Harmonica holders are a great way to free your hands while you play another instrument. While these devices have been around for some time, they can take some trial and error for proper use. In order to make a smooth transition, you need to know how to properly use a harmonica holder.
To properly use a harmonica holder, slip the device around your neck and position the harmonica into a comfortable playing position. The harmonica must be tightened down properly so it doesn’t move during play sessions. Holders that are easily adjusted are best for ensuring proper playing.
Not all harmonica holders are created equally, and we will break down the ins and outs of choosing and using your device. If you want to begin using a harmonica holder accurately, keep reading!
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How to Put a Harmonica on a Holder
Once you have your harmonica holder, the first thing you will want to do is ensure that you know how to install your harmonica properly. Most harmonica holders have a spring-loaded clamp that holds the instrument in place. Place the harmonica into this clamp and then slip the device around your neck.
To ensure that your harmonica is in place accurately, you will want to follow these steps:
- Start by loosening the wing nuts that are present on the harmonica holder.
- Place your harmonica holder inside of the device and tighten the wing nuts into place. Most harmonica holders have two wing nuts, but this can vary depending on the device that you have.
- Often, the harmonica will move once you begin playing it. It is important that you tighten these wing nuts as much as possible. If you cannot get these tightened, you may want to choose a different holder.
- Finally, adjust the harmonica to fit in place for easy access to playing. Some holders offer better control over the angle available.
The most important part of installing your harmonica is to ensure that the wing nuts are tightened as much as possible without damaging the harmonica!
How to Wear a Harmonica Holder
Once your harmonica is installed into the holder, it is important that you are wearing it correctly. This will require you to place the holder around your neck and into a position that allows you to play it easily. In order to get a proper sound, you must have pressure between the harmonica and your mouth, which is only possible if it remains in the accurate position.
The best way to ensure that you are getting accurate pressure is to purchase a harmonica holder that is high quality. The better the harmonica holder, the less likely it is for your instrument to slip. You will want to position the holder around your neck in a way that is not only comfortable but allows you to play effectively.
This is one of those places where spending a little more for a properly made tool makes a world of difference when it comes time to jam.
How to Adjust Your Harmonica Holder
It can be very challenging for you to use the harmonica holder and play your guitar. This is why many players do not use it daily but instead only when it is necessary.
Here’s the best way to adjust your harmonica holder before playing:
- Start by putting the holder around your neck. Standing in front of a mirror can make this process simpler and ensure your instrument is in proper place. Once the holder is around your neck, insert the harmonica.
- Look directly into the mirror and ensure that harmonica is directly under your nose. You will want the four hole to be the one under your nose, which makes it off center slightly. You will usually hit the four hole note to start and this helps you do so without moving your head too much.
- You may need to alter which hole you put centered depending on the music that you play. If you use certain holes more than others, make those the easiest for you to reach for the best playing possible.
- Push the harmonica tightly against your mouth. Play a few notes and use your hands to adjust the arms of the holder as needed.
- Ensure that you are getting good sound from the harmonica and make adjustments if you are not. You should be able to let go of the holder and still get accurate sound.
- Move the harmonica a bit away from your face to make singing a bit easier, if you plan on doing any vocals.
If you plan to also sing while playing your harmonica and guitar or other instrument, you will want to work on your positioning a bit further. Having your harmonica holder very close to your face is often the best way to get accurate sound but makes singing very difficult. One way to avoid this is to sing to the side as you can keep the harmonica close and sing clearly.
Choosing Your Harmonica Holder
When it comes to having a harmonica holder, there are a few key things you want to keep in mind. This should be a tool that benefits you, not one that hinders you from playing correctly. Unfortunately, these devices do not come without some trial and error and require you to put forth a bit of effort for proper playing.
Harmonica holders enable you to play two instruments at once, freeing your hands while still playing the harmonica. However, when they do not fit you accurately, they will not create the quality of music that you would like from your harmonica. This can leave you with less than ideal music and end up being a bit more of a hassle than it is worth.
You want to choose a harmonica holder that will fit around your neck correctly and allow you to continue to play at the caliber you desire.
Here’s some things to keep in mind when trying to find a harmonica holder that best suits your individual needs:
- The holder should keep your harmonica in a dependable playing position. The harmonica holder should not move or swivel while you are playing.
- You should be able to trust that your harmonica holder will keep your harmonica held tightly and in place throughout your time using it.
- It is better to wait until you can purchase a harmonica holder that is a higher quality. If you are buying a cheaper device, it will often fail. Always purchase a higher end device from a trustworthy brand.
If you can try out the harmonica holder before purchasing it, this will be very beneficial. Regardless, you will want to choose a quality harmonica holder that you can trust.
Best Harmonica Holders Available Today
As you can tell, one of the most important parts of producing accurate sound is having a good harmonica holder. These devices are not all created equally and will require you to spend some cash if you want a decent one. There are several harmonica holders available that you can choose from but some of the best available today are:
- Lee Oskar Harmonica Holder – This is a very high-quality choice that is easy to use and offers a higher level of adjustment. This is a larger harmonica holder but is a highly preferred option to many players who want customization options. This is a durable option that is great for regular use.
- K & M Harmonica Holder – This is a leading brand in the music industry and is a great option for harmonica holders. The device is comfortable to use and can easily be adjusted using the strong neck bar. Overall, this is a simple and sturdy option.
- Dunlop Harmonica Holder – This is another great harmonica holder as it is lightweight and less expensive. If you want something that will work accurately but saves you cash, this is a top choice. Since this is a bit cheaper, you will not get as much use from this device as some others.
- Hohner HH154 Harmonica Holder – This is a smaller option that is not as heavy on your neck, but still very durable. If you want something lighter that offers easy installation, this is a great choice. While this device is a bit less complex than some others.
You should try out several harmonica holders to find the best fit for you and your needs. However, each of those listed above are great choices that are hard to go wrong with.
How to Use A Harmonica Holder, Final Thoughts
Using your harmonica holder should not be a difficult task with some practice and a bit of adjustment. The most important thing you can do is buy a quality device and ensure your harmonica is tightly in place. Once you have your holder adjusted properly, you can use this device time and again with ease.