the screw-together assembly, the Marine Band Crossover is airtight, with fast, even response and a raspy, powerful sound. The crossover Marine Band harmonica’s modern-compromise tuning is ideal for single-note playing in different positions as well as easy note bending for contemporary blues, rock, jazz, soul, and funk, while still ensuring a full chord sound.
Suzuki Firebreath Key of C - If you prefer to play a wood comb harmonica but dislike the problems associated with wood comb harmonicas in the past, then here is the harmonica for you. The comb is made of Rosewood which is resistant to moisture and swelling. The mouth piece is rounded for a great comfortable feel and ideal for tongue blocking technique. The durability of rosewood is regarded as one of the best in the tonewood family.