Can I hold Harmonica in right hand?

Hi Everyone,

I just started learning harmonica and I got a Hohner Special 20 C Key Harmonica and some of the great free video lessons of JP Allen to start with.

I am a left handed. I play a classical South Indian drum (Mridangam) also using left hand as the primary hand. Apart from this drum I don’t have any music background.

In all the lessons it is told to hold the harmonica in left hand and cup with right hand. Since I am left handed do I reverse this? I mean hold harmonica in right hand, cup with left hand, and turn the harp upside down?

I just wanted to know which is the best method for a left handed person, so I know I am starting it good. Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.


If memory serves, Sonny Terry was left-handed and he did play his harps in reverse (backwards, upside down, etc.)

Other players have done/do so as well.

Bottom line: Do whatever works for you!

Have fun!

Keep On Harpin’!

Hold it however you want! Whatever works best!


I am left handed too, but I play all instruments as a right handed person would … the left handed way doesn’t feel natural too me, but , the left handed way is the way I was first shown to play guitar, but I still play it the right handed way, I think its more how you feel more comfortable and if you think about it there are times we have to adapt be thankful you are not a piano player … then you wouldn’t have a choice lol

I too am left handed but play right handed. This is difficult enough without having to try to think upside down and backwards to play left handed. But the trump card says do what feels natural/best to you.

Terry McMillan played upside down harp too. If you’re just getting started, try learning the conventional style. If it won’t do for you, switch.


Thank you so much everyone for you quick and encouraging responses. I started the conventional style and just yesterday I started the upside down. I will try both for couple of days and try to use one technique which I feel comfortable. As of now, I am feeling the conventional style (holding in left hand as normally) being more simpler than the upside down way.


I Made a few pictures of “how I hold my harp in my right hand”. To help lefties like me.
Because the most important problem is not really the way you hold it, but the way to keep a nice and deep wah-wah sound, with the low notes on the left…


I tried holding my harp in my right hand. I didn’t drop it once.
Oh, you mean while playing? Ok. Never mind…