Why do Elitist Blues Players Insist I Shouldn't Play the Hohner Golden Melody?

I know this might sound strange, but I used to get these comments all the time. Why is it that elitist harmonica players say I shouldn’t play my Golden Melodies, especially when it comes to blues? I absolutely love these harps: they feel very nice in the hands, have an amazing tone, and could play just about anything I want to play.
I want to play country, but also play a little bit of blues on the side. I know that the Equal Temperment tuning style makes it easier to play melodies in tune and makes chords sound harsher, but the chord sounds on all my Golden Melodies sound just like any Modern Compromise tuned harp. Every time I would mention that I use them for blues, some elitist harmonica player will tell me that they are strictly made for playing melodies and not made for blues. I even had one guy tell me that if I play them the band would tell me I’m out of tune and that I have to switch harp models. Even if I show them proof that there are harp players that use Golden Melodies for blues like Terry McMillan, Paul DeLay, Todd Parrott, and Sonny Terry, they still insist that using them that way is wrong to do and that I should go with a Marine Band. I originally bought these harps because I found out that Terry McMillan played them and I wanted to try them for myself. I don’t want to give up the harps that I love just to play blues on them.


Hi @KeroroRinChou

Just ignore those people and play your blues the way you want to play. If they think that they know better, that is their problem. :laughing:

– Slim :sunglasses:


Hello @KeroroRinChou,
just leave them in the :fog: :fishing_pole_and_fish:. I’m still a long way from the beginning to be good, but I played my Whistle Blow Train :steam_locomotive: with my Golden Melody. It sounded the best, although I own other blues harps. I wouldn’t let that kind of talk influence me. That being said, I’m sure everyone has their preferences when it comes to harps. :woman_shrugging:


Everything is subjective and I’d not concern yourself with the opinions of strangers on the Internet (being blunt, that includes us on here - listen or don’t listen as much as is appropriate)

@KeroroRinChou - You do you, stuff the rest of them.

Plus, if people get annoyed at you having fun ‘wrong’, I’d be inclined to do it even more.


HAHA! YESS @MikeyJay! I’m pretty sure that’s the attitude that gave birth to Punk Rock. I shudder to imagine, but just think - if people hadn’t adopted that mindset, the world wouldn’t have “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

@KeroroRinChou - WOW! I had NOT been aware that Sonny Terry plays Golden Melodies! I was like, “Ooooh, I’m gonna have to correct her on that…” and then I looked it up, and you’re 100% correct! ‘NUFF SAID! It’s SONNY MUTHAFLIPPIN’ TERRY for goodness sake! I can’t believe in all my research about the Golden Melody that I never came across the fact that Sonny Terry played them!

Actually, come to think of it you’re the one who turned me onto the fact that Terry McMillan played Golden Melodies as well.

So THANK YOU for the rich value that you are adding to this forum.

Reading your post here, and the wonderful responses from @Slim, @AstridHandbikebee63 , and @MikeyJay, I’d say you’ve found your Harmonica tribe! :raised_hands:

We got your back! :facepunch: