The overwhelming consensus of most instructors and users online is a beginner’s first harmonica should be a standard 10-hole “diatonic” in the key of “C”. The number one reason why that’s recommended is because the 10-hole’s simplicity is the easiest for beginners and the key of “C” because the vast majority of lessons are written for the key of C. One site which talks about learning and also handles the Lee Oskar line isSHEEHANS MUSIC. But I reviewed at least ten other sites and blogs with the same recommendation. Most also cited the “C” key was widely used for playing blues in the key of G and for playing country music. I saw just a few blogs where some responders recommended your first harmonica be in the “A” key.
I’ve thought about getting a harmonica at times but didn’t want to spend the money for a “decent” one and then find out I didn’t enjoy it, though maybe the $10 - $20 ones are OK. A few sites that talked about harmonica’s for beginners recommended getting a little pricier one to give yourself a better chance at a good start, thus making you want to stick with it, and pointed to $50 - $60 list price ones that could be bought for $40 or $45. Well, supposedly this is an $80 harmonica that can be had for $29.99 so this is the time for me to get one. Especially when everyone else seems to be selling them for $59.99. Ordered one in the key of C.
I’m still holding out for a woot sale on jaw harps, slide whistles, accordions or bagpipes. Please make my dreams come true Woot!
Is “jaw harp” the PC term for something else? Just wondering.
Yes, mouth harp.
Bagpipes… x crossed fingers x
Kazoo or riot.
I hear ya, & I’m votin’ fer you lol!!!
My first harp was in C. I got a book and a tape that both used C to teach. I kept it in my car and noticed an overwhelming number of songs in that key to blow along to. After a while I purchased an A to jam with a couple guys from work. I’d say C and A are the two most common for playing with a band.
When the band is playing blues in G you play the C harp. When the band is in E you play the A harp.
Although I don’t know much about this harp, I know that playing harmonica is super fun and relatively easy to learn. $30 is a great deal for something thats good quality. I’m definitely getting one.
Actually, this deal seems so good that I’m thinking about getting another one in addition to the one I bought in “C” key. So I appreciate your opinion re: C and A for playing with a band. There doesn’t seem to be much comment around about the G. I would appreciate input from others about whether I would be better to add an A or a G if I buy a second one. Thanks again ‘Flanle’ and thanks in advance to anyone else with 2¢ of help!
I’m really curious to learn more about G too! I won’t buy until I know.
For what it may be worth, here are some random notes, question/answers, etc. I came across perusing the web:
Most gigging musicians carry a range of harmonicas around with them, with C and the other “Guitar-friendly” keys of G, A and D being the most popular choices.
To play blues songs written in key of D -> G harmonica
do you know what the best keys goes well with a person playing piano
a or g, which of these 2 keys is better
I would recommend a G harmonica.
I bought my first harmonica today and I was talking to the guy about playing Springsteen on it and he said a key of G would work well.
G works pretty well for many Bruce songs, like:
The Promised Land
The Price You Pay
This Hard Land
BTR (Acoustic TOL tour version)
This Land is Your Land
My Beautiful Reward
You may also want to get harmonicas in F and D. Those 3 will cover most of Bruce’s harmonica songs.
What is the most common harmonica key?
The two most common keys of harmonica are C and G with C probably being the more common, especially in the cheaper models. Many of the cheaper and specialized models (such as tremolo harmonicas) are only available in these two keys.
I finally decided to order another one of these harmonicas in G.
Fender sells this for 60 undiscounted, suggesting its retail price is 60. Whether that was the case in the past is irrelevant.
Why is it listed as retailing for 80?
Ya, I saw that too, though I came across quite a few vendors selling it at $59.99 but who were also stating the list price as $79.99. I assume Fender must have originally listed it at $80 and later dropped it to $60, but of course any vendor who knew and could point to the initial list price is going to do so because they can claim a bigger discount and better impress the unknowing.
Anyone know what key Billy Joel’s Piano Man is in?
According to Wikipedia: Billy Joel wrote and originally performed the song in the key of C Major. It has a 3/4 waltz time signature and begins with a jazzy piano solo before moving into its famous piano and harmonica introduction. The verses and subsequently the chorus feature a descending walking bassline in C that ends with a D - G turnaround. Instrumentally, Joel’s 1973 version features piano, harmonica, bass, acoustic guitar, accordion, mandolin, and drums. Joel currently performs the song in B-flat Major, a whole step down from the original key.
These are most definitely NOT better than a standard Hohner Marine Band that can be had for the same price.
Does anybody know or have a best guess based on your knowledge of the sounds A C G make, which one of those is the harmonica used in the short video clip posted on the product page? That is the sounding harmonica I am looking for! Thank you!
I’m not disputing what you say, but just curious as to how you came to that opinion. Before purchasing, I’d like to know as much as possible. It looks like the HMB is a bit more…maybe $10-15 higher than this Fender, but if it’s that much better, it might be worth it. Thanks.
lee oskar harmonicas are quality pieces. my father played them exclusively after much trial. if you’re really good you’ll break the “key” or plate inside. it can be easily replaced. that’s due to the bending of said plate when you pull rather hard bending a note. other then that, it should last you foreverish. i’m getting one in C, and i’m not likely to ever be good enough to break a plate. if you get this and it sounds terrible, it’s you, not the harmonica.