Which Harmonica to Buy?

Iman RP

Iman RP

Musicien, Composer, Instructor

These days there are many harmonica kinds, 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 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. 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 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 which harmonica to buy.

Diatonic (Blues Harp)
Diatonic (Blues Harp)
Diatonic (Blues Harp)
Diatonic (Blues Harp)

Which harmonica to buy guide


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what is twelve-bar blues?

Maybe you've heard the twelve-bar blues term in many songs, performances, YouTube videos, and so on. The twelve-bar blues are the most popular chord progression in the blues genre, consisting of 12 bars that follow a chord's specific order.


The most frequent question that I've got asked about blues harp: How do I have to learn and play the blues harp? Is it hard to learn blues harp, or it's easy? How much daily time do I need to practice? Is blues harp take too much breath, or is it a breathtaking instrument? Can I learn blues harp by myself, or I need to take classes? Is blues harp a powerful instrument to start? And many similar questions. The point is that you need to start playing this instrument to have a sense of it and what you can do with it. So, the first step is to make your decision and start learning.

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