Want to start playing the harmonica (otherwise known as “Mouth Organ” or “Harp”)? Don’t know which is the best one to learn to play on? We are here to let you on the Easiest Harmonica To Play and the best harmonica for beginners 2020.
In this section we have selected a range of good, affordable starter harmonicas for beginners from the leading harmonica manufacturers. We recommend starting with a harmonica in the key of C, as this is the most popular key in which songs are written. This is a great place for beginners to learn how to play and once you have mastered playing a few different songs, then we recommend you look to new keys and more advanced songs.
Best easiest harmonica to play
1. Hohner Special 20 Harmonica
This excellent little instrument is no toy. Just consider the fact that one John Popper plays one when performing with the Blues Traveler. The Hohner Special 20 is a reliable little thing that has a comb made of molded plastic which is enclosed in steel covers on both sides.
If you peek inside, you’ll be greeted by 0.9mm reed plates of brass. As is the case with all Hohner harmonicas, the Special 20 is a well-built and durable little thing.
Even though it is a diatonic harmonica tuned to C major, it is quite loud and at the same time it is quite comfortable to play, even for a prolonged period of time. This is great for any aspiring artist who’s willing to practice a lot.
At this price range, you really need to dig deep to find another harmonica that performs as well as the Hohner Special 20. A true gem.
- Easy to play
- Recessed reed plates
- Stainless steel covers
- Brass reed plates are not the most durable
2. Lee Oskar Harmonica
Another professional instrument, the Lee Oskar harmonica comes from a very reputable manufacturer, praised by many pro players around the world.
Even at first glance you can see that the craftsmanship here is top-notch and that the materials used are top shelf. This is a harmonica meant mostly for players who play blues and rock, as it is noticeably louder than most of its rivals in the same price range.
The 10-hole configuration includes holes that are slightly larger than what you commonly find on other harmonicas, which results in an increased comfort while playing. This is very important in those loud situations on stage when you need to cut through snare drums and stacks of Marshall amps.
Last but not least, this harmonica comes tuned to a diatonic key of C.
- Made for blues and rock
- Very loud and comfortable
- Plastic comb with large roles
- Airtight design
- Doesn’t include a carrying case
3. Fender Blues Deluxe Harmonica
Even though most people associate Fender with their legendary electric guitars, they are also well respected in the world of harmonicas and harps.
First of all, the Fender Blues Deluxe looks rather neat, as it sports a comb made from molded PVC and covered in chromed metal. Traditional and classic at the same time, just like the guitars they’re so well-known for, the guys at Fender came up with a harmonica which is as nice to look at as it is easy to play.
Marketed as the perfect instrument for both beginners and pros, it is quite comfortable and can be played for hours without any major fatigue.
It is tuned to the key of C and it really sings. It isn’t too loud, although if you plan on some serious gigging it may not be on par with the other louder instruments in your band.
There are several different color options to choose from and it is also nice to know that it comes with a plastic vented case for those moments when you’re not using it.
- Traditional Fender design
- Great styling
- Not among the loudest harmonicas
4. Hohner Marine Band C Harmonica
Over here we have one of the best-selling and most famous harmonicas in the world. Considered by many as the gold standard, such giants as Bruce Springsteen and the late John Lennon had their own Hohner Marine Band.
As such, it is often used as a benchmark against other harmonicas.
It has a 10-hole configuration and is tuned to the key of C, but unlike the other ones with plastic comb, the Marine Band is equipped with the much more traditional wooden one.
It is because of the wood comb combined with 20 reeds that it has that inimitable full sound that no other harmonica at this price range can match. The wood used for the comb is pearwood. How cool and exotic is that?
Of course, such a great product would come in a protective case, and as is always the case with any Hohner harmonica, you get a month of free online lessons with the purchase.
The only problem I had with it is that it was not that easy to disassemble and clean like some of its modern rivals that are equipped with plastic combs.
- The industry standard
- Very powerful tone
- Traditional pearwood comb
- Features a protective case
- Not easy to disassemble for maintenance
best harmonica for beginners 2020
5. Swan Mini C Harmonica
For those who really don’t want to break the bank buying their first instrument, the Swan Mini Harmonica is probably the best option. At an extremely low price, you’d expect it to perform more like a toy than a true instrument, but that simply isn’t the case.
Somewhat smaller and lighter than most, it is the perfect instrument for a beginner. Almost by standard, it comes tuned to C major and has the most common configuration with 10 holes.
Even though the design is nothing to write home about, it looks more expensive than it actually is – the miracle of low-cost manufacturing. There is also a choice of six different color options to choose from, and those include silvery, blue, gold, red, coppery, and black.
It can’t match the playing comfort or the loudness of pricier models, which one might expect. You can use it to learn the basics, and move on to a better and more professional model if you really dig the instrument.
The harmonica comes with a hard plastic case.
- Less than a movie ticket
- Six color options to choose from
- Not very comfortable to play
- Unknown brand
6. Hammond HA-20-C Harmonica
Imagine how cool it would be to have a pocket version of the legendary Hammond organ? Well, that’s possible now. Of course, it doesn’t sound like the original, because of the sheer size necessary to produce such a gargantuan sound, but this is probably my favorite of the whole bunch here.
Sure, it doesn’t come cheap, but the very instant you lay your eyes on it, you are sure this is a magnificent little instrument. Just take a look at the deep black finish, wonderfully contrasted with the iconic Hammond logo.
It is tuned to the key of C and the very moment you blow over phosphor bronze reeds you’d know that you’re onto something special.
It is loud enough, the sound is clean and warm, and basically any harp player in the world would be delighted to have this little feller in his pocket.
Of course, it goes without saying that such a precious little thing comes with a hard shell carrying case.
- A pocket Hammond organ
- Wonderfully designed
- Plays even more wonderfully
- Price may not be suited for beginners
7. Anwenk Beginner’s C Harmonica
Last but not least, we have yet another competitively priced harmonica that’s designed especially with students and beginners in mind.
When it comes to value for money, Amwenk beginner’s harmonica might just be the true winner here. It is a well-built little thing that features a plastic comb with a 10-hole configuration for 20 tones.
Steel covers can be found on both sides, and it is a fairly comfortable harmonica to play. The reeds are made from copper, but don’t expect anything spectacular in terms of sound clarity and volume.
As is the case with most beginner harmonicas, it is a small one and can be held in one hand. It also features a convenient black plastic carrying case, so it doesn’t get damaged or scratched when you carry it around with you.
- Small and convenient
- Excellent value for money
- Comes with a carrying case
- Not the loudest harmonica I’ve heard
- Sound clarity is average