What You Need to Know
While a harmonica isn’t a huge investment, if you get it wrong you won’t enjoy learning to play the instrument.
There is a range of key questions you need to ask yourself and the person you are buying the harmonica from, before you proceed with your purchase.
To help you with your purchase, or investment really, the key questions are detailed below.
What quality is the harmonica?
The quality of the harmonica that you buy will affect your use of the harmonica. You need to ensure that you buy one that is of the highest quality and that it will last.
Ask the person you are buying it from about the brand and if it’s a quality brand. It also pays to do some research yourself and find out which brands are the best.
Brands such as Hohners and Hot Metal are both high quality and it’s really hard to go wrong.
If you don’t know the brands, things such as hard plastic cases and cushioned linings show that the harmonica is quality made.
Quality is important as there is a big difference between a harmonica made as a musical instrument and one made as a toy.
Is the harmonica suitable for my skill level?
Your particular skill level will impact on whether or not the harmonica that you buy is suitable for your particular needs.
You need to first understand what your skill level is, and then match harmonicas in to this. Key aspects to consider include:
- The material the comb is made out of (plastic, wood and metal are all options)
- The type of harmonica you are buying. For example, Diatonic, chromatic or tremolo. The most common is the diatonic and this can be a great one to start with.
- Cover style. There are two options when it comes to cover style. These are traditional and coverall. In our mind traditional is the best option to go for when starting out. It provides good sound and ensures that you can play a variety of music. Coverall is slightly harder to play.
In addition to the above, plexiglass is now common in high end models. It is easy to clean and maintain but if you drop the harmonica it also cracks very easily. This is a personal choice but plastic and wood are considered to give the two best sounds.
Ask if the harmonica is new!
This is actually an important question to ask, especially if you are buying from EBay. Harmonicas are cheap enough that you want to buy them new.
Buying a second hand one will be a waste of your money. What’s more, you will also have to clean it thoroughly.
Playing your harmonica is a personal experience and it’s much better to ensure that you are the first person to actually play the harmonica.
The above questions will help you to find the right harmonica for your needs and will also ensure that you find one that is high quality and that has never been used before.
Finally, an instrument that doesn’t get played at all is worthless. As such, it is much better spending some time making the right decision and ensuring that the harmonica that your purchase is fit for purpose.