What's YOUR Top 6 Harmonica Rock Songs?

Top 6 Harmonica Rock Songs

All right, I’m taking a stab at the top 6 harmonica Rock Songs of all time.

(Please Reply and tell me YOUR top 6 harmonica rock songs of all time.)

6.) Piano Man by Billy Joel

Released by Billy Joel in 1973, Piano Man is the most popular harmonica song of all time, so I think it deserves to be in the countdown.

(BTW - you can check out my free Piano Man harmonica lesson right here.)

5.) Life is a Highway by Tom Chochrane

From the 1991 album Mad Mad World, Life is a Highway by Tom Chochrane was a #1 hit in the Canadian’s home country, and reached #6 in the US, his only song to crack the top 40.

This song just GROOOOVES man. I read that Chochrane had shelved the demo of this song and then was encouraged by a bandmate to revisit it some years later. During the interim he had made a trip to Africa and had been traumatized seeing the abject poverty. He says this song is kind of a pep talk to himself to keep going in spite of all the craziness of the world.

Of course the song got another boost of wind in its sails when Rascal Flatts covered it in 2006 for the Disney animated Cars soundtrack. Sadly, their version doesn’t have harmonica in it.:disappointed_relieved:

But in the original Tom Cochrane is playing an F harmonica in 1st position. Just playing chords, but playing some super-cool syncopated rhythms.

4.) Heart of Gold by Neil Young

Released in 1972, Heart of Gold is Neil Young’s first and only #1 hit. It appeared on the album entitled Harvest, which also went to #1, making Neil Young the first Canadian to have a #1 record in the US.

This song was written partly because of a back injury that prevented Young from playing his electric guitar, causing him to return to acoustic.

He plays his harmonica in the 3 instrumental portions of the song, and if you wanna learn them, I teach them all note for note in my Heart of Gold harmonica lesson.

I think Neil Young’s harmonica playing is some of my favorite folk style harmonica. On Heart of Gold He’s playing a G harmonica in 1st position.

3.) Miss You by the Rolling Stones

From the Rolling Stones 1978 Album release Some Girls, the song Miss You was their 8th and final #1 hit.

The harmonica player on the track is the great and legendary Sugar Blue. Mick Jagger is said to have discovered Sugar Blue busking on the streets of Paris.

The song is in the key of Am, and Sugar Blue is playing a D harmonica in 2nd position in the key of Am - which is MUCH harder than playing 2nd position in the key of A, because in the key of Am the -3’ must be played with great accuracy, or she don’t sound good!

If you wanna learn what Sugar Blue is doing note for note you can check out my 5 Rolling Stones Riffs (Easy to Hard) Lesson. (It’s the last riff I teach cos it’s muthaflippin’ HARD.)

2.) Roadhouse Blues by the Doors

Roadhouse Blues by the Doors appears on the 1970 release Morrison Hotel. The Harmonica on this track was played by John Sebastian of Lovin’ Spoonful.

The song is in the key of E, and Sebastian plays some tasty 2nd position stuff on an A harmonica. I teach this song (and all the ones before it) in my Beginner to Boss course.

1.) Long Train Running by the Doobie Brothers

The Year: 1973
The Band: The Doobie Brothers
The Album: The Captain & Me
The Song: Long Train Running

Lead Singer Tom Johnston’s harmonica playing on this recording is full of contagious energy and exciting rhythms. Try listening to this song without bobbing your head!

He’s playing a C harmonica in 2nd position, and this is a great song for intermediate players to work on speeding up their -4’ bends to -4’s released.

OK. YOUR TURN! What do YOU think are the top 6 rock harmonica songs of all time? If you want a refresher on some options check this out:


“(You Got to) Give It to Me” and other Magic Dick solos with the J. Geils band and James Harman on a number of ZZ Top songs like “Waitin’ for the Bus”. I like to play “Heart of Gold” on the Lucky 13 Harp (G), that way I can play the 3 low holes for the parts in between the normal harmonica riffs and thus play the whole song.


WOW! Great stuff. Magic Dick is such a stud. Great tongue-blocker. Love the shimmers at the beginning of the solo.


I like WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS by Led Zeppelin and KEEP ON CHOOGLIN’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival :sunglasses::notes: :+1:


Dang @HarpinBobbyMcB When the Levee Breaks is such a good one - you’re right! I"m kinda kicking myself for not having included it in this vid!


With so many amazing artists and talented musicians, it’s tough to narrow it down…

I’m sure for about all of us we could easily pick another 6 songs we REALLY like different from the first six…

I love the ones you did pick! :sunglasses: :notes:

I was just checking the video again, I had stopped it before the end. WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS did get honorable mention :facepunch:

Gotta like that :notes:


difficult one.

  1. Every thing gonna be alright, Paul Butterfield
    Everything's Gonna Be Alright (Live at The Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA, March, 1970) (1997... - YouTube

  2. Work Song, Paul Butterfield
    Work Song - YouTube

  3. Little Wing, various harp players
    Hendrix Little Wing On Harp

  4. On The Road Again, Canned Heat
    Canned Heat - On The Road Again [HQ] - YouTube

  5. All Along the Watchtower
    All Along the Watchtower - YouTube

  6. Suicide Blonde, Charlie Musselwhte
    Suicide blonde by INXS except its 11 seconds of harmonica - YouTube


Another for the A list would have to be LOVE ME DO by The Beatles :notes: :point_down:

That beginning lick is so CLASSIC!

I don’t know though, now that I think about it… Can the music by the Beatles be considered “Rock”? :thinking: :thought_balloon: