How to play harmonica

Harmonica is one of the most popular and easiest to learn musical instruments.

Beginners Guide

Harmonicas are extremely portable and affordable. For absolute beginners it is recommended to begin with the 10-hole diatonic ‘C’ scale harmonica. There are many brands and a range of prices for harmonica. Go with a proper and better one instead of getting a super cheap toy.

How to hold a harmonica

Hold the harmonica in your left hand as shown in the picture above. Put the harmonica in your lips, and make sure your lips cover the top and bottom of the harmonica so that no air can escape.

Exhale or blow gently into the harmonica. The lower notes should be on the left. Move your harmonica when you change notes, not your head. After playing tap your harmonica against your palm to remove any excess moisture.

Ready to play

A good diatonic ‘C’ scale 10-hole harmonica

Assume the holes of the harmonica are numbered from 1 to 10 from the left, if it is not labeled on your harmonica. We use those numbers and numbers with a minus sign in front in all harmonica tabs (songs) we post on this website.

For any positive numbers (without any sign in front) e.g. 3, exhale into the corresponding numbered harmonica hole. If the number is a negative number with a minus sign in front of it e.g. -5, inhale at the corresponding numbered harmonica hole.

How it sounds like