Sample Lesson – Jingle Bells

Jingle BellsDashing through the snow

Here’s a fun song to play for Christmas. The song was originally composed in the late 1880’s in Massachusetts, USA. It was written for Thanksgiving rather than Christmas, but these days it’s become a popular seasonal number.

You’ll find that the verse is a bit too awkward for the 4 hole harmonica, but we do have tabs available for 10 hole harp. The chorus is great for any harp however. If you choose to perform this song at Christmas time, but only play 4 hole harmonica, we’ve found it fun to include some movements while we sing the verse, before playing along to the chorus on our harps.

Listen, Sing, Act, Play
When we learn new songs at Harp Academy, we like to follow a simple routine. First we listen to the song. Then we sing it. Next we add actions to the words or move to the rhythm. And finally we play along on our harmonica. Listen to the track above a few more times and see if you can hum or sing along. Can you think of some actions to go with the words? Can you move to the rhythm? Great! Let’s learn to play it on our harmonica.

Christmas Pudding iiAs usual, Purple tab is for 4 hole harmonicas. Orange tab is for 10 hole harmonicas. The numbers tell you which hole to play. Jingle Bells requires good use of repeat note playing. Also, D means draw (breathe in) and B means blow (breathe out). You can print off our notation by clicking the pink Music Score icon.

We’re using harmonicas in the key of C major. Here’s the whole thing to give you a flavour.

And now let’s break this down into more manageable sections.


6B    8B     8D     7B    6B      6B    6B    6B    8B    8D    7B    6D
 Dash-ing through the  snow,    On      a     one-horse   o  –  pen  sleigh

 6D    9D    8B    8D    7D      9B    9B    9D    8D    8B
 O’er   the   fields   we      go,    Laughing     all      the    way

 6B    8B    8D     7B    6B       6B    8B    8D    7B    6D
 Bells   on     bob – tail   ring,    Mak-ing    spi  –  rits  bright

6D    6D    9D    8B     8D    9B    9B    9B     9B    10D   9B    9D    8D    7B    
What  fun      it       is       to     ride  and   sing    our    sleigh-ing   song   to – night


2B    2B     2B    2B    2B    2B    2B    3B    1B    1D    2B 
5B    5B    5B     5B    5B     5B    5B    6B    4B    4D    5B
Jin – gle   bells,   jin –  gle   bells,  Jin  – gle    all    the    way

2D    2D    2D    2D    2D    2B    2B    2B    2B    2B     1D    1D    2B    1D
5D    5D    5D     5D    5D    5B    5B     5B    5B    5B     4D    4D     5B    4D
Oh    what   fun      it       is       to     ride    on      a     one-horse,   o – pen   sleigh

2B    2B     2B    2B    2B    2B    2B    3B    1B    1D    2B 
5B    5B    5B     5B    5B     5B    5B    6B    4B    4D    5B
Jin – gle   bells,   jin –  gle   bells,  Jin  – gle    all    the    way

Santa Hat 2i 2D    2D    2D    2D    2D    2B    2B    2B    2B    3B    3B    2D    1D    1B
5D    5D    5D     5D    5D    5B     5B    5B    5B    6B    6B    5D    4D    4B
Oh   what   fun       it       is       to     ride    on      a     one-horse,   o – pen  sleigh

Christmas TreePerformance ideas
As verse is unsuitable for the 4 hole harmonica, your Harp Academy teacher will show you some movements you can make while you sing the words. If you perform Jingle Bells, it’s great fun to invite your audience to join in! It’s also great fun to shout Hey! at the end of line two in the chorus. Why not invite your audience to join in as well? You could prepare a large card to hold up and prompt them.


Key skills

  • Repeat notesChristmas Stocking i
  • Musical registers
  • Music and movement
  • Performance