Q: What should I buy as a beginner?

A: This, of course, depends entirely on what you want to do. If you have a reasonable knowledge of music and you want to play Jazz or classical music, a chromatic harmonica is probably best. If you want to play blues or folk music or the likes, a diatonic is best.

For blues you would not want to have a tremolo or octave tuned harmonica, because you can't get the juicy bends you need for blues on these.

Chord- and bass harmonicas are more specialized. Quality, medium priced harmonicas are the Hohner Chromonica (Chromatic), Hohner Marine Band and Special 20 and Tombo Lee Oskar (diatonic) -- BB


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I cleaned up my tab for Sonny Boy's Help Me and made it into a short book. There's a Kindle version for 99 cents, and if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle free.

Playing "Help-Me" In the Style of Sonny Boy Williamson II: A step by step, note for note analysis of some of Sonny Boy's Signature Riffs

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The JT30 Page Popular links

I began collecting data about the microphones used by blue harp players before there was an internet. I began organizing it into JT30.com in the late 1990s. I accumulated more stuff than I remember. This is some of it.

Street Theory

A Harp Player’s Guide to Music Theory

Learning Harp

Picking Up Blues Harp

A guide to learning to play Blues Harp

Microphone Information

Usenet Articles

Harp Amps

I've been collecting Harp Amps for a while. This is the old Harpamps.com website. There is lots of information here. Here a coupld of links.

Harp Tab

A collection of songs and riffs that I’ve worked out over the years, plus some libraries of stuff I’ve converted to tablature. I’ve included most of the notes and instructions that helped me when I was learning to play blues harmonica.

Basic Riffs Simple harp tabs for songs Blues riffs and phrases.

Harp-L Archives 1992 to 2002


Harp Frequently Asked Questions