The chromatic harmonica uses a button-activated sliding bar to redirect air from the hole in the mouthpiece to the selected reed-plate desired. This instrument is capable of playing the twelve notes of the Western chromatic scale. Chromatic harmonicas are eight, ten, twelve, fourteen or sixteen holes long. It is an instrument of choice in classical music and jazz. If you are looking to play blues or jazz whilst many will offer you a basic blues scale if you want the freedom of keys and notes then a chromatic harmonica would be the best harmonica for blues playing. In order to handle a chromatic harmonica you need to be a professional or advanced level player, its side button makes it difficult to use for beginners or students. The chromatic harmonicas play every semitone in the chromatic scale and offer you to option to play a variety of keys and chords. Your musical proficiency has to be such that if reading music, you understand how to read each note to then play the melody lines correctly on your chromatic harmonica. If you play by ear, this problem can be easily resolved.
A chromatic harmonica is comprised of five parts: comb, cover plate, reed plate, mouthpiece and windsaver. These parts are made up of different materials for various reasons. Traditionally, the combs were made up of wood, nowadays, they are made up of ABS plastic or metal. Wooden combs can absorb moisture and become useless over time. Metallic or plastic combs are durable and long lasting. The cover plate and reeds are made up of hard-wearing brass. The windsaver is an extremely thin strip of knit paper, leather or plastic. Some people falsely believe that the material has an effect on the tone.
Reviews of the Best Chromatic Harmonica
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Top 10 Best Chromatic Harmonica Reviews
- Wide Using Range: Suitable for blues, rock, country, folk, jazz and other style like animation, film and television entertainment, pop music and so on.
- 10 Holes 40 tone: Suitable for a variety of different musical styles and songs.
- Made by an extremely high standard, with precision-engineered slide, durable plastic body, a brass reed section and is plated in attractive, shiny chrome.
- Metal body and metal reeds,it is very durable and offers a simple,polished appearance.
- Perfect for any beginner or harmonica lover.
- "Pocket Piano" -This is a chromatic harmonica with 10 hole 40 tones is a great Christmas Gift for your family & friends. There's a button on the right which when NOT pressed allows you to play a standard major scale in the key of "C", and while with the button depressed, gives you all the half-steps or notes in between, like the piano black keys. This chromatic harmonica allows you to perform full range of songs.
- Crisp & Clear Sound- Top grade Phosphor Bronze Reeds for rich & full notes. Thicker Copper Plate helps to produce smoother and more melodic tones. Round Holes with smooth edges for stable and pure sound. It's suitable for blues, folk, pop classical music, jazz, country, and rock & roll and all range of music styles.
- Guaranteed Sound and Quality- Each harmonica is well crafted and carefully tuned and tested during manufacturing to ensure best sound and quality.You can rest assured to purchase.
- Easy to Play- It produces standard C key with the button unpressed. Gets half notes with the button depressed. Perfect for ambitious player and advanced players, kids and adults. It's for anyone who loves great sounding harmonica.
- Exquisite & Heavy Duty-5.1"x1.5"x1" (LXWXH), small enough to slip into your pocket wherever you go. Net weight 5.25oz heavy duty and durable. This chromatic harmonica is a suitable instrument for either solo playing or in combination with other instruments. Package includes 1x chromatic harmonica with plastic case; 1x cleaning cloth.
- Chromatic Harmonica:With side slider, simplifies playing in different octaves and keys. accesses the same scale a semitone higher in each hole.
- Phosphor Bronze Reeds:this Harmonica is easy to blow and straw, well elastic performance and vibrate free.make it accurate in intonation
- Windsavers: this harmonica can bend notes on both blow and draw notes, giving additional tonality if needed.
- Nickel Finish: Protect your harmonica from rust by drool and sweat.
- Portable: 5.29 oz. 5 inch in Length and 1.5 inch in width, this harmonica is very convenient to carry with.
- Easttop 12holes 48tunes Chromatic harmonica
- Material:phosphor bronze reeds,brass reedplate,brass cover with black paint
- Content:harmonica+small cloth+canvas bag.C key
- Packing content:each harmonica add one small cloth into one canvas bag
- Harmonica colour:black
- Key of C - 16 Hole
- Ergonomically designed mouthpiece
- Precise and smooth slide mechanism
- ABS comb, Phosphor Bronze reed plates and chrome plated covers
- Packed in its own deluxe soft lined case
- Plastic injection molded comb
- Wider channel openings make it easy for the beginner to play single notes
- Stainless steel covers
- Key of C
- 48 notes, 3 octave range
- Easttop 10holes 40tunes Chromatic harmonica musical instrument
- Material:phosphor bronze reeds with rivet,brass reedplate(1mm) with electroplate,stainless steel cover,ABS comb
- Content: harmonica+small cloth+plastic box,C key
- Packing:each harmonica into one plastic box
- We are the harmonica manufacturer of the EASTTOP brand.
- Ergonomically designed mouthpiece, precise and smooth slide mechanism, and ABS comb
- Phosphor bronze reed plates
- Chrome-plated covers
- Refer user manual below
- Harmonica with "Black Keys"- This Chromatic Harmonica (Key C) can play half notes like the piano black keys! It has 10 hole 40 tones, allows you to play full range of songs and suitable for all styles of music. This chromatic harmonica can definitely produce amazing and complex songs while a simple harmonica can not do!
- Quick Half Notes Switch- Top grade stainless steel switch button on the right to allow quick and easy switching between full notes and half notes and anti-deformation for years of use.
- Beautiful Sound- Phosphor bronze sound spring with anti-corrosion copper content for anti-aging, making the whole harp playing more stable and saving effort. Sound elegant, beautiful and strong enough, voice are stable and natural. This chromatic harmonica is a good choose for professional player ,band, adult beginner, and little masters!
- Exquisite & Well Craftsmanship-This chromatic harmonica is with smooth Round Hole surface, that helps to produce more stable and purer sound.With stable structure and excellent air tightness to minimizes moisture absorption, and brings louder and clearer sound.
- Easy to Use- The chromatic harmonic is in standard key of C, which press the button on the right, you will get half notes like the piano black keys.There are 10 round holes, and each hole has 4 tones. (Please check the product image to understand more.) Each chromatic harmonica is carefully tuned and tested during manufacturing to ensure best sound and quality. Package includes 1x Chromatic Harmonica,1x Harmonica Plastic Case;1x Cleaning Cloth.
- 16 holes, 64 sounds, Chromatic harmonica
- Body Material: Plastic
- 16 holes
- Cover Material: Chrome-plated Copper Board
- plastic case color： Random color
Ultimate Buying Guide – Chromatic Harmonica
Different Types Of Harmonicas
- Bass harmonica:
It functions much the same as chromatic or diatonic harmonicas. It plays bass notes so have a pitch register in the lower octaves.
- Chord harmonica:
It offers the player the capability of playing a set of notes by blowing through one hole to create a chord. This can be useful in ensemble pieces to add more weight to the sound of the harmonica and allow greater emphasis to its part within the ensemble.
- Diatonic harmonica:
It sounds very much like blues music and can be tuned to each key including minor keys. It is the most common one and can bend notes very easily adding to the blues sounding feel.
- Echo harmonica:
It allows for a more organ like sound to be produced. It is designed in such a way that an underlying rhythm is played at the same time as the melody over the top.
- Tremolo harmonica:
It plays almost straight melodies with the addition of bass notes in rhythm being available to add to harmonize the melody. It is not as complex to play as the echo harmonica but gives you an option to achieve some of the similar effects.
Things To Consider When Buying A Good Chromatic Harmonica
The optimized channel openings with enhanced airtightness will greatly benefit you from a quick response. Quick response is such an attribute of a chromatic harmonica, which allows you to advance your playing to the next level. It is so comfortable to hold the fully airtight chromatic harmonica, making it a pleasure to play.
- Compatibility with all climate conditions:
German engineering with a robust ABS body guarantees absolute performance in all climate conditions.
- Corrosion and wear resistant design:
Look for the chrome plated covers and phosphor bronze reed plates. If the material is a blend of tin and phosphorous, the tin will increase corrosion resistance and strength, while phosphorous increases wear resistance and stiffness.
- Carrying case:
Look for a handy neoprene carrying case with velvet lining to absorb all shock and prevent your chromatic harmonica from any damage. The carrying case will allow the moisture to escape while keeping out dust and promote portability by fitting into your pocket.
- Ease of maintenance:
The ability to disassemble an instrument allows for easy maintenance when needed. Make sure you are able to take apart the comb with a mini screwdriver. The windsavers must be coloured red and the cylindrical studs must be sturdy.
- Smooth slide mechanism:
An ergonomically designed mouthpiece will promote smooth sliding of your lips without grabbiness. Look for a plastic mouthpiece instead of metal for smooth and precise slide mechanism, to keep your lips from feeling irritated when sliding along the mouthpiece.
The choice of keys depends upon whether you are intending to play alone or in a group of guitarists. Everyone can benefit from a chromatic harmonica in the key of C because most instruction booklets are about the key C. When you are playing among a group of guitar players, then a chromatic harmonica with the key of C, D, F, G and A can cover most situations.
- The number of holes and reeds:
A twelve-hole chromatic harmonica is available in any of the twelve keys of the Western scale but C is most recommended for professional players. It comes with three octave ranges of forty eight tones. While a twelve-hole is adequate for most styles of music, a fourteen or sixteen-hole takes your skill to the next level. These chromatic harmonicas get down into clarinet, viola, violin, trumpet and sax range. Consider that very high or very low number of holes can have both acoustic and physical problems. Higher reeds are difficult to regulate so they speak freely, while it is hard to get longer reeds to move. That is why the twelve-hole chromatic harmonica with forty eight reeds is an ideal choice for many players. A fourteen-hole chromatic harmonica has fifty six reeds and the sixteen-hole has sixty four reeds. Generally, the more holes a chromatic harmonica has, the larger the range of different sounds it can produce.