Good quality beginner harps?

Okay. I asked about some cheapies and I guess that is not the way to go. I have the harmonicas that came with JP’s course and the Hohner Blue Ice ones on the way. For a beginner like me, what are some good quality beginner harmonicas? I’m thinking major brands like Hohner, Suzuki, Lee Oskar, Seydel. I’m going to order a Spec 20 but what else should I be looking at? I’m not going to waste any more money on junk.

Charles, If I may just put in 2 cents. It has been my experience that no matter what, you will get what you pay for. With that in mind, You may consider the fact that alot of the choices that will be made by you are for you. You are ultimately the one who will have to live with the choices.
From reading your posts, it seems to me that you need a little shove. I mean that nicely. When it comes to harps or anything else, you will want quality.
For me, I have chosen Seydel as my harp of choice. I have Lee Oskars, which play OK. I just don’t really like them. I have a Golden Melody, which I hate. But, there are several on this forum that love them. I also have a couple of Hohners, which for me are just OK. (I have 2 Special 20’s and 1 Blues Harp)

So, if you are really serious about learning to play, bite off a big chunk and start chewing! LOL!
What ever you choose, don’t be afraid to spend some money, better quality is worth it! Check out one of Ben Bouman’s Beta Harps. You will be pleased!

Note: Seydel also offers the Blues Session which is a sweet harp for about the same money as a SP20 or Lee Oskar. Good luck and be sure to let us know what you choose! Happy Harpin’ ;D

You can get these harps at

Yes, I do need a little shove. As my skills progress, I will add more to my collection and try different brands. I have decided to stay away from the cheap stuff and am going to stick with major brands. I just need some guidelines on where to start.

Eventually, I will find what I like best and it might be all one brand or different models from different brands. I’m just trying to get ideas for good starting points.

I learned on a Official Scout Harmonica…made in China i know…but it works good, bends like nuthin’ doin’!
I have no clue how much it costs, but it can’t be that bad…and it is an excellent beginner harp in my non-expert opinion.

P.S. They have Boy Scouts in China? ;D

I like the special 20, suzuki bluesmaster, and the Bushman Delta frost. I like the response and playability of the special 20 the best, and I like the way the bluesmaster feels on my lips the best of the three. I don’t see anything about the Delta Frost that I like better than the special 20. Don’t get me wrong, the Delta Frost is a really good harp, but for me it didn’t exceed the special 20 in any way so I wished I had bought a special 20. In theory I guess the reeds should last longer and that would be a plus. If I could get the reeds from a special 20 in a suzuki bluesmaster, I think I would have my perfect harp.

Okay. I think I’m going to get a Hohner Spec 20 and Golden Melody, a Suzuki Bluesmaster, and a Seydel in the same price range. I can get a feel for how each plays and decide what I like best and go from there.

My kinda guy!

Good choices Charles let us know which one you liked the best.

Just curious you got all good harps coming in.

harp On!!

I’ve gone through this myself over the last couple of months, and ended up trying a dozen different models. I think you’ve made some good choices to start with (I still haven’t tried the Golden Melody myself, it really should be next on my list).

One thing I found out in doing this is that the key the harmonica is in had more impact than I expected. The lower keys always seem nicer to play to me; if comparing one model in a low key and another in a high key, I would usually like the model in the lower key. I like almost anything in G, Ab, A.

Another thing is that all of the harmonicas in the $25+ range are pretty good; many of the differences here tend to come down more to personal preference; some like the feel, tone, or sound of a model that’s smaller, larger, thinner, fatter, wood, metal, plastic, open, closed, equal tempered or just, recessed or exposed reed plate edge, etc. Sometimes it’s just a matter of what is most comfortable for your mouth and your playing style. For me, the Seydel Blues Seesion was one of my least favorites, not due to anything really wrong with it, but just that it was fatter than all the other models I tried and I didn’t like the feel in my small mouth.

Of the models I’ve tried, the one I would add to your list, just because it is different and has it’s own unique character, is the Marine Band 1896. There are all kinds of reasons why this model isn’t normally recommended anymore for beginners as a first harmonica, but as long as you are already trying several more modern plastic body designs, it’s worth it to try one of these for a very different experience; smaller body, more narrow holes, wood body, unique tone, and for all of it’s well documented flaws, it’s still a hell of an instrument.

I’ll also mention that I really liked the Suzuki Harpmaster. I don’t think you need to add that one right now, as it’s a very similar body design, size and feel to the Special 20, with reeds that respond similarly to the Bluesmaster. So wait and see what you think of those models first.

I’m watching this with interest. I’m looking at where to go next - was thinking Big River but I can’t afford anything just yet. Had a bit of a breakthough with some draw chords and blues stuff today too! ;D

Also I want an A harp - I find the C is ok but a bit to high for me, and most players I see seem to use an A or Bb.

I just ordered a Spec 20 on ebay for 29.89 with free shipping in C. I wish I would have bought one of the sets when JP had them on sale.

Charle’s you got G.A.S. (gear aquisition syndrom) who gave it to you.

You know that’s highly contageious right…

Harp On!!

I was hoping my spec 20 would come today. It didn’t. According to USPS tracking, it was processed in Denver in the wee hours of the morning today. I was thinking they would get it on the truck that comes out here and it would be delivered. I was wrong but I should have it on Monday.

My spec 20 came today.

Pretty cool let us know how you like it.

maybe play and post something.

harp On!!

Weeeeelllll…how does it play for ya?

I have been really busy and never even took it out of the package. I just opened the box to make sure it was the right one.

As for recording something, I have no idea how to go about it and I’m not ready to take my playing public yet. I stink.

Oh ok well when you play it a bit tell me how it goes! :wink:
Best of Harpin’ to ya!
P.S. As for recording, there are free sound recorders out there on the internet, but you need a mic. But I complety understand not wanting to go public yet. :wink:

In my oppinion, the harp you’re playing on doesn’t really matter as much when you’re first begining. You’re gonna sound like crap no matter what harp you’re playing on! :wink: JK, but seriously, I learned on a 10 hole diatonic Dove key of C. It broke apart (literally) about 3 months after I got it, but I learned on it. And it worked, for awhile atleast. So if you’re just beginning, don’t worry so much about which harp you’re gonna buy, as much as you should worry about your technique.

Good advice but too late. I already bought it.