The Most Interesting Harmonica – A Blues Harp

Harmonicas are tiny instruments that are way more versatile than they initially seem. They can be used to create beautiful ballads, add some interesting solos to your performance and to liven up any gig, in general. And even though they can be beautiful accompaniments to any genre, they shine particularly brightly with blues. If you’re not familiar with these tiny harps, then I’ll tell you that each model is tuned differently. The majority of the brands offer a wide variety of keys you can buy them in, depending on what you want to achieve. Due to the exceptional character of blues, you should select the best blues harmonica carefully. If you go with the wrong one, you might not even be able to create the sound you wished for. And then all the effort will be in vain… That’s exactly why we are here – we should avoid mistakes as much as we can. If you want to purchase a blues harmonica, but you don’t know which one to go for, this article might be really helpful for you. Let’s begin!

Top 5 Best Blues Harmonica

ImageHarmonica Model
Rating
Check Price
Hohner Marine Band Special 20 5-Piece Pro Pack5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)Check on Amazon
Johnson BK-520-C Blues King Harmonica, C4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
Suzuki Promaster Harmonica, Key of C4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
Fender Blues Deville Harmonica, Key of C4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
Professional Harmonica Blues Key of C4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon

Hohner Marine Band Special 20 5-Piece Pro Pack

Build Quality:5 out of 5 stars
Hardware:5 out of 5 stars
Sound:5 out of 5 stars
Value:5 out of 5 stars
Average:5 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon

Full Review

Hohner Marine Band Special 20 5-Piece Pro Pack

Hohner has been one of the pioneers in the world of harmonicas. They gave birth to the diatonic model that has been replicated by many ever since. Their craftsmanship and expertise is visible in every purchase, forcing you to go back and buy even more pieces. Marine Band Special 20 5-piece set is a perfect option if you want to get your hands on various tunings simultaneously. This way you’ll get the chance to use each one with its dedicated purpose and even swap between them mid-performance. Such packages give you a lot of versatility and make sure you have access to the tones you always wanted to create. Reed profiles are finely crafted so that the sound is clean and defined. The covers are sealed securely so that the air doesn’t escape and make your job difficult. In fact, you’ll find bending notes quite easy with these. Hohner Marine Band Special 20 pack is definitely one of the best deals you can get your hands on right now.

Pros:

  • A value pack with 5 harmonicas
  • Excellent playability
  • Defined tone

Cons:

  • None

Johnson BK-520-C Blues King Harmonica, C

Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon

Full Review

Johnson BK-520-C Blues King Harmonica, C

Johnson BK-520-C Blues King Harmonica might not be the best harmonica for blues, but it certainly is the most affordable one. It doesn’t get cheaper than this if you want to purchase a playable piece. It does have some quality issues, but they are expected at this price point. It’s probably more suitable for beginners than for professionals, but you can still give it a try. After all, you won’t even notice that you’ve bought something – that’s how inexpensive it is. It uses brass reeds to create the sound – enabling you to achieve beautiful results without your lungs feeling like they had been on a treadmill for days. Blues King can be a perfect option for those who just want to experiment with a new instrument and see if it fits their music and preferences. It has the capability to add brightness to any bluesy riff, so you can consider using it for that. Keep in mind that consistency isn’t the word that describes these affordable models, so be ready to take a risk!

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Bright and defined tone
  • Comes with a case

Cons:

  • You might notice some air escaping without hitting the reeds

Suzuki Promaster Harmonica, Key of C

Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon


You start to understand what a high quality harmonica should look like once you see a Suzuki MR-350 Promaster for the very first time. The body has such an expensive appeal to it that most of the time you’ll want to show it off in your collection without even touching. But the true qualities get unleashed once you take it in your hands, start blowing and emit beautiful sounds. Such results wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for a top-notch construction and high-grade components. The reed plates are made from phosphor bronze, while the comb is built with billet aluminum alloy. The latter holds everything together and makes sure this piece is indestructible. Stainless steel covers are perfectly sealed, polished and engraved to maintain the expensive look we mentioned in the beginning. Suzuki harmonicas have always been in top picks and MR-350 Promaster isn’t an exception either. If you have a sufficient budget for it, you should definitely try out. Don’t you want to see where an easy-to-play harmonica will take you?

Pros:

  • Excellent construction
  • Beautiful design
  • Loud and defined tone

Cons:

  • Might need tuning

Fender Blues Deville Harmonica, Key of C

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon


If you want to check out yet another high-quality piece, then Fender Blues Deville is worth your attention. It has an irresistible design – once you catch its glance, you’ll have a hard time preventing yourself from making a purchase. The matt black surface has gold writing on it with some patterns that make it look like a piece of art. Gold-etched casing enhances that feel even more. But such an elaboration doesn’t stop there. Every detail is articulate here – it’s obvious that Fender made an effort to put together all the right pieces. Blues Deville has phosphor bronze reeds and moisture resistant ABS plastic combs. The combination of these two is used to guarantee tuning stability and spot-on performance each and every time. The tone is refined, bright and bold – it’s exactly what a bluesman needs. The price is still relatively affordable compared to other models, turning it into an excellent deal. Blues Deville is undoubtedly the best blues harmonica in its price range!

Pros:

  • Built like a tank
  • Stunning and distinctive design
  • Bright, high quality sound

Cons:

  • Some reeds may be broken if you receive a faulty item

Eison Easttop TS 2035 Professional Harmonica Blues Key of C

Build Quality:4.6 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.6 out of 5 stars
Average:4.6 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon


And once again we’re diving into the discussion of a harmonica that will set any collection apart from the crowd. I’m sure many of you own a couple of models, and Eison Easttop TS 2035 can easily be your next purchase. It blends together the looks, sound and high quality construction, turning itself into something that seems surprising at its price point. This beautiful thing has a blue satin cover with appealing writings and patterns. It has a traditional shape that will find appeal with any bluesman out there (and not only). It’s a diatonic harmonica with the key of C and ten holes. We have an impressive package when it comes to components as well. Phosphor bronze reeds contain a lot of copper to create rich and clear sound. The ABS resin frets are plated with nickel, but don’t let that scare you. They aren’t toxic and can be safe to use even for kids. In short, Eison Easttop TS 2035 Professional Harmonica is an ultimate match for blues.

Pros:

  • Appealing design
  • Looks and feels expensive
  • Crisp and clean tone

Cons:

  • Not the most durable harmonica

What type of harmonica works for blues?

Since there are many varieties of harmonicas available to us, it’s only natural to wonder what type is suitable for the expressive genre such as blues. Some of you might assume that all the types can work, but they would be wrong. There’s a reason why the majority of bluesmen stick to a specific type and experiment with various techniques to achieve versatility.

So what is the best harmonica for blues? It’s a diatonic type with the key of C. This means that it’s built for a single key, making it a bit straight-forward compared to other harps. The reason why it works so well with blues is that it enables players to employ blowing and drawing techniques that create the characteristics of the genre. It also makes it possible to use more sophisticated techniques, such as first or second position. By doing so, it becomes possible to achieve sounds that are outside of the given key. Bluesmen do also use techniques, such as overblowing that yields the results that resemble that of a chromatic harmonica. Speaking of which, it’s possible to use a chromatic harp for blues, however, a diatonic type is still more ubiquitous among the genre.

What key is suitable for blues?

The most straight-forward answer would be to tell you that C works perfectly and leave it at that. But then I’d be depriving you of the information you might need in order to decide what your next harmonica will be. Yes, C is a commonly used key in the genre, but that doesn’t mean other keys don’t work.

You could easily go for an A harmonica to achieve a deeper, lower sound. Such harmonicas aren’t as easy to play as our beloved C, but practicing with them will help you develop more strength and stamina.

G is even lower than A. It might not be the easiest thing to master, but once you do, you’ll be able to produce rich rhythmic parts in your sound. D harmonica will eliminate all those troubles, as it’s higher and requires less air for operation. It will yield a bright and trebly tone that can be used to add some sparkle to darker parts of your sound.

Moving on to the Bb harmonica, it’s neither too high nor too low. It has the perfect balance of both, enabling you to experiment with various techniques. It’s rich sonically, which means you have a lot of room for listening to what difference each individual move can make. Oh, and it’s amazing for learning overblows. Finally, you can achieve the highest sounds with F harmonica. It’s so bright that it might even disturb you during practices, but it can be a nice way to brighten up lower sounds of the band.

If you are serious about your blues, you should probably go for the set of harmonicas that includes the keys I have just mentioned. That way, you’ll be able to tailor your instrument to the band easily and use different ones whenever needed. But if you’re an amateur player, then you’ll be fine with the best harmonica for blues (i.e. diatonic key of C).

Conclusion

I’m really glad that you’ve decided to play blues with your harmonica. It’s a genre that requires as much appreciation as possible, because it’s dynamic, authentic, rich and simply beautiful. It’s steeped with character and history that you can hear through every note you emit. With the best blues harmonica, you can play solos or accompany a band – or practice in the comfort of your own home. Due to the size of the instrument, you can keep it in your pocket and take it out whenever you find a free minute on a busy day. It can be a relaxation or practice, both of which will pay off in the future. In order to purchase the best harmonica for blues, you won’t have to empty all of your savings. If you can, do splurge, because better quality will eventually result in better performance. But if you’re on a budget, we’ve included some options that you’ll really enjoy. Be mindful of your choices and do your research before making a purchase. You can start small and go big, or go for the best of the best directly. That’s completely up to you and I don’t have any right to interfere. The main thing is to purchase an instrument that will make it possible to give birth to blues all over again. Good luck!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.