Big Book of Harmonica
Your Official DAY ONE Book: PDF
Ukulele chord chart: PDF
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If you're new to this website, or playing harmonica, there is a video a little ways down this page you should watch.
The main purpose of this website is to encourage you to make music on the harmonica melodically with other people and as a soloist. All sheet music posted is arranged for ensemble play with other musicians. It's real sheet music meant for real musicians and my longterm plan is for people to take chromatic harmonica seriously again. (Everybody hates harmonica right now -- except eight old white guys. It's a cool instrument, let's take it seriously.)
Gary Jugert's Big Book of Harmonica: I no longer publish this as a giant PDF because it's a pain in the patoot. I update these sheets on a regular basis, so only print what you need right now. Or, better, use an iPad. If you plan to do something fishy with this music, please email me to let me know your plans.
I will be converting all of these into backing tracks when I have time so you can play along to them and sound amazing. You should be able to do that in front of other people and they won't hate it so much.
Need to slow these recordings down? Try these apps:
Songs are available to students by email. If you're just a person wandering the Earth and want copies of a song, send me an amusing email and we can chat about it.
Diatonic Daily Warm-ups
- Monday: Kumbaya 4 PDF
- Tuesday: Ode to Joy 5 PDF
- Wednesday: Simple Gifts 6 PDF
- Thursday: Shenandoah-ish 3 PDF
- Friday: You Are My Sunshine 3 PDF
- Saturday: When the Saints Go Marching In 4 PDF
- Sunday: On Top of Spaghetti 4 PDF
- All My Loving ~5 (via email)
- All Through the Night 7 PDF
- Aloha 'Oe 6 PDF
- Amazing Grace 6 PDF
- Au Clair de la Lune 7 PDF
- Black is the Color of My True Loves Hair ~6 PDF
- Blowin' in the Wind 6 (via email)
- Blow the Man Down 5 PDF
- Brahms’ Lullaby 5 PDF
- Buffalo Gals 6 PDF
- By the Light of the Silvery Moon 5 PDF
- Camptown Races 5 PDF
- Colorado Trail 5 PDF
- Down in the Valley 6 PDF
- Edelweiss 5 (via email)
- For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow 4 PDF
- Ghost Riders in the Sky ~4 (via email)
- Hallelujah 4 (via email)
- Happy Birthday 6 PDF
- Happy Birthday Blinky Style 6 PDF
- Home on the Range 6 PDF
- La Cucaracha 3 or 6 PDF
- Love Me Tender 6 (via email)
- Mister Bojangles 3 (via email)
- Moon River 6 (via email)
- Morning Has Broken 4 PDF
- My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean 6 PDF
- Pop Goes the Weasel ~2 PDF
- Puff the Magic Dragon 7 (via email)
- Red Red Wine 6 (via email)
- Soft Kitty 6 (via email)
- Streets of Laredo 6 PDF
- Taps 6 PDF
- Tenting Tonight 6 PDF
- Tom Dooley 6 PDF
- Try to Remember 8 or 6 on chrome (via email) VIDEO
- Wayfaring Stranger ~6 PDF
- Wildwood Flower 5 PDF
- Yankee Doodle 7 PDF
- America the Beautiful 3 PDF
- As Time Goes By ~4 (via email)
- Ash Grove 3 PDF
- Ashokan Farewell ~5 (via email)
- A Whole New World ~6* (via email)
- Beautiful Dreamer ~5 PDF
- Blue Moon 7 (via email)
- Come Josephine in My Flying Machine 3 or 7 PDF
- Daisy Bell 9 PDF
- Danny Boy ~2* PDF
- Do Re Mi 3 (via email)
- Fly Me to the Moon 4 or 8 (via email)
- Ghost Riders in the Sky 2 (via email)
- Girl from Ipanema 6 (via email)
- Hedwig’s Theme 2 (via email)
- House of the Rising Sun ~3 PDF
- It's Only a Paper Moon 3 (via email)
- La Vie En Rose 8 (via email)
- Last Rose of Summer 5 PDF
- Leaving on a Jet Plane 5 (via email)
- Minstrel Boy 3 PDF
- Over the Rainbow 5 (via email)
- Parting Glass PDF
- Scarborough Fair ~3 PDF
- Smile 5 (via email)
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 4 (via email)
- Summertime 6 (via email)
- This Little Light of Mine 3 PDF
- Tomorrow 3 (via email)
- Unchained Melody 5 (via email)
- Water is Wide 3 PDF
- What a Wonderful World 3 (via email)
- Adeste Fidelis ~9 PDF
- Auld Lang Syne ~10 PDF
- El Noi de la Mare 5 PDF
- First Noel 5 PDF
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 4 (via email)
- Over the River and Through the Woods PDF
- Silent Night 7 PDF
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas 6 PDF
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas 5 (via email)
- In the Bleak Midwinter ~3 or ~7 PDF
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 3 PDF
- O Holy Night 2 PDF
- Silver Bells 4 (via email)
- White Christmas 6 (via email)
- Peter Cottontail 6 (via email)
Ear Training for Harmonica
Try a few tunes on diatonic harmonica "by ear" without using sheet music. Try to guess what the next note is without writing anything down. Play the backing track in the MP3 player above and start on the hole listed after the name of the song:
- Mary Had a Little Lamb 8
- London Bridges
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
- This Old Man
- Three Blind Mice
Theory & Standard Notation for Harmonica
- Resource: Diatonic Notes in C PDF
- Resource: Chromatic Notes in C PDF
- Resource: Chromatic Scales PDF
- Tab Your Own: Drunken Sailor PDF Answer Sheet (no peeking!) PDF
- Tab Your Own: Frère Jacques PDF Answer Sheet (no peeking!) PDF
- Tab Your Own: Go Tell Aunt Rhody PDF Answer Sheet (no peeking!) PDF
- Tab Your Own: Merrily We Roll Along PDF Answer Sheet (no peeking!) PDF
- Tab Your Own: My Spaghetti Monster PDF Answer Sheet (no peeking!) PDF
It's actually pronounced AHM-buh-shure ... not ahm-BOO-shure.
What type of harmonica should you buy?
You'll need a diatonic harmonica in the Key of C. Here are some choices in order of price our members have used successfully. The higher priced ones are better.
- (Low Price and Works Well) Folkmaster: Amazon Price
- (Gary's Favorite) Special 20: Amazon Price
- (Our Group's Favorite) Crossover: Amazon Price
To play more modern music you'll need a chromatic harmonica in the Key of C. Here are some choices in order of price our members have used successfully. The higher priced ones are better.
- (Low Price and has all 12 Holes) EastTop Forerunner: Amazon Price
- (Industry Standard but Pricey) Super Chromonica: Amazon Price
How to Play Harmonica
To help teach somebody else how to play, download all these slides HERE.
- Wash your hands.
- Brush your teeth.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Sit up tall and pretty.
- Breathe from your belly.
- Don't blow too hard.
- Pucker up. Gross!
- Air needs to go through one hole at a time.
- Kiss the harmonica ... what?
- Use your kissing muscles for your embouchure.
- Your muscles and tongue also help you bend notes.
- Be ready to “tooo” between every note.
- Cup the harmonica with both hands.
- Move your hands, not your face.
- Harmonica tabs:
- 4 blow
- ~4 draw
- 4* blow with button in
- ~4* draw with button in
- (456) use multiple holes for chords
- Our sheet music includes ensemble arrangements for singers, pianists, guitarists, ukulele players, and any trained musician.
Ethnic stereotypes aside, Hohner felt harmonicas were for everybody. (What the heck is going on with the Navy dude?!) Read more about harmonica history in the Smithsonian: Industrial Espionage and Cutthroat Competition Fueled the Rise of the Humble Harmonica LINK
- First instrument played in space: Jingle Bells on a Hohner Little Lady harmonica by Wally Schirra
- Listen to some sheng ensemble music (the great grandfather of the harmonica) HERE
Videos from previous sessions are HERE.
Live in the Denver-metro and want to meet in person?
Go sign up here: Lakewood Arts search for keyword “Harmonica” Harmonica Club - 17A4204 Come spend time honking around with one of the most amusing and affordable music making tools. We’ll learn about the types of harmonicas, the standard layouts, how to isolate single notes, and how to read harmonica tablature and standard notation. This class can be taken more than once. Advancing students will present solos to the class. Students may bring their own diatonic harmonica un the key of C or may purchase one from the instructor for $25. Required: One-time textbook fee of $10 payable to the instructor on the first day of class. Thursdays 5-6 pm Lakewood Cultural Center $55 Main topics: Reading standard notation and tablature, chords, finger picking, playing melodies, music theory (a tiny bit), solo and ensemble skills. No prior experience necessary for the Intro class. You must take the Intro class prior to joining the Continuing class. In addition to the class fee, the textbook is $10 payable directly to the teacher. You must bring a playable ukulele. Fall classes aren’t posted yet, but when they are, to register, go HERE and search keyword “ukulele”.
- Session 1: Thursdays: September 7 to October 12, 2023. No class Sept. 21, Oct. 19.
- 5 pm (Intro)
- Session 2: Thursdays: October 26 to December 7, 2023. No class Nov. 16 & 23.
- 5 pm (Intro)