Want a nice harp but still a beginner

I have lee oskar c diatonic harp but I really fancy treating myself to a Suzuki promaster as they look ace and the reviews are good. However most lessons are in c so as a beginner I guess I won’t get to play it that much. Would I be best just getting a c anyway, getting a different key or some other option.
I know of course I won’t be good enough to warrant such a good instrument but I figure its an incentive.

Hey Andyroid! You will be surprised at how quickly you will be playing all manner of music. As long as you have a good C harp for your lessons, you’re good to go. I started with a C Lee Oskar. I have several C harps now (grabbed some things on sale), and wish they were in a variety of keys instead. I don’t always have the key harp I need when a great tune comes up on TV or radio.


On the other side of things then might I be better off getting 2 mid range ones in different keys as it would be only slightly more than one promaster. The bluesmasters look good too and I like the look of the golden melodys too. Perhaps an A and a D or G.
Although I do want an F so I can play a springsteen song.

Except for my two Manjis, I can’t speak for other Suzukis, although yes, they all do get good reviews.

I can speak of Spec20s; Big Rivers; Golden Melodys; Lee Oskars and a few others.

Thing is, whenever somebody starts out wanting to learn harmonica, the choices available can be quite overwhelming to say the least. And because it seems like an inexpensive hobby to learn, nobody’s safe from that one! So looking at all the various makes/models is akin to being a kid in a candy shop – Where do you begin with your harp selection?

And so you might start grabbing for this and that. It’s what many members call the bite of the Gear Acquisition Syndrome or GAS for short.

Again, nobody who takes on the challenges of learning harmonica is immune from/to this. From the greats and others, they/we all have many styles and different harps in their/our collections.

But the question is: Where do YOU begin?!

The only realistic answer we can offer is: Begin somewhere!

Since reading through this forum and other places for input and reviews etc. – At least you’re doing your homework. Congrats on that!!

But eventually you’re going to have to jump into the pool somewhere.

And where you jump in, as in which harmonicas are best or right for you – Nobody but nobody can tell you that one.

We, as most do, recommend starting with a Spec20 in C. Why? Because it’s a damn good harp. It’s not as bad as the many cheapos below it; and once you find you want to stay with harp, it’s a good starter for those that will come above it.

But YOU and only YOU can and will ever determine where your next step is and what it will be.

That’s life! That’s just the way it is in this vast & mighty Harmonica Universe as it is.

It’s the learning process we all go through and have to go through to get anywhere. No way around it either!

So BB, like me, and others do get those Cs in various makes/models. Why? Because that’s where all the music lessons begin. And then we find which harps in those make/models we like best from there.

For me, I started with the Spec20s. After I learned to bend and do some blues, my preference is more to using the Lee Oskars now. I began liking Big Rivers, but now they sit while I use my Golden Melodys more.

As well, since going through all the off-the-shelf out of the box harps I can handle – and perhaps I should’ve leaned towards some Seydels too, because they’re good harps also; but except for a few Paddy Richters and Minor Keys I wish to add to my collection – I’m now in line to receive some custom made Harrisons. It’s a long line though.

Our good friend Barry who ordered his Harrison last year and was expecting it by this February, just let me know the line is backed up until this coming September…hopefully! So that’s good only as I still have time to work off the payments; providing they don’t go out of business when I do! Hehehe-not! Holding my breath on that one!


Choices for keys are as personal as the make/model you get. I like my As and Bbs in all makes and models, even my Piedmonts!

As you get into JP’s lessons, or anybody’s lessons for that matter, you will have to acquire more keys other than C. Again, what keys you want to get are all up to you.

After you read all the reviews on this and that; after you do all the contemplations to get this or that – After all is said and done, just jump in somewhere! You’ll be fine.

And by all means, keep us posted, as we always like to hear yours and everyone’s progress in and on their journey through Harmonica Universe!


Thanks for reading!

Keep On Harpin’!

You come to this forum, and you will hear everybody singing the praises of the Special 20! But another beginner harp to consider: Official Scout Harmonica. I like it 'cause I learned on it! Bends good, plays hard, lasts long.
My own 2.5 cents!
Take it or leave it!
Peace Out!

Well 2.5 cents –

I had an old Official Scout Harmonica back in the day too. And I remember playing the hell er um heck out of it. Yeah, it actually held up okay.

However, like the Pocket Pal, American Ace, and such, it is another one of Hohner’s little specialty harps…And as far as I’m aware, you won’t find any other keys besides C. So where do you go from there?

Sure, one can get the $3.50 C harp, onto the $4.75 C harp, onto the $10, then $15 C harps and so on – Well that’s how much they were once upon a time, and yeah, I did that too back in my trucking days…

OR –

One can begin with the mid-priced $30 range Spec20, preferably in C – which, again as far as I’m aware, is the most recommended harp on the market.

As I recall about the Scout, Pal, Ace and so forth is they eventually locked up and/or wore out; and I didn’t know anything about gapping and maintenance as I do today. Yet if you do know and can do those things with your Scout and other non Spec20s etc., well, you’re definitely much farther ahead than those who are just merely starting out today.

Plus, because of geography and such, if someone who visits their local music store outlet can only acquire a Lee Oskar and/or Suzuki – well, they’re good choices too.

But once you get the better made harps from the get-go, it’d only be out of curiosity or whatever that one would actually be tempted to go backwards and get some less expensive.

Usually, it’s the other way around. Peeps start with the cheapos first. Then if/when they decide that playing harp is for them…That’s when they wonder about what to get next. And where the real fun! begins!! Hehehehe!!

So yeah, you’re 2.5 cents is actually worth 5 cents here. Well, counting in for Obama inflation and such…mwuahahaha!! But still…Good job, BT!


Keep On Harpin’!

LOL Good thoughts! I have had it about 4 years, so not enough for it to fall apart yet. Good thing that there are folks around here with experience! (aka everyone but me!)
Peace Out!

There’s nothing wrong with a Lee Oskar harp. They’re well made and durable. Suzuki makes nice harps too and you can buy a ProMaster but I personally don’t think it’ll be that much better then the L.O. that you’ve got now. Main thing is to find a brand and style that you like and stick with it. It’s hard(at least for me) to jump around to different harps because the shape and feel is different from brand to brand and style to style. I’m planning on going with L.O.'s in A,C and Am. A is my favorite key of harp, C is the most practical because most lessons are in that key and Am is sounds awesome for Ethnic music.
If I don’t go with those 3 then I’ll probably get a Seydel Chromatic Standard 1248 since I’d like to get a half way decent Chromatic but can’t afford one of the $100 buck plus harps.