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Iím guessing this product title refers in general to the range of Hohner diatonic harmonicas and Iíll review in that way.
Harmonica was the first instrument I learnt, not being able to afford a guitar at the time. The first decent harmonica I ever bought was a Hohner Marine Band (key of G), and since then, these are the only brand Iíve considered using.
Hohner is probably the most famous of the harmonica brands, used on albums such as The Jayhawksí Hollywood Town Hall (a classic!). There are a range of diatonic harmonicas available, and each in different keys (the notes are arranged in the scale of the key. Keys available include Major, Minor and Natural, plus some other specialist tunings). Some models even come in different sizes (e.g. 10 hole, 12 hole)! Different models are made of different materials: generally, the top and bottom plates (the parts that you hold) are made of steel or aluminium and the comb (the bit in the middle with the holes you blow into) can be made of metal (cross harp), wood (marine band) or plastic (special 20). This creates different tones, reverbs and volumes which can be used in different types of music for different effect. After trying a few, you may find your own preference (mine is probably pear wood as in the Marine Band harmonica).
This brand in general has an excellent sound as far as harmonicas go. They are very easy to play, as the shape of the instrument allows your fingers to hold firmly and comfortably. Appearance is excellent, the little etched designs (different for each model) make them look very cool and professional. You can look like you know what youíre doing even if you donít!
The only thing to watch is that they cost around £16 on average, and you should know that harmonicas can be put out of tune permanently by bad playing! If you are starting out it is better to get a cheaper one to practice on first before buying something nicer, some very cheap practice ones can be about £5. Itís usually not worth buying replacement reeds for a broken instrument as they cost almost as much as the thing itself!
So, overall these are excellent instruments.... and maybe before now you didnít know they were so complicated!
Good review...another thing NOT to do with your harminica is step on it! That fate befell my Hohner Marine Band, and unfortunately it is now unusable.....I have gone over to a Pro Harp in C which is very good though.
eastanglian 11.07.2004 16:05
I would not recomend buying the "cheapo" £5 harmonical for any reason. The poor craftsmanship on those models causes all kind of problems and they are generaly quite difficult to play. For a start they are often leaky and teh way the reeds are made and fitted mean that the notes can not be bent. I have learnt of a Hohner CrossHarp (the one witrh a gold plated plastic comb) and still use the very same harmonica, it had nevr gone out of tune"
Karnage 01.06.2004 16:36
I had no idea you could permanently put them out of tune...guess I'll give up trying to learn that then..good review :)