Professional Harp

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Next harmonica to buy ?

About 3 months ago, i bought the Suzuki folk master diatonic of key C, it was pretty cheap. I already learnt 2 songs on it, but i think i am ready to buy a more professional harp. I need to know based on what, should i decide which is the best harmonica to buy (btw buying from the amazon). Any and i mean any tips that can help are appreciated, what is usually the next one to buy ( I was thinking the Special honers blues).. Thanks :D
I also need to ask.. which is the best learning book i could buy off the amazon , I was thinking Jon Ginddick.
How do I decide which key.. btw, I like to play the low notes more than the high notes.. does that effect my decision ?

The Suzuki Folkmaster is on the same level as the Hohner Big River. So, if you'd like to move up a level then that'd put you in a Suzuki Bluesmaster.

The similar instruments in that range are:
Hohner Marine Band 1896, Special 20, Blues Harp; Lee Oskar Major Diatonic; Seydel Blues Session; Hering Blues, 1923; Suzuki Bluesmaster.

These are in the $30-40 range.

None are inherently "better" than the others, just differences that appeal to some player's tastes. The Marine Band 1896 and Special 20 are very well respected harps as is the Lee Oskar. The "best" to buy is the one that has features you like and that you enjoy playing the most. Unfortunately, we can't go in and try out a bunch like we can a guitar or bass. From the view of most learners though, all of these in that list are essentially "the same" with differences in features like comb material and tuning standard. Many learners prefer a plastic comb harp (such as the Special 20 or Lee Oskar) because it doesn't warp when wet and is easier to maintain. Old School and traditionalists prefer the feel and sound of a wooden comb (such as the Marine Band) - it's just a matter of personal tastes.

What key? It only matters if you're playing with others and then you need the key that goes with what they're playing. C is most common because most tutorials are written for it, it's a center tonality, and it plays in G crossharp which is really common. Other common keys are G, A, and E. F and Bb are most common for jazz and those playing with horns.

If you prefer playing low, and don't want to invest in a specifically "low" harp, then G or A are a good choice. The order of stock/standard harp keys is usually G on the low end and F or F# on the high end.

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