Buying a second Harmonica?

Hello, On July 30th, my Hohner Special 20 (Key C), ARRIVED! And same day, I started my course “Beginner to Boss”. Having some trouble with single notes. I understand that its ONLY been 5 days now, and I practice everyday. I am truly enjoying learning. Really love how “Luke” teaches.

My ultimate dream, is to play classic Songs and Melodies. Each day, after watching and practicing lessons from “Beginners to Boss”,
I practice and practice, three songs, that I absolutely love the melodies: “Country Roads Take Me Home”, “Oh Holy Night” and “Dust In The Wind”.

My question for now is: Should I ALSO get a Lee Oskar Major Diatonic? I have seen where achieving single notes may be a little easier with this Harmonica.
If I do get one, SHOULD I get it in the (key C) AGAIN? My Hohner Special 20 is a (key C), OR should I get it in a different KEY? (so I can hear two different Keys).
Again, my ultimate goal is to play some classic songs, like the ones I mentioned before.

Thanks for any advice,

I’m also a new player (started playing seriously this year) so I hope it’s okay if I say this.

I think most harmonica players like to play around with different brands, since while they are in the same key, the sound can still sound different I think it was @Luke who mentioned the Lee Oskars having a thinner sound (Do please correct me if I’m wrong!)

So personally I’d buy more harmonicas. Bought three Lee Oskars, after having used Suzuki Folkmasters for a while. My brother who is a musician even said “I can hear you are bending” when I tried to bend on the LOs. I bought 3 different keys with a C among them, and I’d reccomend that too since a lot of harmonica lessons focus on the key of C

And the single notes will become easier over time with practice.

Thanks so much for the advice. I am going to go ahead and buy several LO’s in different keys, and Ill make sure to still get one in the Key C, too. I just see over time, it will be fun to try the different Harmonica styles.

Thanks again, for responding to me.

Starr Phillips

Hi @Jerseys1 !!

I don’t want to sound like a pro but since you are really new to this I would suggest the following for you to think about before buying anything.

  1. The Special 20 is an excellent harp and to play single notes it is neither more difficult nor easier than any other harp (except, of course, it is easier than really cheap harps).

  2. If you decide to buy a new harp, the most common one for blues would be one in the key of A, which (in 2nd position) permits you to play songs in the key of E and E minor (both of which guitar players love to play). In 3rd position you can also play in the key of B minor. Having said that, my experience (back when I was also a beginner) was that the differences in playing technique (tongue/muscle-related things that you will get into during the rest of your course) for a harp that is in a different key than the one you are first learning to play can sometimes throw you off track so much that your progress actually slows down! :frowning_face: So I would wait until you finish the course before buying a harp in a different key (unless that is required during the course). :point_left:

  3. If you are sure that harp playing is your “thing” then I would also consider waiting a bit longer (until you perhaps finish the course “Beginner to Boss”) and then invest in something even better than a Lee Oskar or Special 20 – that means: something more expensive, such as a Hohner Marine Band Deluxe or a Hohner Crossover or a Seydel with stainless steel reeds (such as their Blues Session Steel or their 1847 Classic – which I think is a really fine harp). :star_struck: There are others, of course, and if you are interested then ask back here again for some further brand/model suggestions.


– Slim :sunglasses:

Slim, Thank you very much for the ADVICE. I think I WILL put the brakes on for awhile, regarding purchasing any more. And just continuing to LEARN, and get the BASICS down first. I am just so excited about all this!

I can play, “Country Roads” by John Denver, and “Oh Holy Night”. I really love these melodies. Of course by ALL means, I DONT have them down perfect, or even close to perfect, I miss a note here and there, BUT I cant even believe I could do anything like this.

I absolutely love music, BUT have NEVER been musically inclined at all. I am the shower/car type singer! If I am outside, the coyotes start howling, seriously! LOL.

Thanks again for your help.

Starr Phillips

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Hey Starr - @slim’s advice is right on point (as always.)

I agree, the Special 20 is fine harmonica and exactly the same as the Lee Oskar in terms of how easy it is to isolate notes.

When you get ready to to purchase another harmonica, I always recommend getting whatever key you’d need to be able to play along with your favorite song, but I think A or G are great 2nd keys to think about.

I think Lee Oskars and Special 20’s are A+, but of the other harps that @Slim recommended, the Hohner Crossover is my favorite personally.

Rock on!


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Luke, Thanks so much for your advice. I’m continuing on with your Beginners to Boss,. hopefully will finish soon. I am truly enjoying this new World, called the “Harmonica”.

Thanks, Starr

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