Which harmonica do you need?
Best harmonica for learning the Blues
If you want to learn how to play the Blues then you will need a 10-hole diatonic harmonica in the key of “C”. There are other keys that you will probably get in the future but most educational material available here and elsewhere features a “C” harmonica. Be careful when selecting a harmonica as you will come across a wide variety of instruments which are not suitable for the Blues. Avoid Tremolo, Chord, Bass and Chromatic harmonicas (for now).
Buying your first harmonica
I highly recommend starting with a Hohner Special 20* harmonica in the key of “C”. It is extremely good value for money and plays well out of the box for players of all levels. It is held together with screws which makes it easy to clean and service. The comb is plastic which means it is waterproof. This is important as you are going to salivate a lot (especially when you are first starting out).The reeds are brass which makes them easy to play with minimum effort.
After your first harmonica
There are lots of great harmonicas out there to try out once you have got a bit of experience. I’m a big fan of the Hohner Crossover and the Seydel 1847 Classic. They both feel very different from each other; the Crossover responds well to a light touch while the Seydel needs a firmer hand.
Here is a video I did comparing the two
Once you have been playing for six months to a year it is worth trying different brands and models of harmonica out. You might be surprised by what you end up loving. My first harmonica was a Lee Oskar which I loved until I tried a Hohner Marine Band which blew my mind!
DO NOT buy a cheap harmonica
You might be tempted to buy a cheap harmonica or set of harmonicas on Amazon but it simply is not worth it. They will be hard to play and difficult to learn on. It is better to have one good quality harmonica instead of seven mediocre ones.
Buying more keys
There are 12 standard keys of 10-hole diatonic harmonica; G, Ab, A, B, Bb, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F and F#. In practice the most useful keys to have in your repertoire are G, A, Bb, C, D and F. These will enable you to play the majority of Blues music that you will want to. You might discover some repertoire that requires one of the other keys in which case you can add that to your quiver but this set of six will cover most of your bases.
Tomlin Harmonica Rig Rundown
Hello and welcome to this week’s video, where I will be showing you the rig that I use to play most of my amplified harmonica stuff with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3TRQVRR7U8 Rig Rundown Blowsmeaway Ultimate 565 - http://www.blowsmeaway.com/ Lone Wolf Harp...
Busking Tips for Harmonica Players (and Other Musicians!) feat. Harry Higgs!
Hello and welcome to this week’s lesson, where I will be joined by my buddy Harry to talk about how to get started busking and some tips for making the most of it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2bsvuUX_so What is busking? When you see musicians on the street...
How to hold a harmonica microphone and help selecting a microphone
Hello and welcome to this week’s harmonica lesson where I will be showing you how to hold a harmonica microphone in order to get a decent amplified harmonica tone. I will be looking at both Bullet-style and Stick-style microphones. There are other ways to hold a harp...
Introduction to Amplified Harmonica
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10 Things Every Harmonica Player Needs/Wants (Gift Ideas)
Hello and welcome to this week’s lesson where I’ll be talking about some ideas for great gifts for the harmonica player you know and love. It's that time of the year again so you are also allowed to treat yourself. 😉 https://youtu.be/aDA2N18kEc0 I've put links in...
Hello and welcome to this week’s lesson where I am going to give you a quick start guide for harmonica looping using a Looper Pedal. https://youtu.be/4tl3iXIUElQ You will need a C harmonica played in 2nd position in the key of G. Click here to download lesson...