Having a tiny instrument has a number of advantages. This is why the harmonica is so fantastic — it packs a powerful punch in a small package. This instrument has a distinctive tone, and it’s frequently used as a second instrument in a band.
Once you have your instrument and have mastered the fundamentals, it’s time to look at some of the best tunes you can play. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best harmonica tunes.
Top 10 Best Songs With Harmonica
Canned Heat – On the Road Again
There was never enough recognition for Canned Heat. Alan Wilson’s funky harmonica parts on “On the Road Again” are a must-hear. These riffs are basic, but they’re very effective. There are certain advantages to starting off with this method, but if you want to get it properly, it might be a challenge.
Black Sabbath – The Wizard
There are demonic riffs on the harmonica! A band like Black Sabbath would think of something like this. On their self-titled debut album, the band was still heavily influenced by their blues background. This song, “The Wizard,” has a great combination of spooky-sounding guitar riffs and bluesy harmonica. Ozzy Osbourne himself performed these songs.
We’re back to the old school now. “Amazing Grace” is a well-known Christian anthem, yet it’s not uncommon to see it performed by a solo instrument. On the harmonica, this song seems to shine the brightest. In addition, it’s a pretty simple one to master. Here are some good places to start if you’ve recently purchased your first harmonica.
Neil Young – Heart of Gold
It’s rare to find a musician that can accomplish so much with just a few chords and simple tunes. “Heart of Gold,” which features Neil on guitar and harmonica at the same time, is one of his most memorable songs.
The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
The Doors had an enormous impact on rock music and the business as a whole, despite the fact that their major career was short-lived. While Jim Morrison died far too early, he is still regarded as one of the greatest frontmen in rock and roll history. “Roadhouse Blues,” in which he also plays harmonica, is an excellent example of his musicianship.
The J. Gellis Band – Whammer Jammer
The J. Gellis Band’s “Whammer Jammer” is a great example of high-energy, pumped-up blues-rock. Known as Magic Dick, Richard Salwitz is one of the greatest harmonica players ever. The harmonica portions in this 12-bar blues piece are a little difficult to play.
Doobie Brothers – Long Train Running
There aren’t many songs as timeless as “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers. The song is still relevant today. A harmonica solo by the band’s frontman Tom Johnston who also composed the piece is why it’s on this list.
Sting – Shape of My Heart
“Shape of My Heart” stands out from the rest of the tracks on this album. Besides the fact that it’s one of Sting and Dominic Miller’s best-known ballads, it also features a fantastic harmonica solo. Larry Adler, a well-known harpsichordist, performed this one.
The Beatles – Love Me Do
This Beatles classic is a no-brainer inclusion on this list. The band’s debut single, “Love Me Do,” was released in 1962. It has a basic and catchy harmonica riff performed by John Lennon, who was a member of the Beatles. Everyone who wants to learn to play an instrument should start with this song.
Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man
He has around 40 albums to his credit. “Mr. Tambourine Man,” on the other hand, stands out from the rest of his work. It also contains some of the most well-known harmonica passages in modern music history. It’s not a difficult one to learn, but getting it to sound like the original isn’t a simple task.
How to Hold a Harmonica
The first thing you need to know is that a harmonica is often played with a two-handed grip. The harmonica is played with one hand while being held with the other. Even if you’re left-handed, you might be able to hold a harmonica in the same way, but you might have more success if you try mirroring your actions.
1. To begin, place your left hand in the shape of an open-mouthed smile. To put it another way: Your thumb is positioned lower than your other fingers in a parallel posture, while your other fingers are arranged neatly next to one another.
2. Place the harmonica between your thumb and forefinger, securing it.
3. The tip of your left hand’s pinky should be aligned with the top crease of your right hand’s pinky when you place your right hand underneath your left hand.
How the Harmonica Works
You can make sounds by blowing air through a harmonica. Because the harmonica’s reeds vibrate as air blows on them, this is how the instrument produces sound. With a diatonic harmonica, you can play 19 distinct notes by blowing air into the instrument and drawing it back out.
Included here are some of our favorite harmonica-playing tunes. All of these will teach you the fundamentals, but they will also give you a firm foundation on which to build your improvisational and soloing skills using simple chord progressions. We tried to keep things simple, but we also added a few that were a little more difficult.