Good second harmonica to get!

Well, if you like your first harmonica, but prefer a different one for your next one, what would you get?

For example:

Let’s say your first harp was a Hohner Blues Band. You decided you need a new and better harp. What would/did you get?

There’s a lot of choices there Ace :-\ I guess before shelling out big bucks for Seydels and Suzuki’s which I have and love ;D

Consider these 2 choices the Hohner Marine Band Special 20, or if you looking maybe for a different look or feel the Hohner Golden
Melody’s play real nice, I have them both. They are both priced in the 35 to 40 dollar range :wink:

Lots of choices :slight_smile:

Harp on!!

If all you have is the Blues Band go for the special 20.

I have a sp20 and a delta frost. I like the sp20 better so far.

I was just using the Blues Band as an example. I was just wondering what you guys recommended. I have a Hohner Special 20 (key of C). I’m satisfied with it, but i want to eventually explore the world of harmonicas.

A question:

  1. What are the differences of harmonicas aside from their appearances (let’s say their all the same key)?

The obvious difference to me Ace in certain ones because they all have there differences,

Looking at the Golden Melody it’s the shape on top of other differences that I don’t really know about
(inside, reeds combs on certain different models are different). I know on a high dollar Seydel the holes
are a different size so when you compare it next to your spec 20 it’s about 1 hole longer over all.

You got to get use to playing that.

That’s just some of the differences that I know about.

Harp on!!

There is one very big difference between the SP20 and the GM. It’s the tuning!
If you laike to play chords or like chugging go for the SP20 (= Just Intonation Tuning). If you like to play tunes (single notes) the GM (= Equal Tuning) is great.
Just Intonation Tuning is the way to set up the Harmonica that the chords sound just fine.
Equal Tuning is setting up the Harmonica like a piano, every note sounds right but if you play a chord something is missing a bit.

But off course I would say: Go for the Suzuki Harpmaster or Bluesmaster but hey, I’m a SuzsukiSucker.

Have Fun, John

I didn’t know that at all Thanks for the info ;D :stuck_out_tongue:

I have a Manji set up by Ben Bouman one of his BETA HARPS, It plays incredible chords …that must be Intonation Tuning am I right. Its a G and the chords actually tickle my lip when I play them.

Would you agree with that Suzuki that its Intonation Tuned :wink:

Harp ON!!

From a special 20 i would try a suzuki harpmaster…ET tuning like the golden melody, perfect quality control, REQUIRES less breath force or you will choke the reeds…this is a good thing IMO. I would get one now, learn proper breath control early and experiment with the differences in ET tuning and the compromise tuning of the special 20…i’d even get the same key…that’s what i did.

Well I have my sets of Big Rivers; Golden Melodys; Spec 20s; and even the little Piedmonts. Oh and Lee Oskars too!

Don’t know why I never got into Suzukis. Maybe one day.

Am working out a return deal with those Turbo Harps I recently purchased.

Yet for my next harps, am looking at Harrisons for sure.

David Payne created my customized Seydel/Elk River with compromised tuning.

Now that he’s over at Harrison, will probably talk to him about a D or G in either Paddy Richter or Country Tuning.

Gotta have your goals, man!


Keep on jammin’!

SPD Out!

Jeez SPD

I just got the intonation and equal tuning and you gotta lay a Paddy Richter tuning and Country tuning on me.

PLEASE explain what the heck yer talking about.

mwahahahahahaha, but seriously, what are these tunings and how you would use them


How to know which is which when buying?
Is there a place where the different brands are listed?
or is there some secret code?


If you can get a copy of Steve Baker’s “The Harp Handbook” - he explains there’s all sorts of harmonica tunings. There’s even one called the ‘Steve Baker Special Tuning’ - go figure!

But for a simple explanation here, I turn it over to Pat Missin:

Did I say ‘simple’? Actually it’s quite mind boggling, at least for me.

But for looking at Paddy Richter tuned harps, I go over to here:

Brendon is a top-notch customizer, teacher, harmonica player extraordinaire who sells such PR tuned harmonicas.

Now as far as Country Tuning goes - It’s universally accepted that just by raising the 5 Draw reed a semitone - On C, from an F to an F# - It creates more bending and chord playing abilities that country folk harpsters and harpsterettes use.

One can either do it themselves or actually buy a Spec 20 or Lee Oskar already done up this way.

However, Bluegrass player extraordinaire Mike Stevens suggests tuning harps differently - and he calls this Country Tuning also!

So again it’s absolutley mind boggling! And still why the harmonica universe is so fascinating to me now! And why even understanding a little bit more, is still understanding a lot more! Know what I mean?


Again, I can only turn it over to Pat Missin here:

And yet why again I say that understanding a little bit more is understanding a lot more too!

However, I as well as everyone shouldn’t get hung up in all or any of this either.

Learn all the basics as best you can with whatever you have first. Then when you’re ready to turn pro or take the world by storm, you’ll come across others who can guide you to increasing your harmonica knowledge on tunings, harps, etc.

Little by little, day by day, your very own Aha-Eureka moments will serve you much better and longer along the way.

My feeling is, even if you started out on say a Harrison USA harmonica - How then could you possibly ever know how good it was if you’ve never experienced the difference from say a crappy BluesBand Hohner International made in China harmonica? You couldn’t and wouldn’t, eh?

As one last example and further thought: I have four sets of custom made pool cues that my money could buy. But while it gives me confidence knowing I have them, still, I’ve been beaten in pool games with someone using the bar house sticks.

Hey, that’s life!

And similar in nature here.

All right - Enough said!

Keep on smiling!

Thanks for reading!

Keep on harpin’!

SPD Out!