You probably would think I had an epiphany but no, Pratik (Yes! you know him already) randomly asked me if I know any good apps which can help him learn the Harmonica that has been lying around with him for months.
There are many of you who don’t know or give up on learning an instrument just because you don’t have the right resource at your disposal, and that’s exactly why I’m going to talk about it. Harmonica is a fairly easy instrument and if you know any other instrument already, it will be easier for you to follow. Here’s a quick tip before we start, if you haven’t already bought one, I suggest getting a diatonic harmonica in the Key of C because that’s widely used in tutorials. So, here are some harmonica learning apps to bring out the Little Walter in you.
Best Harmonica Learning Apps
1. Harmonica Easy Tab
If you’ve a harmonica for a while, you’d be familiar with how to make a sound. Simply by pulling or blowing in the holes for a start. With this app, you start playing songs that are categorized according to the difficulty levels like beginner, intermediate, advanced and for a rather advance player there are tutorials on bends, twelve-bar blues as well.
I suggest when you open the app you start with the Help section first that’ll give you an overview of the app and also provide an explanation about notes and how they’re laid out within the app. There is a section for all your favorite songs.
Yes, there are in-app purchases to block ads and gain access to more songs and experienced level content, but that’s secondary until you master what’s already available. Though there is an option for dark mode it still isn’t available. Like I suggested before this app has all the tutorials with a diatonic harmonica, so if you have a different kind you might want to skip this one.
Get Harmonica Easy Tab for Android
2. Harmonica Lessons
Made for complete novices, this app is primarily a database for music lessons in the form of YouTube Video Compilation. This also means the app needs an active internet connection.
Another exceptional feature that caught my attention was a different section for songs altogether. You can check out cover songs, Love or Pop, so if you wish to play “My heart will go on” or discover new music to play as you learn, songs section opens up a lot of more genres for you.
Below every video there is also a comment section, so you can check if the review to a certain video is great or if there are any community suggestions before watching the video. Harmonica Learning Apps mostly offer these but this one has another feature under its sleeves, i.e a Radio Block. There are two stations available, Blues and Jazz Radio which you can access anytime, I personally found this really interesting as it opens up the idea to play along with random songs or stumble upon new ones.
Get Harmonica Lessons on Android
4. Harmonica Tab Pro
It’s not a Harmonica tutorial per se but who says you can’t learn an instrument by learning songs?. This app has a great UI, it’s clean and easy to understand. Before selecting which song you want to hear, you’ve to choose which way you want the tabs to be displayed, in number forms ( +5,+6,-4), note tab ( c#,d,f) or harmonica tab which will show you the whole outline of a harmonica. It has a play and record feature and also track length bar where you can easily toggle the track.
The ability to enable or disable the melody or the beat really comes in handy when you need to practice. There is a sleep screen option in case you’ve to test your ears and play without the display tutorial. A transpose option lets you change the key of the song, I know this option doesn’t help in learning but in case you want to play a song that is in a different key or even if you’re laying with other musicians you can easily change the key with a click.
In case your favored song isn’t there you can submit a request for the same. You can get the tabs printed and also buy song packs on special occasions, like Christmas special album. Don’t fret if you don’t have a diatonic harmonica but a 24-hole, this app also lets you change the type of harmonica so you don’t have to find tabs specific to your type.
If you’re looking for Harmonica Lessons, YouTube has plenty of channels and videos that focus solely on this. While you can simply search for Harmonica Lessons and decide for yourself, I’ve already done that for you and it might save your time. Out of many, these are few of the channels that I feel are organized, well made and informative to get you started.
Of course, as you progress you can look out for tutorials and lessons focusing on specific genres and techniques, like bending, repairing the Harmonica, etc but as of now, these will keep you afloat.
Reddit is my go-to place whenever I’m stuck. r/Harmonica is a community of about 13 thousand members.
Whether you’re looking for a specific problem or you just want to find the best way to start, it can easily give you diverse opinions and help you out when you’re stuck. There are already posts about beginning harmonica guides, scale charts, practice schedules, etc. Simply scrolling through the subreddit, I stumbled upon so many ways I can learn and play harmonica, like this video. This sub, in my opinion, has a lot of quality content you can learn from.
These apps can only push you as far as getting you familiar with the instrument. You can try playing tabs and a few beginner songs with the help of these but there is no replacement for practice. There is a requirement of breath control and a bit of tonal understanding, Nonetheless, don’t hold back and try all these apps. Even if one of these inspires you to pick an instrument and keep at it, I’d consider my job done. Enjoy!