12 Awesome & Easy Beginner Harmonica Songs (with Tabs + Videos)

Hey! My name's Cooper, and I hope I can be a helpful friend on your musical journeys. I'm a music artist based in Austin & Amsterdam, playing venues with a band / solo, and trying to learn with the most inspiring musicians wherever I go. In the last 8 years I've lived in Australia, northern Europe, the US and more.

(Last Updated On: August 15, 2022)

The harmonica is (perhaps surprisingly) a very easy instrument to learn and play songs on…

At least when you want to play them in a basic way – of simply playing the correct notes!

As always and with any instrument, playing songs with more beauty and emotion would take a longer time to get a hold of.

But – once you have the ability to play single notes (which you can even start to learn using this 60 seconds video right here) – so “the game is on” and you can simply play the notes in the tabs attached here – and get to hear one of your favorite songs coming out of the harmonica.

Let's start playing some songs on the harmonica, first by yourself, and perhaps down the road with friends or with a band! (This is me with my band on the left here) 

How to Read Harmonica Tabs (An Example with Hole Number 4)

Harmonica tabs are as straightforward as it gets. When it says for example “4”, it means that you want to blow air into the hole that has the number 4 above it. If it says “-4”, so that minus means that you would want to draw air out of hole 4.

Sometimes, instead of just a 4 and a -4, it would say either 4 and (4), or another less common way would be 4b (stand for “4 blow”) and 4d (4draw).

However, the 4 and -4 way are by far the most common ones.

What Makes a Song “Easy”?

When choosing songs for this list, I made sure to include songs that are first of all…

  • 1st of all – actually awesome, popular songs to begin with… Ones that it's very likely that you would want to play, because without motivation – there's no learning and no fun.
  • 2nd of all, I made sure to not include songs which include bends. Bends are usually marked with a ‘ next to the number of the note, for example 4' and it would mean that in order to play that correct note you would need to use the bending technique, which is a more advanced harmonica technique that right now we don't want to worry about.
  • 3rd – I picked songs that aren't too fast. (so you won't find “Another One Bites the Dust” here…) And I always recommend anyways to start practicing the song in a much slower tempo than the original – because if you wouldn't give yourself the time to practice slowly, you would probably keep playing it in a sloppy way forever.

So, let's begin.

In order to play the songs using the attached tabs – you would need this kind of harmonica, a harmonica with 10 holes. It is called a “diatonic” harmonica, and it is the most common model you can find. (Also, the key of the harmonica that you have does not matter – any diatonic harmonica would work)

3 Important Tips on How to Play These Songs In an Expressive, True-to-the-Original Way

1 – I've already mentioned this above, but in case you've missed it – start very slow. It's very tempting to rush immediately and try to play it in the tempo of the original song (and it's never a bad idea to try it) – but you really want to give it time and play it at around 50% of the original tempo while building up to the point where it feels easy.

Then – gradually take the tempo up. Also – you want to pay special attention to the more challenging passages in the song, the ones that you have a harder time with.

2 – Give the original song another listen. That would help you make sure that you are phrasing the “musical sentences” correctly, and that you feel more certain, therefore you are playing it with more confidence. And to the listener's ear – it's very clear whether you have that confidence or you don't, and it makes the listening a lot more enjoyable. (Even if right now you are the only listener)

3 – The first steps in giving your playing more life – are by incorporating techniques such as the vibrato (where you make the notes smoothly “vibrate”), legato & slides (which helps you move more smoothly between the notes), by finishing notes gradually instead of finishing them in a “sudden” manner, and other techniques that help it sound more like you're “telling the story” of the song instead of simply “reading the notes off of the page”.

For a lot more detail about how to play songs with a lot more life, using these techniques and many others, check out the Harmonica Jamz flagship course. Harmonica Jamz – Beautifully Play Any Song (By Ear) + Learn how to Jam and Play Solos with Your Friends.

Feel free to check the first lesson from the course below before you approach these songs – so you can be able to play them all with the best possible sound.

The Top 12 Awesome & Easy Harmonica Songs

(Ranked from the easiest songs first, to ones that are slightly more challenging)

Bob Dylan – Knocking on Heaven's Door

This is always one of the first songs that I recommend learning, because the whole song includes just 3 notes.

5 5   5    5    -4   -4  4  -4
Mama, take this badge off of me
5  5    -4  -4 4-3 4
I can't use it anymore
 4    5  5    -4   -4   -4   4  -4 4  -4
It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
4  5    5   -4   -4  4   5   4  4     4
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door
  5      5     -4 -4   -4  -4 4     -4
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
  5      5     -4 -4   -4  4 -3    4 4
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
  5      5     -4 -4   -4  -4 4     -4
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
  5      5     -4 -4   -4  4 -3    4 4
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Link to a full version of the Knocking on Heaven's Door tabs

You Are My Sunshine

 3   4  -4  5  5    5  -4 5  4   4
You are my sunshine my only sunshine
 4   -4  5  -5 -6  -6    6   -5   5
You make me happy when skies are gray
   4   -4 5   -5   -6   -6   6   -5 5    4
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
   4     -4   5   -5  -4  -4   5 4
Please don't take my sunshine away

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

5    6     6     6  6 -6 -6   -6
I've heard there was a secret chord
 5    6 6    6      6  6    -6    -6   -6
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
 6  -6   -6   -6 -6   -6   6  6  -5  6   6
But you don't really care for music, do you?
5   6    6    6     6   -6     -6   -7
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
6    7     7    -6   7 7   -8
The minor fall, the major lift
7   -8  -8   -8   -8 8 8   8 -8 -8 7 7
The baffled king composing Hallelu—-jah

 5 6 -6 -6  -6 6 5  5
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
 5 6 -6 -6  -6 6 5-5 5-4 4-3 4
Hallelujah, Hallelu--------jah

 5    6     6     6   6   6   -6 -6   -6
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
 5   6   6   6  6   -6 -6   -6
You saw her bathing on the roof
 6  -6 -6  -6  -6  -6   6    6 -5 6     6
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
 5   6    6  6  6 -6  -6   -7
She tied you to a kitchen chair
 6   7     7     7     -6   7   7    -8
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
 7   -8  -8   -8   -8   8    8  8 -8 -8 7 7
And from your lips she drew the Hallelu--jah

 5 6 -6 -6  -6 6 5  5
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
 5 6 -6 -6  -6 6 5-5 5-4 4-3 4
Hallelujah, Hallelu--------jah

6  6  6  6    6    -6  -6 -6
Maybe I have been here before
5  6    6    6    6    -6     -6   -6
I know this room, I've walked this floor
6  -6  -6  -6  -6 -6  6  6  -5  6    6
I used to live alone before I  knew you
 5    6    6    6   6   6  -6 -6  -7
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
 7   7   7 -6  7  7   -8
Love is not a victory march
 7   7 -8   -8  -8  -8  8  8  8 -8 -8 7 7
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelu--jah

 5 6 -6 -6  -6 6 5  5
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
 5 6 -6 -6  -6 6 5-4 4 -4 4
Hallelujah, Hallelu---jah

Link to a full version of the Hallelujah tabs

Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World

3 -3    4   4    6    -6  -6 -6  6
I see trees of green, red roses too
-5 6   -5    5   -4  -4 -4   4
I see them bloom for me and you
 4  4   4   4   4 4
And I think to myself
 4   4  -3 4 -3   5
What a wonderful world

3 -3    4   4   6      -6   -6   6
I see skies of blue, clouds of white
-5    6      -5     5   -4   -4  -4 -4   4
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
 4  4   4   4   4 4
And I think to myself
 4   4  -3 4 -3    5
What a wonderful world

 4  -4 -4  -4 -4   -4  3
The colors of the rainbow
3   5  5  5   5   4
So pretty in the sky
 4  -4-4 -4 -4  -4 3
Are also on the faces
3   5 5    5  5   4
Of people passing by
5  6    -6     -6 -6    6
I see friends shaking hands
 5 6    -6  -6 -6  6
Saying, how do you do?
  -6    -6 -6   6 5   -5  5   -4
They’re really saying, I love you

5  6   -6 -6   6 
I hear babies cry
 5  6  -6    -6   6
And I watch them grow
  -6     -6    -6   6    5    -5  5 5   -4
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
 4  4   4   -4  5 4
And I think to myself
 4  -3  -3 4 -4   4 5
What a wonderful world
 4  4   4   4   4 4
Yes I think to myself
 4   4  -3 4 -3    4
What a wonderful world

Link to a full version of the What a Wonderful World tabs

Adele – Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan Cover)

 6   6    6   6  -5   5   6   4    4
When the rain is blow-in' in your face

 6   6    6     -5   5 -5   4   4
And the whole world is on your case

-5  -5  -5  5   5 -4   5   4   4
I could of-fer you a warm em-brace

 4   4   5    4   4   4
To make you feel my love.

 6    6   6    6   6    6   5   -5   6    4   4
When the even-ing sha-dows and the stars ap-pear

 6    6    6  6  6    -5   5  -5   4   4
And there is no one there to dry your tears

-5  -5   -5   5   5 -4  5    4    4
I could hold you for a mil-lion years

 4   4   5    4   4   4
To make you feel my love.

7  7    7   7    7   -7   -6    6   4  4
I know you have-n't made your mind up yet

 5  5   -5   5  -4 -4  4    4
But I would nev-er do you wrong

  7    7    7  -8   7  -7  -6    6   4  4
I've known it from the mo-ment that we met

 5   5    5  5   5    -4   4  -4  -4
No doubt in my mind where you be-long.

 6   6  6   6    -5  5   6    4   4
I'd go hun-gry, I'd go black and blue

 6   6   6   -5   -5   5  -5  4  4
I'd go crawl-in' down the av-en-ue

  -5     -5   5   5   -4  5    4   4
there's noth-in' that I would-n't do

 4   4   5    4   4   4
To make you feel my love.

Link to the full version of the Make You Feel My Love tabs

The Beatles – Let It Be

6   6  6    6 -6  5    6   6   7  -8 
When I find myself in times of trouble
 8  8  8 -8  -8   7  7
Mother Mary comes to me
  8  8    -9   8   8 -8 
Speaking words of wisdom
 8  -8 -8 7 
Let it  be

 6  6  6   -6  7    6  6 
And in my hour of darkness
 7  -8  -8  8    8    -8   -8  7  7
She is standing right in front of me
  8  8    -9   8   8 -8 
Speaking words of wisdom
 8  -8 -8 
Let it be
 8  -8 7    8  9 -10-10 9 
Let it be, let it  be
 9  9  8 8 -8 7 -6 6  8 7
Let it   be,   let it be
 8   8   -9   -9 -9 -8    8  -8 -8 7
Whisper words of wisdom, let it  be

John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shorts/pcnL2zGXeO4

Link to the full version of the Country Roads tabs

Ben E. King – Stand By Me

5 6 -6 5 6
4 -4 5 -4 4 
4 -4 5 4 4 5 -4 4 -4 4 4 
5 6 -6 5 6 -6 
6 -5 5 -4 4 -4 5 4 -4 4 
4 -4 5 4 4 5 -4 4
5 -4 4

6 -6 6 7 -7 
-6 6 -6 -6 -6
6 -6 5 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4
5 -4 4 5 -4 4 5 -4 4

5 6 -6 5 6 -6 -6 6 
-4 5 5 -4 4 
4 -4 5 4 5 -4 4 4 -4 4 
5 6 -6 5 6 -6
6 -5 5 -4 4 -4 5 4 -4 4 
4 -4 5 4 4 5 -4 4 5 -4 4

6 -6 6 7 -7 
-6 6 -6 -6 -6
6 -6 5 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4
5 -4 4 5 -4 4 5 -4 4

Link to the full version of the Stand By Me tabs

Ed Sheeran – Perfect

4    4    4   4   5 4   5
  I found a love for me
  -4   5,    5     5      4    4    4    4  -4   5    -4
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
  4,   5     -4  4   5,      6  5 -4    4      4
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
 4,  4  -4 5     -5     -5    5     -4     -4   4      4  -4    5   -4 -5
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me

(Pre-Chorus)
     4     6      6     6    -6      5    -4  5 -4 5 -4   5
'Cause we were just kids when we fell   in   love
  5     -4   4    5 -4  5 -4   5
Not knowing what   it   was
5  -4   4     -5    5   4    3   5 -5 5 -4
I will not give you up this    time
  4     5  -4,    4   5 -4 5 -4    5
But darling, just kiss  me  slow
   5      -4   4  5 -4 5 -4    5
Your heart is  all     I    own
  5   -4   4     -5       5       4   3     -4
And in your eyes you're holding mine

(Chorus)
6 5 -4,  4    7   -7   -6  -7    5
 Baby, I'm dancing in the dark
   4     6    -5    5    -4 4   4
With you between  my arms
    7   -7   -6  -7     5
Barefoot on the grass
  6  6   6   6  -6       5   -4     4
Listening to our favourite song
    5      6    7    -7      -6    -7    5
When you said you looked a  mess
4   -4    5       6  -5   5     -5      5
I whispered underneath my breath
  -4   -4   -5  5 5,
But you heard it,
  4   -4,    5    -4   -4 4 4     4   4
Darling, you look perfect tonight

   4,  5     6    4   5   5,      4  -4      5    5  4  4  4    4
Well, I found a woman, stronger than anyone I  know
  4      -4     5       -5,   -5   5      -4     -4   4    4    -4      5   -4 5
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I'll share her home
5    6    4    5   5   5  6      6      5     5    -4  -4    4
I found a love to carry more than just my secrets
 4  -4  5    -5,  -5  6  5     -4   4   4   -4  -4 5 4
To carry love, to carry children of our   own

(Pre-Chorus)
  6    6     6   -6    -4      4   5 -4 5 -4   5
We are still kids but we're  so    in   love
   5   -4    4 5 -4 5 -4    5
Fighting against  all  odds
5   -4      4   -5   5   4     3   5 -5 5 -4
I know we'll be alright this    time
   5  -4,    4   5 -4  5 -4    5
Darling, just hold  my  hand
 4   5    -4,  4   5 -4  5 -4   5
Be my girl, I'll   be  your man
5  -4   4   -5  5   4    3     -4
I see my future in your eyes

(Chorus)
6 5 -4,  4    7   -7   -6  -7    5
 Baby, I'm dancing in the dark
   4     6    -5    5    -4 4   4
With you between  my arms
    7   -7   -6  -7     5
Barefoot on the grass
  6  6   6   6  -6       5   -4     4
Listening to our favourite song
    5   6   7    -7  -6   -7     5
When I saw you in that dress
   4   -4  5    6  -5  5
Looking so beautiful
-5    5    -4 -5 5    5
 I  don't deserve this
  4   -4,     5   -4   -4    4     4   4
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Link to the full version of the Perfect tabs

Billy Joel – Piano Man

Piano Man is a bit more complicated because we're not talking only about playing single notes, so I highly recommend learning it along with this lesson on YouTube.

Neil Young – Heart of Gold

 

Link to the full version of the Heart of Gold tabs (for the intro and for the song itself as well)

Old Crow Medicine Show – Wagon Wheel

 (verse)
 5  5   5     5   5   5   -4  -4  -4   -4   
Headed down south to the land of the pines

 5   5   5    5   5  5  5 5   -4    4 4  4
And I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline

 5   5   5  5   5
Starin' up the road

 5   -4  -4 -4  5 -4   -4    4
And pray to God I see headlights


5  5   5   5    5   5    5  -4 -4 -4   -4
I made it down the coast in seventeen hours

 5   5  5  5  5   5  5  -4   4   4  4
Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers

 4   4     5  5   5   5  5
And I'm a hopin' for Raleigh

5  5  -4  -4  5 5 -4 -4 4
I can see my baby tonight


(chorus)
4   5    5  5 5  5   5 -5 5   -4
So rock me mama like a wagon wheel

 5   5   5 5 5 5 -4  4   4
Rock me mama anyway you feel

 4  -4 -4  -4  4
Hey  mama rock me

 5   5   5 5  5    5   -5   5   5   6
Rock me mama like the wind and the rain

 5   5   5 5  5   5  -4     4    4
Rock me mama like a south-bound train

 4  -4 -4  -4  4
Hey  mama rock me

Link to the full version of the Wagon Wheel tabs


This is it, I hope you enjoyed, and please let us know in the comments – what are YOUR favorite harmonica songs to play? 

 

Harmonica Jamz – The Flagship Course

Enjoy creating the magic of music & feelings with the world's most compact instrument

  • Beautifully play the melodies of your favorite songs (by ear)
  • Jam with friends (or with YouTube…) and improvise creative solos

 

 

 

Hey! My name's Cooper, and I hope I can be a helpful friend on your musical journeys. I'm a music artist based in Austin & Amsterdam, playing venues with a band / solo, and trying to learn with the most inspiring musicians wherever I go. In the last 8 years I've lived in Australia, northern Europe, the US and more.

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