What do Johnny Cash, Dan Ackroyd, John Lennon, David Gilmour, Sting, Billy the Kid, Hugh Laurie, Christopher Wolstenholme, Stevie Wonder, Ozzy Ozbourne, Shakira, Mickey Mouse, and Abraham Lincoln all have in common?
They drew musical inspiration from the harmonica!
The venerable mouth harp has been adding musical inspiration to practically every musical genre for nearly two centuries. While most closely associated with the blues, a harmonica can blend into any style of music from classical to rock to Shinto folk, and is found in ensembles around the world.
Its popularity is easy to understand. It has a unique sound, and despite its simple construction, a good harmonica can create a surprisingly wide range of tones and textures. Better yet, a quality harmonica is far less expensive than most instruments. You can easily pick up a fine one for fifty bucks or less.
Plus, they’re extremely easy to learn how to play.
Harmonicas also have another advantage for band members. Since they can be set up on a neck holder, they’re nearly hands-free. While you might think it looks a little strange to walk onstage with a neck brace, trust us – audiences will be wowed if you can switch between a harmonica and your regular piece during the course of a show.
If you play a hands-only instrument, like guitar, you might even be able to duet with yourself!
So, if you’re looking for a way to add a bit of spice to your act, or introduce a new sound to change things up, go pick up a harmonica or two. Whether you settle on a sliding chromatic blues harp, or a full set of concert-quality tuned harmonicas, it’s a great addition to practically any act.