How to disassemble the Hohner CX12 Harmonica

Watch as Jonathan Prestige of The Harmonica Company talks about how to disassemble the Hohner CX12 Harmonica

The Hohner CX12 black is the standard version of the CX12 harmonica and comes in a sleek black case with reed plates of standard thickness. It features all the amazing characteristics of the CX system at a great value and is available in several keys, including C Tenor. The CX12 is the chromatic harp for all rock, pop and jazz players.




Hohner Marine Band Crossover Harmonica Review

Review Summary:

The Hohner Marine Band Crossover is a fantastic diatonic harmonica for the price. Like others in Hohner’s Marine Band line, it is solidly constructed and built to stand up to a vigorous workout. It is assembled with screws, making it easy for serious musicians to open up and tweak to their liking. One of the most unique things about the Hohner Crossover is its patented laminated bamboo comb. Not only does it produce a great sound, but it will definitely appeal to any environmentally friendly musicians out there. This harmonica is designed for the kind of easy note bending necessary for anything from jazz and blues to funk music.

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  • Great harmonica for blues
  • Great for learning to bend. If you’re able to spend a bit more than the price of the Hohner Special 20 you’ll be happy with this harmonica.

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  • No Negatives to report. This is a spectacular harmonica.


Hohner Marine Band Crossover Video:



Despacito Harmonica Cover – With Tabs

Despacito is a music single by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee. The song topped the charts in 47 countries and reached the top 10 of ten others, making it one of the most successful music singles of 2017, and it was released in January 2017. The official music video for “Despacito” became the most viewed YouTube video of all time (at the time of writing) after receiving over 3 billion view, which made it the first video on the site to reach that level. Additionally, it became the world’s most streamed song of all time with 4.6 billion stream. Then as recently as September 2017, Billboard ranked it the fifth best Latin song of all time. Luis Fonsi wanted to make “a fun track that had that Latin feel with a melody that I feel very comfortable singing and that will make people just dance.”

The song has received various awards and nominations following its commercial success. The song won four awards at the 18th Latin Grammy Awards including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Urban Fusion/Performance, and Best Short Form Music Video.The original version received two Premios Juventud and a MTV Millennial Award, and was nominated for a Premio Tu Mundo. On the other hand, the remix version featuring Justin Bieber received two Teen Choice Awards and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. It also has three pending nominations for the 3rd Latin American Music Awards and the 45th American Music Awards.The Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame will recognize “Despacito” as the iHeartLatino Song of the Year at the 5th La Musa Awards.

Despacito is a reggae-ton pop song composed in common time (4/4 time) and written in the key of B minor with a tempo of 89 beats per minute and a common chord progression of Bm—G—D—A.

Thanks to we can now play a Despacito harmonica cover, check out their video, the original below and the accompanying tabs to recreate Despacito on the harmonica. This is played on a 10-hole diatonic, get one by clicking here


Despacito Harmonica Cover:

Despacito Harmonica Tabs:

Despacito by Luis Fons
A harmonica, 3rd Position, Key of B Minor

Here are the tabs for the chorus:
[-5 5 -4 -3” -3” -3″ -3” -4 -4 -4 -4 4 -4 -3’ -3’ -3’ -3’ -3’ -4 -4 -4 -4 5 -5 4 4 4 4 4 -5 -5 -5 -5 6 6 5] x2

And the bridge that goes right after it (* means overblow):
-6 6 -6 6 -6 6 -6 6 -6 6 -6 6* 6* -5 6* 6* 7 6* -6 -6 -6 -6 6* 7 6* -6 6


Despacito Original:


Happy New Year Harmonica Lovers

The Harmonica Company would like to wish all the harmonica lovers out there a Happy New Year! We relaunched the site late 2016 under new ownership and with a much more professional approach. We can now boast to having a UK warehouse, and dedicated customer service and warehouse staff.

It is our ambition to make sure we offer the quickest delivery service in the business, we have already introduced UK next day and Saturday shipping options, as we have a fantastic relationship with Interlink/DPD.

It was a pleasure to be able to announce our relationship with the harmonica league chairman Ben Hewlett, who is our resident teacher and has kindly offered a FREE beginners course when booked through The Harmonica Company, the usual price is £35. You can book the course here. We expect to be able to start adding his Sonny Boy’s harmonica range soon too, watch this space.

2017 is the 170th anniversary of Seydel, and with it they have announced the introduction of a special anniversary harmonica called 1847 ONE70, which is a gold plated 1847 Noble with brand new cover plates. We are very proud to be able to say that we will be stocking it, and we will start shipping them out to customers as soon as they arrive in our warehouse.

What does 2017 have in store for The Harmonica Company?

It is our ambition to have a very active 2017, and without giving too much away we are working on expanding our range and announcing some interesting things. We are in discussions with multiple large harmonica manufacturers, which will help revolutionise our supplier/product range. We can announce that we will be stocking the four Lee Oskar harmonicas in every key, and that order has gone in this week. Our accessory range will grow into amps and mics, and we have a large pile of books to start adding to the site in the next month. It is a busy and fun time!

Our initial launch has been wonderful and we couldn’t have done it without our customers support, in such a short period of time since the relaunch we have truly become a global business sending mouth organs to Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Serbia and Sri Lanka. We are hoping in 2017 we can add many more destinations to the list.

Happy New Year!



‘Harmonica’ most commonly used word in Gloucestershire

According to Oxford University Press (OUP) the most commonly used word in Gloucestershire is ‘Harmonica’. The OUP analysed 123,436 entries for the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show’s ‘500 Words’ short story competition. For the first time in the competitions history they used specialised software, every entry was analysed by an academic and technology team from Oxford University.

The results then found the top ten most commonly used words in each county’s entries in the competition.

In Gloucestershire the top 10 words used more than any other are:

  • harmonica
  • moles
  • sheriff
  • gangsters
  • blitz
  • ballerina
  • flowery
  • tracker
  • pepperoni
  • snowmen


It is always nice to have the harmonica (otherwise known as the “mouth organ”) recognised in any way, what better way, than to be the most commonly used word.


Harmonica used to help health of patients

Now here is something you maybe weren’t expecting, the Harmonica is being used to help the health of patients with breathing difficulties. The University of Michigan’s pulmonary rehabilitation program meets once a week for an hour to play the Harmonica. The class has people suffering with chronic lung conditions or breathing difficulties. They happen to be making music with the thing that they suffer with most, their breath.

While many in the medical profession refute the evidence that playing the harmonica improves lung capacity, that doesn’t stop patients from saying that it has helped them breath deeper and gain strength. Carlos Marinez a medical direct believes that breathing with pursed lips can decrease the amount of air that remains in the lungs, which can provide some relief from shortness of breath.

A former rehab coordinator at the University of Michigan started the harmonica class in 2003. She raised donations to buy instruments and music stands and found a patient’s wife to teach the class. Over the years, classes have ranged from six participants to as many as 20. Ms. Rubadeau, who suffers from lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM, took over as teacher about 10 years ago.

Not only will the patients gain some benefit from using a harp to mimic the breathing exercises used in pulmonary rehab, but the social aspects of being part of the harmonica group can lift morale and become one of the only place patients go to outside their home.

There are a number of other harmonica groups for rehab patients, including at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif. The Harmonicats play at UCHealth in Aurora, Colo. At Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., Larry Rawdon, a retired Broadway cellist, has been teaching the harmonica to lung-transplant patients since 2013. And the COPD Foundation launched a Harmonicas for Health initiative in February, which has helped 25 treatment centres start classes.

It is wonderful to see classes popping up all over the USA to help patients.



Buying your first Harmonica

So, are you looking to buy your first harmonica? this guide should help you understand the difference between a diatonic, chromatic and tremolo, and help you select your first harmonica (otherwise known as the ‘Mouth Organ’).

The harmonica is the perfect instrument, it has ease of portability, easy play-ability and extremely affordable in comparison to other musical instruments. Despite there size and price, harmonicas are used in a huge list of different musical genres. The most obvious ones being blues, country, and rock, nevertheless you will hear them played in jazz and classical music too.  So what should you select for your first harmonica, well beginners would traditionally start with a 10-hole diatonic harmonica in the Key C, the word “Diatonic” means that the harmonica plays in a standard major (or minor) scale. You can find our range of diatonic in Key C here

Diatonic Harmonicas

These are the most commonly used harmonicas, and you will find them in blues, folk and often pop music. They are designed to play in a specific key. Nevertheless with different and specific “overblowing” techniques some players have learnt to play them in unofficial keys. It is worth looking for Carlos Del Junco or Howard Levy, they have both created a very good overblowing technique. Known as playing chromatically on a 10-key diatonic harp.

As already suggested, most music teachers will advise you to get a diatonic (10-key) harmonica in the key C, as your first harmonica.

Check out our full range of diatonic harmonicas here

Chromatic Harmonicas

Most chromatic harmonicas use a button-activated sliding bar to redirect air from the hole in the mouthpiece to the selected reed-plate. With the right skill and technique, you can play nearly any scale or mode using the chromatic’s “gear shift.”

Due to the larger reeds, it is harder to bend and overblow in comparison to the diatonic. Toots Thielmans and Stevie Wonder were well known to be proficient. Chromatic harmonicas usually come in the key of C or G, however you can learn to play nearly any music that uses the standard 12-tone scale.

Check out our full range of chromatic harmonicas here

Tremolo Harmonicas

The distinguishing feature of the tremolo-tuned harmonica’s is that it has two reeds per note, with one slightly sharp and the other slightly flat. It is this that helps them produce a unique warbling sound. You will find the diatonic version in folk music, however the chromatic counterpart is usually found in Asian rock and pop music.

Check out our full range of Tremolo Harmonicas here

Our store has huge ranges of different harmonicas, however we also stock amps, mics and books that can help get you started. Do not be daunted by selecting your first harmonica, and if you require lessons, or want to learn how to play, then we have a tutor on hand to teach you via Skype sessions.

CategoriesHarmonicaHarmonica PlayersNews

Jazz Harmonica great Toots Thielemans dies aged 94

Toots Thielemans was one of the greats in the harmonica world, his illustrious career saw him use his harmonica skills on the theme tune for the iconic TV show ‘Sesame Street’. His harmonica was also prominently featured on movie soundtracks, including those of the Oscar-winning “Midnight Cowboy,” ”The Pawnbroker,” ”Jean de Florette,” and “The Sugarland Express.” Also adept as a whistler, he could be heard on the Old Spice after-shave commercials. He performed and recorded with Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Paul Simon and Billy Joel, among many others.

Toots Thielemans was born in Brussels, Belgium, on 29 April 1922. His parents owned a cafe. He began playing music at an early age, using a homemade accordion at age three. During the German occupation of Belgium beginning in 1940, he became attracted to jazz, but was then playing on full-size accordion or a harmonica, which he taught himself to play in his teens. Since 1959, Thielemans led his own small groups and toured internationally when not working in the studios.

Although mostly recording straight-ahead jazz albums, he released two albums in the 1990s as “The Brasil Project,” featuring such prominent Brazilian artists as Dori Caymmi, Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso.

Even despite suffering with asthma most of his life he still managed to be one of the most instrumental harmonica players, being one of the first to blow complex bebop lines. His harmonica of choice was a custom-made Hohner chromatic.

Toots died in his sleep at the age of 94 in a Belgian hospital.

After the announcement, the Netherlands-based jazz and pop orchestra Metropole Orkest, along with American trumpet player Quincy Jones, performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall in Toots Thielemans’ honor. Another concert was performed at the Brussels’ Grand Place.