7 top Irish folk harmonica lessons

Traditional Irish jigs, reels and airs sound great on the humble harmonica. Here are seven of my favourite Irish tunes to play on harmonica, with full lessons and free tabs. Enjoy!


LESSON #1: Dirty Old Town

Download free tabs:

Dirty Old Town (Pogues intro)
.pdf
Download PDF • 134KB

OK, so it's not strictly an Irish song (it was written about Salford by Ewan MacColl) but it's been adopted by Irish bands as one of their own for decades.


LESSON #2: Danny Boy

Download free tabs:

Danny Boy
.pdf
Download PDF • 463KB

'Danny Boy' is a ballad written by Frederic Weatherly in 1913, and set to the traditional Irish melody of 'Londonderry Air'.


LESSON #3: Whiskey in the Jar

Download free tabs:

Whiskey in the Jar (harp tab)
.pdf
Download PDF • 31KB

'Whiskey in the Jar' is about a highwayman who is betrayed by his lover, and it's one of the most widely performed traditional Irish songs.


LESSON #4: Planxty Irwin

Download free tabs:

Planxty Irwin
.pdf
Download PDF • 125KB

'Planxty Iwin' was written by blind Celtic harper, Turlough O'Carolan.


LESSON #5: The Connaughtman’s Rambles

Download free tabs:

Connaughtman's Rambles a.k
.a Mickey the
Download A MICKEY THE • 137KB

This is an extremely popular jig and rarely gets missed out at Irish sessions.


LESSON #6: Tell Me Ma

Download free tabs:

Tell Me Ma
.pdf
Download PDF • 23KB

In Ireland the chorus usually refers to Belfast city and the song is also known there as 'The Belle of Belfast City' although it is also adapted to other Irish cities.


LESSON #7: Molly Malone

Download free tabs:

Molly Malone : Cockles and Mussels : In
.
Download • 138KB

'Molly Malone' is also known as 'In Dublin's Fair City' and 'Cockles and Mussels'.


What's your favourite Irish tune to play on harmonica? Let me know in the comments!


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