What Harmonica to Buy: A Guide to Finding the Right Instrument for You

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Are you a musician looking for the right harmonica to buy? Many musicians are overwhelmed by the amount of choices available. But don’t worry – our guide will help you find the perfect harmonica to fit your needs. Read on to learn more about what harmonica to buy and how to choose the right one for you.

Different Types of Harmonicas

Different Types Of Harmonicas

Type Description
Diatonic The most commonly used harmonica. It is limited to a specific key and has 10 holes, each with a single reed.
Chromatic This harmonica has 12 holes, each with two reeds. It allows you to play a scale of 12 notes and is often used by jazz and classical musicians.
Tremolo This harmonica has two reeds per hole and is tuned to a single key. It has a unique vibrato effect.
Orchestra This harmonica has two reeds per hole and is tuned to different keys. It is used mainly in classical and jazz music.
Bass This harmonica has a larger body and is tuned to a lower range. It has two reeds per hole and is used mainly in jazz and classical music.
Octave This harmonica has two reeds per hole and is tuned to two different keys. It is used mainly in classical and jazz music.

Diatonic harmonicas are the most commonly used, having 10 holes with a single reed for each. Chromatic harmonicas have 12 holes, each with two reeds, and are mainly used by jazz and classical musicians. Tremolo harmonicas have two reeds per hole and are tuned to a single key, creating a unique vibrato effect. Orchestra harmonicas also have two reeds per hole, but are tuned to different keys. Bass harmonicas have a larger body and are tuned to a lower range, while octave harmonicas are tuned to two different keys.


When choosing a harmonica, the key is a major factor. Harmonicas come in a variety of keys, from C to A. Beginners should generally start with a C-major harmonica. Also, take into account the type of music you’re playing. Different keys can be better for certain genres, like blues or rock.


Harmonicas come in two sizes, standard and miniature. The standard size is a good choice for most players. Miniature harmonicas are smaller and lighter, making them great for traveling.


Harmonicas have either single or double reeds. Single reeds offer a brighter tone, while double reeds have a fuller sound. Double reeds are also louder, but they require more air pressure to play.


When it comes to harmonicas, some brands are better than others. Hohner is the most popular brand, and they offer a wide variety of harmonicas. Other brands like Suzuki, Lee Oskar, and Seydel also make high-quality harmonicas.


Harmonicas vary in price, from inexpensive models to professional-grade harmonicas. Generally speaking, higher-priced harmonicas offer better sound and build quality. It’s also important to factor in the cost of accessories like cleaning supplies and cases.

Top Harmonicas on the Market

Top Harmonicas On The Market

Harmonica Brand Key Price
Big River Hohner G $54.99
Marine Band Hohner C $47.99
Blues Harp Hohner A $39.99
Special 20 Hohner G $54.99
Blues King Seydel G $59.99
Blues Session Seydel C $69.99
Session Steel Seydel G $79.99
Marine Band Deluxe Hohner C $49.99

The most popular and reliable harmonicas on the market are made by Hohner and Seydel. Hohner is known for their Big River, Marine Band, Blues Harp, and Special 20 harmonicas, while Seydel has their Blues King, Blues Session, and Session Steel. All of these harmonicas are available in different keys and range in price from $39.99 to $79.99.

Accessories to Consider

Accessories To Consider

Item Description
Harmonica Case A harmonica case is a great way to store and protect your instrument. It is designed to fit the size of a harmonica and also comes with compartments for accessories.
Mouthpiece A mouthpiece is a great accessory for harmonica players, as it provides additional comfort and control when playing. It is recommended to buy a mouthpiece that is compatible with the type of harmonica you have.
Harmonica Stand A harmonica stand is a convenient way to store and display your instrument while playing. The stand can also help to keep the instrument stable and prevent it from slipping during performances.
Harmonica Tuner A harmonica tuner is an essential accessory for any harmonica player. It helps to ensure that the instrument is tuned properly and plays in tune with the rest of the band or other instruments.
Harmonica Reeds Harmonica reeds are small pieces of metal or plastic that form the sound-producing part of the harmonica. They can wear out over time and need to be replaced periodically.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Proper Care And Maintenance

  • Always store your harmonica in its original box or a protective case.
  • Keep your harmonica away from extreme temperatures and humidity.
  • Clean your harmonica regularly using a clean, soft cloth.
  • Inspect the reeds and comb for any signs of damage due to wear and tear.
  • Always use a new set of reeds when replacing them.
  • Keep the harmonica away from water and any liquid.
  • Replace the reed plates if they become damaged or worn out.
  • Tune your harmonica regularly to ensure optimal sound quality.

Where to Buy

Where To Buy

  • Local Music Shops
  • Online Retailers
  • eBay
  • Local Classified Ads
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist

Local music shops are a great place to start when looking for a harmonica. They usually carry a variety of brands and styles to meet your needs.

Online retailers are also a great option for purchasing a harmonica. Many websites offer a wide range of harmonicas and accessories, as well as helpful reviews and ratings.

eBay is a great resource to find second-hand harmonicas. You can browse a variety of brands and models at competitive prices.

Local classified ads and Facebook Marketplace are also great resources to find second-hand harmonicas. You can often find harmonicas at a great price.

Finally, Craigslist is a great resource to find second-hand harmonicas. You can browse listings on the website and contact the seller directly to arrange for pickup.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Buying a harmonica that is not suitable for your skill level – Make sure you purchase one that is appropriate for your skill level. If you are a beginner, don’t buy an advanced model.
  • Buying a harmonica with too many holes – Although some harmonicas have many holes which can provide more tonal range, it can be difficult to control the sound. It is better to start with a harmonica with fewer holes.
  • Not researching the type of harmonica – Different types of harmonicas are suited to different types of music. So, make sure you research the type of harmonica that is best for the music you wish to play.
  • Buying a cheap harmonica – It is important to purchase a harmonica of good quality, as this will make playing easier. A cheap harmonica may not provide the best sound, so it is important to invest in a good quality one.
  • Not considering the key of the harmonica – It is important to consider the key of the harmonica, as this will determine the notes you can play. Make sure you buy one with the key that is suitable for the music you wish to play.
  • Not testing the harmonica – It is important to test the harmonica before you buy it. You should test it to make sure it is comfortable to play and produces a good sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Harmonica for Beginners?

For a beginner, the best harmonica to buy is a diatonic harmonica. It is a single-key instrument that is widely used in blues, rock, country and folk music. A diatonic harmonica is a great choice for beginners because it is easy to learn and play. The most popular brand for beginners is Hohner. They have a wide range of models for different styles of music and skill levels.

What is the Best Harmonica to Buy?

The best harmonica to buy depends on several factors such as the player’s skill level, type of music they want to play, and budget. Beginners should opt for a diatonic harmonica, as it is the most commonly used type and produces a rich sound. Chromatic harmonicas are more suitable for advanced players, as they can produce a wider range of notes. For playing traditional blues music, a Marine Band harmonica is recommended, while a Hohner Special 20 is suitable for rock, country music, and more. When it comes to budget, the cheaper harmonicas tend to be of poorer quality, so it is best to invest in a mid-range or higher-end harmonica.

What is a Good Harmonica to Learn On?

For beginners, a diatonic harmonica is the best choice as it is specifically designed for playing melodies. A 10 or 12-hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C is recommended, as it is the most common key and the easiest to find sheet music and instruction for. Avoid chromatic harmonicas as they are designed for more advanced players. Beginner harmonicas should also have plastic comb construction as opposed to wooden comb, as they are easier to clean and maintain.

Which is the Best Harmonica for the Money?

When it comes to choosing a harmonica, it is important to consider the budget, sound quality, and durability. If you are looking for the best harmonica for the money, the Hohner Marine Band 364/20 Classic is a great choice. This harmonica is affordably priced, produces a warm and full sound, and is built to last. It features a traditional wood comb, brass reeds, and is made from high-quality materials. It is a great choice for beginners and experienced harmonica players alike.

How do I choose the right harmonica for me?

When choosing a harmonica, consider factors such as type, key, tuning, and reed plates. Beginners should look for an instrument that is easy to play and learn on, while experienced players may opt for a more advanced model. Additionally, think about the size and material of the harmonica, as well as the type of music and techniques you plan to play. Consider the budget and any accessories you may need, such as mics or cases. Asking for advice from a knowledgeable friend or music store employee can also be helpful.


For those looking to purchase a harmonica, it is important to consider the type of harmonica, the key of the harmonica, the construction and quality of the harmonica, and the price. Different types of harmonicas will have different sound qualities and styles, so it is important to choose a harmonica that fits the desired sound and style. Choosing the right key is also important, as playing in the wrong key can make a harmonica sound out of tune. The construction and quality of a harmonica are also important, as a poorly made harmonica will not last as long and will not sound as good. Finally, the price of the harmonica is important to consider, as harmonicas range in cost from budget-friendly options to more expensive professional models. By considering all of these factors, it is possible to find the right harmonica for your needs.


About the author

Hey, my name is John Peters, and I’m a co-founder and Jack’s co-editors. My country sole was born when I was not more than 4 years old and my dad brought several country records home. These were the records by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Asleep at The Wheel, and Neil Young. I fell in love with the genre forever back then. Before entering the university, I managed to gather a collection of over 1200 vinyl records with both classic and modern country releases.

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