The Best Harmonica for Beginners?

Which is this best harp for beginners?

For a low dollar harp I recommend the Hohner Blues Band. For a professional harmonica I recommend the Special 20. Once your ready to learn how to bend. Go for the Special 20

Lee Oskars are very good harmonica for beginners. It’s the harmonica I started out on. They are very airtight and easy to bend. And they last forever.

Specials 20s are very good harmonicas. I like the way they are tuned. Lee Oskars are tuned to equal temparament, and chords don’t sound very good on it. Special 20s are good for playing chords and rhythm harmonica stuff.


Howdy All!

I finally got re-ignited again about Everything Harmonica!!

So here’s my first post with many more to come - But don’t hold me to it; and don’t get me started… ::slight_smile:

Anywho – If I had to do it all over again, I would go for customized harps from the get go.

Yes, I know there are harpsters out there fresh to picking up the instrument; however, one thing that has been always distressing to me is a new harp “out of the box” would have a tendency to break down fast.

Before the internet and information explosion, one was virtually stuck with trying to find out how to emboss, tune, gap and get the thing back to some semblance of playability. Nowadays though, one can work on their own harps for sure. However, for all the Special 20s; Golden Melodys; Big Rivers; etc. etc. and the $$$s I spent on them, if I had invested in good customized harps back when, then I’d be farther ahead than I am now. :-\

Even the great Howard Levy has gone customized; and I believe customized harps put Jason Ricci in a class all by himself! :slight_smile:

Since Joe Filisko no longer makes harps, as he’s enjoying his retirement, I got my harp from David Payne of Elk River Harmonicas, out of West Virginia. It’s my favorite harp by far; but for practicing all of JP’s lessons and more, well, I rotate between my sets of Spec 20s, Golden Melodys and Big Rivers.

In any event, keep on harpin; and thanks for reading!! :wink:

For me best for beginners is Golden Melody in C maj.

Howdy Zglouz!

I like my Golden Melodys too, and I excerpted this below from my earlier post review.

From My Golden Melody Review:

I have A, C, D, E, F, G and B (yes, an actual B)!

Yes, I do like them. Now that is, because here’s the thing one should know about GMs:

Like Big Rivers, they do take your mouth and lips time to adjust to them. Especially for this very reason: Ever so slight as they may be, the tops of the harmonicas have protruding/extended brass plates on either side.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, the first time you go to ‘tongue’ along the harp (and yes, tonguing helps in playing tunes and so forth) – if you’re not familiar with the harp and/or you have very soft mouth and lips, and who doesn’t – Bazinga! Ouch! You have to be careful with your mouth, tongue, and lips because those protruding/extended plates may/can slice you like a razor blade!

It’s true, fellow harpsters and harpsterettes! I did it; and I’m all better now, thanks for asking!

But yet too, I also wondered why nobody mentioned it before! I certainly never read anything on it. So, well, I’m mentioning it here and now!

Yes, I play my GMs; but I’m also aware of the built in Ginsu-knife effects from them too. As well you should be also if you invest and play them for the very first time.

[i]So let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading![/i]

AS a beginner, its a toss up between the Seydel Blues Session and the Suzuki Blues Master. With the Suzuki Blues Master being slightly favored for its shape.

I put Seydel in the Poll because I have a feeling it will be under represented.

I think a mulit-choice Poll would have been better. Is their ONE best?

I could have just as easily voted for Golden Melody. It’s very easy to play (and by that I mean easy to find single hole for a beginner), and I really like the shape.

I stared using Lee Oscars last year and really like them but on the recommendation that came with my tuition disc set I went and bought a SPECIAL 20 in C. I have found this to live up to all expectations - it really is very easy to bend the notes and has a very nice full tone with it, they don’t cost a fortune and are well worth trying.

Im really new to the harmonica world, but getting tired of hauling my piano all over, thought the harmonica would be a little easier. I splurged and got a Seydel 1847 with a wooden comb. I absolutely love this thing. It bends very easily and I think it has a great warm expressive tone. Just my 2 cents worth.

My favorite is the Hohner Pro Harp. I don’t know that I prefer it to the Special 20s, Lee Oskars, Blues Harp, or Marine Bands that I own but a Pro Harp in G was my first one so it may be sentimental. It seemed that the wooden comb harps were easier to bend to me.

Hey Street Player, I actually file down the reed plates flush with the combs and then with 400 grit sand paper I round the outside and inside edges. This is one of the major reasons I like Spesial 20’s , because the reed plates are not exposed!


Im really new to the harmonica world, but getting tired of hauling my piano all over,

I know the feeling combover guy…kind of difficult to ride my bike with a tuba strapped around me too! :smiley:

There is always a way…


I have 100 dollar harps and 5 dollar harps man to each his own but my vote is for Golden Melody’s with Suzuki Manji close second.
Golden melody for me…

Harp on!!


Good one, Mario!


Holy Cow!!! Mario that is classic I never laughed so hard in my life.
I drive my 11 year old crazy playing my harmonica… He is the biggest
star wars fan out there…Wait till I get home tonite he is gonna look at
harmonica playing a little differently now…


Here you go, Joe! Especially for you!

I found this site from a jump link on Pat Missin’s site.

Hope you and your 11 year old enjoy it!! :wink:

Thanks SPD, will learn it ASAP :smiley:

Cool beans! Your post brought the laugh of the day for me! ;D

Ciao, babe!

THIS IS A SEGUE I already posted on STD’s hilarious post on the Worst Harmonica You Ever Got…

Basically… out of the box… Most harmonicas are too leaky for me… so most of them have been my worst… most of them are also slightly out of tune (i.e. they’re slightly sharp… but I think in Hohner’s case this is intentional to make them sound more “in tune” with the band… that’s a whole 'nother can of worms…)

I’ve had some Big Rivers I’ve like and I’ve had some I’ve hated…that goes for Lee Oscar, most of the hohner harps, huang, bushman… some of the Suzuki harps…

Most of the harps mentioned above will kick butt after some reed gapping (INCLUDING THE BIG RIVER) BUT… I DON’T LIKE SPENDING MY LIFE REED GAPPING ANYMORE… it’s time consuming… really fun… but time consuming…

[b][size=14pt]MY FAVORITES:… out of the box… … with no need for reed gapping… (and not counting custom harps like Garrison, Turbo Harps etc… )… my favorite harps right now are The Hohener Special 20, Suzuki Harp Master, and Suzuki Manji

What are you favorite Harmonicas and which ones do you think are best for beginners? [/size][/b]

(I’m now remembering we already did a post like this but until STD organizes this site I thought I would start the thread again… BTW… STD is just waiting on our tech guy and we’re going to give this site a face lift in the next two weeks… I’m really stoked…