In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: March 15, 2021
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If you’ve always been interested in picking up and learning how to play the harmonica, never before has there been a better time to do it. Now, you don’t need to go in for expensive in-person lessons as there are plenty of fantastic resources online where you can master this fantastic instrument.
In this guide, we’ll present to you the 8 best online harmonica lessons you can learn from. Starting things off with our Editor’s Choice, the Harmonica with Howard Levy, this course wins our first place because it allows new harmonica players to learn at their own pace and also showcases various different harmonica playing styles and does not focus on just one particular style. On top of this, there are 7 other fantastic online harmonica lessons that you can choose from.
For this article, we evaluated a few important factors that make these lessons great, and they are course length, trial period, methods used, and what students would exactly be studying with this particular course. All of these factors are crucial to understand the overall quality of the course and what you should expect from it. Our team of experts has spent 68 hours studying these courses and come across 24 different options available. After detailed reviews of each, we’ll then take you through our buying guide, where we’ll explain some more key concepts that are related to these courses. Finally, we’ll wrap things up by answering a few of the most frequently asked questions and then our final verdict, where we’ll give you our top picks. Let’s get started!
"As a budget-friendly way to learn to play harmonica, we recommend these online lessons. Here, you will get access to a large library full of useful resources, a 7-day crash course, and the necessary basics."
"An amazing platform that introduces over 15 professional harmonica teachers you can learn from. The experts will offer you a flexible schedule and will find a personal approach that works the best for you."
"Some people might prefer private live lessons to receive instant feedback and avoid any bad playing habits. These online harmonica lessons offer you just that, and you also get a 15-minute free trial."
Course length: 3-12 months subscription, 4 levels and various genres
Trial period: no trial
Exercises for all positions
Blues to folk styles
More features: tongue blocking tips, bending & overblowing techniques, hundreds of harmonica lessons at your own pace, all levels and styles of playing welcome, slow motion & looping on videos, up to 5 video submissions to teacher, music theory workshop
If you’re looking for the best online harmonica lessons, you need to look no further than our Editor’s Choice, the Harmonica with Howard Levy. Howard Levy is a Grammy-award winner for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1997, and he has been playing the harmonica for well over 40 years.
It’s safe to say that you’ll be learning how to play the harmonica from one of the all-time greatest players in this course. People that are interested in this course will find four different levels of harmonica playing: basic, intermediate, advanced, and virtuoso. So, whether you’re completely new to playing the harmonica, or you’ve been playing for years, and now, you are looking to fine-tune your skills, you can do both with Harmonica with Howard Levy.
As for the plan type, you’re really getting a good deal with this course as there are three different choices you can opt for. There is a 3-month plan ($105), a 6-month plan ($179), and a 12-month plan ($279). Unfortunately, since you’re learning from one of the best, there is no trial period where you can test things out and see how they go. What’s fantastic about this course is that you can film yourself playing and then submit the video to Howard. Howard will then record a response to your video with tips and pointers as to how you can improve. How cool is that? On top of that, there is also a wide variety of different styles of playing you can learn in this course, including blues, jazz, folk, Latin, rock/pop, and classical.
What we liked:
Learn from a harmonica expert and Grammy-award winner
Course length: 242 lessons, 23+ hours of video, and 7-day crash course
Trial period: 30-day refund period
Mastering scales, modes and positions, single/double/triple tonguing
Studying professional techniques
More features: single note playing with pucker and tongue-blocked embouchures, major and minor pentatonic scales, proper breathing, how to bend notes, proper hand position, types of vibratos and tremolos
Now, if you’re looking for the best online harmonica lessons, but you are only ready to spend a few dollars, you’ll definitely want to check out our best value pick, the Learn to play HARMONICA course. The instructor is Ben Hewlett, and while he hasn’t won a Grammy or played the harmonica for over 40 years, he also has a wealth of experience teaching people how to play this marvelous instrument.
This course, which runs on the Udemy platform, comes to you at a staggering 94% discount, from $199.99 down to just $11.99! With this fantastic online course, you’ll have access to 242 lessons that features over 23 hours of video tutorials, where you can learn everything from proper breathing techniques while playing to note bending, proper hand positioning, mastering scales, modes, and single, double, and triple tonguing techniques. If this seems a bit overwhelming for you, it’s not a problem at all because you can take the 7-day crash course, which teaches you the basics of playing the harmonica so that you have a really good understanding of the fundamentals.
Even though this course is just $12, it also offers students a 30-day money-back guarantee. This course offered by Ben has been overwhelmingly well-received as it has an aggregate rating of 4.4/5 stars, with nearly 29,000 students that have taken the course. As for the people that weren’t fond of it, they say it was because some lessons were for more advanced players. The instructor asked the student to play a part that they either had no idea how to play or did not have the necessary training to be able to play it.
What we liked:
Diverse and large library of resources
7-day crash course
30-day money-back guarantee
Allows you to learn everything about playing and holding a harmonica
What could be better:
Some lessons are for advanced players, so it can be quite hard to study everything
Anytime you learn how to play a new instrument, it can be a tremendous investment of time and money. However, despite the cost, the quality of the course is ultimately what matters, and as our Premium Pick, we are happy to introduce the Happy Harpin’ course.
With this premium course, you’re guaranteed to learn to play the harmonica well within three months simply by just dedicating 7 minutes per day three times a week on fast practice. This course comes with over 15 hours of video lessons spread out over 12 videos. During these 12 videos, you’ll learn all 11 core harmonica techniques, different bending techniques, everything about all the chords, breathing control secrets, essential hand placement techniques, and much more.
Whether you’re completely new or have some experience playing the harmonica, this course will provide you with both basic and advanced techniques so that you’re able to get the most out of it. On top of that, if you’re not satisfied with the course and what you’re getting out of it, it comes with a 1-year money-back guarantee! This course comes in two distinct ways. One, you can learn through the physical version, which comes with DVDs and a Hohner harmonica. Two, you can learn how to play the harmonica with the online version. This version also comes with a Hohner harmonica!
The beauty of learning how to play the harmonica with the online lessons is that there is an abundance of different learning platforms you can choose from. While some courses are offered by just one person, there are other platforms out there online that allow you to choose different courses taught by different teachers. That is why our choice for Best Private Online Harmonica Lessons is the Takelessons – Harmonica.
With this unique platform, you can choose from a wide variety of online harmonica instructors. For learning the harmonica, you can choose from over 15 different professionals, and each course is created differently to allow you to choose one that you are comfortable with. Each course is obviously taught by a different instructor, and they are also priced differently as well. So if the price is of concern to you, you can find a harmonica lesson for as little as $15. Since there are many harmonica courses to choose from, each course length will vary quite a bit, and it’s really up to you to find one that suits your time preferences.
Unfortunately, with this platform, there is no trial period. These courses are great because they have a flexible schedule and a personal approach. The instructors are all properly vetted and have great reputations. You’ll learn from them various harmonica techniques, genres, and styles. As diverse as this platform is, harmonica newbies may not enjoy the pressure of private lessons and may want to simply learn to play the harmonica on their own and without the watchful eye of instructors.
What we liked:
Wide variety of harmonica courses
Teachers are properly vetted
What could be better:
Some students may not enjoy the private lesson format
If you’re looking for the number one source of harmonica instruction, complete with videos and private lessons, look no further than our choice for Best Course with Live Lessons, HarmonicaLessons.com. With HarmonicaLessons.com, you can obviously expect the best platform that offers you the live lessons, but also, you will get access to over 45 hours of recorded harmonica lesson videos, songs, and techniques.
With this course, you get to learn from harmonica expert Dave Gage, who has over 35 years of harmonica playing experience. With this course, you get to learn the four basic harmonica techniques: single notes, holding and hand effects, breathing, and bending. To be able to activate the live lesson, however, you will need to pay for the VIP membership plan. As part of this plan, you will receive instant playing feedback with live, online classes, and a free 30-minute, 1-on-1 session with Dave, where he will be able to provide you with tips and help. Also, you will also receive a 90-page beginner E-book as well as the option to pay for the second year of the VIP membership but at only half the cost!
While there are tremendous benefits with signing up for HarmonicaLessons.com and learning the harmonica with Dave Gage, a number of people think that the course is overpriced and that there might be better options elsewhere online.
What we liked:
Fantastic teacher credibility
Huge library of video access
Learn the 4 primary basic harmonica techniques
Free 90-page beginner E-book with VIP membership
What could be better:
Must purchase VIP plan to receive free 30-minute, 1-on-1 lesson
If you’re on the fence about your commitment to learning the harmonica and want the best online harmonica lessons that offer a plan where you’re able to gauge fairly quickly whether or not you want to continue on with your learning, then you need to check out the Learn the Harmonica. This course is fantastic because it offers you a 14-day free trial, where you can learn as much as you want and then determine if you want to pay to continue on with this course.
During this 14-day trial, you’ll be exposed to hundreds of different lessons online. Once the 14-day trial period is over, you can sign on to become a paid member, where you’ll have access to the complete beginner’s course to learning the harmonica in a 2-month period. These lessons are presented in short, weekly videos, where you’ll receive step-by-step instructions. This course really great for complete beginners because it offers new players a risk-free option to give it a try.
As great as this beginner’s course is, the creator of this course also runs a YouTube channel where he has hundreds of free harmonica videos as well. However, it can be quite hard to find the proper balance between courses and free videos because it’s not going to be that effective, especially if the structure of the lesson is not that great. However, this can still be a great choice if you are trying to learn specific songs.
If you’re someone who is looking for private online harmonica lessons, you might want to check out our top pick for Best Live Harmonica Lessons Online, the Lessonface platform. This website only features five different instructors you can choose from, but they all have a distinct and unique style that you can learn from. This platform is also excellent because you can receive a 15-minute trial lesson to help you determine whether it’s right for you.
If you see that it is a worthwhile choice, you can then purchase lessons with the instructor you prefer. Each instructor charges different rates, and they start at $15 for 30 minutes and go as high as $45 per 30 minutes. Since these are individual online lessons, you will be learning how to play the harmonica at the pace you want, and these classes offer you the chance to book them around your schedule. Unfortunately, that means you are unable to jump ahead and learn more from new videos with more advanced techniques like other courses can offer.
However, unlike a library full of pre-recorded videos, in these lessons, you are able to receive instant and direct feedback and master your technique with the help of the instructors. That is something you can’t receive from pre-recorded videos.
What we liked:
Benefit of instant and direct feedback
Choose from different instructors with different styles
15-minute free trial
What could be better:
Can’t advance at a quicker pace without additional materials
The Harmonica Academy Lessons can be seen as going to harmonica high school. Their course is divided up into Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Years, and this course is what we’re calling the Best School-Like Online Harmonica Lessons.
And much like any school, this course also has a graduation exam as well, but in order to take this exam, you must first have a Harmonica Academy subscription. Thankfully, a subscription to Harmonica Academy is very affordable, and for a 6-month plan, you would pay $19.95, while for a 2-year subscription, that goes up to $39.95. As a subscribed member, you will receive access to all 110 lessons and all the content in the Academy. Unfortunately, there is no free trial period, but since the subscription is so affordable anyway, this becomes a good alternative to other courses. Students are also encouraged to share their experiences, questions, and other information on the forum. Here, they can interact and meet other students and ask any harmonica-related questions.
What’s great about Harmonica Academy Lessons is that there is a variety of lessons for both complete beginners and those that are more advanced in harmonica playing. You can also expect the course to last for roughly three months. Students can also learn beginner tremolo harmonica lessons, which is slightly different than your regular harmonica because tremolo does not require bending, and it is easier to play tunes.
What we liked:
High-school style lessons
Very affordable subscription
Students can interact with each other on the forum
Lessons for beginners and advanced players
What could be better:
No trial period
Must have subscription to take the graduation exam
Things to Consider
Now, we’ll take you through the buying guide section of this article to give you a better understanding of the courses that are offered, what’s included, and other important things to know. This will help you get a better understanding of what to look for if you’re choosing between the different courses. After, we’ll then answer a few of the most commonly asked questions from harmonica beginners, and then we’ll wrap things up with our final verdict, where we’ll give you our top three picks.
What do I need to get started with online harmonica lessons?
To get started with the best online harmonica lessons, you will obviously need to have your own harmonica. There are three specific harmonicas you can get started with, and they are diatonic, chromatic, and tremolo.
In terms of finding the right harmonica to get started with, you’ll want to opt for a 10-hole diatonic harmonica in the key of “C”.
This harmonica is most typically used for blues, folk, and country styles. Some courses, like the Happy Harpin’, even come with the specific harmonica you’ll use to take the course. However, most courses will require you have your own harmonica to get started. For some of the courses, particularly ones where you receive 1-on-1 private training, you will also need to have a fast computer with Internet access and a web camera. These are all important to have because it is everything you will need to be able to conduct live lessons.
How to choose the best online harmonica lessons?
With the online harmonica lessons, everything really depends on what you’re looking for in them. If you’re a completely new player to the harmonica, you probably want to find lessons that are easier to learn and pick up. If you’re more of an advanced player and want to improve your current skills, you should look for lessons that cater to people with harmonica playing experience. To make sure that you are getting the right course for you, you must check course duration, what’s included in the lessons, the learning techniques, and if there is a trial period available.
As you can probably imagine, the duration of the online harmonica lessons tends to vary. It really depends on the time you’re willing to dedicate to learning the harmonica because some courses last 1, 2, or 3 months, whereas others provide you with the entire library of resources that you can simply learn to master new skills at your own pace. Some harmonica lesson plans like the Harmonica with Howard Levy offers course durations of up to 1 year as well, so as you can see, this can vary a lot, and it’s really up to you to find a course that suits your learning style.
What does each lesson include?
What you should expect from the best online harmonica lessons is a solid understanding of the basics. This includes the essential harmonica techniques, proper breathing techniques, right hand positioning on the harmonica, and an introduction to vastly different playing styles including, but not limited to, blues, jazz, folk, Latin, rock/pop, and classical. There are also a handful of online harmonica lessons that provide excellent guidance for beginners and advanced players as well, and this is important because you can learn some incredibly advanced techniques from instructors that have been playing for over 40 years.
You should not expect these courses only to include lessons for new harmonica players, as advanced players can also learn a great deal with them.
Most learning techniques with the best online harmonica lessons come in the form of videos. Whether it’s from learning from a library full of fantastic pre-recorded video lessons, such as seen with the HarmonicaLessons.com, or learning through a private, 1-on-1 setting with an instructor like the Takelessons – Harmonica offers, videos let you study the same technique better. In some of the lessons, instructors will teach and demonstrate the methods and techniques and will ask you to play it back. Some courses will even offer you the chance to submit your videos back to the instructor for feedback. The majority of these online harmonica lessons teach you the basics of learning how to play the harmonica, and this generally includes playing single notes, chords, getting used to holding the harmonica properly, and the different styles of music as well.
As we’ve mentioned briefly, the level at which you play the harmonica affects your choice. That’s because if you’ve just decided to pick up the harmonica and play it, you’ll want to learn the basics, while if you’ve been playing it for years, you should look for advanced techniques and styles. Some of the online courses also have the capability of featuring live lessons where you can get direct feedback from instructors about your playing ability, such as with the Lessonface Harmonica Lessons. However, if you’re uncomfortable with your current playing level, you can also choose a course that lets you access a very diverse library of resources where you can simply learn to play on your own, such as with the Learn to play HARMONICA course. Thus, for all harmonica players, there are great ways to master the instrument with different courses.
Unfortunately, the trial period is something that is not uniform across all of the best online harmonica lessons, and it will really depend on the platform you choose and on the instructor. Courses like the Learn to play HARMONICA offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, and others, like the Learn the Harmonica, also offer you a 14-day free trial where you can test out the course before you pay for it. However, it can be hard to find a trial period with private online lessons, but they still allow you to learn at your own pace and with the feedback of the instructor.
If you’re looking for online harmonica lessons that offer a trial period, make sure to check this in the description before buying.
The best thing about the online harmonica lessons is the ability to receive feedback from your teacher. Since these courses are conducted online, many of them give you the chance to record how you play the harmonica and then submit the video to learn more about your mistakes. Our favorite course that allows you to do this is our Editor’s Choice, the Harmonica with Howard Levy. We particularly like that chance because you will be learning from Grammy-award winning artist, Howard Levy, who has over 40 years of harmonica-playing experience. His feedback will be invaluable, and you will appreciate it since it is coming from an expert in this musical field.
It really depends on how much time and effort you put in learning the harmonica, and the level of dedication you have affects that a lot. Some courses, like the Learn to play HARMONICA, offer a 7-day crash course, which allows you to learn the basics. Other courses like the Happy Harpin’ say that if you dedicate seven minutes per week for three times a week, you’ll be able to play the harmonica in a few months. Thus, it really depends on how motivated you are to learning the harmonica. Some people enjoy learning at a slower pace, while others would like to learn it as quickly as possible.
Once again, this really depends on your motivation. If you’re trying to master harmonica as fast as possible, you should definitely practice more frequently and for much longer periods of time. A good rule of thumb is that you should practice at least an hour each session and at least three to four times a week if you want to be proficient. If you stick to this schedule, you can expect to play comfortably at a beginner level within six months or even less. Many professionals will say that it can take as long as 5-10 years in order for you to master the specific harmonica style you want to play.
Some online harmonica lessons can definitely help you progress faster than regular lessons. This is because some of the online harmonica lessons offer you the full library with the subscription. This enables you to watch as many video lessons as you want, thus allowing you to get much more information than you might learn with regular lessons. As for the private online lessons, these help you to get rid of bad playing habits while also allowing you to set your schedule time. This only depends on yours and your instructor’s availability.
The best thing about these online harmonica lessons is that you can easily find budget-friendly courses. Some of them offer different membership plans, which also can give you a discount. If we are talking about the access to the library and videos, some courses can give you that with a one-time payment, and it usually starts with just $20! There are other courses that offer you the chance to purchase for private lessons, and these work by simply paying the instructor their fixed rate. Online courses like the Takelessons – Harmonica allow you to purchase classes from instructors, and the prices of these private lessons start at $15.
In our final verdict, we present to you our top three picks.
Our favorite option is the Harmonica with Howard Levy. We love this course because when else would you be able to learn how to play an instrument from a Grammy award-winning artist? That’s exactly what you’ll get with this course as well as video feedback on your playing.
Next, we really enjoy our Best Value course, the Learn to play HARMONICA course because of the price tag. No other course has that many resources available to students at the lowest price possible!
Finally, it’s hard to look past the Happy Harpin’ because it will help you master this instrument in three months. On top of that, you will receive a Hohner harmonica for free!
We hope that this article helped you find the best online harmonica lessons. With a strong desire and right attitude, you will be able to become a professional player in no time!