Harmonica Sheet Music

The way that a harmonica player reads sheet music is different than most other instruments. Notation is rather simple and standard. For beginning players, we make use of two different types of notation: a number 1-10 (for the hole), and either 'B' or 'D.'

If the number 5 has a 'B' next to it, then you would blow into hole number 5. If it is a 'D,' then you would draw air through hole number 5 by inhaling.

I will illustrate this through a short example. If you haven't heard of "Scotland the Brave," or can't remember the tune, then I suggest you listen to it before you attempt to play it on the harmonica. The reason for this is because basic harmonica tabs can provide you with the notes, but not the tempo for the song.

Scotland the Brave (mp3)

The example is played on a Lee Oskar Major Diatonic in the key of C.


Scotland the Brave

Part 1

3B 4B 4B 4D 5B 4B 5B 6B 7B 7B 7D 7B 6B 5B 4B 5D 6D 5D 5B 6B 5B 4B 4D 5B 5D 5B 4D 4B 4D

Part 2

4B 4B 4D 5B 4B 5B 6B 7B 7B 7D 7B 6B 5B 4B 5D 6D 5D 5B 6B 5B 4B 4D 4B 4D 4D

Part 3

5B 6B 7B 7B 7D 7B 6B 5B 6B 7B 7B 7D 7B 6B 5B 4B 5B 6B 5D 5B 6B 5B 4B 4D 4B 4D 4B


As you can see, this is a fairly easy song to play. I reccomend learning one part at a time, and then putting it together at the end.

Also, remember that you are not restricted by the tabs of any song. The harmonica is a highly creative and emotive instrument, and you may modify any tabs you like. I usually like to repeat Part 1 after the third part, as it brings a sense of conclusion to the song.