What kind of harmonica is playing this piece? (from "The Littlest Hobo" S01:E14)

Hi everyone, I am not a harmonica player… yet.
I heard this great little piece the other day and now want to be:

The harmonica starts coming in around 14:32 and fades in and out for about two and a half minutes to 17:05. It has great lows and sweet highs.

Please share any insights you might have:
Is it a diatonic or a chromatic?
(And what key is the player using?)
What techniques is he employing?
Is it just an incidental piece or a cover of a song?
Is this a specific style of playing?
Do you know who the player might be?

Thanks, heaps!



@Dilletant_Dan, hello Dan,
welcome to our forum.
The song played in the film is called “Autumn Leaves”.
I would put it on a diatonic C

  • Play the harp in the key of G.

You can also play the song with a chromatic harp, but for the feel I would prefer a diatonic one. Here it also depends on the interpretation.

Here I am sending you a link, but this beautiful song has been interpreted by many well-known artists.

Regards from Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


Hi Dan @Dilettante_Dan

I only listened to the portion you noted (from 14:32 to 17:05) and for this part a chromatic harmonica is being used.

It might very well be that the actual theme song for the video is “Autumn Leaves” as Astrid @AstridHandbikebee63 suggested, but I did not listen to any of the other parts of the video. The part you ask about seems to have little or nothing to do with “Autumn Leaves” but is rather some noodling/improvising on the chromatic harp (perhaps based on some chords or chord progression found in “Autumn Leaves”).

“Autumn Leaves” is a real jazz classic that is ideal for a chromatic harp, but can be challenging on a 10 hole blues harp. What is very interesting is that the chord pattern II - V - I appears in various forms almost everywhere you look in the song.

– Slim :sunglasses:


@AstridHandbikebee63 @Slim
Thank you both very much for answering! :slight_smile:


@Dilettante_Dan welcome to the forum! Yes, as @Slim mentioned this is played on a chromatic harmonica, however I think you’ll find that on a diatonic harp you can play similar vibe stuff that you’ll have fun playing and will sound great and similar to this, but the diatonic is MUCH easier to learn and cheaper to buy as I explain here:

If you want to pick up a diatonic harmonica, I talk about brands here:

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