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Written by Ramsey Brown.
The harmonica might seem like an easy and simplistic instrument but don't let its size fool you. Once you start using it, you will find out that to master the craft of playing harmonica, you will have to spend a lot of time, energy, and effort. Here are 51 easy harmonica songs you can learn fast (with tabs and videos included).
"Mary Had A Little Lamb" is one of the most popular classic children's songs and also one of the most popular to learn on the harmonica.
"Kumbaya" was first written in the 1930s. It's easy to remember and perform because it only has three cells.
Unlike "Mary Had A Little Lamb", the traditional tone of Happy Birthday is not so easy because it involves 4 cells (6,7,8, and 9).
This is one of Neil Young's most popular hits ever, which has easy harmonica riffs and is perfect for beginners.
First published in the 1770s, John Newton's "Amazing Grace" is another good and relatively simple song that you can use to improve your harmonica skills.
The "Ode To Joy" was written in the summer of 1785 by Friedrich Schiller but gained popularity thanks to the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven.
"Whiskey In The Jar" is an old Irish tune that tells the story of a highwayman, betrayed by his lover.
Written in the 19th century and first performed by Stephen Foster, "Hard Times Come Again No More" has a unique structure called ABBA.
"Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is a nursery rhyme and popular children's song that was written and published by Eliphalet Oram Lyte in the 1850s.
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is a well-known lullaby. Its lyrics are from Jane Taylor's poem "The Star", which was published in 1806.
"This Old Man" is a nursery theme that is easy to play diatonically. It has the same tempo as "Mary Had A Little Lamb" but unlike it, instead of a monotone, it has a more ascending beat.
For the AC/DC rock theme, you can use just three cells that are also very near each other (1,4, and 5) to recreate it with a harmonica.
"Oh Susanna" is a folk song first published in 1848, known as one of the most popular American songs ever written.
Another classic that can be heard everywhere around the world during Christmas time is "Jingle Bells". It was written by James Lord Pierpont and first published under the title "The One Horse Open Sleigh" in the 1850s.
The theme song of one of the greatest 90s arcade games is also very easy to play on harmonica.
There are many themes that you can play on a harmonica but the ethereal Star Wars theme by John Williams is certainly one of a kind.
One of Franz Xaver Gruber's best recordings was first published in the late 1810s. It was first performed on Christmas Eve at a local church in Oberndorf, Austria.
The R&B/soul hit single by Ben E. King was released in the late 20th century. It was originally written for the band "The Drifters" but then, Ben decided to record it himself.
Known as Billy Joel's first mainstream hit and signature song, "Piano Man" is another one of the perfect beginners harmonica songs.
"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen is a sleeper hit that was released in the 1980s. Its popularity increased after it was featured in the 2001 film, "Shrek".
Another classic from the 1970s that topped international music charts is "Bridge Over Troubled Water", which was composed and written by Paul Simon for the duo Simon & Garfunkel.
"Low Rider" is a funk (and Latin rock) anthem written by the band War, first released in the mid-1970s. Since its release, the song has been featured in numerous films.
The song was first written by Hoyt Axton and made famous by the bank Three Dog Night. It gained popularity shortly after its release in February 1971.
Also known as "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory", Julia Ward Howe's patriotic song "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" actually inspired the title of John Steinbeck's realist novel "The Grape's of Wrath".
The Western folk song is considered an "unofficial anthem" of the American West. It's been a hit ever since it was first published in the 1870’s.
Often spelled just "Smokey", this traditional folk song was recorded by The Weavers. It was first published in 1951 and quickly reached multiple pop music charts.
Another classic hit with relatively easy harmonica riffs is Muddy Waters' "Hoochie Coochie Man" from the 1950's.
Bob Dylan's folk anthem is also simple and perfect for harmonica beginners. Once you memorize it, you can try adding some drop-offs and slides to make it sound ten times better.
Another 1950’s smash hit is "Love Me Tender" by The King of Rock and Roll. Just like every single by Elvis Presley, this one also topped many charts around Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
"Let It Be" is one of The Beatles' best songs ever. It was released back in March 1970 and can be played on every possible instrument, including the harmonica.
The reggae song was recorded and released in 1974. If you're interested in playing Bob Marley songs, this one is perfect to start with.
This banger was released back in February 1996 and is considered one of the English rock band Oasis' signature songs.
"Imagine" is the best-selling single of John Lennon's solo career. What makes it so perfect are its lyrics that encourage the listeners to imagine a world at peace without borders or barriers.
Another pop hit from the early 1970’s is that of Bill Withers. Ever since its release, "Lean On Me" has won multiple achievements and is even considered one of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" is a song by the legendary Elton John. The single became one of the biggest hits of the 1980’s.
This one is a rock anthem from the English rock band Led Zeppelin. Just like Bill Withers' "Lean On Me", "Stairway To Heaven" is also considered one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" by Led Zeppelin.
Not everyone knows this but "Hurt" is actually a song by the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released in April 1995 but gained international popularity after Johnny Cash covered it in 2002.
"House of the Rising Sun" is a folk song that has many versions in the United States and other countries. It's also known as "Rising Sun Blues".
Another Bill Withers' masterpiece that skyrocketed his name is the breakthrough hit "Ain't No Sunshine" from 1971.
"When the Saints Go Marching In" is also simply referred to as "The Saints. It's a black spiritual that was famously recorded by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra in May 1938.
Bobby Scott and Bob Russel's ballad was first recorded in 1969 and it became a worldwide hit later that year thanks to artists such as Neil Diamond and The Hollies.
Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" was released in November 1968 and popularized by the great Jimi Hendrix. It's perfect for harmonica beginners because it only has 3 cells.
The ballad "Over The Rainbow" was composed by Harold Arlen and was written specifically for the 1939 film "The Wizard Of Oz".
The signature song of "The Temptations" is "My Girl". Ever since its release in the mid-1960s, the song has been considered "artistically, culturally, and historically significant.
Another one of the best songs on harmonica that could easily be remembered is "The Sound of Silence" by the music duo Simon & Garfunkel.
Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, "What A Wonderful World" is a single from Louis Armstrong first released in 1967.
Released in October 1962 in the UK and in 1964 in the US, This pop/rock and roll single is actually the debut single of The Beatles.
"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is one of the most popular songs from the American Civil War, which was first published in the 1860s.
Another hit from the international superstar Stephen Foster is "Beautiful Dreamer". This parlor song was published posthumously in March 1864, just two months after the American singer-songwriter had passed away.
Another song with easy harmonica riffs is the French-language children's (folk) song "Alouette". There is not much information about it but it's perfect for harmonica beginners.
Most people know this as one of Elvis Presley's best songs but in fact, it was actually recorded by other artists as well - Charles Hart, Vaughn De Lath, Henry Burr, and the duet of John Ryan & Jerry Macy.
Playing the harmonica is definitely not easy as one, two, three. It requires a lot of time, patience, and practice to master the craft of this instrument and to memorize the tabs of the songs. Once you acquire the necessary harmonica skills, you can easily play recordings of legendary artists and hits like the ones mentioned above.
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