Best Places To Purchase Harps Online!

Yeah, okay – So you’ve gone ahead and invested in one of the best if not the best in the world – home harmonica study courses dvd boxed sets by JP Allen.

You’re all excited as you open it up and find not one, but two C harmonicas inside.

You take one out and start blowing and drawing on it, all the while thinking to yourself you’re going to be the next Little Walter, Sonny Boy Terry or Williamson I or II, take your pick – and/or even JP Allen himself!

You pop in that first dvd to your player or computer, and within the very first lesson what do you see and hear: JP talking about different harmonicas. From Lee Oskars to Hohners - and his preferred harps of choice are the Hohner Special 20s.

You look and see that you have a Hohner “Blues Band International.” Well your heart sinks a little bit, but no biggie really. You start off your first few lessons learning how to blow and draw – And what happens sure as heck!? – The harmonica locks up on you and fails. Well, again, your heart sinks again, but also no biggie – You got two harmonicas, right?

Take it out; make sure you’re not doing anything ‘wrong’ as you understand wrong blowing and drawing to be – But what happens?! Sure as heck this one fails too. Reeds, on either blow or draw or both, in and out get stuck and lock up!!

What’s a person to do?

Oh, yes – If I order before midnight tonight I can get me a Hohner Special 20, and even have it shipped express so it’ll be here in the morning!

Well, yes and no. Yes, you can order harps online or over the phone, but if you want to have them expressed, it’s going to cost you. Great, if you want to do that.

Of course, you can do the other thing, which is cursing out JP Allen in your bedroom or wherever you’re watching his dvds for selling you crappy harmonicas or God forbid trying to pull an old bait-and-switch routine on you.

Folks, let me tell you, it’s not like that at all. Seriously, I bought a lot of harmonica book and tape sets throughout the years. One of their selling points – yes, even gimmicks if you want to be brutally honest about it – is including a free harmonica in the package.

And anybody who’s ever bought these things knows, absolutely knows these little Hohners, and yes, they’re all Hohners, are the cheapest tin toys out there. Whether you call it a Blues Band International, or Harmonica Pal, or even a Boy Scout Harmonica – if it says “product of China” or “made in China” anywhere on it – And/or you can buy it for about the price of a Mickey D’s Happy Meal (or even less) – If you value your own sanity, please stay the hell clear of it and them at any cost!

But you might argue: “I just invested some good hard-earned money into JP Allen’s boxed dvd set.”

Yes, I know.

“And he talks about getting a Spec 20 to follow along and play with him.”

Yes, I know.

“Well, don’t you think that I should’ve gotten the same kind of harmonica he’s playing on, then?”

Yes, well, but with a caveat.

“So what gives, and meaning…?!”

Believe me, I’m not making excuses or answering for anybody here – I get no endorsements or anything – I’m just a fan! But the fact is every harmonica package deal that you got yesterday, will get today or even tomorrow – All those “free harmonicas included” will be always be cheapo made in China products. It is what it is – It’s just business as it is.

It’s not Marco’s fault; it’s not Glenn Weiser’s fault; it’s not even Mel Bay’s fault – [“Who are those people?” Well I bought a lot of programs with free harmonicas included… so…anyway…] – It’s certainly not JP Allen’s fault either.

“Well, what’s a person to do who wants to learn harmonica then and has cheapo harps to start with?”

Great question! One thing is, you can open them up and try to fix them. But yes, I’ll tell you now before you ask – Why bother?

Because eventually, you’re going to have to teach yourself something about harmonica maintenance, which we’ll all get into together here.

But you can open up these cheapo harmonicas – and as a learning tool not feel bad if the very first time you pluck a reed it breaks off and goes flying across the room! Yeah, it’s happened to me!

But here’s the caveat, the good part I want to tell you about. Harmonica, whether you’re just interested in learning to play for yourself , family, friends, whatever – The harmonica is an instrument. And like any musical instrument you want to play, takes something of an investment on your part.

On this note then, even if you just want to chug along on a harmonica while kicking a can down the street – and I have and I do! – Invest yourself in some good harmonicas.

Does that mean you have to buy direct from JP Allen?

Heck no! Might be nice for his or his manager’s bank account if you did. But here in the real world, you have to comparison shop. And I’ve done just that as well.

Here for me, and a whole host of others are the best online places to buy harmonicas:

Check them out yourself. Sure, they’ll overnight your stuff if you’re itching and/or jonesing for it right now. But hey, that’s all up to you. Oh, and if you find better deals somewhere else, please post them here too.

But one more thing I have to mention for this post:

Regardless of the harmonicas I received in the JP Allen boxed set – When I compared “the value” of all the lessons to other websites and harmonica programs – And, yes, I’ve invested heavily into them already – Nothing, but nothing comes close to what JP Allen offers for a one-time only, one-time life investment purchase price!

Yes, I’ve signed up for online websites at a quarterly and/or yearly membership rate. And I’ll be honest and say I don’t even visit them or every so often in a blue moon will do so. When my subscriptions run out – well, so be it. I’ll probably most likely not renew any, save one or two.


A couple of reasons. A) I need a computer to access them. So I’m hoping it doesn’t crash. I have Carbonite, but that’s another thing entirely different.

But B) and more importantly: With JP Allen’s home harmonica study course, all I really need is a dvd player for the lessons and/or cd player for the jam along tracks! And I’m good to go!

Yeppers! This was one of the best things I’ve ever invested in. And here’s hoping you feel the same way as well. So kindly share your thoughts on this or any harmonica-related matters.

And as always - Keep on harpin’!

Thanks for reading!!


you can get it at too… i have my Seydel there

Hey Street Player, you’re dead-on!!!

Further, your comments about JP’s home course (the entire bundle) bedis by far the best on the market. I had tried most of the others offered and none of them grabbed me and moved me forward, but JP’s did. To this day I watch them because they are the basic instructions and knowledge giver one needs to not only learn the harmonica, but they instill in the beginner “DESIRE”. His enegy and love for the harmonica shown in these DVD’s is contagious.

Also, your can’t find any better deal on Special 20’s then from JP Allen. I also have no commercial relastionship with JP Allen.


Not quite sure I follow the point of the original post but I like Rockin Ron’s Harmonica 4 less.

GREAT service, good selection (including the Special 20) and super fast shipping. It’s been awhile since I ordered but I seem to remember his prices were competitive.

For me a big plus is that he is on the west coast so shipping time is very fast to where I live.

Well Ezas!

You’re great with getting the ‘gist’ of my original post anyways! That’s the important thing here! :slight_smile:

Glad you found a harp-providing outlet close to you! And if I/anyone finds a lower advertised price on any harp or harp package - MusciansFriend can/will most likely sell it to you for less! Cool beans in my book!

Thanks for the link! :smiley:

Somebody suggested Rockin’ Ron’s so I checked it out. The price on the Sp20 was a little high. That’s the only one I checked because this site doesn’t show the price til you order it. I HATE THAT!!!

Yeah I hear ya. Some sites do that…But doesn’t mean you have to order from them either.

The worst are when you go to click away and some ‘chat box girl’ from Aliens, Inc. shows up and wants to know if you can stick around to see her specials, or whatever!

Sorry, no! That’s why I cancelled out of this website to begin with, Bot!!

Where are the best deals for purchasing harps?

Buddy bear,

I find for me I use mostly Golden Melodys and best selection is on line at

There all gonna be close to the same price. Give or take a couple bucks.

Harp on!!

I originally ran this post here:!/

from a US standpoint.

Fortunately others began chiming in with suggestions from all over the world.

Not knowing exactly where you are located now, and what you’re interested in getting, maybe this review post can assist also:!/

Hope this forum here helps you in the decision making process!

Good luck!

It pays to be a good bargain hunter and customer too! :slight_smile:

Just recently, I ordered my Spec 20s from Musicians Friend - A Bb, Eb, and F - to fill out my set.

The Bb was on back order, yet they’d send out the Eb and F pronto!

I received the package and there was an F and straight E harp. :-\

With the return label in hand, getting ready to head out to the Post Office, I called to let them know they’re error and what I was doing.

At that, the clerk said: “We’re sorry for your inconvenience, sir. Please keep the E and we’ll ship you out the Eb as soon as possible.”

For real? :o

“Yes, for real!”

So nice of them! :-*

Yet too, when I ordered my Golden Melodys from Coast2Coast Music last year, somehow they messed up the order and only sent me one harp: An E!

Contacting them, they apologized saying they were slammed with orders for the holiday and everything would go out as soon as possible.

Later that week, everything came in as promised. And amongst the set was, you guessed it: Another E! ;D

Either MFrs and C2C can’t sell enough or actually do like giving away Es - Yet I’m always happy to add more spares to my sets. :wink:

And no matter which way you slice and/or play it:

It pays to be a good bargain hunter and good customer too! :slight_smile:


Keep on Harpin’!

SPD Out!

Cool post, SPD! Thanks.

Street Dude

Golden Melody vs Special 20. I play “tunes”. Which is better suited to play tunes?



From everything I have read the GM is better for tunes. It is tuned to equal temperment which means the notes are truer to the actual frequency of the standard notes. The special 20 is just intonation tuned and compromises the “true” note frequencies to make the cords sound better.

Keep in mind that some people don’t like the GM protruding reed plates. There are plenty of harps that are tuned to equal temperment though so don’t think if you want the best for tunes you have to go with the Golden Melody.

Hello G-Man! I was writing this post as you were writing/posting yours. Good answer too, yo! Anywhat…

Hi Again McManus!

It’s a great question - Yet the answer is totally subjective and personal to everyone.

As in which is better for playing piano - A Baldwin or a Steinway?!

Depends on what you have and are using at the time, isn’t it?!

I like playing all my harps - From GMs, Spec20s, Big Rivers and so on.

One of the things I like most about this particular forum here, is the variety of harp players all over the world coming in and sharing with everyone else their experiences on the harmonica instruments they have. What they like, what they don’t like, etc.

Hopefully you’ve read about the worst harmonica experiences:!/

As well as the best harmonica experiences, especially for beginners:

Which helps you and everyone at least get some good information to better help them out in making their personal decisions.

I like and enjoy what I have; I like and enjoy reading about what everybody else has too!

I play my tunes with all my harps and hope everyone can and does as well, as in:

It’s a great question, McManus - And the answer is totally subjective and personal to everyone.

So what pray tell would be your take on harmonica instruments you have, would like to get, and so on? Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas and comments with us anytime!

Keep on Smiling!

Keep on Harpin’!

Thanks for Reading!

How about Craigslist? Of course, I’m not trying before boiling, so I guess I’d be buying a pig in a poke. There’s one semi-local to here on C’list, a Comet for $50. BTW, I’m not really going to boil one, but I will disinfect and sanitize one about a million times before sticking my mouth and tongue on a used one. I’ve only bought (what I suppose anyway) new ones because of this so far. Of course, good corn likker’ll kill anything. It didn’t kill one of our locals though. It took a black widow spider biting him on certain normally covered parts while he was visiting the outhouse. He was 105 at the time. I bet the spider died too when she realized where she bite him. True story. You don’t find outhouses much anymore. They say the city sewer is cleaner. So rather than having a little pile in a hole in the ground, they collect everybody’s from miles around and corral it up into one great big sweet smelling pond. Of course you have these ponds all over the country side now. Real clean, huh?
I think I’ll stick to new harps!

Here’s the link – you have to click through to the specific harp before you see a price – don’t have to order it first.

All of Ron’s stuff ships free – so be sure to factor that into the equation. And, he’s usually got a few specials on the home page. Great service, pricing and a good guy too.

I bought one or 2 harps from him a while back and he usually ships via post office. Couldn’t purchase unless he could do UPS.

He went out of his way and did the UPS for me. Great place to buy your harps.

Good honest and very much into customer service.

Highly recommend

harp on!!

rockin rons or musicians friend

A good post, SPD :wink:

… good point you make about JP’s course and online courses, especially if you have problems with internet access, like I’ve had recently :-\