Learn to Play Blues Harp Harmonica
Which Hohner Harmonica should I buy?

Q:

A Marine Band,Marine Band Special 20 or the Hohner Blues Harp harmonica?

A:

All the Hohner hand mades sound somewhat alike. The reeds are the same on the Marine Band, the Special 20, and the Golden Melody. If you are slick and can tune and repair a blues harp harmonica without problems then the Marine Band Hohner Marine Band Harmonica, Key of G should be OK. It is put together with nails and wood screws. If you fiddle with them when they are new to get them in tune, you might void the guarantee. I live at altitude and have better luck with wood combs because they distribute heat and therefore condensation better.

The Special 20 and Golden Melody are put together with self tapping metal screws and bolts + nuts. The Special 20 and the Golden Melody have plastic combs, which are durable, safe, and easy to deal with. Special 20s are probably the best harps on the market for blowing chords. Hohner Special 20 Harmonica, Key of C Golden Melodies have protruding reed plates that are not great for tongue blockers. But they work very well for overdraws. Golden Melodies are in equal temperament, which is better for single notes rather than chords. Again, you can change the tuning yourself if you are slick.

If you are a beginner, the quick and stupid answer is to get a Special 20, or a Lee Oskar. The vast majority of professionals give the same advice. After you have developed a well defined playing style, other brands and models will come into the picture. Write me if you are an experienced player with a specific idea of what you want and I will tell you which one you will do best with.

If you want to research harmonicas go to Coast2Coastmusic.com and read the reviews and customer ratings. They are very customer oriented. The other rational place to purchase your harmonicas is harpdepot.com. Expect to spend about 10 cents an hour to play the harmonica, if you don’t repair and tune them yourself. Prepare yourself for a lot of answers contesting which is better, wood or plastic. Aside from the heat distribution qualities and the beauty of wood, there is no difference in sound. The shape inside the harmonica, etc, controls the sound. The Special 20 and the Marine Band do sound slightly different for these reasons. The Blues Harp harmonica is a MS for Modular System Harmonica. They come with replacement reeds and plates together so an amateur can repair them.

Hohner sells two kinds of Harmonica. 1. The three hand mades described above. 2. MS models including the wood combed Blues Harp Harmonica. Quick and stupid answer is that all professionals agree that the hand mades have superior reeds compared to the MS models. Of course, a professional can probably tune and repair a harmonica without the benefit of replacement parts. The Lee Oskars also have replacement parts, and like the Golden Melody, they are great for blowing single notes. They need to be tuned properly yourself if you are going to play chords. Lee Oskars are freakishly durable even without the replacement parts, which is why professionals that can tune them themselves love them so much Lee Oskar Natural Minor Harmonica (C MINOR) . They are typically recommended for beginners because beginners, [and a few professionals,] are seldom into playing chords.

Like all Harmonicas made in the orient [Lee Oskar and Suzuki are made in Japan, Cheap Chinese are a no go], I can’t overdraw the thin reeds without rolling my tongue into a tube. I can do flat tongue overdraws on western harps like Hohner [hand mades], Seydels, and Herings. Hohners and Seydels are made in Germany. Seydels have no condensation problems and can be gapped very tight to make bends and overblow/draws absolutely awesome. Their chords are right up there with the Special 20. Seydels are the highest quality harps in the world. 1847.com Herings are made in Brazil and sound great at a low price. But they are constructed and serviced by a third world work force. If you don’t mind getting an oddball bad harp, Herings are a go. I recommend the 1923 Model. It is absolutely beautiful to look at, and also plays wonderful chords. Those are the six places in the world where harmonicas are produced.

How to Play the Harmonica : Playing the Train on Harmonica

Technorati Tags: 1923 Hering, blues, C Minor, harmonica, Hohner, Hohner marine band harmonica, Hohner Special 20, Key of C, Lee Oskar, Modular System Harmonica, Seydel, Seydel harmonica, Seydel Harp

admin @ 4:32 pm

3 Comments for 'Which Hohner Harmonica should I buy?'

  1.  
    Dan
    August 20, 2009 | 2:39 am
     

    All the Hohner hand mades sound somewhat alike. The reeds are the same on the Marine Band, the Special 20, and the Golden Melody. If you are slick and can tune and repair a harmonica without problems then the Marine Band should be OK. It is put together with nails and wood screws. If you fiddle with them when they are new to get them in tune, you might void the guarantee. I live at altitude and have better luck with wood combs because they distribute heat and therefore condensation better. The Special 20 and Golden Melody are put together with self tapping metal screws and bolts + nuts. The Special 20 and the Golden Melody have plastic combs, which are durable, safe, and easy to deal with. Special 20s are probably the best harps on the market for blowing chords. Golden Melodies have protruding reed plates that are not great for tongue blockers. But they work very well for overdraws. Golden Melodies are in equal temperament, which is better for single notes rather than chords. Again, you can change the tuning yourself if you are slick.
    If you are a beginner, the quick and stupid answer is to get a Special 20, or a Lee Oskar. The vast majority of professionals give the same advice. After you have developed a well defined playing style, other brands and models will come into the picture. Write me if you are an experienced player with a specific idea of what you want and I will tell you which one you will do best with.
    If you want to research harmonicas go to Coast2Coastmusic.com and read the reviews and customer ratings. They are very customer oriented. The other rational place to purchase your harmonicas is harpdepot.com. Expect to spend about 10 cents an hour to play the harmonica, if you don’t repair and tune them yourself.
    Prepare yourself for a lot of answers contesting which is better, wood or plastic. Aside from the heat distribution qualities and the beauty of wood, there is no difference in sound. The shape inside the harmonica, etc, controls the sound. The Special 20 and the Marine Band do sound slightly different for these reasons.
    The Blues Harp is a MS for Modular System Harmonica. They come with replacement reeds and plates together so an amateur can repair them. Hohner sells two kinds of Harmonica. 1. The three hand mades described above. 2. MS models including the wood combed Blues Harp. Quick and stupid answer is that all professionals agree that the hand mades have superior reeds compared to the MS models. Of course, a professional can probably tune and repair a harmonica without the benefit of replacement parts. The Lee Oskars also have replacement parts, and like the Golden Melody, they are great for blowing single notes. They need to be tuned properly yourself if you are going to play chords. Lee Oskars are freakishly durable even without the replacement parts, which is why professionals that can tune them themselves love them so much. They are typically recommended for beginners because beginners, [and a few professionals,] are seldom into playing chords.
    Like all Harmonicas made in the orient [Lee Oskar and Suzuki are made in Japan, Cheap Chinese are a no go], I can’t overdraw the thin reeds without rolling my tongue into a tube. I can do flat tongue overdraws on western harps like Hohner [hand mades], Seydels, and Herings. Hohners and Seydels are made in Germany. Seydels have no condensation problems and can be gapped very tight to make bends and overblow/draws absolutely awesome. Their chords are right up there with the Special 20. Seydels are the highest quality harps in the world. 1847.com Herings are made in Brazil and sound great at a low price. But they are constructed and serviced by a third world work force. If you don’t mind getting an oddball bad harp, Herings are a go. I recommend the 1923 Model. It is absolutely beautiful to look at, and also plays wonderful chords.
    Those are the six places in the world where harmonicas are produced.
    References :
    http://www.coast2coastmusic.com/
    http://www.1847.com

  2.  
    Frank
    April 5, 2010 | 7:18 am
     

    I’ve spent a couple of years putting together my collection of Special 20s. I’ve got 12 harps including four flats. I love them.

    I’m in need of changing some of the reeds now. My C and G are the first in line.

    Where can I get the reed replacements. I bought these with the belief that reeds would be replacable. Can you help me?

    Thanks

  3.  
    admin
    August 11, 2010 | 8:13 am
     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StyPNkK9dAY

    How to change harmonica reeds video tutorial.

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