How to Play "When the Saints Go Marching In" on Harmonica

The harmonica is used in nearly every type of music, from blues and jazz to country and rock. In this video, music teacher Marcus Milius teaches you how to play the song "When the Saints Go Marching In" on the harmonica.

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The great thing about a harmonica is that it's one instrument you can keep in your pocket to play anytime you have a moment to spare. In these videos, musician Marcus Milius walks you through the basics of how to play the harmonica. By the end of these online lessons, you'll be able to play "Amazing Grace," "Oh! Susanna," "When the Saints Go Marching In," and more.

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Transcript

"Hi, my name is Marcus Milius. I play harmonica. I got a degree at the University of Southern California, a Bachelor's of Music, in Jazz Studies - Chromatic Harmonica. I play and teach harmonica here in New York City, and I'm happy to show you what I do. ""When the Saints,"" let's have a listen through. And this one we'll be playing in first position, make it a little bit easier. So that's cue C on a C harmonica. All right, so starting at the beginning, that first phrase, ""Oh when the Saints:"" four blow, five blow, five draw, six blow. And you play that a second time: four blow, five blow, five draw, six blow. Third phrase: four blow, five blow, five draw, six blow, five blow, four blow, five blow, four draw. After you've played the four blow-five blow-five draw-six blow, you're gonna play a five blow, four blow, five blow, four draw. Five blow, four draw, four blow, four blow, five blow, six blow, six blow, five draw. And here's the very last phrase, much like the very beginning: four blow, five blow, five draw, six blow, five blow, four blow, four draw, four blow. Put it all together and you got it."

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  • Marcus Milius

    Marcus Milius teaches private chromatic and diatonic harmonica lessons in New York City (Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn). He has 15 years experience as a teacher and currently teaches both children and adults of all ages and experience levels. Marcus has a Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies (Chromatic Harmonica) from the University of Southern California. He plays the diatonic harmonica, the chromatic harmonica and the bass harmonica and has been playing for more than 18 years.