Is Key D okay

Im just starting out on the course but I had my Harmonica bought for me as a gift. It is in the key of D but everywhere says I should start with a C Harp.
Is it going to be alright learning with a D or should I get a new one in the key of C.

5 Likes

Hi @pharris

To a certain extent this depends on your musical ability/experience. Since almost all harmonica classes for beginners use, and assume that you also use, a C diatonic harmonica, it is easiest to go with a C harmonica. You can use the D harmonica but everything will be sounding “out of tune” because what you play will be (for example) in the key of D while the class video will be in the key of C. This does make it difficult for a true music beginner, but experienced musicians know how to play in this manner and can progress in a fairly normal manner.

So to be honest and to make things easier, I strongly suggest buying a C diatonic harmonica. Good ones that do not cost too much are (just to name a few): Hohner Special 20, the Hohner Marine Band (the one with Deluxe in its name is more expensive than the one without Deluxe in its name – but the price difference is justified for the Deluxe), Hohner Golden Melody, the Seydel Blues Session Standard, the Seydel Blues Session Steel (more expensive but the stainless steel reeds are more durable), Lee Oskar, the Suzuki Bluesmaster, the East Top 008K.

There are others, but the listed ones can often be found online or in music stores. With a little shopping around you will probably find one in your price range (and perhaps even discounted).

Regards,
– Slim :sunglasses:

3 Likes

This reminds me of buying a Db harmonica by mistake. It was actually correctly labeled when I bought it as a C#… I just didn’t pay attention to the # sign.

Short and long of it is that you can play virtually any song in any key, but as @Slim says, it will be a bit out of tune from the original or what others might play.

If you are trying to play along with a song or lesson, you definitely want to be in the same key, otherwise any 'ol key will do. :wink:

4 Likes

I agree with the the guys. @pharris Playing out of key would awkward and could a bad start to things for your minds ear. :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

I was reminded of a video from Luke that I watched a while back. If you want a decent beginner harp in C cheap I would recommend the Hohner Bluesband 1st as it was my first harp. Second would be the Fender blues deluxe. Although I haven’t found the Souidmy on Ebay yet(Amazon has it) to buy one for myself the video proof of it being playable sold me. I will have one to play at the beach soon enough.

I agree that it is important especially for beginners to play in the proper key. Your ear needs it to train your brain and develop muscle memory. But don’t let that stop you in any case.

, Asshole

3 Likes

Personally I would go with the east top. It’s excellent quality for the price :slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

I’m wondering about getting a T008 as a ‘carry round with me’ harp. Do you know if there’s any practical difference between the blue (stainless steel covers) and the black (brass cover?). They seem to be the same price.

Edit: I just spotted there’s a white T008L too!

3 Likes

@DavidW I actually didn’t pay any attention to what it looked like. I only bought it to try it out as I was surprisingly impressed with their cheap chromatic I purchased.

After I tried it and was impressed with it, I gave it to my three year old granddaughter. I know it’s a personal item but I wasn’t worried as the gorgeous little angel is smooching me all the time.

She is so happy to have her own now that she doesn’t have to hassle her brother for his that I gave him when he was three. My daughter sent me a video of them playing together, lookout world, they’re coming :smiley:

3 Likes

Thanks Slim
I am starting out from scratch so ill get myself a C harp

5 Likes

Thanks for the reply @stonestone63 . I guess there’s not much in it. Just aesthetics? The white T008L looks to have a clear comb? Not a selling point for me, but maybe for some?

2 Likes

No problem @DavidW Quality is all that matters. Take care brother

1 Like

I am sure you know this, but some newbies may not realize that C# and Db are the same note…only the label is different. And one of the most attractive things about a Diatonic Harmonica is that if you know the tabs, you can play any song in any key, just grab an instrument in the other key.

God Bless!

5 Likes

Good point @Poppo, I didn’t explain that very clearly…

Having my Db has confirmed exactly what you say. Once you can play a tune on any diatonic harmonica in any key, then you can play the same song in any other key simply by switching harps.

Amazing little instrument with a BIG sound :loud_sound: :notes: :sunglasses:

3 Likes

I was sure that you knew, I am often guilty of incompletely explaining something because I forget that other folks may not know something that I do.

I recently put a ‘Trieste’ on counting, but forgot to state that things like the 1 trip-let and “1 a and a” and 3 4 can be used with the same measure. I tried to explain and left out some of the basics…

God Bless!

4 Likes

Hey @pharris - just getting caught up from having been on paternity leave and wanted to give you a proper:

WELCOME TO THE FORUM!! Glad to have you hear my friend. And so happy to hear you are picking up a key of C. Very wise decision indeed!

Happy Holidays!

Aloha,
Luke

2 Likes