Best Harmonicas for the Money

2013_06_24_harmonica-002When you’re looking for your own harmonica, it is but only logical that you’d want one that is worth our money. With all the many models now available in the market, it is no longer easy to tell which one really fits your budget. Cheap doesn’t always mean low quality. There are also those expensive ones that are not as good as you’d expect them to be.

In this article, we try to narrow down your choices. These harmonicas have different prices, but their quality is not far different from each other.

Best Harmonica for the Complete Beginner

The diaotnic harmonica in the key of “C” is the most recommended type for the complete beginner. This is because most of the theory and explanations in playing harmonicas are based on this key. Most teachers would recommend the Hohner Harmonica M2013BX-C. It has a rounded plastic comb and cover plate design that are gentle on the lips. The curve sides and rouded edges also make it very comfortable to hold and play even for a long period of time. Moreover, because this model has wide-open cover plates and side vents, it is one of the loudest and most dynamic diatonic harmonica in the market. This is quite advantageous for beginners as it will make them familiar with the real sound.

Beside the sound quality is the fact that the Hohner M2013BX-C looks gorgeous! It comes with a zipper case, nicer in appearance than that of the usual boxes on other harmonicas. It also comes with an elastic band, so you can put the instrument around your waist like a belt.

Top-Rated Wooden Harmonica

Remember when we said cheap doesn’t always mean low quality? The Hohner Marine Band Harmonica, Key of G is one of many instances. It offfers that pure, rich, and full tone one will expect from a comb made of wood. In fact, it is one of the most recognizable harmonicas because of this tonal quality. Moreover, this model from Hohner has been made famous by popular musicians, such as John Lennon, Little Walter, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul Butterfield. We can’t stress enough how worth the money this harmonica is! Ask any professional about it, and they’d know.

The Hohner Marine Band is available in 12 major keys and in the lower and higher octave. its body, including the comb, is made of pear wood. It has 20 reeds with 0.99mm brass reed plates.

Best Professional Harmonica Under $50

Rosewood has been sought after construction when it comes to musical instruments, such as guitars, violins, and harmonicas. This is because the wood allows the instruments to deliver warmer tone and great tonal qualities. In harmonicas, rosewood gives the instrument the richness in overall tone. And that is exactly what the Suzuki Pure Harp Harmonica offers its potential users.

This model features the unique Suzuki reed plates that allow playability, making it ideal for both beginners and advanced players. It is also available in major keys.

Best Harmonicas for Beginners

play-harmonicaWhen you are just starting out at learning to play the harmonica, you should start with one in the key of C. The C harmonica will enable the complete beginner to be in tune with most of beginner level lessons. More so, teachers would not recommend you a chromatic harmonica (one with a button on the side) especially if you are a non-musician because it is far more challenging. Keeping this in mind, you can choose from our own picks below.

Top-Rated Harmonica Key of C

The Hohner Special 20 Harmonica, Major C is the go-to-harp harmonica for beginners and even some long-time players of any music style, such as blues, country, and folk. Its plastic comb is the first impressive feature; it has the ability to absorb moisture to prevent it from swelling, shrinking or cracking. Compared with wood combs, the plastic comb is also more durable and more airtight, so it won’t become twisted, swollen and warped. Moreover, because of its airtight construction, its responsiveness is increased, thus producing better sound. Plastic provides comfort as well and is very smooth on the lips.

The sharp edges of the brass reed plates are recessed into the comb, keeping them from harming your lips. This harmonica is the choice of harmonica virtuoso John Popper of the band Blues Traveler. It was even played by Bob Dylan on his 2007-2008 tour. This only means you can trust this piece of instrument.

Best 10-Hole Harmonica

The Suzuki M20 Manji 10-Hole Harmonica is named after Manji Suzuki, the company’s founder who started the business with a single hand-built model over 70 years ago and made the Suzuki one of the most trusted and world’s premiere manufacturers of harmonica. Although this model has embedded wood particles on its resin composite comb, it is assured of not cracking or warping. The wood details, in fact, give the tone of a wood comb.

This harmonica is diatonic, which means it has two reeds per note. Note that diatonic harmonicas are predominantly used in country, blues, rock, folk, etc.. Moreover, although this type has no easy access to all possible notes like the other type (chromatic), they can be acquired through a technique called bending. If you don’t have any idea about this, you’d definitely learn it as you go along with your harmonica lessons.

Top-Rated Harmonica for Beginners

The brass reeds recessed into the shell of the Johnson BK-52-C Blues King Harmonica produce a professional sound quality even when professionals would recommend this model to beginners. The reeds are also designed to prevent air leaks, thus allowing the generous blending of notes. When you’re ready to experiment with the bending technique, this instrument will not disappoint. This can be the ideal birthday gift to a 9-year-old kid!

Best Harmonica Under $10

At the current price of the Hohner 1501BX Blues Band Harmonica, the quality is already decent. It is designed for easy play, thus making it ideal for the complete beginner. Its tonal quality is just right as introduction. The ridges of the comb are comfortable on the lip as well, which is isn’t common to harmonicas within this price range. Experts would even recommend it to their students or to anyone who is planning to learn the instrument at home.