The Best Harmonica Holder

The Best Harmonica Holder

Luke Trying Out Various Harmonica Holders

This is a question that I get asked all the time. From drummers, or guitar, bass, ukulele, or keyboard players, to people who don’t have the use of one or both their hands, many of us want to know:

WHAT’S the BEST harmonica holder ? :person_shrugging:

I spent most of my life playing one of those cheap generic silver harmonica holders.

Generic Harmonica Holder

They’re affordable. I’ll give them that. But they’re also uncomfortable to play, and can be incredibly awkward to take on and off.

You can instantly lose cool points struggling with one of those onstage! :point_left:t3::wink:

Here’s the main PROBLEMS with the generic silver harmonica holders:

:slightly_frowning_face: You have to tighten the screws with ALL your might to keep the harmonica in place,

:slightly_frowning_face: But then, you have to loosen the screws in order to be able to

  • See what you’re doing when you remove the harmonica to replace it with a different key
  • Or remove the whole thing from your neck
  • Both of those :point_up_2:t3:processes can prove very awkward

:slightly_frowning_face: They’re very uncomfortable

So I searched high and low and discovered these 3 great alternatives.

:question: Which one is the BEST??? :question:

Check out my short video review here.

Spoiler alert: The Sidenote is my favorite. But read on to learn what might be the best harmonica holder FOR YOU!

:one: Hohner FlexRack :mag: ~ $70

Hohner Flexrack Harmonica Holder

:smile: What I Love :smile:

:+1: Comfort - the part around the neck is wide, flat and rubber (instead of a little round metal bar poking into you!)

:+1: Adjustability of the Harmonica-Holder - Screws allow you to adjust the angle and height of the harmonica.

:+1: Screw Design at the Shoulders - Less prone to rusting, easier to tighten and loosen

:+1: Bend in the Clamp - you can pull the clamp open more easily with one hand grabbing the bent portion. This makes the switching-harps action less difficult.

:+1: Color! It’s black. Why does the harmonica holder have to be silver? Black looks subtle and sleek.

:+1: Works with all harmonicas. Not all harmonicas stick to magnets, so the Seydel won’t work for everyone.

:disappointed: What I Don’t Love :disappointed:

:-1: My #1 problem is it’s TOO TALL - At its lowest setting, the harmonica is blocking me from being able to sing into the mic. This is the deal-breaker for me and the FlexRack.

:-1: The Price. Ouch! That’s more than I have to pay for the harmonica itself.

:-1: Awkward - to take the whole thing on and off doesn’t feel any easier. I’m still losing cool points.

:-1: Awkward - to remove / replace harps.

:-1: I had one of the screws fall off at the harmonica holding section

:-1: Not as comfy as it could be. Why didn’t they use softer foam at the base?

If your neck is longer than mine (and/or if you don’t care about being able to sing) then you might love this holder. Lotsa people online love ‘em. But for me, I’d prefer a cheapie to this one.

:two: Seydel Gecko :mag: ~ $82

Seydel Gecko Harmonica Holder

The Seydel Gecko was the first of these holders I tried. I bought it months ago when I was doing my review of the Rackit! 2.0 and (after I recovered from choking on the price tag) I discovered several features that I LOVE about this holder.

:smile: What I Love :smile:

:+1: Quick-Release - Seydel’s design is rather genius, allowing you to release the top part so it lies flat against your chest, making it easy to take on or off without losing any cool points.

:+1: Harmonica Magnet - the harmonica holder is a magnet, making it INCREDIBLY easy to change harmonicas (as long as you know to TILT THE HARMONICA BACK to remove it).

:+1: Fine-Tuning - there are little screws at the base that bring the harmonica closer to or further from your mouth, making it super easy to make minute adjustments. Once you have it set right, it’s set-it-and-forget-it, thanks to the quick-release feature.

:+1: Comfort - Leather padded “feet” on your chest, and a soft rubber cushion where the bar hits the back of your neck. Definitely more comfy than a generic, and more comfy for me than the Hohner FlexRack.

:disappointed: What I Don’t Love :disappointed:

:-1: The Price. Ouch! EVEN MORE than the Hohner FlexRack!

:-1: Not all harmonica’s stick to the magnet. Notably, the East Top 008k, the Fender Blues Deluxe, and the Hohner Blues Band DO NOT stick to magnets!

:three: Farmer Sidenote :mag: ~ $40

Seydel Sidenote Harmonica Holder

:smile: What I Love :smile:

:+1: The Design - one-sided holder means just one screw to loosen, and plenty of space to take the holder on/off without losing cool points - and you can do it one-handed!

:+1: Harmonica Magnet - the same harmonica-holder magnet as the Seydel Gecko, making it INCREDIBLY easy to change harmonicas (as long as you know to TILT THE HARMONICA BACK to remove it).

:+1: The Price Tag (this one is actually relatively affordable!)

:+1: Lightweight - this is by far the lightest of the 3 holders.

:disappointed: What I Don’t Love :disappointed:

I feel like Goldilocks: this one is JUST RIGHT!

EDIT: :-1: Not all harmonica’s stick to the magnet. Notably, the East Top 008k, the Fender Blues Deluxe, and the Hohner Blues Band DO NOT stick to magnets!

I tried all 3 holders both at home and on gigs, and my preference is the Sidenote.

The Sidenote for me is just the right height and is the least obtrusive. A harmonica holder is just something we need in order to play harmonica and another instrument at the same time, and Sidenote is the most transparent of the 3 holders (in addition to being the most affordable!)

That’s for me. If you have a long neck, maybe the height wouldn’t be perfect for you, I’m not sure. But for me, Farmer Foot Drums has hit a homerun with the Sidenote!

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I agree with everything that you said about the Farmer Sidenote. I own it myself and is my first harmonica rack. I started to begin playing guitar and I wanted a rack that could hold my Golden Melodies, even though a lot of people were telling me to DIY a holder for a rack (I DO NOT have a rack yet. Take a chill pill people.) I had some trouble with creating single notes on a rack and one of your students was being really snobby, telling me I was using the wrong embouchre and that lip pursing, the embouchre that I use, is a form of lip blocking (which I know is the same technique with a different name as you stated on this forum before). I don’t know what’s up with people and them wanting to control how I sound

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Hey guys I just edited the txt of the original post here as it was brought to my attention that NOT ALL HARMONICAS WILL STICK TO A MAGNET!

So far I’ve confirmed the list of harmonicas that WILL NOT STICK TO A MAGNET to include:

Fender Harmonicas
East Top 008k
Many of the Kongsheng Harmonica’s
The Hohner Bluesband
Suzuki ProMaster
Suzuki Hammond
Souidmy

You are good to go if you have a metal Seydel, or Hohner metal harps $40 price range including the Blues Harp and the Blues Bender, Suzuki FolkMaster, Manji, BluesMaster, Bushman Delta Frost, and of the cheap knock-off brands, Swan was the only one I tested that stuck.

Anyways, I thought it would be could to start this post here so people can share other harps that do or don’t stick to the magnets so more people don’t have to encounter an unpleasant surprise!

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Well I have to add the entire Yonberg series, all plastic, some with SS inlays, great harps though!

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Thanks @kekilouis and welcome to the forum! Yeah, I agree the Yonbergs are superb, and thanks for adding them to the list. I just ordered a Harmo Polar, and I’m pretty sure it’s not gonna be magnetic either. I’ll come back and here and make the correction if it is, lol.

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Tombo Aero Reed are not magnetic either

I wonder if a thin strip of mild steel on the inside of the cover would work without compromising sound ?

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how about the Hohner Marine Band?

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I use a stick on magnet strip on harmonica, and an extra nieodymium magnet on the gecko.


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Two things I’ve learned. There is a hole in the gecko that allows you to pop out the magnet, and flip it. The second thing I learned is sticking a magnet on a harp is a 30 sec procedure, unless it’s upside down. Using an east top.

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Thanks for this info. I’ve got a Lucky 13 - it’s the only one of my harps that won’t attach to the Gecko. The only bit I’m not sure about is why you need to attach an extra magnet to the Gecko? And do you mean you have to remove the original magnet on it? Thanks for your help.

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You don’t need another magnet on the Gecko, but it will improve it’s out of the box grip, and attach is just placing on. Adding magnet is not necessary if you use magnet on harp. I had to flip the gecko magnet because I didn’t consider magnet polarity the first time I stuck a magnet on the harp.
[Amazon.com](neodymium Bar Magnets)

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Thanks so much for this information. Magnetic strips here I come. I need a couple more harps and could now buy East Tops. (Sorry, I sent this message to the wrong place first of all, so apologies if it has arrived twice.

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@angela_67 sorry for the late reply here - looks like you got what you needed - I just wanted to say welcome to the forum, and we are so happy to have you here! Rock on! :sunglasses:

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Thanks, Luke. What a nice message. I’m a beginner but love playing the harps. I was pracrtising tonight and really made it wail but I expect when I get to play it in the pub again, it won’t be so good. I still don’t find it easy to play guitar and harp at the same time which is strange because it’s easy to play the guitar and sing at the same time. Often I play the harp with my partner playing guitar. Anyway, I’m really grateful for the warm welcome and I’m learning a lot from listening to you all chat.

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@angela_67 I know why do we sound so good playing alone and then it all goes to pot when we get in public!!! :rofl:

Yeah I love playing guitar, and I love playing harmonica, but I don’t really enjoy playing them at the same time. I’ve taken to just using a looper pedal, and then pick up my harmonica with my hands and play relaxed and free!

You’ve got your husband, so you can just lay guitar with him, then stop guitar and play harmonica with him, and then go back to guitar.

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Hi Luke. That’s a good idea playing with a looper pedal. I can only manage very basic harp playing when I’m playing the guitar at the same time. It’s such a relief to hold it and play. I’m only a beginner, as I said before, but i do enjoy playing especially blues improv. There’s no way i can even attempt that while playing guitar at the same time. What I really need to do is to start learning properly but life keeps jumping in with urgent things to do. The music helps with everything. Thanks for your message.

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