CategoriesNews – A Review

When I was an undergraduate back in the early 1990s, one of my friends was a Computer Science student. He’d regularly make visits to the IT labs at the university – strange, dark rooms devoid of natural light and crammed with computers whose blinking command line driven interfaces were enough to discourage their use by all but the most committed students – to make use of something he called ‘the internet’. When I enquired as to what this internet thing actually was, I was met with a barrage of terms that at the time were incomprehensible. So I ignored it.

Months later, however, when my friend returned home clutching pages of A4 paper which contained guitar tab for dozens of songs, my interest was piqued. Maybe he was on to something after all.

Today it’s hard to imagine a world without access to the seemingly limitless resources that the internet provides. When you’re learning to play an instrument, or want to progress from beginner to intermediate or beyond, the web offers thousands of sources of material, from video lessons to sheet music and tablature.  The problem now is more a case of locating the best resources for your needs – quality can be highly variable and Google is not always the best judge of this.

Which brings us to, which is one of the most popular harmonica-related websites currently in operation. Established by JP Allen, the site offers a range of content, from harmonica reviews and lessons, through to blog articles and player profiles.

A Quick Overview

Given that one of the most frequently asked questions on harmonica forums is ‘which model should I buy’, it’s great to see a wide range of harps from all price points covered in the review section. Each one is given a star rating and an accompanying video so that the viewer can get some idea of tone and volume. The reviews are extremely honest, and the reviewers are not afraid to point out any flaws in particular models.

Reviews Section Screenshot

Probably the next most frequently asked harmonica questions are related to technique, and has a section covering the fundamentals as well as some more advanced techniques. There are also free harmonica tabs featuring a range of artists and genres, including classical, rock and pop.

In addition to the free resources, offers two main pay-for tuition products – a portfolio of lessons ( covering a range of techniques and musical styles, and a Jam-Along Sound System ( that enables players to learn songs by playing along at a tempo that they control.

If you’re more interested in articles about harmonicas and artists, there’s plenty of content on the site that fits the bill – from artist profiles through to regular blogs covering a range of harp-related topics.

To summarise, then, is a great website for all harmonica-related information, and is one that we wholeheartedly endorse.


Beginner Lessons:

Jam Along Sound System:


Top 100 Players:


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.