The Beatles are masters of melody which makes their songs perfect for harmonica. Grab your C harp…

I’ve ordered these 8 Beatles harmonica riffs in 8 Levels from easiest to hardest, so if you want to you can test yourself and see what level you can get to. 

We’re starting with the 3 Beatles Tunes that have significant harmonica parts.

#1I Should’ve Known Better

Released in 1964 on a Hard Day’s Night, the soundtrack to their movie of the same name, I Should’ve Known Better is a great song to learn even if today is your very first day (because it doesn’t require you to be able to isolate notes).

The Beatles - I Should Have Known Better single cover

Here are the harmonica tabs for the Beatles’ I Should’ve Known Better, and these get repeated:

-23 -23 34 -34 34 

-23 -23 34 -34 34

👆🏼 On the SECOND LINE, we ANTICIPATE the first -23, starting it a bit earlier and holding it a bit longer.

AT THE END of the SECOND LINE there is a REST, a pause, before beginning the back at the first line.

#2Love Me Do

First released in the UK in 1963, Love Me Do was a #1 hit for the Beatles in the US when they released it stateside in 1964. 

The Beatles - Love Me Do single cover

I’m gonna show you how to kinda play this if today is your first day, and then I’m gonna show you how to play it exactly like John Lennon plays it on the record.

👉 If today’s your first day here are the harmonica tabs for Love Me Do:

-45 45 -34 -12 -12 -12

👉 If you know how to play single notes, let’s get into how John Lennon plays the harmonica part to Love Me Do on the recording. 

Here’s the first line of Love Me Do harmonica tabs:

-5 5 -4 -2 -2 -2 -2

I’m using “Kuh” syllable on those -2’s.

People always ask me if can you substitute 3 for -2. You can if you must, but eventually it’s good to learn how to play a -2 well. As you advance it will often become your preference, as it is for me, because of having options to use techniques that add more expressiveness.

The second time it’s the same, but adding ¼ note triplets on the hand wah on the -5 and blow 5 (I’m also doing “wah” inside of my mouth).

-5            5           -4 -2 -2 -2 -2

Wah wah wah   Wah wah wah

The third time on the blow 5 you can add a tongue roll or snore:

-5    5            -4 -2 -2 -2 4 -3

        Tongue roll

And then it finishes like this:

-2 -2 (pause) -2 -2 -2 4 -3

So here’s the entire harmonica tabs in C for Love Me Do by the Beatles:

-5            5           -4 -2 -2 -2 -2

Wah wah wah   Wah wah wah

-5    5            -4 -2 -2 -2 4 -3

        Tongue roll

-2 -2 (pause) -2 -2 -2 4 -3

We’ll return to this song in level 8 to give you advanced players a great bending workout in the 2nd section of this song. But for now, let’s move onto level 3.

#3From Me to You

From Me to You was The Beatles 3rd single released in 1963 and scored them their first #1 hit in the UK. 

The Beatles - From Me to You single cover

This song is originally in the key of G and was likely played on a chromatic harmonica with a button, but we can pretty easily play this in 12th position in the key of F. 

This song requires you to be able to play single notes. 

Here are the harmonica tabs for the Beatles’ From Me to You:

-5 6 -6 6 -5 6 6 -4

Congrats! You’ve tackled the 3 Beatles tunes that have significant harmonica parts. 

Now we’re gonna move on to other songs whose melodies are popular and fun to play on harmonica, starting with our level 4 challenge…

#4Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

Released on the White Album in 1968, this song has a fun Jamaican ska feel and the melody is super easy if you can isolate notes. 

The Beatles - Ob-la-di Ob-la-da single cover

That’s called an Arpeggio which simply means the notes of a chord played one at a time. (And in this case it’s all blow notes.)

Here are the harmonica tabs for the Beatle’s Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da:

4 5 6 4 5 6 4 5 6 7

6 -5 5 -5 5 -4 4


MTV and Rolling Stone both named Yesterday the #1 pop song of all time

The Beatles - Yesterday single cover

Originally in the key of F, you’d need an F harmonica (and I’d recommend a Low F harmonica as the F harmonica is very high and can be a bit shrill).

But of course we’re gonna play it on our trusty C harp. One thing I love about this song is that it demonstrates why it can be helpful to learn a scale. There’s a lot of stepwise motion here that comes straight from the C major scale.

This is the C major scale ascending:  4 -4 5 -5 6 -6 -7 7

This is the C major scale descending: 7 -7 -6 6 -5 5 -4 4

If you memorize that scale 👆🏼, it will help provide context for you to learn this song.

-4 4 4 

5 -5 6 -6 -7 7 -7 -6 -6

-6 -6 6 -5 5 -4 -5 5 5 

-4 4 5 -4 -3 4 5 5

If you’re digging this stuff, I teach all of these Beatles songs very slowly and methodically in my Beginner to Boss course (as well as providing you with all the fundamentals you need to become a harmonica boss 😎).

#6Let it Be

Released as a single in 1970, Let it Be is the last single released before Paul McCartney announced he would be leaving the Beatles. 

The Beatles - Let It Be single cover

This song is originally in the key of C, so once you learn it, you can play along with the original recording on your trusty C harmonica.

Here are the harmonica tabs in C for the Beatles’ Let it Be:

3 3 3 3 -3” 4 3 3 4 -4

5 5 5 -4 -4 4 4

5 5 -5 5 5 -4

5 -4 -4 4

5 -4 4

5 6 -6

6 6 5 4 4 -3” 5

5 5 -5 5 5 -4 5 -4 -4 4

And here’s a cool little riff we can throw in at the end, that kinda mimics the piano bit on the original recording:

-56 56 -45 45 -34 34 -23 23 1234

#7Hey Jude

Released as a single in 1968, Hey Jude sold over 8 million copies, went to #1 in multiple countries, and is on many critics’ lists of the best songs of all time. 

The Beatles - Hey Jude single cover

This song is originally in the key of F (again I’d recommend a Low F harmonica to play along with the recording).

The reason this is level 7 is because there are lots of skips and lots of -7’s and -8’s which can be challenging for beginners. These are the tips for getting good clean high notes.

Tip 1

Let gravity lower your jaw so that it’s totally relaxed and in a nice “aw” vowel shape, your teeth should be far apart from each other.

Tip 2

Keep the back of your tongue down, like it is when you yawn. Make sure it’s not in the “Kk” zone (how your tongue is when you say a “Kk” consonant).

Tip 3

Nice steady, GENTLE, airflow. Most beginners (and many intermediate and advanced players) use WAY too much pressure.

Here are the harmonica tabs for the Beatles’ Hey Jude:

6 5 5 6 -6 -4

-4 5 -5 7

7 -7 6 -6 6 -5 5

6 -6 -6 -6 -8 7

-7 7 -6 6

4 -4 5 -6 6

6 -5 5 -3 4

For the classic outro here are 3 options:

Option #1

You can play this in the lower octave (requires a bend).

1 2 3 -4 4 -4 4

-4 4 -4 4 -3” 3

Option #2

You can play this in the upper octave.

4 5 6 -8 7 -8 7

-8 7 -8 7 -6 6

Option #3

For advanced players you could also do splits.

14 25 36 -48 47 -48 47

-48 47 -48 47

And for the final 2 notes you can end with double-stops like this:

-56 56

Or if you wanna be super-advanced you can try Splits-with-a-bend. I first attempted this technique after I heard the queen of harmonica Indiara Sfair do it on her C Minor Improvisation. ❗Caution: these tabs look weird!

-3”6 36 -3”6 36

#8Love Me Do (pt. II)

It’s time to return to Love Me Do and play the 2nd half of the harmonica part, which appears later in the song.

The Beatles - Love Me Do single cover

This was most likely played on a chromatic harmonica with a button on the side. 

There is evidence in interviews with John Lennon where he implied that he played this on a chromatic (which would make sense because there is a very professional level of precision on the diatonic that’s required to play this). 

Still, we can play this on a standard diatonic harmonica, and for intermediate & advanced players, this is a fun and challenging workout.

Here are the harmonica tabs for the second half of the Beatles’ Love Me Do:

3”3” 3 -2’

-2 -2” 2 -1

Rinse & Repeat. 😃

Thanks so much for checking out my free harmonica lesson on how to play 8 Beatles harmonica riffs. I hope you enjoyed it. Please do not hesitate to leave any questions or comments below!

Now that you’ve conquered the Beatles on Harmonica, it’s time to go and tackle the Rolling Stones!


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