Hohner Tremolo

Which key harmonica would be best for playing along to open d tuned guitar?

My friend plays guitar in Open d tuning, I was wondering which key or type of harmonica would be best suited to play along with him?

Thanks
We play folk music not blues...

Assuming he's playing in D with I IV V7 type progressions and you plan to play melodies, you'd want a D harp. You'd probably also want one with equal temperament such as the Hohner Golden Melody. You'd play folk tunes (melody) in first position on a 10-hole in D. If you have $30-40 to spend and try it, pick up a Golden Melody in D. Any 10-hole diatonic model in D will work for this type though - you just spend most of your time between holes 4 and 7.

An alternative is to not go with a "Blues Harp" if you're not going to be wailing the blues improv style. The tremolo and octave is a good choice for that sort of music and the Asian models (and the Hohner Echo Celeste) are concert scale tuned (you get all of the notes of the scale in all octaves). The Echo Celeste is less than $16 and is great for folk tunes. The Suzuki Two-Timer and SU21H Humming are good choices in this type. Note: Hohner tremolos are tuned "wetter" than Asians. A wet tremolo sounds like a French cafe accordion.

Then there's the chromatic (you'd want one in D) which will give you the full chromatic scale but is a little harder to learn for some people. Bottom price for a decent one is $50 (Hohner Educator 10) and goes into the many $100's.

You can play in D on a G harp (crossharp or 2nd position) but you won't have a true V7 available and melodies are harder to play when they're heavy on the draws - 2nd position starts on 2draw. If you're not planning on playing melodies but instead are going to vamp chords behind his guitar then that's "blues harp" style no matter what genre you're playing and you'll want a second position habit of playing.

Some people like the Lee Oskar melody tuned harmonicas for melody playing. These play in cross harp so you'd need a G. I've not played one and can't say. In single-row diatonics I tend to prefer the solo tuned 12 and 14 hole models which will give you full scale down in the bottom but won't give you the same vamping chords you get on a 10-hole. My real preference for melodies is a double-row tremolo/octave or a chromatic in straightharp.

Note: to alleviate some confusion. "Crossharp" and 2nd position just mean that you play the scale of the fifth of the harp. On a C harp you'd play in G. On a G harp you'd play in D. The reason we do this is because of the chord arrangement on a harmonica. Crossharp is perfect for the "three chord trick" that almost all pop music follows. Great for playing chords - not so hot for playing scales. Partly because a bunch of notes of the major scale are missing in crossharp, So, we play melody in straight harp. "Straight harp" just means that if the harmonica is in C, we play in C. You can do both (and more positions) on any harp but the straight harp key and cross harp key are different. To play in C crossharp you need an F harp.

Simple Answer:
If you play melodies/tunes then go with a D harp in root position
If you play improv and chords go with a G harp in 2nd position

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