How To Play Piano Man On Harmonica

Billy Joel’s first hit song Piano Man is a simple & very accessible gateway for beginners who love to play harmonica. The song needs no distinct technique to learn. Beginners can start operating the C harmonica in which Billy Joel recorded his song, Piano Man. To learn the primary fundamentals, a learner must follow the Deep Relaxed Mouth Position before playing Piano Man on harmonica tabs and also follow the skill of volume variation& fast rhythm notes with double stop.

In this article, we are sharing with you how to play Piano Man chords by applying four levels-

LEVEL 1 Just Learning The Harmonica Tabs In C.

If you are wishing to play Piano Man sound on harmonica tabs, the first thing about the harmonica tabs is that the tabs have two diverse signs. First, the holes of the harmonica sounds in particular order and secondly, the tabs do not point out the specific time of holding each note. If you are confident & skilled in harmonica songs, then the tabs seem to be an easy zone for you. Let’s see how the harmonica tabs in C play Piano Man-

56 -56 56 -45 45 -45 45

34-34 45 -34   45 -45

56 -56 56 -45 45 -45 45

34 -45 45 -34 34

How To Play Piano Man On Harmonica

This is the type of double stop where all of the notes ring twice at a single time. Just make sure, you have appropriate control & perfect finishing of the double stops while playing two cells together at a time.

LEVEL 2 How To Play The Right Rhythms Like A Ninja Master.

Ninja techniques are for those who are proficient in playing harmonica by maintaining two most important things- the first is the knowledge of playing all the notes of the song Piano Man on harmonica solo and the second, playing the tune in time.

Billy Joel’s Piano man is a song in 3/4 time which is also identified as “Waltz Time” i.e. “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3….” It means that note 1, 2, and 3 is to be played repeatedly. These repetitive notes that are tuning together are called Quarter note and as the notes ring fast, the rhythm calls eight notes. The note seems like-

1 2 3 &|1 2 &|1 & 2 3|1 2 3

56     -56 56 -45               45-45 45

1 2 3|1 2 & 3|1 2 3| 1 2 3| 

34              -34 45-34               45-45

1 2 3 &|1 2 && |1 & 2 3|1 2 3 

56      -56 56   -45    45-45 45

2 3 |1 & 2 3 |1 2 3 |1 2 3

34       -45 45       -34 34

How To Play Piano Man On Harmonica

If you nailed the rhythm perfectly, it means you will definitely become a pro musician of Piano Man solo on Harmonica.

LEVEL 3 How To Play It With Single Notes, Injecting Soul And Feel With Bending.

Playing this with single notes, we have to just drop the lower note from each double stop, because while playing double stops, it is unsurprisingly gravitating toward higher notes. So, the harmonica tabs will be read like this:

6   -6   6         -5   5   -5   5

4   -4   5    -4           5    -5

6   -6   6         -5   5   -5   5

4     -5    5    -4   4

How To Play Piano Man On Harmonica

One must aware of the skill to isolate notes by playing one note at a time and the best method to isolate notes by using the Lip Blocking technique. Bending is a popular technique to lower the pitch of a note. If you know bending, then the first note that will add bending is the first -5 in the first line. This note hardly bends, but we’ll do it anyway, and swoop up into the -5 as below:

6 -6 6   -5’-5 5 -5 5

In the next note, there is time to bend in the second -4 in the second line. There we will bend up into it like this:

4 -4 5 -4’-4     5 -5

In the third line bending will be done into -5 as we did in the second line:

6 -6 6   -5’-5 5 -5 5

Finally the bending up into the last -4 following this:

4  -5 5 -4’-4 4

Adding a little bend to every line truly injects soul and vibe into the song.

LEVEL 4 Putting It All Together And Playing Piano Man Like A Total Boss.

In previous levels we learned to play the harmonica to Piano Man, We have learned about the rhythms, and adding soulful bending. Now putting all together our final harmonica tabs are mentioned below to play this song like a boss.

5 6 7   -5 6   5 6 7   -4 5’   -4 5   4 5   -4 5   4 5

3 4 – 3 4   4 5   -3 4’  -3 4        4 5   -4 5

5 6     -5 6    5 6   -4 5’  -4 5   4 5   -4 5   4 5

3 4        -4 5    4 5   -3 4’  -3 4      3 4

How To Play Piano Man On Harmonica

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is Piano Man Easy On Harmonica?

Yes, Billy Joel’s Piano Man is easy for those learners who want to play harmonica. Unlike other wind instruments, the harmonica is quite an easy one and by following four levels of the Piano Man song, you can easily play it…

2. What Harmonica Do I Need For Piano Man?

For beginners, Tremolo Harmonica or Diatonic Harmonica is the best option to play. Don’t go with Chromatic Harmonica as it is quite difficult & complicated too. In the case of Billy Joel’s Piano Man song, you are suggested to buy a C-tone harmonica as this kind of instrument is easy to access the song.

3. How Do You Play The Piano Man On The Harmonica?

You can play the Piano Man on the harmonica by following four levels-

  • By learning the harmonica tab in C note
  • Acquiring the double stop technique to play the right & fast rhythm.
  • By applying the single note technique, and,
  • Finally, trying to play in the bent position

4. Does Billy Joel Play Harmonica On Piano Man?

Yes, Billy Joel played Harmonica on Piano man in 1973. It is one of the most innovative & popular songs which he noted down in the key of C. The song is a very smooth track for beginners.

Read More:

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