If you’re looking to start an instrument that’s fun and easy than it’s no wonder you’re looking for a harmonica. Its simplicity to learn makes the harmonica one of the most popular instruments around, but if you want to take your music seriously and become an expert player, then you may be a little overwhelmed as to what the right instrument for you might be.
Luckily, this handy guide is here to take you through the top 5 options, show you some of the things to consider before buying your harmonica, and answer some of your biggest questions. With the right instrument, you can become an expert player just by practicing for ten minutes a day, and this guide is here to help you do so.
Top 5 Best Blues Harmonica
OUR TOP PICK
Suzuki HA-20-C Harmonica
First up, is a compact and portable harmonica perfect for producing exciting music for beginners all the way up to professionals. It’s easy to see why this option is great for all skill levels because the tone and sound quality is so impressive. This professional-grade instrument produces a rich smooth sound, with deep and mellow tones which is great for a whole range of genres but particularly the blues. If you’re looking for something capable of playing in front of an audience than this is a great option for you.
The clarity of the sound this instrument produces is great for a live audience, and it’s capable of producing great sound when you need to play quietly too. This instrument provides you with the flexibility to play loudly and quietly thanks to the aluminum comb which allows you to reach loud tones. If you’re looking for something with the precision and control of play to help you reach a more expert level of skill than this harmonica is a great option for you. The warmth of this harmonica is perfect for the blues, while the quality in the construction is second to none. This instrument has none of the air leaks which can ruin the sound, so you can place your faith in this instrument knowing it won’t let you down.
Excellently constructed, this is a durable harmonica that with the proper care will last you
Comes with a carry case, so you can easily protect your harmonica from damage
Easily replaceable durable reeds
Wide range of playability
Perfect for the blues thanks to the warmth of tone and the smooth sound
The reed plates are exposed and might feel a little harsh on new players lips
- Key of C
- Ever wanted a Hammond organ that will fit in your pocket? Look no further
- Carries the colored Hammond logo, which looks great against its black shell
- Immediately, you will be addicted to its beautiful sound
- The ha-20 features Phosphor bronze reeds and Includes a hard shell carrying case
If you’re just starting to learn the harmonica then you might want to have a look at this model. The Lee Oskar is synonymous with power and above-average sound, which makes this a great option for a beginner. This is a great model if you’re not certain about the harmonica as your instrument than this is a great way to test it out without breaking the bank. This model is perfect for anyone of any level to play, it’s also an incredibly powerful instrument with a bright, clear sound, and consistent tone.
The reeds in this model truly stand out, they're packed in together which gives the air very little chance of escaping or leaking while you play, which helps to give this model this smooth sound you’re looking for. If you’re a new player and you’re worried about changing the reeds than this harmonica has you covered too. To replace the reeds, only three screws are attaching them to the outer shell, so it is quick and easy to do even with very little experience. Being able to easily replace the reeds gives this model a good deal of durability, so as long as you look after it right this instrument should last you. This model also gives you a great deal of projection as you play, which makes it a good option for smaller venues if you’re looking to gig or perform in front of a live audience.
Great projection while you play
Easily replaceable reeds for durability
Suitable for all skill levels
Very easy to learn on making it a great option for beginners
Easy to play with a great sound
The plastic comb makes for easier playing but means you won’t have as warm a sound
- The Blues/Rock Harmonica
- Plastic Comb with large holes for easier playing
- Air Tight Design, Responsive Reeds, Louder Sound
- Replaceable Reed Plates at Half the Cost
- Orange Label, Major Diatonic 1910-C
Hohner was one of the very first brands and distributors of the harmonica, so obviously if you’re looking for the experts than they’re a very good place to start. This is a slightly more expensive model, but as they’ve been around for over 200 years you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck than with other brands. This is a professional harmonica developed to rival other similar models available, so you can rest assured that this is one of the very best sounding harmonicas you’ll be able to find. This model produces a rich and deep sound, with amazing clarity in the individual notes.
This harmonica will be able to cover most genres but is a particularly great option for the blues because of its tone and sound quality. The reeds are of excellent quality and while pro players may be able to tell the difference between the sound of one of these and something more expensive any audience won’t be able to. This is a great option for performing thanks to the quality of the sound and the tone, it’s a harmonica that’ll make you sound professional even when you aren’t. If you’re looking for a harmonica that’s great to learn on and for playing than this is a great pick.
Excellent sound tone including individual note clarity
Ideal for the blues but can cover a range of genres
Great reed quality
Benefits from over 200 years of harmonica production experience
A good option for performing
Will take a couple of days to break-in
If you’re looking for a harmonica built for the blues then this model is probably one of the best around. If you’re a beginner who thinks they want to play the blues but aren’t certain then it’s even better because it’s a versatile harmonica perfect for a range of abilities and genres. This an AC tuned harmonica with a smooth pitch thanks to the PVC comb and brass reeds, it has a comfortable traditional shape that’s easy to hold and play. It’s a model that’s built to be reliable in sound and comfort with a high-quality build you can rely on. If you’re worried about how easy it is to replace the reed plates, then rest assured it’s a quick and easy job for beginners and those of a more advanced skill set alike.
The design of this instrument is sleek and stylish thanks to the metal chrome cover, so you’ll look good and sound good. It also includes a hard case to help protect your instrument which for the price makes this is a resoundingly good purchase. The smooth and classic sound comes from the ten holes which help create a reliably great blues sound. While Fender is synonymous with guitars, its other instruments are as high quality. This is a traditional, soft harmonica great for all skill levels to enjoy with a great sound. It’s probably not loud enough to be a performance level harmonica, but it’s great as a practice instrument or if you’re just looking for a new way to wind down and learn a new skill.
Great smooth sound
Easy to change reeds for all skill levels
Easy to hold and play
Great for a variety of genres
Includes a protective hard case for storage and to help you take good care of your instrument on the go
Not a performance harmonica, but still a great instrument you can get a lot of enjoyment out of
- Key of C
- Designed to sound as good as the Fender brand name would suggest
- Its richer tone and pitch is made possible with a molded PVC comb and precision phosphor bronze reeds
- Traditional shape and black satin covers will make your harmonica look as good as it sounds
- Includes vented hard plastic case
If you’re looking for something for a child then this is a great beginner’s harmonica for young blues players. Slightly smaller, this instrument is made with younger players in mind, so it’s perfectly sized for smaller hands. If you’re looking for a gift for a blues wannabe than this could be the perfect gift. This is a diatonic harmonica which means that it's easy to learn on, making it a great start for a young musician. This is a lighter instrument than a regular harmonica, and it’s weighted to make it easier for children to use. A lot of work has been put into this model to be great for children and it shows, especially when considering factors like the comb which is built to ensure that moisture is minimal to make it easier for young players.
The cover too is smooth enough for kids not to find playing uncomfortable, which will help encourage them to practice. The reed plates are made of copper, and the covers are stainless steel to reduce air leakage, young players should be able to make a clear and crisp sound, and the delicateness of sound with this model really lends itself to young players. It’s easy to tune and it’s well worth considering if you’re looking for something that will encourage young music learners to try something new and excel.
If you’re an adult wondering if this might be an option for you than it depends on what you're looking to get out of your harmonica. If you’re a casual player looking for some fun then this might really work out for you. If you want something to take a bit more seriously than looking elsewhere is probably a better choice.
A great option for young players
Rich tone and vibrant sound quality
Well-built and durable
Lighter than a standard harmonica
Diatonic and easy to learn on
Serious adult learners will want something a bit more advanced
- HAPPY INSTRUMENT IN KEY OF C- Major C Key Harmonica with 10 Holes and 20 Tones, it can play variety types of music like blues, American folk music, classical music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. It designs for anyone, from beginner to expert, kids and adult,who wants to play a great sounding harmonica.
- PHOSPHOR BRONZE REED(SOUND SPRING)- 99.99% copper content is anti-corrosion with nice bright tones. This harmonica produces rich and full notes for your smooth and effortless plays.A wise choise especially for professional players.
- THICKEN COVER PLATE-1mm copper plate thicker than 90% options in market. It makes the harmonica sound more clear and melodious. Smooth cover with fine printing, looks elegant and easy to hold.
- TOP GRADE RESIN FRETS- Harmonica uses Non-toxic food grade ABS resin frets plated with nickle metal giving it a smoother touch to protect your/kids’ mouth and brings louder and clearer sound.
- RELIABLE GIFT HARMONICA- Have SGS Test Report,Toy Safety Test Report,P.T.S. Certificate,Quality Management System Certificate.Best gift idea for kids family and friends!! Comes with a high quality case with a wipe cloth for keeping it protected when slipped in your pocket. Package includes 1 Harmonica C (East top);1 Storage case; 1 Cleaning cloth; 1 English Instruction.
Best Blues Harmonica Buying Guide
Finding the best instrument for you takes time and effort, and the harmonica is no different. The harmonica is easy to pick up, and with just ten minutes of practice a day, you’ll be able to play a wide range of music which is why picking the right model is so important. People often dismiss the harmonica because of its size or even because of how easy it is to learn, preferring to pick up a guitar or the piano.
But the harmonica is powerful for its size and gives you a versatility that cannot be matched, and it’s a great thing to add to your track if you’re a budding singer/songwriter. Most harmonica players are blues or jazz players and many play in a group making the harmonica a great way to meet new people to perform with if that’s something that interests you. The harmonica is a great instrument and because it’s so easy to pick up, many people find it a rewarding way to wind down even if you’re just playing for yourself! This section of the guide is here to take you through some of the things to think about when you’re looking at harmonica’s so you can find the best one for you. The right harmonica is different for everyone so try to keep an open mind and think about what you want to get out of your music.
As with any instrument, the harmonica comes in a range of prices and it’s important to think about how much you want to spend, but luckily unlike other instruments like a piano, for example, the harmonica is a relatively inexpensive instrument and there is a lot of different option for budget’s raging from $10-$70. If you’re just starting don’t go and buy the most expensive harmonica you can find. It can be easy to buy a relatively expensive harmonica and expect it to be the right one for you, but it might be you to decide another instrument is a better fit for you. You don’t want to buy something that’ll end up gathering dust. As you advance your skills and start thinking about gigging, think about having one harmonica for home use and one for performing, that way you can have a have an instrument with a great sound you don’t mind losing or getting damaged, and one that you love and want to keep safe. You don’t have to break the bank for quality, so take a look around and find what suits you.
Chromatic or diatonic
Thinking about if you want a chromatic or diatonic harmonica is something else worth considering. Most players stick with a diatonic C-key harmonica, but you might want to explore a bit. Most harmonicas are in C-key and are diatonic. This means that they will only play on the one scale it was designed for. Diatonic harmonicas are primarily used for rock, blues, and folk music, so Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Mick Jagger all use this kind of harmonica in their music. As you learn you’ll find out that you can ‘bend’ the notes on a diatonic harmonica, which means you can play all the black keys of the piano with the white harmonica keys. This takes a lot of practice to do though, so don’t expect to be able to do it straight away, but this technique means it’s possible to achieve notes that are not automatically included in the range of a diatonic harmonica.
A chromatic harmonica lets you play on any scale you want, just by pressing a button on the side. This allows you to change the harmonica keys, and if you press it half-way you get all the half notes. While this might sound like a dream come true, the chromatic harmonica doesn’t have the same blues feel to it as you play, partly because you can't ‘bend’ it the way you can with a diatonic harmonica. It’s also harder to find music for a chromatic type which can be hard for beginners.
Is the Blues Harmonica easy to learn?
The harmonica is easy to learn, which is one of the reasons so many people like playing it. But, it takes a lot of practice to master it and to pick up techniques like bending which you want to truly be able to play the blues. If you’re a Blues wannabe though, the harmonica is always going to be a staple instrument well worth looking into
Is a Blues Harmonica more expensive?
Most harmonicas can be used in a range of genres and styles, so you should be able to play the Blues with any standard harmonica at a standard harmonica price.