Playing the harmonica requires the use of one or both of your hands. But what if you wanted to play another instrument while also playing harmonica?
Well, this article of some of the best harmonica holders for your neck will help you do just that. You will be able to play harmonica, while also freeing up your hands for guitar, bass, or whatever else you need.
Best Harmonica Neck Holders
Table of Contents
- Best Harmonica Neck Holders
- Choosing the Right Harmonica Holder
- Tips for Playing Harmonica and Another Instrument Together
1. Hohner FlexRack
Hohner makes some incredible harmonica holders. Their FlexRack is might just be my favorite.
This is a super comfortable harmonica neck holder. It is fairly lightweight, and the rubber neck padding makes it sit really nicely on your neck.
The FlexPack feels very solid and sturdy. It doesn’t feel like it is going to bend or break very easily.
It is also very adjustable. Apart from the knobs to adjust the position of the holder, you can also adjust the angle of your harmonica.
Swapping out harmonicas is also super easy. You just loosen the holder, slide out one harmonica and pop in another. It also fits any harmonica up to 6.5” wide.
I also like the rubber on the holder. I am always a bit worried about my harmonica getting scratched by the naked metal on other holders. This also made me a bit more comfortable tightening the holder more to prevent my harmonica from slipping.
The FlexPack also folds up really nicely. It doesn’t take up much space in a backpack. You could even put it in the same holder as your harmonica if it is big enough.
It is a bit expensive, but I think worth every penny.
2. Hohner HH01
The second Hohner harmonica holder on this list, the HH01 is a bit more basic than the FlexPack. But even though it is basic, it is still quite good.
Its design is quite solid. I didn’t notice much bend in the metal. It also sits quite nicely around your neck.
The thin metal of the neck brace is also cover. However, it is covered in plastic.
This isn’t as comfortable as rubber, but it is better than just exposed metal. It is fine enough and I quickly stop noticing it.
I also liked the fact that the springs aren’t too stiff. Swapping out harmonicas was fairly easy.
It also has two angled pieces of metal attached to the bottom. This is to prevent your harmonica from slipping out.
The holder is naked steel though, and the screws on the angled metal pieces are also exposed. Scratching is going to be a concern with this holder.
However, I don’t like the wingnuts used to adjust the positioning. They work fine, but I do feel like they are a bit small. The screw is also a bit too exposed.
All things considered though, for under $20, this is still a good harmonica holder.
3. Lee Oskar LO10HH
The Lee Oskar LO10HH is another fairly straightforward harmonica holder. But its straightforward design has some unique features.
The main unique feature is the holder itself. It is quite different from other harmonica holders.
The LO10HH features an L shape under bracket. That means that it is designed to have the harmonica rest on the bracket instead of being clamped by it.
The top bracket it also rounded. So, it also holds the harmonica in place against the L bracket instead of clamping down.
I really like this design. Your harmonica isn’t just held between to brackets, but rather rests between them. The metal can’t really scrape against your harmonica, so the risk of scratches is quite low.
The neck brace is also quite wide, with a curved top. The holder rests on a wider area of your neck and shoulders, spreading out the weight. This makes the holder feel lighter.
Because it covers a wider area, the holder is also a bit wider. It might not be as comfortable for people with narrower shoulders.
While the LO10HH is quite sturdy, I prefer harmonica holders with wider bracings. But I don’t think this holder is going to break very easily.
4. K&M 16416
The K&M 16416 is the perfect harmonica holder for blues players. Its straightforward, compact design means that it won’t get in your way while singing or playing another instrument.
The build quality is nice with the 16416 feeling very sturdy. The rubber on the neck brace does feel a bit on the cheaper side, but I feel is still comfortable enough.
The holder is a bit limited in terms of harmonicas it can hold. It is only suitable for harmonicas with a width up to 4.25”. So, ideal for blues harmonica.
The spring tension is a bit too high for my liking. But putting in and taking out harmonicas was still easy enough.
This extra string tension does mean that your harmonica is held tightly. And since the 16416 has rubber on the brackets, it won’t scratch up your harmonica.
I did notice that the position would shift a little if I moved around too much. If you tend to rock out a bit harder, you might want to be careful.
Even when the position knobs were on their tightest, there was still a slight shift. The knobs are easily adjustable, so repositioning isn’t too much of a hassle.
Choosing the Right Harmonica Holder
When buying a harmonica holder, it is important to remember that not just any old one will do. Harmonica holders, while having a fairly standardized design, are still quite different from each other.
But I would say there are three important questions you should ask yourself:
- Will I use it during gigs?
- Will I be singing as well?
- Will I be playing multiple harmonicas?
These three questions will help you choose the right harmonica holder. But let us go over what they mean exactly.
Will I Use It During Gigs?
This should be the first thing you ask. If you just want a harmonica holder to practice with at home, almost any one will do.
You are probably going to be sitting fairly still, and just need a holder to keep your harmonica in front of you. But if you are going to use it during gigs, you are obviously going to be moving around.
In that case, you want a holder that is going to be very sturdy. You don’t want to have to readjust the position constantly while playing.
Will I Be Singing As Well?
If you sing and play harmonica, being able to easily switch between the two is going to be important. You want to be able to move the harmonica and your mouth between the mic as easily as possible.
That means getting a holder that is either small enough so that your harmonica is close to your mouth but not completely in front of it. Or getting a holder that allows you to easily move your harmonica away from your mouth.
Of course, it still has to stick to question one. It should only move when you move it and not on its own.
Will I Be Playing Multiple Harmonicas?
If you are playing different harmonicas through a gig, that obviously means that you are going to be switching between them. That means that you want to switch as easily and as quickly as possible.
So, you are going to need a holder that will allow you to do that. A holder like Hohner FlexRack which has knobs for adjusting the holder brackets is going to be your best option.
This allows you to quickly loosen your harmonic, put in another one, and tighten it again. Of course, holders that just use springs can also be easy to swap out if their spring tension isn’t too tight.
Tips for Playing Harmonica and Another Instrument Together
If you are buying a harmonica holder, that probably means that you want to play it along with another instrument. Just like singing and playing guitar for example, playing guitar and harmonica can be quite difficult.
Here are a few tips for learning how to improve your coordination.
Get Used to Moving Your Head
Normally, you would use your hands to move the harmonica while playing. But if you are playing another instrument, this won’t be possible.
You are going to have to move your head to hit the notes. So, sit just with the harmonica in the holder and get used to playing without using your hands. Once you are comfortable with that, start playing your second instrument as well.
This is just standard for any instrument. But start off by playing simple stuff. Even if you can play harmonica and guitar really well, you have to almost start from scratch when playing both together.
Finally, keep practicing. It could take anywhere from a few months to half a year to get comfortable enough playing both instruments at the same time. So, just keep practicing and don’t give up.
These are just a handful of some of the best harmonica holders available. I hope this article has given you a good starting point as well as some idea of what to look for when it comes to harmonica holders.