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The harmonica has featured in a wide variety of popular music over the years. From the folk harmonica of Bob Dylan, through to Stevie Wonder's soul and jazz inspired playing, and even metal recordings by artists such as Black Sabbath, the harmonica has proven itself to be extremely versatile.
Out of stockThe Hohner See-Thru Happy Purple Harmonica is a genuine 10-hole Richter harmonica with plastic covers, available in four different colours. It is an excellent low-priced beginners instrument for blues, folk and rock. This would also be a fantastic harp choice for children. Reeds: 20 brass Comb: ABS, Purple Reed Plates: 0.9mm aluminium Reed Plate Surface: aluminium Number of Holes: 10 Key: C-major Length: 10cm Available in blue, red, green and yellow ... Read more
Out of stockThe Hohner See-Thru Happy Red Harmonica is a genuine 10-hole Richter harmonica with plastic covers, available in four different colours. It is an excellent low-priced beginners instrument for blues, folk and rock. This would also be a fantastic harp choice for children. Reeds: 20 brass Comb: ABS, Red Reed Plates: 0.9mm aluminium Reed Plate Surface: aluminium Number of Holes: 10 Key: C-major Length: 10cm Available in blue, red, green and yellow ... Read more
Out of stockThe Hohner See-Thru Happy Yellow Harmonica is a genuine 10-hole Richter harmonica with plastic covers, available in four different colours. It is an excellent low-priced beginners instrument for blues, folk and rock. This would also be a fantastic harp choice for children. Reeds: 20 brass Comb: ABS, Yellow Reed Plates: 0.9mm aluminium Reed Plate Surface: aluminium Number of Holes: 10 Key: C-major Length: 10cm Available in blue, red, green and yellow ... Read more
Out of stockHohner Special 20 5 Pack - G, A, C, D and E - This 5 pack of Special 20s gives you the most popular keys, plus a convenient zip up case for significantly less expense than purchasing the five keys individually. About the Special 20 A unique, beautifully mellow sound, based on a revolutionary concept: the Special 20 was the first diatonic harmonica in the world with reed plates recessed into the comb, creating a projecting plastic mouthpiece. This makes it more comfortable to play, and the most copied harmonica design worldwide. Its distinctive sound is perfect for everything from Folk and Country to Rock and Pop. The Special 20 offers everything a professional harpist needs, but it’s also the ideal beginner’s instrument thanks to its smooth playability and comparatively affordable price. If you’re not just looking for a companion for the first few steps, but one to take you all the way, the Special 20 is your best possible bet. Special 20s, like all of Hohner's Progressive Series harmonicas, is made in Trossingen, Germany, where Hohner has been producing harmonicas since the 19th Century. As the world's largest harmonica manufacturer, Hohner is able to combine state of the art manufacturing facilities with traditional craftsmanship, ensuring that their instruments are of the highest quality at any given price point. ... Read more
Out of stockHohner Special 20 Pink Harmonica From the hottest catwalks to summer cinema blockbusters, and even important occasions like Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink is stealing the spotlight this year. But guess what? Hohner is joining the pink party, and we're thrilled to announce the release of our brand-new Special 20 harmonica in PINK! But you're going to have to be quick because the Special 20 PINK will be produced in a strictly limited edition! Limited Edition Progressive Series Key: C major Sturdy and moisture-resistant comb made of ABS plastic 0.9 mm brass reed plates recessed in the comb 20 Reeds Stainless steel cover plates Round, powerful sound with fast response Suitable for intensive use Suitable for beginners and advanced players Length: 10.2 cm Colour of comb: Pink Made in Germany... Read more
Out of stockThe Hohner Speedy Yellow Harmonica has four clearly separated channels with a range of one octave and is available in different colours. The robust construction makes it the ideal musical instrument for children, giving them a fantastic opportunity to learn how to play the basics of the harmonica. Reeds: 8 brass Comb: polystyrene, yellow Reed Plates: 0.9mm brass Reed Plate Surface: brass Number of Holes: 4 Key: C Length: 10cm Available in blue, Yellow, Black, Pink ... Read more
Out of stockThe Larry Adler LA16 is a classical chromatic harmonica, played - amongst others - by Larry Adler, one of the greatest harmonica virtuoso's of all time. Excellent response and full sound. Sound: Chromatic. Reeds: 64 Reed Plate: Brass, 1.05mm Keys: C major Comb: Plastic Case/Packaging: Plastic snap case Size: Length: 18.4cm. ... Read more
Out of stockLee Oskar Mick Jagger Signature 1st Edition 10 Hole C It is well-known that Mick Jagger has loved playing Lee Oskar harmonicas for many years. The Mick Jagger Harmonica Signature Series offers a meticulously designed range of harmonicas that faithfully replicate the exact specifications used by Mick Jagger throughout his illustrious career. Each harmonica in the series is handcrafted with thorough attention to detail, guaranteeing an authentic playing experience and the unmistakable Jagger sound that fans have grown to love. The Mick Jagger Harmonica Signature Series features harmonicas in various keys, including the popular blues keys. Each harmonica is precision-tuned to Mick Jagger’s exacting standards, guaranteeing unparalleled sound quality and effortless playability. The harmonicas also showcase custom-designed cover plates adorned with Mick Jagger’s signature, adding a touch of rock and roll flair to the instrument. Specification Manufacturer Lee Oskar by Tombo Country of Origin Japan Instrument Type Major Diatonic Note / Key C... Read more
Out of stockThe Tombo Aero Reed harmonica is part of the Tombo diatonic range. Epoch-making 10-hole Harmonica combined with Tombo's consistent quality control and new Metal comb. Its coverplate, comb and reedplate construction are a new Tombo design. Clear and distinct tone metal comb Tombo's flagship diatonic model ... Read more
Harmonica Pop Songs
Perhaps the most famous of all uses of harmonica in a pop song, is John Lennon's playing on The Beatles' early hit 'Love Me Do'. Although this lends itself well to being played on a diatonic, it was actually recorded on a chromatic, as Lennon, at the time, had not mastered the bending technique necessary for the tune.
Other famous pop songs where the harmonica is a standout feature often involve Stevie Wonder, both on his own recordings and as a guest. Examples of the former include 'For Once in My Life' and 'I Was Made to Love Her', whilst the latter includes The Eurythmics hit 'There Must be an Angel'.
Best Harmonica for Pop Music
Pop is an extremely broad church, and covers a whole host of genres, but most players should probably gravitate towards a standard Richter tuned diatonic, or a chromatic. The only exceptions to this rule are for minor key songs, where a natural minor harmonica might suit the piece of music better, and when players prefer the note layout of the Melody Maker tuning, which is well suited to the single note lines that are often found on the harmonica parts of pop songs
Chromatics are particularly useful for pop songs, as they can offer an alternative to the guitar or keyboard solo, whilst providing interesting texture to a song. Think, for example, of any of Stevie Wonder's harmonica - led hits; they just wouldn't sound anywhere near as good with an alternative instrument playing the harmonica line.
Our recommendations for diatonics for playing popular music are the Hohner Rocket Amp - which is great for amplified playing in a band situation - and the Lee Oskar Melody Maker, whose note layout is perfect for single note melodies. For chromatics, it's hard to beat the Hohner Super 64 and Super 64X, which are essentially the same harmonicas that the great Stevie Wonder uses.
80s Pop Harmonica
The harmonica's heyday in popular music was probably the 1980s, where, for example, it featured prominently on one of the biggest global hits of the decade - Karma Chameleon, and was often found in the mix of a New Romantic band's new tune.
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