I was playing my Hohner Marine Band Crossover today working out a cool Sonny Terry riff. If you haven’t heard of Sonny Terry, check him out. There is a lot of material on youtube and other sites.
As I was practicing, I started thinking about what a great little musical instrument the harmonica is. Then I started to make a list of why it is so great and here’s what I came up with.
- You can play the harmonica anywhere. The harmonica is a portable musical instrument that is easy to keep in your pocket. Whenever you have a spare moment simply pull it out and start jamming!
- Relatively speaking, the harmonica is one of the most inexpensive musical instruments. I realize that harmonica prices have increased exponentially the last few years but compared to a trumpet or flute, it’s not that much. This low cost makes it fun and easy to try out harmonicas of various brands and tunings.
- It is easy to play many different styles of music on one simple harmonica. Jazz, Blues, Country, Reggae, World music can all be played on the 10 hole diatonic harmonica.
- Easy to learn! Anybody can play the harmonica because it is the easiest musical instrument to play. A few minutes after opening the box most are able to play something recognizable. try that with a violin, saxophone or tuba!
- Loads of information available on learning the harmonica. Just today I was looking for information about Irish harmonica players and after a couple of google searches found loads of information and music about traditional Irish harmonica players. The internet has made it much easier to find more than a lifetime’s information on how to play various styles of harmonica.
- The harmonica has a rich and varied history. Most people are familiar with blues harp but did you know that the harmonica has a rich heritage in classical music? Harmonicas have been played on the stages of the finest concert halls throughout the world. In fact more harmonica music is available to play now than ever before. In addition to music of the western world, the harmonica can be heard in the folk music of many different cultures.
- Playing the harmonica is FUN!