Here come my 10 favorite harmonica songs that are easy to learn as a beginner – Let’s dive into it! In my journey learning different instruments, I have learnt that the more you have fun, the more likely you are to be consistent in your practice.

This post consists of ten songs, all from different styles. We will begin with the basics that all musicians, regardless of their instruments, learn how to play. Then we will mix it up with a few popular songs that will be sure to impress your friends the next time you whip out your harp.

All of these songs are beginner-friendly. The only skills you will need to have learnt are how to hold your harmonica correctly and how to play a single note. More complicated techniques like bending and overdraws will come into play later. More on how to play the harmonica you can find here.

Lastly, the tabs used for these songs are suited for a diatonic harmonica in C. Although the pattern holds for a harmonica in a different key, if you are a beginner, the C harmonica would be the ideal harp to learn with.

You still need a harmonica? Here’s my article about the 5 best harmonicas for beginners!

harmonica songs
10 best harmonica songs for beginners + tabs

The 10 best harmonica songs for beginners

Happy Birthday Song

Yes, you guessed right. You cannot call yourself a beginner musician if you cannot play the Happy Birthday song on your instrument. The only thing that you might find challenging is that the notes for the song are concentrated on the upper octave. If you find it challenging to hit those notes, check on your technique. Make sure that you are relaxed and you are still maintaining a nice puckered shape on your lips.

6        6   -6       6    7   -7

Hap-py birth-day to you, 

6       6     -6    6    -8     7

Hap-py birth-day to you, 

6        6    9    8    7     -7    -6

Hap-py birth-day to  (Andrea)

-9     -9     8       7    -8    7

Hap-py birth-day to you.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

If you can already play single notes, this nursery rhyme should be a walk in the park for you. Moreover, you have probably heard it so often that you may not necessarily need the tabs to follow through. It will give you an excellent opportunity to practice your relative pitch, which will be useful when playing more complex songs.

4   4         6   6      -6 -6   6

Twinkle, twinkle little star

-5    -5    5  5         -4   -4   4

How I wonder what you are.

6      6 -5  -5           5    5   -4

Up above the world so high,

 6     6 -5       -5  5  5      -4

Like a diamond in the sky.

 4   4             6  6   -6 -6    6

Twinkle, twinkle little star.

-5     -5     5 5      -4    -4     4     

 How I wonder what you are.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Before you close this page and complain about too many nursery rhymes, this is the last one. However, I’ll also tell you what my piano teacher told me, “If you can play it slow, you can play it fast.” Well, in this context, if you can master the basics, you’ll have no problem with more advanced techniques.

5    -4   4    -4  5   5    5

Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb

-4  -4      -4     5  6      6

Lit-tle lamb, lit-tle lamb

5     -4   4   -4  5   5   5

Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb

  5             -4       -4    5      -4     4

Whose fleece was white as snow

Amazing Grace

The tabs below represent the most simple way of playing it. If you would like to add a bit of a challenge, try bending the 8 note at the beginning of every second phrase, i.e. the «how», «wretch», and «but» notes. This will give you that «chord» effect. But don’t feel discouraged if you can’t bend yet; we are still practicing the basics.

6  7     8       8        -8        7       -6       6

Amazing  Grace, how sweet the sound,

6          7        8        8        -8         9

That saved   a      wretch  like   me.

8       9      8        7  6       -6      -6   6

I     once was lost  but now am found,

 6       7         8     8    -8     7

Was blind, but  now I   see.

Stand By Me

You can never go wrong with Stand By Me; it is an instant crowd-pleaser. It can be played around a campfire, in church or even when you get together with your fellow musicians. If you would also like a solo moment, this is the perfect song to deliver that soulful harmonica solo to as a beginner.

5             6    -6      5      6

When the night has come

4       -4      5     -4 4

And the land is dark

4     -4       5       4 5    -4 4    -4    -4      4

And the moon is the only light we’ll see

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

Oh I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid

4     -4     5    4    4       -4        5      -4 4

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

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

So darlin›, darlin›, stand by me, stand by me

5    -4 4      5 -4   -4   4      5 -4 -4   4

Oh stand stand by me, stand by me

Bella Ciao (from Netflix Series Money Heist)

Although popularized by the TV series Money Heist, Bella Ciao is a protest song by Italian workers from the 19th Century. It is an easy song because the same tabs repeat throughout the piece. Furthermore, because of its simplicity, it is a great song to practice your breathing technique. Start slow and gentle, and then try and see how fast you can play while still sounding crisp and without losing your breath.

5 -6   -7  7 -6 5   -6   -7   7   -6

Una mattina mi sono alzato,

5   -6 -7   7    -7   -6    7

O bella ciao, bella ciao,

-7   -6     8     8      8 

Bella ciao, ciao, ciao,

8  -8  8 -9-9 -9   8   -8  -9  8

Una mattina mi sono alzato,

8  -8   7  -7  8   7  -7 -6

E ho trovato l’invasor.

My Heart Will Go On (from the movie Titanic)

The next time you decide to rewatch the Titanic and relieve the sad demise of Jack, instead of shedding a tear or two, you can whip out your harmonica and try playing along to the closing credits.

4 4        4       4   -3      4

Every night in my dreams

4 -3   4      -4  5   -4

I see you, I feel you

 4   4     4      4  -3      4     4  -2

That is how I know you go on

 4    4 4         4    -3  4

Far across the distance

 4        -3 4      -4  5      -4

And spaces between us

-3          4    4        -2  4        4  4  4

You have come to show you go on

 4        -4   -2    6 -5       5  -4

Near, far, wherever you are

5      -5 5     -4   4    -3         4     -3 3

I believe that the heart does go on

4            -4   -2        6  -5   5   -4

Once more you open the door

 5        -5           5   -4 4   -3

And you’re here in my heart

 4         -3   -3      4   -4     5  -4  4

And my heart will go on and on

Sound of Silence

What good is learning the harmonica if you can’t play it when you are feeling low and depressed? Playing Sound of Silence on the harmonica will leave you feeling cathartic, like you walked out to a street corner and played your emotions away.

-4 – 4     -5 -5       -6 -6     6

Hello darkness my old friend

4          4     4    5     5      6   6 -5

I’ve come to talk with you again

-5   -5    -5  -6 -6     7 7    -8 -8 7

Because a vision softly creeping

-5    -5    -6    -6     7   7 -8     -8     7

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

-5      -5    – 8 -8      -8 8      -9     -9  8   -8    7

And the vision that was planted in my brain

-8    7   -6

Still remains

 -5 -5    -5       7      5 -5 -4

Within the sound of silence

Ode to Joy

If you have successfully gone through the above eight songs, it is now time to try something a bit more complicated. Although commonly mistaken for a Christmas song, Ode to Joy was based on a poem. Because there are no words, it is vital to keep track of your rhythm. Before trying it out, try clapping out the individual notes. You will notice parts with eighth notes, i.e. the tempo quickens a bit.

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

4  4  -4  5  5  -4  4  -3  3  3  -3  4  4  -3  -3

3  3  -3  4  4  -3  3  -2  2  2  -2  3  3  -2  -2

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

4  4  -4  5  5  -4  4  -3  3  3  -3  4  -3  3  3

3  3  -3  4  4  -3  3  -2  2  2  -2  3  -2  2  2

Piano Man

Last on the list is every beginner’s dream, Piano Man by Billy Joel. There are different parts where a harmonica is featured in this song, but we’ll focus on the beginning because it is the most friendly for a beginner. The technique is different here. Instead of blowing on one hole, you’ll be blowing on two holes simultaneously. For example, the beginning note is you blowing on holes 6 and 5 together. Like the previous song, remember to practice your rhythm beforehand.

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

5  -5  5  -4  4  -4  4  3  3  -3  4  -3  4  -4

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

5  -5  5  -4  4  -4  4  3  -4  4  -3  3

Practice, practice, practice…

Just like any other instrument, the only way to become a good harmonica player is to practice. There’s no way to escape those 10,000 hours.

Done with those already? Here are 100 more harmonica songs to learn as an intermediate!