One of the most overlooked instruments in the band or orchestra is the chromatic harmonica. Many people don’t realize how essential a chromatic harmonica is to contributing to the charismatic sound of blues, rock, jazz, and even classical music. Some of the best harmonica players of all time have made great use of the chromatic harmonica and prefer it over its diatonic counterpart.
Dedicated musicians prefer harmonicas in the key of C because a chromatic harmonica can play in any key by having the 12 notes of the Western scale in each octave. Although harmonicas come in 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 holes, the 12-hole one is the most versatile and the best for beginners to buy. However, more advanced players typically prefer to use a 16-hole harmonica.
If you are here for the Best Chromatic Harmonica For Beginners, or the best chromatic harmonica for classical music I suggest starting with a 12 hole model then upgrade to 14 and finally to a 16 hole. All right let’s dive in!
Best Chromatic Harmonica For Beginners
1) Suzuki Chromatix SCX48 $214
My go-to harmonica at the moment. I use it for my practice sessions and as a back-up for my concerts and recordings. The sound is quite warm and full. Every hole should work perfectly out of the box except perhaps the 12 draw. I’ve noticed it didn’t come out right on a few SCX that I have ordered. Besides that, it has technically everything we can expect from a good chromatic harmonica such as Abs combs, phosphor bronze reed plates and an ergonomic mouthpiece. The two parts slide mechanism makes the cleaning fast and easy. Most of Hohner’s or Seydel’s models are built with three parts. I wish the button slide was better glued as I had a few one which came off. So make sure to check it six months or a year after purchase. Available in 12, 14 and 16 hole version.
2) Hohner CX-12 $219
One of the strengths of the CX is a remarkably wellbuilt plastic body. It’s completely airtight. The mouthpiece is a bit larger than Hohner Mellow Tone or a Seydel Deluxe Steel and may fatigue the jaw if you’re making the transition from these models. However it’s completely airtight and easy to disassemble for maintenance. You don’t need a screwdriver to remove the slide and the cover plates it’s very easy to pull apart and put back together thanks to its mechanism. I’ve noticed that the slide was a bit noisy. The sound of the instrument is quite unique. French harmonica player Claude Garden made it his harmonica of choice.
3) Hohner Toot’s Mellow Tone $275
I first started playing the chromatic harmonica on a Hohner Mellow Tone 15 years ago. Since then it ranks among my favorite harmonica in terms of sound but it has some flaws. The wood comb may become less airtight overtime and it doesn’t last as long as a plastic comb. That being said I always loved its warm and round sound, which I still can’t find on Suzuki or Seydel models. It features pear woods comb and chrome plating on both covers.
4) Seydel Deluxe Steele $324
Though it is a bit more expensive than the models above it is totally worth the price. The Seydel Deluxe Steel is a great all around chromatic harmonica. It looks like a better version of the Hohner Mellow Tone. Every note comes out right out of the box specially the high notes. The sound is brighter compared to the Hohner or Suzuki and projects a bit more consequently. It’s easy to take it apart though it could have been even faster with fewer pieces and screws. If you are looking for a 16 hole from Seydel I would recommend to look for the high end Symphony.
5) Suzuki Sirius S64 $629
5) The Suzuki Sirius S-48S has perhaps the best tone of all the harmonicas I have played. I personally love it and I used it on my last album “Breathe” and bring it to every gig. The sonority is warm, and I can’t find another harmonica that matches it. It’s highly responsive in the middle register perhaps less on the low notes if you are playing on a 16 hole model but this is a common problem shared by most of chromatic harmonica. It has ABS plastic combs with weighted brass, which it gives more comfort in hands. Is it worth $700? I wish I could say yes. Unfortunately harmonicas don’t last forever and after a few months or years you’ll need to replace parts. That’s why I would recommend using it for performance and have a cheaper model for your daily practice. The Sirius comes in all sizes 12, 14 and 16 hole.
Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments you should buy if you are Music Lover
An artist can improve his performance with the use of quality instruments. Here, we have enlisted the top musical instrument manufacturing companies in the world, that can help you select a trustworthy instrument brand.
Gibson is an American manufacturer of Musical Instrument company founded by Orville Gibson in 1902 headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Gibson is most popular Brand in musical instruments industry. The company mainly produced musical instruments, and consumer and professional electronics. It was established in 1902 when Orville Gibson founded such musical instrument brand. Gibson sells guitars under a choices of brand names. The Gibson Memphis shop has mainly focused on producing building hollow, semi hollow body guitars and other musical instruments. It is regarded as 1st place in the Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.
Harman is an American company founded by Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon in 1980 headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, United States. Harman International Industries, is an American subsidiary of Samsung Group that innovates and engineers connected products for automakers, consumers and enterprises works in worldwide. The company mainly produced, connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation and connected services. Its a 2nd brand after Gibson in the Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments and its International shareholders has voted in favor of the acquisition by Samsung, becoming a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics on March 10, 2017 and this time Harman is top 2nd brand in the world.
shure is an American audio products company founded by Sidney N. Shure in 1925, headquartered Niles, Illinois, United States. The company mainly focuses on produced microphone, wireless microphone systems, headphone, earphones, phono cartridges, mixers and conferencing system. Shure recently discover numerous series of microphones for various applications, including the, KSM, SM, Beta and PG series, as well as specialized in consumer microphones, wireless, Microflex, and other musical instruments. It is a most valuable brand after Gibson, Harman and Shure is 3rd brand in the world in musical instruments industry.
Yamaha is an musical instrument and street music retail store owned by Yamaha music retail store owned by Yamaha music in United kingdom. The person behind Yamaha’s foundation was Torakusu Yamaha. Yamaha is mainly focuses on predominantly musical instruments, electronics and power sports equipment. It has grown to become the world’s largest producer of musical instruments, pianos, “silent” pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, woodwinds, violins, violas, and vibraphones, its is regarded as 4th place in Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments in the world as well as a leading producer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related goods, sporting goods, home appliances, specialty metals and industrial robots.
Fender is an American stringed instruments and amplifiers manufacturing company founded by Clarence Leonidas during the year 1946 headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States. The company mainly focuses on produces acoustic guitar, bass amplifiers, public address equipment and other musical instruments. When Clarence Leonidas Fender founded such musical instrument company. It also rewarded as 5th most popular brand in musical instruments and it is also a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments. It has one of the world leaders by defining the sounds we hear, by meeting the needs of musicians, by discover quality products and by backing them up with products and services.
Steinway is an American piano company founded by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg during the year 1853 headquartered in Europe and international Hamburg, Germany. The company mainly production of grand pianos, upright pianos. It works in the worldwide. Its provide a largest number of musical instrument brand names and producing facilities. Now it is owns manufacturer of pianos, brasswinds, woodwinds, strings, and percussion under dozens of unique brand names. Its mainly notable goods include Steinway & Sonspianos, Bach Stradivarius trumpets, C.G. Conn French horns, Leblanc clarinets, King trombones, Ludwig snare drums, Selmersaxophones and woodwinds, it is regarded as a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.
Sennheiser is a German privately held audio company founded by Fritz Sennheiser during the year 1945 headquartered in Wedemark, Hanover, Lower Saxony, German. The company mainly focuses on manufacturing audio electronics, microphones, headphones, telephone, aviation headsets for personal, professional and business application. The company is represent in more than 50 countries worldwide. Sennheiser is mainly known for its production of nice sound of its headphones and microphones and also famous for its best products , it also a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.
Roland is a Japanese electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software manufacturing company founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi during the year 1972 on April 18, 1972, with ¥33 million in capital. headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuko, Japan. The company mainly focuses on manufacturing electronic musical instruments, synthesizers, digital, pianoes, Electronic drums, Guitars, synthesizers and DJ controllers. It is a world’s famous leading manufacturer and distributor of electronic musical instruments because it is a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.
Kawai is a musical instruments manufacturing company founded by koichi kawai in 1927 headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. The company mainly focuses in manufacturing Grand piano and upright pianos. It is known for its best products like grand pianos, upright pianos, electronic keyboards and electronic synthesizers. The company control in business segments. This segments also gives tuning and repairing services for instruments. The products Processing segment produces and sells processed metal materials for electronic and electrical instruments, processed materials for automobile parts, pig and cast metal, soundproof rooms, acoustic and music related goods and its also a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.
10. C.F. Martin
C.F Martin is an American guitar manufacturing company founded by Christian Frederick Martin during the year 1833 headquarters in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. CF Martin & Company Incorporation operates as a guitar manufacturing company. It is known for its steeel string acoustic guitars and is a leading producer of flat top guitars. The Company gives acoustic guitars, strings, and music products for the music industry. CF Martin & Company also offers distribution, manufacturing, and repair services and it is also in a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.