How to Play Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold’ Harmonica Solos

How to Play Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold’ Harmonica Solos

hi there Liam ward with you from We’re going to be looking at the solos from a heart of
gold by Neil Young absolute classic and really distinctive harmonica so really
good one to learn the songs in G so you’ll need a G harmonica and is playing
is a bit messy on this it’s not completely clean single notes so some of
the notes in the tab will be more than one note so just try and pay attention
to that if you don’t want to play more than one note you can just choose one of
the notes of the two that will be written okay let’s get started this is
the first solo so this is about 10 seconds into the song and here we go it
sounds a bit like this okay so what was I doing there but look at the tab on the
screen the first line is five blow six blow five draw five blow four draw four
blow and then four blow with a little bit of three-drawer oh yeah four blow
with a little bit three draw in there as well so so that’s an example of where you play
more than one note and this second line is all single notes six below seven
below six draw six below six draw six below and then five below and then the
third line final line of this solo is it’s all really more than one note and
so you can have just loosely place in your heart your mouth on the harmonica
so I’ve got it as a four and five blow three times so bad bad bad and then five
and six blow three times dead urdead there and then the same again five and
to explode three times and then it’s four five draw four or five blow three
four below so you just want to be in in that sort of ballpark getting those
sorts of notes it’s quite loose you can play it clean if you want just
picking for example the the higher note of the two so you could go if you wanted
to be cleaner so that’s first solo ok second solo this comes in at about a
one-minute ten in the song sounds a bit like this ok so what was it doing there
the first line is for blow and then six blow twice the second time is held which
is what those little lines on your screen are and so that second six blow is held so four by
six by six by five draw five blow and then it’s four or five draw four or five
blow three four draw again kind of a bit messy the second line is a seven blow with a
little bit of six blow in there as well so a six seven below and then seven by
six draw six blow six draw six blow six triple six blow five blow okay like that
and then the final line of this solo and most of the notes or all of the notes
are kind of more than one note there aren’t any clean single notes in this
and so the third line is a five and six blow together and and it and you’ve got
a four bursts or two notes so it goes Dada Dada Dada Dada Dada like that and
that’s what the air is written on your screen now okay so that is the second
solo okay third and final solo it comes in at about two minutes ten in the
recording sounds a bit like this so the first line of the solo is a six
blow twice and then seven blow and then it’s six draw six blow seven by six draw
six blow and then it’s six draw twice and if you can sort of put a bit of a
bend on it and create a sort of wild wall sound without talk about that again
in a minute and then it’s just six blow so so if you can while while that if you
can do a bit of bending on that and do just near the end of that line if not
look at a video on bending notes on the harmonica second line of the solo is six
blow six blow and then six blow again three times and then it’s four blow six
blow for blow five blow five draw five blow 5 draw five blow and then five blow
and then a little sort of a four blow five blow sort of double note thing just
to finish up okay one line to go so the final line is
seven blow six blow twice seven blow six blow six draw six blow and then six draw
six blow five blow and then is a littler tour four five draw four five blow just
to finish okay that’s it for a heart of gold by Neil Young I hope you enjoyed
that and see you again Cheers


  1. Hey, I like how you actually show us how he plays it himself.  With the tabs I found online, I had a hard time making the tabs actually sound like how old Neil Young plays it.

  2. I'm french, so my english is not good, and i'm sorry of that.
    But I had to comment for tell how much i've liked your vidéo.
    I'm a beginner, and it's hard to find tutorials with people who take the time to explain,
    Other tutorials are frequently too fast for me, but not yours.
    I really like the way you explain, and the way you play, continue like this !
    Sorry again for my english mistakes, and i expect you can describe me 😀
    Bye ! 😉

  3. Thanks for the video! You're  a great teacher and your lessons are easy to follow. One question I had about the end of the second solo. You have 3D4D 3B4B at the very end but it seems as if you don't play that when you're going through it. It seems you end on the 4B5B 4B5B. Maybe you already addressed this in another comment but I didn't see it. Thanks again!

  4. Hi there great lesson! But I wonder how u can do the wah sound, I am so confused how u make that sound. Do u have a video that teaches the skills of blues or somin? Thx!

  5. Thanks Allan Ho – check out my lesson on wah wahs etc here: Hope it helps!

  6. Thank you for making it possible for me to actually see and hear how to play this song on harmonica. The graphics are a great way to help us play the correct notes and whether to blow or draw. I can now finally accompany myself on guitar to this classic song. Nice job. Peace.

  7. Thanks for the video. Great job. I just bought my first harmonica and thought I would start with Heart of Gold. I did get the G key.

  8. Your teaching is so precise I fully understand and follow you thoroughly. Without harmonica solo in between,this song might lose its charm. Thx!

  9. Mine is an SX Blues harmonica. It's good but not as good as good as the Hohner (already ordered from one music store). But for learning purpose I will stick to this until I can master the basics. Your video is really an eye opener as I've never thought of so many tune and style of play this instrument can do in the hand of creative minds. Thanks a lot.

  10. Took my lessons from Liam to learn this song for a special friend! Thank you Liam for making that happen in such a SHORT amount of time!!' You are an AWESOME teacher!

  11. Great lesson, learned to play this.  Request.  The song "You've Got A Lover" by Shake Russell with Dana Cooper. Here is the video on YouTube.  Can you tell me what key is the harmonica in when using the chords E A B E A and I think the song is in the key of E.

  12. Is it possible that the tabs on the second Solo are wrong?

    this is what's written:

    5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 3D4D – 3B4B – 3D4D – 3B4B – 3D4D – 4B5B – 4B5B – 3D4D – 3B4B

    and you seem to play:

    5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B(d-d) – 5B6B – 3D4D – 3B4B – 3D4D – 4B5B – 4B5B – 3D4D – 3B4B

    It's prolly me not hearing it properly but i've been wondering it for a while and i thought i might share it!

    Anyway, really great video and thank you so much!

  13. Hey! I really love your lesson! Can you just help me and explain me how to do the "Wah" in the last solo please? 🙂
    A french fan!

  14. hi Liam, thank you for your video. I understand I need a G key harmonic, but can you be more specific on the harmonic? for example, how many holes on it? I am a beginner, thank you.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing lesson. I am currently learning harmonica by my self and your lessons are very useful = )
    Excuse my bad English. Grettings from Brazil.

  16. hi LiamI'm French and I appreciate your lessons. Could you explain me what is in bracket : ddd. There is no figure after. Also I DO NOT REMEMBER WHAT THIS SIGN // means.ThanksMuriel

  17. Liam, I learned Heart of Gold on a B flat harmonica, but I realize that the song is in G. What key harmonica would you recommend if I don't have a G? I have harps in A, C, D, and B flat.

  18. Hi Liam, I notice that a lot of Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Rolling Stones (Sweet Virginia) songs that have harmonica solos in them are not played with clear notes, but rather "messy" as you call it. Is that intentional on the part of the artists? I've tried to replicate that "messy" sound but it sounds terrible. I actually like that messy sound on some songs, but how do they get it and still make it sound good? Thanks.

  19. Thanks , I liked your lesson.I think you came close to what those solos are like, not 100% but so far best I've seen here.Good job!

  20. Hello, I'm never played an harmonica before. So do I need a G harmonica which is diatonic or chromatic, or something else ? Thanks in advance.

  21. Aha! I finally struck gold finding this video..already bought a Hohner harmonica in G ( 12 holes though ) and could not do anything with I can start to learn the 3 solos…thank you! Liked and subscribed!

  22. Thanks for this! I've been asked to do a few acoustic Neil numbers to open for a live electric band doing a bunch of his songs on his birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and I need all material that they're not doing so my options are limited and this lesson helps me out quite a bit.

    Is there any chance you could do another short one for Mr. Soul from the Unplugged performance? The guitar is in double drop D and I keep reading the harp is in G but as simple as it sounds I can't seem to get my arms around it. There's only a few notes but they're drawn out and mournful so the intonation is really important.

  23. Hey dude, I've practiced this for a while now and I'm just wondering how to make it sound more like the song, without just using single notes, if you know what I'm trying to say. Thanks for the awesome tutorial

  24. Fans of this great piece may wish to see this first live playing of this classic, with proof it is in 'G' as humours'ly stated by Neil Stephen Carmickle shows a similar link thought my link is of higher quality upload.

  25. Hi Liam. You are such a good beginner teacher. I have moved on to guitar from the harmonica. I’m guessing the song on the guitar is in the key of Em and G is the relative major key for Em? Is that the reason why it is played on a G harmonica. I was thinking I may have to try and buy a Em harp. I’m not even sure it exists 🤔 to play it in the 1st position. Your expertise would help me get my head around harmonica keys used alongside the guitar 🤗 I’m impressed how you reply to most questions. As they say in NZ you are a top bloke. Cheers Brent

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