Harmonica Tabs and Songs

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“Tabs” or “tab” is a shortening of the word “tablature”.  Tablature is used in place of standard musical notation. Here are some of the most popular harmonica tabs…

Popular Harmonica Tabs

Amazing Grace (John Newton)
America – My Country Tis Of Thee (Samuel Francis Smith)
America the Beautiful Harmonica Tab (Katharine Lee Bates)
Auld Lang Syne Harmonica Tab (Robert Burns)
Battle Hymn of the Republic Harmonica Tab (Julia Ward Howe)
Beautiful Dreamer Harmonica Tab (Stephen Foster)
Down in the Valley Harmonica Tab (Unknown)
Frankie and Johnnie Harmonica Tab (Hughie Cannon)
Home on the Range Harmonica Tab (Dr. Brewster M. Higley)
Oh Susanna Harmonica Tab (Stephen Foster)
Ol Grey Mare Harmonica Tab (Unknown)
On Top Of Old Smokey Harmonica Tab (Unknown)
Swing Low Sweet Chariot Harmonica Tab (Wallace Willis)
Taps Harmonica Tab (Unknown)
Turkey in the Straw Harmonica Tab (Unknown)
When Johny Comes Marching Home Harmonica Tab (Louis Lambert)
More Harmonica Song Tabs Here

Popular Holiday and Christmas Harmonica Songs Tabs

Angels We Have Heard on High Harmonica Tab
Away In A Manger Harmonica Tab
Deck The Halls Harmonica Tab
First Noel Harmonica Tab
Go Tell it on the Mountain Harmonica Tab
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Harmonica Tab
Hark the Herald Angels Harmonica Tab
Joy To The World Harmonica Tab
O Come All Ye Faithful Harmonica Tab
O Holy Night Harmonica Tab
Oh Christmas Tree Harmonica Tab
Silent Night Harmonica Tab
Twelve Days of Christmas Harmonica Tab
Up On The Housetop Harmonica Tab
We Three Kings Harmonica Tab
We Wish You a Merry Christmas Tab
What Child Is This? Harmonica Tab
White Christmas Harmonica Tab

These songs include videos for you to play along with:

All Along the Watch Tower (Bob Dylan / Jimi Hendrix)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen and Freddie Mercury)
Blowin’ in the Wind (Bob Dylan)
Heart Of Gold (Neil Young)
Hey Jude (Lennon/McCartney of The Beatles)
Imagine (John Lennon of The Beatles)
Piano Man (Billy Joel)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)
Stairway to Heaven (Page/Plant of Led Zeppelin)
Star Wars Main Theme Tune (John Williams)
Super Mario Bros Theme (Nintendo)
Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney of The Beatles)
12 Bar Blues Boogie (Sugar Blue)

Some Songs No Longer Posted Due To Copyright Law:

Happy Birthday (Traditional)
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan)
Stand by Me (Ben E King)
What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

More About Harmonica Tablature

By far, harmonica music is written and shared in tabs instead of in standard musical notation. Why?

The main reason is that for the beginning harmonica player, even if they already read standard musical notation, it won’t do them much good – this is because when you are playing the harmonica you can’t see what note you are playing.  That is, you can’t see what note hole you are on.

You can easily tell if you are inhaling (“draw” in harmonica language) or blowing on that hole, but not which note it is, unless you are very well trained in at least relative pitch, if not perfect pitch.

So, as a result, harmonica tabs dominate the harmonica world.

Of course, once you are really oriented toward harmonica playing you can then apply your music notation reading skills.

Another reason for the domination of harmonica tabs is the sort of oral tradition that harmonica playing has. Harmonicas are played by all sorts of people, all over the world.  They carry harmonicas in their pockets, pouches, purses, backpacks, and play whenever they feel like it or whenever it feels like it would do them (or someone else) some good.
This sort of playing doesn’t require reading notes, by any means.  In fact, in the Blues tradition, very few players read music at all.

Our Harmonica Tabs system

On HARMONICA.COM the harmonica tabs system we are using is very simple:

If just a number is given, then it is a BLOW note

If there is a “-” sign in front of the number then it is a DRAW note

For example, with this sort of harmonica tab,

just the number 4< is a BLOW note
and -4 is a DRAW note
Now, there are lots of other harmonica tabs systems.  There's even one that uses the opposite meaning for the minus sign.  We use our system because it has been around the longest.  You’ll see lots of books with up and down arrows, or circled and non-circled numbers.

The main thing is that with all these harmonica tab systems they are giving you the note hole NUMBER, and are letting you know when to BLOW or DRAW.

In most cases, it really helps to either know the song, or else have a recording of the song using the harmonica tabs that are given. 

On the following harmonica tab pages, that’s exactly what we do for you. Enjoy!

Down in the Valley tabs
Oh Shenandoah tab
Home On the Range tabs
Oh Susanna tab

Comments (6)

  • Negm

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    Can I have taps of le valse d’amelie ?

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Not familiar with that one Negm. Try a google search. jp

      Reply

  • Gordo

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    where can I get the notes to play Gershwins “Rhapsody In Blue” for harmonica I have only simple C and G

    Reply

    • JP Allen

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      Gordo…Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue can be bought as written music. Then you can look at the layout of a C and G harmonica and find out where the notes are. jp

      Reply

  • Andrea Rose .

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    Hey JP , I ‘ve brought a chromatic hormonica to learn and play bt basically i realli find this stuff hard n complicated , i 12 hole harmonica

    Reply

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