Which Harmonica to Buy?

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Iman RP

Musician, Composer, Instructor

There are many harmonica types, and you can play and cover almost all music styles. But before going through this topic, I would like to ask you this question:

Which style do you want to play on harmonica?

Then we can answer this question:

Which type of harmonica to buy?

Generally, we have two main types of harmonica:

  1. Diatonic
  2. Chromatic

Diatonic Harmonica (Blues Harp)

Diatonic harmonica

The diatonic harmonica (blues harp) is a ten holes harmonica which has been built in specific keys, for example, Key of C, and you can play on that key. If you want to switch to a different scale, you have to change your harmonica and choose the right one which is related to that song.

It’s a powerful harmonica for bending technique -one of the most popular techniques in blues- and it usually is an excellent choice for Blues, Country, Jazz, Rock and, Folk.

In Blues Harmonica the story is different, and you can use the diatonic harmonica in more than one scale ( I will explain this in another post ).

Chromatic Harmonica

Chromatic Harmonica

The Chromatic Harmonica because of having the slide and button, makes it more easier to switch between different scales. Also, you can choose between 12, 14 and 16 holes chromatic harmonicas which give you a wider range of notes.

If you have a plan to play classical music, pop music, jazz, blues and even folk music, the chromatic harmonica would be a good fit.


In this article, I briefly explained the chromatic and diatonic harmonica differences. However, you have to note that depending on the music style that you want to play; you have to choose the right harmonica, so let’s go back to my question again:

Which music style do you want to play with the harmonica?

The answer to this question can guide you to different types of harmonica to buy.

Which harmonica to buy guide



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