first, a bit about myself…
i started playing harmonica probably 11-12 years ago, sometime around my sophomore year of college.
i started because i wanted to learn to play the harmonica part from “piano man” and i kinda got hooked.
i don’t play often. I REPEAT: I DON’T PLAY OFTEN, haha. this is important for the rest of this thread. i’m mostly a singer, and when i play in bands, my harmonica playing is something that i bring out to punch up some songs or give us a wider range of what we can cover. i’m not out playing the bars every weekend, and even when i do play, i don’t play on every song. at best, i would say i’ll have a harmonica out of it’s case something like once or twice a month on average. suffice it to say, durability is not my primary concern.
i’ve tried several harps over the years, but i LOVE a marine band. i could never figure out what i was doing wrong in terms of bending, then i picked up a marine band and bending a note was as easy as falling off a log. so overall i’m a hohner man, but i’m no loyalist to the brand.
all that said…
i’m looking for a harmonica package that will meet the needs stated above–i need good bending (this is job 1 for sure), several keys, and a quality product that will hold up for awhile. again, with the frequency and amount of time i spend playing, they just need to take use, not abuse. i’ve looked at the hohner special 20 and blues bender packages, but there’s a part of me that fears straying from the safety of my marine bands. does anyone have any thoughts on these models that i’ve mentioned, or could recommend something else in a similar price range? (for reference: 5 packs on musician’s friend are roughly $80 for the blues benders and $125 for the special 20s.) thanks in advance!