As a starting musician, you might not know a lot about the harmonica. You are interested in purchasing a harmonica, but you are not so sure where to pay attention to? Do you want a diatonic or a chromatic harmonica? For answers on these questions and more we are here to guide you through the process.
What is a harmonica?
A harmonica is a relatively small, and (usually) affordable wind instrument. The instrument has a wooden or metal case with a variant number of blow holes, which have straws attached to them.
You use your mouth to create air pressure, which vibrates the straws. This gives the instrument its sound. When you breathe into the harmonica it produces a different sound from when you breathe out of the harmonica.
Do you want to purchase a harmonica? Pay attention to these subjects
There are multiple types of harmonicas for sale. The most common types are called the diatonic, chromatic and tremolo harmonica.
The diatonic harmonica, also known as the blues harp, has 10 holes and 19 tones. This type of harmonica can only play the whole tone. Alongside that, you can only play in one tuning on the diatonic harmonica. If you want to play a different tuning then you have to purchase a different harmonica. The diatonic harmonica can be bought in all tunings.
The chromatic harmonica has 8 to 16 holes and doubles the tones of a diatonic harmonica. The chromatic harmonica is equipped with a switch that makes it possible to play half a tone higher.
The tremolo harmonica is similar to a diatonic harmonica but has 2 rows of holes instead of one. They come in different sizes, counting from 10 to 24 holes. The tone of each hole is different from one another, which produces a chord like sound.
As a beginner it is advised to purchase a harmonica that has a metal comb. When you play the harmonica for the first time you will produce a lot of saliva that gets stuck in the harmonica. In this case, a wooden harmonica will deform. Make sure to pay attention to all these subjects.
On a final note
A harmonica is a fun and approachable instrument, which is also fun to play for every musician. The size of the harmonica makes it very portable and easy to take with you on your travels.