Harmonica: How to choose the best harmonica in 2021?
Today we are going to talk about a wind instrument with great playability, reasonable price and that is super easy to transport: the harmonica, also known as the harmonica.
In addition to being affordable and easy to carry in and out of your pocket, the harmonica also offers the great advantage of being able to produce a wide range of timbres. Therefore, the instrument is used in the most diverse musical styles, such as blues, rock, jazz, among others.
If you want to know which type of harmonica is best for you, continue with us. We will talk about the best models, their advantages, what to pay attention to before buying and much more.
First, the most important
- There are several types of harmonica. The main ones are diatonic and chromatic, one of which is easier and suitable for beginners and the other is more complex, generally used by professional harmonica players.
- Despite the super similar name, the harmonica and the accordion harmonica do not have many similarities. To begin with, one is a wind instrument and the other is made of keys.
- One of the great advantages of the harmonica, besides its easy portability, is its price. Compared to other wind instruments, the harmonica is much more affordable.
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Best Bagpipes: Our Recommendations
It can be very difficult to choose between diatonic and chromatic, 10 or 16 holes, among others. We will try to help you by showing you the best harmonicas.
- Excellent harmonic in D (D)
- Excellent Fender harmonica
- Harmonica in C (C)
Excellent harmonic in D (D)
Hohner Blues Harp D Diatonic Harmonica (aft) Harmonica M533036Read user reviews
R $ 349.90
Buy on Amazon
Suitable for beginners and intermediates, the Hohner diatonic harmonica is called Blues Harp and has a functional design, with a high quality voice plate and wooden body. Tuned in D (D), it is an excellent option to rock the blues songs.
Excellent Fender harmonica
Fender Blues Deluxe HarmonicaRead user reviews
R $ 88.52
Buy on Amazon
Being able to be used by both the beginner and the more experienced, this Fender harmonica has a solid and traditional design. It has 10 holes and brings a classic sound, with long-lasting timbres, characteristic of the brand.
Harmonica in C (C)
No products found.
This Hohner harmonica tuned in C has a triple layer of noble wood, which sets it apart from the others. Typical for Blues, this harmonica is a combination of tradition and technology so that you can learn and play with great quality.
Did you know that the harmonica and the accordion harmonica are super different? And that there are different types of harmonica? The number of holes and type of tuning also changes.
In this Buying Guide, we will solve your doubts so that you can choose the right harmonica for you!
Find out which is the best harmonica for you. (Source: TheOtherOne / Pixabay)
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the harmonica?
The harmonica, or harmonica, is one of the most practical wind instruments, as it offers a lower price than others such as trombone, trumpet and flute, for example. In addition, it is much easier to carry around.
They are so small that you just put them in a case inside your purse or backpack and transport them without much difficulty. You won’t even feel the weight of the harmonica. Some instrumentalists who choose guitar and saxophone, for example, cannot count on this facility.
In addition, we can say that the harmonica is an “eclectic” instrument with excellent playability. This is because it is capable of producing a wide variety of different tones. With a harmonica, you can play several different musical genres, such as country, jazz, blues and even rock.
The harmonica, after all, is still great for stimulating lung function and can even be used as a method of “physical therapy” for those who have had lung problems.
Cesar KellerFlorida Department of Transplant Services
“Personally, I think this technique is an addition and a very good complement to the whole process of general recovery from a lung transplant. It combines excellent respiratory therapy with fun and produces an immediate result, resulting from the performance of the musical instrument. ”
In contrast, some of the disadvantages of the harmonica are the fact that it needs frequent cleaning (due to contact with the mouth) and requires good oral hygiene. Over time, you will probably need to switch from a beginner harmonica to a more expensive and complete one.
- Lower costs than other instruments
- Practical to carry
- Provides great playability
- Has variety of timbres
- You can play different musical styles
- Beneficial for the lung
- Needs frequent cleaning
- Demands good oral hygiene
- Over time, it will be necessary to buy more complete models
What is the difference between a harmonica and an accordion harmonica?
Despite the similar name, the harmonica and the accordion harmonica do not have many similarities. To begin with, while the harmonica, or harmonica, is a wind instrument, the accordion harmonica is a key instrument. That is, an accordion harmonica is much more similar to a keyboard than to a harmonica.
In addition, these instruments differ in weight and size. The accordion is much larger and heavier, while the harmonica fits quietly in just one hand.
The accordion harmonica usually has 34 to 41 keys, while the harmonica has 12 to 16 holes. If there was still any doubt, it is clear: the harmonica and the accordion harmonica are very different from each other.
What are the types of harmonica?
There are two main types of harmonica, diatonic and chromatic, in addition, of course, to other less common types. Let’s meet them:
More common and easier to find, the diatonic harmonica is used in musical styles such as pop, blues and folk. Because they are a little more limited in tone, they are more used by beginning or intermediate students.
However, even with less timbre, diatonic harmonicas have all the notes of the scales. Each model has a different tone. This type of harmonica has 10 holes and an extension of three octaves.
This harmonica is a little more complex to play and allows for a larger number of scales. Chromatic harmonicas usually have a sliding bar that redirects the air that enters the nozzle to the plate.
It allows melodic execution of sounds in any key, without varying the pitch. The chromatic harmonica has two blowing and two suction vanes for each of the holes.
There are also the tremolo harmonica, the octave harmonica and the harmonica harmonica. The tremolo has two blades in each hole, producing a type of vibration in the tuning.
The eighth harmonica has two reeds in each hole. Each of them is tuned with an octave interval. The chord harmonica allows 48 different types of chords for each key.
The diatonic harmonica is ideal for beginners and intermediate in the instrument. (Source: 809499 / Pixabay)
Harmonicas are usually much more accessible than other wind instruments. With about R $ 250 you can buy a good quality harmonica for those who are starting to learn the instrument.
Of course, there are more complete models that are much more expensive, reaching the range of R $ 10,000, but, in general, it is possible to purchase great bagpipes in the range of R $ 1,500.
Where to buy?
For those looking for a harmonica online, it will be quite easy to find a wide variety. You can find yours on sites like Amazon, and virtual stores of the brands themselves.
If you prefer to buy in a physical store, go to the instrument store nearest you. In , for example, it is possible to find several models.
Purchasing criteria: Main features for evaluating a harmonica
Before defining your next (or first) harmonica, consider each of the following criteria. They will help you make the best decision:
- Number of holes
- Body material
Find out more about each one so you can, once and for all, choose the perfect harmonica for your needs!
Number of holes
The number of holes varies a lot according to the type of harmonica. The diatonic, which is the most common harmonic model, has 10 holes and an extension of three octaves. This means that the notes have no sharps and flats.
Chromatic harmonicas, generally used by more experienced harmonica players, usually have 12 or 16 holes, which provides an extension of three or four complete scales.
As you progress in the study of the instrument, the ideal is to go from 10 holes to larger numbers.
When searching for a diatonic harmonica in stores, you will come across different types of tuning, such as C (do) and G (sol).
The most suitable for beginners is the harmonica with tuning in C (C). That’s because most harmonica books have this tuning. However, the ideal is to buy harmonicas in other tunings when progressing in the instrument.
If you decide to play in a band, with someone on the guitar, for example, a harmonica with the C, D, F, G, A tones will probably do. However, it is necessary to know what is the tone used by the other players.
The harmonica with C tuning is ideal for those just starting out. (Source: YS-Park / Pixabay)
Diatonic harmonicas are usually divided into light or heavy mouths. The light mouthpiece has a thinner mouthpiece, while the heavy mouthpiece has a thicker mouthpiece.
The lighter mouthpieces are used by musicians who prefer a softer breath. Heavy mouths are used for those who play with more breath.
The way you play will interfere a lot in the type of harmonica that you should buy. If you like to blow hard, never buy a harmonica with a fine mouthpiece. The same goes for those who blow more smoothly, who should not acquire a heavy mouthpiece.
The main materials used in the body of a harmonica are wood and plastic.
- Wood . Harmonicas with wooden bodies usually provide a more velvety tone, referring to more “old” styles, such as blues. However, the wooden body usually has a lower durability. Over time, the tuning is impaired by the accumulation of bacteria and fungi.
- Plastic . The plastic body has a less full-bodied sound, however, it has a faster response and a brighter sound. In addition, they last longer than the harmonica with wooden body.