Hello! In today's harmonica lesson I'll teach you three easy harmonica songs - Hey Jude by the Beatles, Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver, and When The Saints Go Marching In. I'll introduce you to the basic harmonica tabs you need in order to play beginner songs and we'll start to learn each of these three songs.
What type of harmonica to play?
For these songs you will need a diatonic harmonica. I recommend the Hohner Special 20 in the key of C. It's a good reliable instrument but it's not too expensive.
How to hold the harmonica
Hold the harmonica in your left hand with the low notes on the left (hole 1 is the lowest, hole 10 is the highest). Your right hand can cup the harp too if you want, but it's not necessary.
How to read harmonica tabs
There is no standard harmonica tablature, but I use the most popular and easy to read system. For blow notes (outward breath), you will see a positive number, e.g. 4 5 6. For draw notes (inward breath), you will see a negative number, e.g. -4 -5 -6.
(There are some extra symbols for more advanced techniques. You won't need them for this lesson, but you can click the following link for a full tab guide.)
Playing single notes
You will need to play clean notes to play these songs. If you can't do that already, check out this lesson: 3 ways to play single notes.
Below you'll find the tabs for each of the three songs in the video lesson, plus links for full lessons if you want to learn more about any of the songs.
Hey Jude - harmonica tabs
Here are the harmonica tabs for the first verse of Hey Jude by the Beatles:
6 5 5 6 -6 -4
Hey, Jude, don't make it bad
-4 5 -5 7 7 -7 6 -6 6 -5 5
Take a sad song and make it bet-te-e-er
6 -6 -6 -6 -8 7 -7 7 -6 6
Remember to let her into your heart
4 -4 5 -6 6 6 -5 5 -3 4
Then you can sta-art to make it better
Want to learn the full song? Hey Jude full lesson
Take Me Home Country Roads - harmonica tabs
Here are the harmonica tabs for the chorus of Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver:
7 -8 8 8 7 -8 8 -8 7 8 9 -10
Country roads, take me home to the place I belong
-10 8 9 8 8 7 -8 8
West Virginia, mountain mamma
8 -8 7 7 -8 7
Take me home, country roads
Want to learn the full song? Take Me Home Country Roads full lesson
When The Saints - harmonica tabs
Here are the harmonica tabs for When The Saints Go Marching In:
4 5 -5 6 4 5 -5 6
Oh when the saints, oh when the saints
4 5 -5 6 5 4 5 -4
Oh when the saints go marching in
5 -4 4 4 5 6 6 6 -5
How I want to be in that number
5 -5 6 5 4 -4 4
When the saints go marching in
Want a full lesson on this song? When the Saints full lesson
Thanks for following this harmonica lesson. I hope you enjoyed it!
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