Posted by Patrick J. McKenna on August 12, 2001 at 14:16:28:
In Reply to: Harmonica Type Question posted by Philphil on August 11, 2001 at 21:24:29:
: Hello, I'm very keen on learning how to play the harmonica and after reading a lot of the articles on this webpage and the message board, I've come to the conclusion that the best harmonica to start off with is either a Key C Lee Oskar Diatonic or Hohner Special 20.
: Unfortunately, where I live (Hong Kong), I can't find any vendors selling either of these models. Could you please give me some advice on which of the following models besides the previously mentioned 2, which i should get to start off with, thanks!
: 1. Hohner Great Little Harp
: 2. Hohner Big River Harp
: 3. Hohner Pro Harp(Key of A, because Key of C is sold out in all the outlets *sigh*)
: 4. Some other model?
: And finally yes, I know I can order a Special 20 online, but I'd prefer to leave that as my final solution because shipping takes ages, the prices are a rip (compared to Hong Kong prices e.g. Hohner Pro Harp costs around US$30 online+shipping and US$15 in Hong Kong) and I'd just like to go out and buy one instead of rotting at home waiting =)
If you're contemplating on the prospects of rotting at home waiting for the ideal harmonica, which in my honest opinion is the Special 20 (and to be honest with you, I admit that I've not yet played any of the Lee Oskar, which I know have a nice sound), get whatever key of C diatonic harmonica that you can get your hands on.
I've never played the Hohner Big River Harp or the Pro Harp, but IMOH, I think that the Great Little Harp is really a great harmonica for the price.
Maybe I was lucky with my Great Little Harp (who knows...maybe the manufacturer made a mistake and assembled mine with the expensive reeds instead of the cheap ones). I've had mine since 1997 and have more than got my moneys worth from it. The cover plate looks a little used and the little cardboard box has been taped over so many times but the harmonica itself still sounds decent. One or two of the very high notes, which rarely get used, don't respond too well, but I still consider my GLH to be a real bargain.
Reading some of the postings, I'm afraid that there are warclouds in the horizon and that the issue will be over the Marine Band or Blues Harp vs. the Special 20, or the wooden comb vs. the plastic comb. I refuse to get into this controversy, but will state that this should be a matter of personal taste. Among my assortment of musical instruments are numerous Blues Harp and Marine Band harmonicas. However, my current favorite is the Special 20.
If I don't sign off shortly, this contribution will probably end up published among the short stories instead of the message board.
Wishing you success in your endeavors,
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