What Songs Should You Learn First On The Harmonica?

Songs to Start With

So you have purchased your harmonica.  You are happy that you have chosen one that will match in with the type of music that you are going to play.

There is only one thing left to do.  Choose the song that you should first play!

While this sounds simple enough, this is something that you want to get right.  You want to choose a song that is easy enough to learn and that also sounds great.  If you don’t, then your confidence could be blown.

Follow the tips below to find out how to choose the right song.

Decide what type of music you want to play

If you want to play blues, jazz, rock, country or Irish, the songs that you choose to play first will be slightly difference.

So consider your type of music even before you start looking at songs.

Learn to read the harmonica tabs

The way harmonica music is read is relatively simple.  In involves tabs.

When you see a song, you will see that the songs are notated with a range of different numbers.  These numbers relate directly to the ten holes that you have on a traditional diatonic harmonica.  They also indicate which hole a player will draw or blow air out of.

When looking at songs, start with a song that has simple numbers and relatively easy combinations.

This will ensure that you have the best chance of playing the song well and learning it quickly.

Consider the classics

Even if you want to focus on different types of music, learning some of the most famous harmonica songs is a great way to start.

Some of the easiest – yet still well known – are detailed below:

  • Amazing Grace: This song never gets old and can be played with friends or around a camp fire.
  • Kum Ba Yah: This is a very old song, and can be played with people singing or without singing.  A true classic if ever there was one.
  • Taps: This is perfect around a camp fire and is very easy to play.  It is a great harmonica song as well.  Just make sure that you spend a lot of time practicing.

The most popular songs

As well as considering the ease at which you can learn a song, it is also worth considering how popular the song is.

It’s nice to be able to play a song that a lot of people know and recognize.  Some of the best known are:

  • America – My country tis
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • Frankie and Johnnie
  • Ol Grey Mare
  • On Top of Old Smokey
  • Turkey in the Straw

The good thing is that a lot of these songs aren’t that difficult.  Well worth the time practicing to make sure that you can play them well when you have a good audience.

In short, the first song that you learn to play will be a combination of the style of music that you like, the degree of difficulty and also the popularity of the song.  It’s an individual choice.  However if you consider these three things you will chose the right song.

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