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!
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best Blues Harmonica
- What type of harmonica works for blues?
Top 5 Best Blues Harmonica
|Hohner Marine Band Special 20 5-Piece Pro Pack||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Johnson BK-520-C Blues King Harmonica, C||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Suzuki Promaster Harmonica, Key of C||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Fender Blues Deville Harmonica, Key of C||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Professional Harmonica Blues Key of C||(4.6 / 5)||Check on Amazon
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 straightforward 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 yield 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 in the genre.
What harmonica key is best for blues?
The most straightforward 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 the 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).
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 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 direction. 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!