General Question

likipie's avatar

Are there different kinds of harmonicas?

Asked by likipie (1448 points ) April 26th, 2012

I know there’s tons of brands and stuff, I mean different types. I want to learn how to play the harmonica, but there’s so many to choose from, I don’t want to get the wrong one. I know that different guitars sound differently, are harmonicas the same way? If so, which one should I get? I want to be able to use it forever, not just to start out.

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9 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

Harmonicas don’t last forever. Get any to learn on (plastic comb will last longest). I have probably had 50 in my lifetime . . .

ddude1116's avatar

There are different keys the harmonica can be in, but that’s truly arbitrary, without one being correct. I recommend buying an inexpensive one, like a Hohner Special 20, which is only twenty or thirty bucks, and it’s pretty nice. None will last forever, but they aren’t expensive enough to worry about.

tom_g's avatar

Also, do some research on the key you want. If you’re interested in playing blues harp, look into cross harp so you get the correct key. For example, if you want to play blues in G, buy a C harp.

likipie's avatar

@tom_g I don’t have a clue which key I’d want or how to figure out which key I’d want. I’d ask my brother but he just moved out a couple months ago so I’m the only musical one left in my family and I’m just getting started here. Is there like a standard key? Like on the piano, middle C is kind of where everyone starts out when learning, and then after that they learn different keys. Is there something like that?

@Kayak8 I don’t mean forever literally, nothing lasts forever. I just don’t want to have to replace it every couple of months. A few years would be nice.

tom_g's avatar

C is a great key to get. Do you play guitar? If so, you can really play a ton of easy songs in the key of C or play some basic blues in G and get to try out some blues harp, with all of the bends, etc.

Even if you don’t play guitar, you can’t go wrong with a harmonica in the key of C.

Go Hohner Blues Harp or Special 20.

josie's avatar

Buy the cheapest one you can find in order to learn how to use your lips and tongue and when to blow and when to suck. After that, buy a better one in a key that you can use. As above, C is good, so is E.

likipie's avatar

@tom_g Yeah, I play acoustic and bass.

jazmina88's avatar

Play in the key of the guitar. usually D G
Get a cheap one to start. and then the keys are more important when you advance to play with a group. G is very good.

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