You can impress your pals, even if you’re a total noobie, with stupidly simple but infectious as hell grooves.

#1Juicy Jamming Groove

Juzzie’s Groove from this famous Jamming video is the BEST groove, because NO OTHER groove consistently works to make people bob their heads, smile, clap, and shake their tail feathers compared to this one. 💃

In Juzzie Smith’s video he’s playing an A harmonica, but I’m gonna show you right now how to play it (and all the grooves in this lesson) using our trusty C harmonica.

In the final analysis you can say whatever syllables you need to say in order to make this groove, but this is how I make it groove:

When I play my LOUD accented notes I’m using the syllable


When I play my QUIET unaccented notes I’m using the syllable


Here’s what I’m saying:

Ta Taka Ta 

kaTa Ta ka TA

Step 1

SAY the syllables out loud

Step 2

Exhale whispering the syllables, and then inhale whispering the syllables.

Step 3

Do the same thing with lips on the harmonica covering holes 123.

Notice the “ka’s” are really quiet, and if the 2nd one feels awkward, you can skip it all together, and just say: Ta Taka Ta (rest) Ta Ta kaTA

Step 4

Play it along with the slow jam track.

Step 5

Play it along with the fast jam track.

Step 6

Go impress your friends!

#2Little Walter Shuffle Groove

The shuffle groove is a simple but LEGIT blues rhythm great to play alone or with a band. 

This is very simple:

Inhale saying “Tata” 

Exhale saying “Tata” 

So the harmonica tabs are:

-123  -123  123  123

Ta    Ta    Tsa   Ta

Note that these are “Swung 8ths.” If you’re not familiar with the rhythm of swung 8ths vs straight 8ths, let me break it down for you:

1️⃣ We start with 8th note triplets (which means dividing each beat into three parts.) The easiest way to count 8th note triplets is “1-trip-let, 2 trip-let…”, like this:

2️⃣ We simply omit the middle note (the part where we say “trip”). If you count 8th note triplets with your mouth, and clap ONLY when you’re saying the number s and “ let ”, you will be clapping the swung 8th note feel, like this:

3️⃣ We replace the word “let” with the word “a.” I like to count SWUNG 8th notes like, “1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a.”

I find it’s easier to say “a” instead of “and” because we’ve pushed those upbeat 8th notes farther over and there’s less space between them and the next downbeat.

OK, now that you’re properly SWINGING, let’s take it 1 step further, and make it EVEN COOLER! 

Let’s add a percussive element to emulate where the drummer would be hitting the snare drum in a groove like this. 

On our first exhale we are going to loosen up our lips on the harmonica and say “Tsa.” So now the harmonica tabs are:

-123  -123  123  123

Ta    Ta    Tsa   Ta

By the way, it’s good to practice this groove really quietly. 

In fact, practice it 



This will help you develop breath control that will actually help you for ALL of your harmonica playing.

But also, once we’ve played this rhythm enough that we’ve internalized it and it becomes very comfortable then we can start adding lead licks to it – like for example the 3 licks that I teach in my Blues for Beginners lesson.

Keeping this pattern nice and soft, and then playing lead licks more loudly, creates a captivating texture, and gets you playing like the real blues masters! 😎

#3Muddy Waters Groove

This is the #1 Muddy Waters harmonica groove of all time, as seen in my Top 4 Muddy Waters Harmonica Riffs.

This is a song in my Beginner to Boss course I notice people kinda get tripped up a lot, and it’s just tricky because of the order of the notes. But it IS suitable for a TOTAL BEGINNER, and I’m gonna try a new way of explaining this today, and I think it’s gonna help you get it more quickly. You can do this!

There’s NO syllable (Ta’s or Ka’s or Tsa’s). 

This one we’re just breathing.

One breath in -12

One breath out 34 23

One breath in -23 -12

So we’re gonna do 5 notes with 3 breaths, to play these harmonica tabs:

-12 34 23 -23 -12

#4Killer Shark Groove

If you don’t have kids, or nieces and nephews, then you might not Recognize this song, but this is a song that’s REALLY POPULAR in the 6 and under age group, as evidenced by 12 billion views (yes, with a B!) 🤯

Even though it’s a kid’s song, I think Baby Shark actually sounds pretty badass on the harmonica!  😎

We play 3 single notes: -1 2 -2  And then draw on holes -12 and now we are going to say:

Ta Ta kaTa kaTa 

So just like in the Jamming groove, we are using “Ta’s” for our accents and “Ka’s” for our quieter notes. And the harmonica tabs look like this:

-1 2 -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

Ta   Ta   ka Ta   ka Ta

Our second phrase starts the same, but ends with a blow instead of a draw:

-1 2 3 23 23 23 23 23 23

Ta Ta ka Ta ka Ta

The third phrase is a repeat the first phrase exactly like we did the first time:

-1 2 -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

Ta   Ta  ka Ta  ka Ta

And then for the fourth phrase we’re going to make a modification to avoid having to play a bend:

-1 2 -1

This modified ending still communicates the song and is sure to make people smile. Here are the full harmonica tabs for the simplest way to play Baby Shark:

-1 2 -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-1 2 3 23 23 23 23 23 23

-1 2 -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-1 2 -1

And a fun/funny way to end the song would be the old “shave and a haircut…two bits” ending:

-2 -1 -1 2 -1 -123 -123

And that’s everything you need to do a killer performance of this song without having to bend any notes. 

Bending is a more advanced technique. If you can consistently isolate single notes with ease, and you want to learn how to bend, check out Bending for Beginners. And if you CAN bend, the way the song actually ends is: 

-1 -2 -2’

Here’s the advanced harmonica tabs, and for those of you who CAN bend, I’ll include harmonica tabs to the 2nd verse as well:

-1 2 -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-1 2 3 23 23 23 23 23 23

-1 2 -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-1 2 -2’

-3 -3” -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-3 -3” 3 23 23 23 23 23 23

-3 -3” -2 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12 -12

-3 -3 -3”

And whether you’re a beginner or a boss, that’s everything you need to rock Baby Shark! 🦈

#5Beatbox Harmonica Groove

This is a brand new groove. 

People obviously weren’t beatboxing and playing harmonica in the 1970’s because beatboxing was unknown to most, but now beatboxing has become a part of mainstream culture.

Beatbox harmonica grooves are still in their infancy – there’s lots to explore! This is exciting because you could discover a way to do that NOBODY HAS EVER DONE BEFORE.

A couple harmonica artists known for their beatboxing are Moses Conca and Brandon Bailey.

I was never a beatboxer, so

I felt scared to try it.



it’s actually 




How to beatbox … on harmonica

Step 1

How to Beatbox – Learn the Words

The common words to start learning how to beatbox are “Boots” and “Cats.”

BOOTS = Kick drum sound

CATS = Snare drum sound

You simply say:

Boots and Cats and Boots and Cats and

Boots and Cats and Boots and Cats…

Step 2

How to Beatbox – Turn Words Into Sounds

Replace the word boot with more of a plosive sound (try to sound like a kick drum)

Replace the word cat with a sound that emphasizes the consonants C and T and deemphasizes the vowel A (try to sound like a snare drum.) 🥁

Replace the word and with “tss” (try to sound like a hi-hat)

Step 3

Beatbox Harmonica – Phase 1

Now we’re gonna bring the harmonica into the mix which complicates things, so we’ll go back to the “Boots and Cats and” words that we were saying in Step 1.

BUT now we are going to replace our words “and” with breathing in on the harmonica.

We’ll replace the first 3 ands with -123

The 4th and we’ll replace with a double breath out: 123 123

So the Phase 1 harmonica beatbox tabs read like this:

BOOTS -123 CATS -123

BOOTS -123 CATS 123 123

Repeat that as much as you need to for it to become comfortable. It could take a few days or weeks before it starts to feel comfy. Once you can do it easily…

Step 4

Beatbox Harmonica – Phase 2

Replace the words with the more realistic drum-like sounds. 

And that’s it! You’re off to the race.

TIP: Beatbox harmonica sounds best on minor-tuned harmonicas.

Thanks for checking out this lesson. Please leave any comments or questions below. And keep on playing the harmonica and making the world a better place! 🌍🤘🎶


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