When 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.