Grip on Harmonica

Hi everyone
I’m still trying to find the most comfortable grip.
I think I like the way Luke holds it. He referenced the Adam Gussow video and I noticed Luke puts his left hand over the right and Adam puts his right hand over the left. Now I’m all confused. Here’s the 2 pics. Does anyone have any suggestions


@Evan.meiskin, exactly, it’s about the most comfortable grip for YOU.
Ultimately, the photos shown are interesting for beginners to learn the basics first. It’s the same with guitar playing and keyboards.

In the end, you have to find out for yourself what is best for you. Hands have individual sizes, mobility etc.

There is no such thing as “the” correct harp position. You have to hold it in such a way that it becomes one with your mouth. Only then will you be able to play Bending, Thrill, Overblows and Fast.

Thus, the posture of the harp will result by itself! Stay loose and relaxed, then it will increasingly work.

Greetings from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


Hi Evan @Evan.meiskin

Astrid @AstridHandbikebee63 is right on target !! And just to prove it, take a look at Roly Platt, who is a fantastic musician. :point_left:

– Slim :sunglasses:


Thanks for your help
A appreciate it


I vary mine, depending on how I want to play, in the pocket, lead, muffled, chords, single notes, The main thing I make sure of is not to look or go downward, gravity makes for wet playing. And we don’t want spittle, drink residue like sugar or m&m peanut pieces, lol, getting all up in there.


Sounds good thanks


Yeah, I very my grip as well. And as I always say if it SOUNDS good and it FEELS good, then it IS good! :notes::sunglasses::raised_hands:t3:

Keep exploring and experimenting!


I’ve been playing over 50 years and I can’t say I’ve thought about this subject. I realize now that I usually hold with thumb below the lower cover and index and middle fingers on top of the top cover. For me, using a second hand is incidental and only sometimes.

Suddenly wondering, I did a YouTube search for Sonny Boy Williamson live and noticed a similar grip. (Live Sessions in Sweden - Gazelle Videos). A number of players had the same initial grip but used the second hand for a constant cupping of mouth, harp, and mic - James Cotton, Junior Wells, Little Walter among others. I agree that comfortable is the key.

I have a friend, John Petersen, who played harp on a few cuts on my CD. (He got me playing 55 years ago. He still has better tone). What I find interesting is that whereas I play with the harp directly in front of me, and horizontal. John plays with the harp toward the right of his mouth and at about a 45 degree angle - cupping mic, harp, and mouth firmly to create a sound chamber. You be the judge of his tone. His solo begins at 1:45. I think it paid to listen to Hugo Diaz, Ben Webster and Lester Young while developing tone.


Two things, play it level or up a bit to avoid spittle, brush your teeth and don’t eat before you play. Secondly I use the two finger hold, when using a microphone. Put whatever finger on each side, other fingers cup mic. fingers move harp back and forth, now if you want a covered sound, like Evan, try as many ways as possible and since muscle fatigue is a thing, vary your grips.

Now harmonica holders, very tough, if you play guitar or have arm and hand issues, it seems all you got is blow. I modified my harp holder and bent it upwards, heated metal and bend on vise. I plan on making a new user friendly holder, got some ideas. Hopefully I will have something to display this coming year.

In other words, let’s reinvent the holder the one know is from like the 17th century it seems, We have 3d printers now and a host of players. Ideers? on this?

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The Seydel Gecko and Sidenote are both excellent holders that have upped the game in their design. Also the Rockit!2.0 allows you to get amplified using a holder.


Thanks Luke, I am going to try to make one myself, modify the old one. The trouble I have isn’t pushing in air, it is the draw notes. A winter project, if successful, I’ll post a pic.


I find I use thumb and index finger of my left hand then use my right hand as well as and when I feel I want to.