Which harmonicas should I buy?
One of the most common questions we get asked by beginners is “Which harmonicas 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.
I was always told 'get the best instrument you can afford and the best teacher you can find'.
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 higher price models. The factory uses better material, higher trained staff, better quality checks. You get what you pay for.
A well made harmonica should gives years of service if you take care of it and play it sympathetically.
And which key?
For your first diatonic harmonica you should choose a key of C as much of the teaching material available is done for this key. Also C is neither high nor low - plus it relates to piano white notes which can make learning easier as you can check everything on the piano keyboard.
Here is a major scale on the piano keyboard:
Here is the same major scale on the harmonica:
After that A, D and G. Next F and Bb. Finally the other six keys. Or just get a boxed set or 3 or 7 harps.
Have a look at all the amazing new harmonicas in the shop, read the reviews, watch and listen to us demonstrating them and try one - tell us what you think of it!