One of the most common questions we get asked by beginners is “Which harmonica should I buy?”
There are so many different brands and models available that it can be quite confusing.
As with all musical instruments you do get what you pay for so our advice would be that if you can afford it, buy a mid range instrument. Something in the price range £20 -£40 should do the job nicely.
Many people do start out with very cheap instruments and there's nothing wrong with this, indeed we sell many of the cheaper instruments and often get very complementary feedback about them.
However by just spending a bit more, the quality of the harmonica increases dramatically; they are easier to play as they are more airtight, you tend to get better tone and more volume. Tuning is generally more accurate and consistent in the dearer models.
A well made harmonica should gives years of service if you take care of it and play it sympathetically.
For your first diatonic harmonica you should choose a key of C as much of the teaching material available is done for this key.
As to specific models you could try a Hohner Big River Harp, Marine Band 1896 or Special 20 or our own brand Sonnyboy's Special which is excellent value or maybe a Suzuki Bluesmaster or Lee Oskar.
Within the Sonnyboys range there are three subtly different tunings - or intonations. Mojo = blues; Special = melodies; Classic = everything. Please see the explanation below.