Basics of Lung Sounds

patient illustration

The goal of this basic course in lung sounds is to improve auscultation observational skills. We focus on describing important breath sounds and in providing recordings of each. Many students find that waveform tracings aid in learning lung sounds; we have included dynamic (moving cursor) waveforms with each lesson. The anatomy pages use illustrations to reveal an example of each lung sound (anatomy not yet available on smartphones). 

Please use good quality headphones or earphones. Computer or phone speakers often fail to reproduce some heart sounds.

Course Certificate

A free, personalized achievement certificate can be earned for this course. Please Sign In or Sign Up. We will not sell or trade your email or any other personal information.

Begin Lessons

How To Use Course Lessons

Each lesson within a course consists of text describing the heart or lung abnormality. A torso illustration indicates the stethoscope chestpiece location. Audio recording of the sound is provided. These sounds loop in playback so that the user can learn to recognize that sound. Phonocardiograms or lung sound waveforms are included with each lesson. These waveforms can be a highly useful aid in learning to recognize heart murmurs. In addition, short videos illustrate the heart's motion for each abnormality. These animations indicates the origin of each murmur. Blood flow is also animated. For lung sounds, the source (location) of the sound can be revealed.


After completing a lesson, use the blue arrows to view the next lesson. Lessons can also be accessed by links within the table of contents.

Practice Drills

When all lessons have been completed, we recommend using the Practice Drill. These practice drills are also required to earn a module certificate of achievement. In order to gain a certificate of achievement, please complete the course lessons and practice drill during one session. Most users complete the coure's lessons and drill in 30-45 minutes.


Table of Contents




Heart and Lung Sound Authors: Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD, Cardiologist (ret.), Diane Wrigley , Physician Assistant and national educator for continuing education, David Lieberman, Heart Sound Simulation Engineer. Review by Dr. Barbara Erickson, Author and Editor