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The Best Harmonica for Beginners?
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Poll
Question: The Best Harmonica for Beginners?
Hohner Bluesband Harmonica - 7 (17.5%)
Hohner Golden Melody - 2 (5%)
Hohner Special 20 - 23 (57.5%)
Hohner Weekender - 0 (0%)
Other, please specify, thanks! - 3 (7.5%)
Suziki Soul's Voice - 1 (2.5%)
Seydel Harmonica - 3 (7.5%)
Lee Oscar - 1 (2.5%)
Total Voters: 27

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Author Topic: The Best Harmonica for Beginners?  (Read 36453 times)
Chris
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« on: March 22, 2010, 08:40:59 AM »

Which is this best harp for beginners?
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JP Allen
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 01:01:57 AM »

For a low dollar harp I recommend the Hohner Blues Band. For a professional harmonica I recommend the Special 20. Once your ready to learn how to bend. Go for the Special 20
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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Ashish
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 06:58:11 AM »

Lee Oskars are very good harmonica for beginners. It's the harmonica I started out on. They are very airtight and easy to bend. And they last forever.

Specials 20s are very good harmonicas. I like the way they are tuned. Lee Oskars are tuned to equal temparament, and chords don't sound very good on it. Special 20s are good for playing chords and rhythm harmonica stuff.

Ashish
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Joseph
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 10:55:27 PM »

Howdy All!

I finally got re-ignited again about Everything Harmonica!!

So here's my first post with many more to come - But don't hold me to it; and don't get me started.... Roll Eyes

Anywho -- If I had to do it all over again, I would go for customized harps from the get go.

Yes, I know there are harpsters out there fresh to picking up the instrument; however, one thing that has been always distressing to me is a new harp "out of the box" would have a tendency to break down fast.

Before the internet and information explosion, one was virtually stuck with trying to find out how to emboss, tune, gap and get the thing back to some semblance of playability. Nowadays though, one can work on their own harps for sure. However, for all the Special 20s; Golden Melodys; Big Rivers; etc. etc. and the $$$s I spent on them, if I had invested in good customized harps back when, then I'd be farther ahead than I am now.  Undecided

Even the great Howard Levy has gone customized; and I believe customized harps put Jason Ricci in a class all by himself!  Smiley

Since Joe Filisko no longer makes harps, as he's enjoying his retirement, I got my harp from David Payne of Elk River Harmonicas, out of West Virginia. It's my favorite harp by far; but for practicing all of JP's lessons and more, well, I rotate between my sets of Spec 20s, Golden Melodys and Big Rivers.

In any event, keep on harpin; and thanks for reading!!  Wink

 

 
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zglouz
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 04:10:46 PM »

For me best for beginners is Golden Melody in C maj.
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Joseph
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 04:23:21 PM »

Howdy Zglouz!

I like my Golden Melodys too, and I excerpted this below from my earlier post review.

From My Golden Melody Review:

I have A, C, D, E, F, G and B (yes, an actual B)!

Yes, I do like them. Now that is, because here’s the thing one should know about GMs:

Like Big Rivers, they do take your mouth and lips time to adjust to them. Especially for this very reason: Ever so slight as they may be, the tops of the harmonicas have protruding/extended brass plates on either side.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, the first time you go to ‘tongue’ along the harp (and yes, tonguing helps in playing tunes and so forth) – if you’re not familiar with the harp and/or you have very soft mouth and lips, and who doesn’t – Bazinga! Ouch! You have to be careful with your mouth, tongue, and lips because those protruding/extended plates may/can slice you like a razor blade!

It’s true, fellow harpsters and harpsterettes! I did it; and I’m all better now, thanks for asking!

But yet too, I also wondered why nobody mentioned it before! I certainly never read anything on it. So, well, I’m mentioning it here and now!

Yes, I play my GMs; but I’m also aware of the built in Ginsu-knife effects from them too. As well you should be also if you invest and play them for the very first time.


So let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!




 
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ezas
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 04:05:38 PM »

AS a beginner, its a toss up between the Seydel Blues Session and the Suzuki Blues Master. With the Suzuki Blues Master being slightly favored for its shape.

I put Seydel in the Poll because I have a feeling it will be under represented.

I think a mulit-choice Poll would have been better. Is their ONE best?

I could have just as easily voted for Golden Melody. It's very easy to play (and by that I mean easy to find single hole for a beginner), and I really like the shape.
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bikeridermusicman
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 08:37:08 AM »

I stared using Lee Oscars last year and really like them but on the recommendation that came with my tuition disc set I went and bought a SPECIAL 20 in C. I have found this to live up to all expectations - it really is very easy to bend the notes and has a very nice full tone with it, they don't cost a fortune and are well worth trying.
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Comboverguy
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 05:08:08 PM »

Im really new to the harmonica world, but getting tired of hauling my piano all over, thought the harmonica would be a little easier. I splurged and got a Seydel 1847 with a wooden comb. I absolutely love this thing. It bends very easily and I think it has a great warm expressive tone. Just my 2 cents worth.
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mckenziem3
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 06:42:29 PM »

 My favorite is the Hohner Pro Harp. I don't know that I prefer it to the Special 20s, Lee Oskars, Blues Harp, or Marine Bands that I own but a Pro Harp in G was my first one so it may be sentimental. It seemed that the wooden comb harps were easier to bend to me.
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Barry
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 09:47:52 AM »

Howdy Zglouz!

I like my Golden Melodys too, and I excerpted this below from my earlier post review.

From My Golden Melody Review:

I have A, C, D, E, F, G and B (yes, an actual B)!

Yes, I do like them. Now that is, because here’s the thing one should know about GMs:

Like Big Rivers, they do take your mouth and lips time to adjust to them. Especially for this very reason: Ever so slight as they may be, the tops of the harmonicas have protruding/extended brass plates on either side.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, the first time you go to ‘tongue’ along the harp (and yes, tonguing helps in playing tunes and so forth) – if you’re not familiar with the harp and/or you have very soft mouth and lips, and who doesn’t – Bazinga! Ouch! You have to be careful with your mouth, tongue, and lips because those protruding/extended plates may/can slice you like a razor blade!

It’s true, fellow harpsters and harpsterettes! I did it; and I’m all better now, thanks for asking!

But yet too, I also wondered why nobody mentioned it before! I certainly never read anything on it. So, well, I’m mentioning it here and now!

Yes, I play my GMs; but I’m also aware of the built in Ginsu-knife effects from them too. As well you should be also if you invest and play them for the very first time.


So let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!




 

Hey Street Player, I actually file down the reed plates flush with the combs and then with 400 grit sand paper I round the outside and inside edges. This is one of the major reasons I like Spesial 20's , because the reed plates are not exposed!

Barry
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Joseph
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 10:04:15 AM »

Quote
Im really new to the harmonica world, but getting tired of hauling my piano all over,

I know the feeling combover guy...kind of difficult to ride my bike with a tuba strapped around me too!  Cheesy

 
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mario
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2010, 05:08:13 AM »

There is always a way...

Cheesy
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Joe
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2010, 05:54:12 AM »

I have 100 dollar harps and 5 dollar harps man to each his own but my vote is for Golden Melody's with Suzuki Manji close second.
Golden melody for me...

Harp on!!
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“Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man” A shotgun fired and away I ran.

Talkin' World War III Blues Bob Dylan

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Joseph
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2010, 12:01:37 PM »

Mwuahahahahahaha!

Good one, Mario!

Mwuahahahahahaha!
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Joe
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2010, 12:21:59 PM »

Holy Cow!!! Mario that is classic I never laughed so hard in my life.
I drive my 11 year old crazy playing my harmonica.. He is the biggest
star wars fan out there..Wait till I get home tonite he is gonna look at
harmonica playing a little differently now.....


 Grin
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“Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man” A shotgun fired and away I ran.

Talkin' World War III Blues Bob Dylan

http://www.youtube.com/user/jfeeney4
Joseph
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2010, 12:34:44 PM »

Here you go, Joe! Especially for you!

http://www.harpsurgery.com/star-wars-theme-with-tab/

I found this site from a jump link on Pat Missin's site.

Hope you and your 11 year old enjoy it!! Wink



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mario
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010, 02:23:36 PM »

Thanks SPD, will learn it ASAP Cheesy
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Joseph
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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2010, 02:34:06 PM »

Cool beans! Your post brought the laugh of the day for me!  Grin

Ciao, babe!
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JP Allen
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2010, 11:53:01 AM »

THIS IS A SEGUE I already posted on STD's hilarious post on the Worst Harmonica You Ever Got..

Basically... out of the box... Most harmonicas are too leaky for me... so most of them have been my worst... most of them are also slightly out of tune (i.e. they're slightly sharp... but I think in Hohner's case this is intentional to make them sound more "in tune" with the band.... that's a whole 'nother can of worms...)

I've had some Big Rivers I've like and I've had some I've hated...that goes for Lee Oscar, most of the hohner harps, huang, bushman.... some of the Suzuki harps....

Most of the harps mentioned above will kick butt after some reed gapping (INCLUDING THE BIG RIVER) BUT... I DON'T LIKE SPENDING MY LIFE REED GAPPING ANYMORE.... it's time consuming... really fun... but time consuming....

MY FAVORITES:.. out of the box.. ... with no need for reed gapping... (and not counting custom harps like Garrison, Turbo Harps etc... ).... my favorite harps right now are The Hohener Special 20, Suzuki Harp Master, and Suzuki Manji  

What are you favorite Harmonicas and which ones do you think are best for beginners?


(I'm now remembering we already did a post like this but until STD organizes this site I thought I would start the thread again... BTW... STD is just waiting on our tech guy and we're going to give this site a face lift in the next two weeks... I'm really stoked....

jp
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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Joseph
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2010, 01:44:44 PM »

Howdy, Sir!

How um do I say this...well um without seeming...well um okay here is this very fine posting and topic started by Chris:

http://www.harmonica.com/forums/harmonica-talk/the-best-harmonica-for-beginners/

I will say: Hey, it's all good!  Cheesy

Smiles!

Keep on Harpin'!
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pjd777
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2010, 05:16:34 PM »

Hi JP I dont think I am qualified to judge really been playing eight months and loving it gets in your blood in your head and under your skin thats me any way. learning to bend them notes now thanks to the special 20 but my gripe with the S/20 is as you say are sort of sharp and because of this as I was telling SPD I dont play it a whole lot pity really if it wasnt like so sharp it would most likely be my harp of choice because it bends like no other and thats a big plus for a freshman like myself. In eight months I have aquired a whole bunch of harps some middle price range and some upper price range but I think that is no bad thing as other wise how do you find out which one is right for you but with out naming any harps ie upper price bracket I must say I found them to be a dissapointment my inexperience may be? So the best harp for me thats a bit tricky because it took me a while before I arrived at the conclusion that I really favour harps with plastic combs so having said that 1st for me is Delta Frost in C then Golden Melody in C and the Lee Oscar in C shame about the special 20 but I just can not hack that annoying sharpness on some of the draw holes it often spoils a good tune so JP thats my input for what its worth by the way I find your tuition pack very helpfull and useful thanks JP keep on harpin Smiley
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Joseph
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 05:44:38 PM »

Wow Pee Jay Dee Seven Seven Seven!

That was actually quite a good and fascinating read!

No apologies necessary, I thoroughly enjoyed it, Bro!

For a very interesting insightful review on not just one but several harps of choice...

Definitely my props to you, Yo!

Keep on Smiling!

Keep on Harpin'!

Keep on telling us your experiences as it is!

Peace & SPD Out!

 
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