Recommended Chart

Here is the "Recommended (and NOT Recommended) Chart" for our instruction. If the harmonica model is a link, you can click on it to make a purchase. Explanations of the column headings and additional information is found beneath the chart. Scroll down the page to view the chart.




  • Key of "C" standard 10-hole diatonic- It's preferable that the diatonic harmonica you use be in the key of "C", especially if you are just starting out. Other keys of diatonics will work with the instruction and songs, but most of the theory and explanations are based on a standard key of "C" diatonic (view Keys of Harmonicas Chart).

  • Harmonicas in the "ACCEPTABLE (but not preferred)" column- will work for the instruction here, but it is to your advantage to upgrade to a better quality and/or plastic comb diatonic if you are even somewhat serious (less airleak makes it easier to bend notes among other things).

  • Lower Quality and Tougher To Learn On means that quality control is an issue and these harmonicas may leak so much air that learning is greatly impeded.

  • Harmonicas in the "NOT RECOMMENDED" column- are not bad harmonicas, but instead tend to be for special purposes, special effects, or just don't apply to the instruction here. We have not included on these lists any models or brands (which include some of the Suzuki and Hering harmonicas), that we don't have enough personal experience with to make an accurate or fair judgement.

  • Your Harmonica is not on the chart?- If your harmonica is not found anywhere on the chart, then we haven't heard of it or haven't played it. We only recommend or comment on the brands and models we have experience with.

  • MS means "Modular System"- The "MS" in the Hohner-MS refers to the Hohner Modular System which means you can use these reed plates interchangeably between all "MS" products and buy "MS" replacement reed plates (as is also the case with the Lee Oskar Harmonicas and their Replacement Reed Plates). Please note that the MS reed plates are different (larger) and will not work interchangeably with the Hohner "Special 20", "Golden Melody", or "Marine Band" reed plates.

  • Should I buy a used one?- This is entirely up to you. But, we don't recommend it for obvious health reasons, and the fact that a brand new good quality diatonic is between $20 and $30. Also, harmonicas do wear out over time. It's best to start with one that you know is in good condition and in tune.

  • We also recommend- you take a look at the Beginners Start Here and General Overview sections for additional information.



If you would like more information about the different types of harmonicas mentioned, click through to the "Harmonica Types Defined" page.





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"Beginner Harmonica Lessons"
"Advanced Harmonica Tips"






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