Learn HARMONICA, amaze your friends and have fun - it's easy

In this extensive music course Ben Hewlett guides you step by step. THIS is how to play the harmonica - blues and more!
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Instructed by Ben Hewlett Music / Instruments
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  • Lectures 131
  • Contents Video: 15.5 hours
    Other: 4 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2014 English

Course Description

MY PERSONAL GUARANTEE - I AM SO CONFIDENT YOU WILL LOVE THIS COURSE THAT IF YOU DON'T, AND SO FAR ALL BUT ONE PERSON WAS HAPPY, I WILL REFUND YOU ALL THE MONEY (within 30 days of purchasing) WITH NO QUESTIONS ASKED. THIS IRONCLAD GUARANTEE IS BACKED UP BY UDEMY.

**OVER 4,900 STUDENTS and counting**

Many video lectures added or updated 7.1.15 and 21.1.15

If you ever wanted to learn to play the harmonica this updated course is for you!

I will hold your hand all the way through the videos with my 'infectious and humourous' style of teaching. People tell me that and who am I to argue.

You will feel like I'm right with you in a one to one lesson showing exactly you how to do it, and encouraging to to become confident and go it alone.

This course gives you the basics in 125 (and growing) easy lectures.

It's designed to be fun, friendly, easy for anyone to learn - even non-musical people! It is is designed to help you succeed and lead you on to the next in the series.

There are pdfs and mp3 downloads with many lectures so you can read the tablature and play along with the audio music written especially for learning harmonica.

Please be sure to visit the Questions area and Forum to interact with other students. It's a great way to learn more and helps you apply what the course gives you.

I check my Udemy messages most days so feel free to message me if you have a question and I'll do my best to come back to you quickly.

"Ben Hewlett is the UK's most respected harmonica teacher and most prolific author. He will lead you through the ins and outs of harmonica playing through a series of short video lessons. His teaching style is confident, practiced, humorous, skillful, knowledgeable and packed with information in bite sized chunks."

I am used to teaching all over the world at prestigious harmonica festivals, one to one, groups, night school, corporate teambuilding, as a guest lecturer on cruise ships and but now it's your turn!

Do you want to get so good you'll be able to confidently play the songs you love for family and friends, jam with musicians, or even play on stage with a band?

Don't play an instrument? Learn the Harmonica, it's easy, cheap, portable, and sounds great.

If you can breathe you can play the harmonica.

Why play the harmonica?

    ·It's easy to play – you don't even need to use fingers

    ·The harmonica is an accessible and relatively easy introduction to music

    ·You can play scales and tunes over three octaves

    ·You can play rhythms with chords, as well as melodies (sometimes even both at the same time!)

    ·You can also play pairs of notes simultaneously using different intervals, including octaves

    ·It's cheap and fits in your pocket

    ·You can play along / accompany on the piano – the harmonica equates to the white notes on the piano

    ·It sounds great right out of the box

You can learn to play it chromatically (all the sharps and flats) but most people generally don't get to this stage so initially we play it modally to access C major, D minor (dorian), E minor (Phrygian), F major (Lydian), G major (mixolydian) A minor (aeolian), B minor (locrian)

You can play the Blues – where it is best known

You hear it on adverts and TV theme tunes all the time – now you can join in

A lot of bands use the harmonica as part of their show – that could be you

There are a thousand harmonica performances viewable for free on YouTube – you thought you were the only one?

It can lead to work if you want it to; there are many people who play music in bands and who teach and write about music as a full time or part time living.

The world's most popular instrument – Guinness book of world records – so they say

You can:

    ·Play on stage

    ·Or with your friends

    ·Or at a jam session

The harmonica is a small, versatile instrument played in nearly every kind of music and most cultures the world over. Though it may seem confusing to learn at first glance, the harmonica is actually an easy and fun instrument to get started playing.

'You're not just learning an instrument : you're exploring your soul. You need what Virginia Woolf called "a room of one's own," i.e., a place where you can practice obsessively and/or cut loose without worrying too much about the wife or husband, the roomate, the dogs, the kids, or the neighbors overhearing and critiquing you. This can be your bedroom or bathroom, a stereo room, the basement, an office, or it can be outdoors, in an abandoned park tunnel or along a windswept boardwalk--anywhere in which you feel as though you're away.' From Adam Gussow's site

Best of all, learning the harmonica is fun.

You all know the sound of a harmonica; you hear it on a Beatles track, in a Western Movie, in a TV theme tune or on a advert. It'll always be in classic rhythm and blues songs. The voice of the harmonica is all around us, it's distinct and wherever it is found, it always sounds cool.

The harmonica has been enjoyed on top of mountains, in deserts, jungles, trenches, and prisons and even in a Gemini Space Rocket, so keeping one in your pocket is no problem.

What are the requirements?

  • All you need is a 10 hole diatonic harmonica in C. Just get one from your local music store or we can mail one to you via SonnyboysMusicstore.co.uk. The Mojo is recomended for Blues and the Sonnyboys Special is a good allround harmonica. Hohner harmonicas are also recommended but any will also get the job done. Later in the course you will need harmonicas in A and D.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Here are some of the thousands of things you will learn on this course: how to play the blues, how to...play chords, rhythms, use chugging, breathe properly, play the 12 bar blues, use straight and swing rhythms, play single notes with pucker and tongueblocked embouchures, learn useful scales, play box patterns an groovy scale exercises, use single, double and triple tonguing, play simple tunes in different keys, use the modes and positions effectively, play more complex tunes, bend some of the notes, learn major and minor pentatonic scales for improvising, soloing in blues and country music, play with better tone, use the hands properly, play tunes and chords at the same time, play basic blues chugs rhythms and riffs, Sonny Terry style, Sonnyboy Williamson style, different types of vibratos and tremolos, harder note bending, tb bending, using technology to help you learn and practice - and there is way more than I can type in addition.

What is the target audience?

  • This is for people who have never played harmonica at all, people who have only started dabbling with the harmonica recently, intermediate players and even advanced - something for everyone!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

03:15

This short movie tells you what to expect and you can also skim through the course details to get further information. Enjoy the course and let me know how you get on!

Ben Hewlett

How your harmonica was made
Article
2 pages

Which harmonica?

One of the most common questions we get asked by beginners is “Which harmonica should I buy?”
There are so many different brands and models available that it can be quite confusing.

As with all musical instruments you do get what you pay for so our advice would be that if you can afford it, buy a mid range instrument. Something in the price range £20 -£40 should do the job nicely.

Many people do start out with very cheap instruments and there's nothing wrong with this, indeed we sell many of the cheaper instruments and often get very complementary feedback about them.

However by just spending a bit more, the quality of the harmonica increases dramatically; they are easier to play as they are more airtight, you tend to get better tone and more volume. Tuning is generally more accurate and consistent in the dearer models.

A well made harmonica should gives years of service if you take care of it and play it sympathetically.
For your first diatonic harmonica you should choose a key of C as much of the teaching material available is done for this key.

As to specific models you could try a Hohner Big River Harp, Marine Band 1896 or Special 20 or our own brand Sonnyboy's Special which is excellent value or maybe a Suzuki Bluesmaster or Lee Oskar.

The thing is there are lots of slight variations between the different models so our advice would be to gradually try as many different models as you can until you figure out what suits your playing style best.

Section 1: Play Harmonica - Beginners level 1, starting nice and easy
02:24

Here's the introduction to the first part of the course so have a squint at it to see what groovy things you will be learning.

One important thing to know is that this course is all my other courses (and more) in one compilation - the box set if you will.

Therefore when I introduce a lecture as 'lecture 3' or 'lecture 4' will you please ignore that - it was relevant on the original course but not in this one, so kindly ignore that.

07:23

Welcome to your first harmonica lesson - I really hope you enjoy this course.

I am very proud to offer this series of courses and lectures to you and in a sense it is the culmination of 18 years of teaching.

So let's summarise this lecture:

  • Learn how to hold the harmonica in different ways
  • How to connect it to your mouth
  • How to breathe in different ways
  • How to play Muddy Waters Hoochie Coochie man with a band
  • How to play an easy Blues Shuffle. So in your very first lecture you are going to learn how to play the blues with a band!

ASSIGNMENT = MEMORISE THE TWO BLUES PIECES

NB the tracks come from a CD/Book called Blues Jam Factory that I wrote a while back with Paul Lennon. Although we don't have time to go through all of it here we will dip into this and other of my books from time to time as we go through the course.

The idea is that you take one lecture per week so the beginners course should last you three months. I find with my students that people are so busy these days it is better to give them, or I should say, you, small amounts of information on a regular basis so that they/you have time to practice what you learn and then come back for the next lecture.

I will provide you with lots of written tuition but mostly it will be video as I think it's more personal and it's good to learn by ear as well as visually. With music it's the ears that need the training more than anything.

I forgot to mention in the video intro to lecture one that I teach many workshops all over the world especially at Harmonica festivals. The biggest one in America is SPAH.org and I was delighted to teach a seminar and be part of Joe Filisko's teach-in at the 50th anniversary 2013 event in St Louis, Missouri.

I also teach regularly at the Bristol International Harmonica Festival in the UK and in Trossingen, the home of Hohner, at the World Harmonica Festival and am booked to teach 20 lectures in 4 days at Steve Baker's Trossingen Harmonica Masters Workshop in 2014.

08:45

So let's summarise this lecture:

  1. Refresh last time
  2. Five points about tone
  3. Playing with chords and rhythms
  4. Try Jambalaya rhythm - see pdf (don't worry about playing it with single notes yet but you can come back to it later and do exactly that)
  5. Try making up your own music

ASSIGNMENT = PRACTICE WHAT I'VE TAUGHT YOU TODAY

LIE DOWN AND LEARN THE FIVE POINTS ABOUT TONE AND TRY TO BREATHE FROM THE DIAPHRAGM

Five points about tone:

  1. Connect well with your harmonica, open your teeth and stick it in your mouth
  2. Make the inside of your mouth actively cavernous
  3. Playing with hot air such as you would use to steam up a mirror
  4. Have good posture as you play, it is better to play standing up, check in a mirror
  5. Learn to breathe from the diaphragm

All these things and many more will help your playing sound warmer and more attractive to your audience.

09:46

Summary:

  • Refreshing the five points on tone
  • Demo with jews harps from Sound for Health
  • Using hands to create rhythm
  • More on breathing

Tone and breathing are really the essence of breathing instruments so spend some time on it please. We will keep coming back to this aspect.

ASSIGNMENT = WRITE DOWN ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BREATHING YOU CAN COME UP WITH AND TRY THEM ON THE HARMONICA

10:01

Summary:

  • History of the harmonica
  • Embouchure
  • Working out how to define it
  • Playing 1 hole, 2 holes, 3 holes and more
  • Feeling the holes with your tongue so you know where you are

ASSIGNMENT = RESEARCH THE HISTORY OF THE HARMONICA FOR YOURSELF - SEE WHAT ELSE YOU CAN FIND OUT ALSO TRY MAKING A BAMBOO JEWS HARP

08:12

Jambalaya - please see the next lecture for further details about Jambalaya

The video demonstrates this much better than anything I can type so please refer back to it if you need help.

Whisper these words at the top of the pdf using holes 1-3 (or 1-5) to create the rhythms:

(Breathing out) 'Ticky Chicky ticky Chicky ticky Chicky ticky Chicky...'

Now Breathe in and whisper 'Chuck-char.............Chickyticky Chickyticky Chickyticky Chickyticky Chicky
(Now breathe out) Chuck-char.........Chickyticky Chickyticky Chickyticky Chickyticky Chicky…

If you emphasise the word 'Ticky' and make it a little louder you will find it has that authentic Cajun feel it is supposed to be played with.

This system is called 'chugging' and I will go into it deeper in the next few lectures.

Summary:

  • Looking into and using the chords of C, G - see the attached CHORDS screenshot
  • 12 bar blues with CHOWDER - see mp3 attached. This is based on Little Walter's 'Ah'w Baby'
  • Try to play the chords on Jambalaya
  • Trying to play Oh Susanna with chords

ASSIGNMENT = TRY TO PLAY OH SUSANNA USING CHORDS

08:24

Here's a further explanation of my take on Jambalaya as many people are confused by the previous lecture.

08:20

Summary:

  • Refresh Lecture 5 - Oh Susannah - when you get to the chorus you need the F chord (the IV chord) and you can play this on holes 5 and 6 draw.
  • Starting Chugging - ta ta ta ta etc
  • Using new 'chugs' - all these come from on another book by Paul Lennon and myself called Get Chugging, so if you want to have much more detail than we have time for here.

ASSIGNMENT = MAKE YOUR OWN CHUGS USING WORDS AND MAKE IT RHYTHMIC

08:12

These tracks come from a CD/Book called Blues Jam Factory that I wrote a while back with Paul Lennon.

ASSIGNMENT = MEMORISE THE 12 BAR BLUES PATTERN AND THESE BLUES CHUGS

08:15

    Summary:

  • More complex Chugging
  • Recap Choo Diddley Chuck (try saying it differently like Chow diddley tock)
  • Tooka Chicka Chacka Chicka
  • Siggy Saggy
  • Train sounds

ASSIGNMENT = MEMORISE THESE CHUGS

08:43

Summary:

  • More Trainsounds
  • Tikka Hoo
  • Tikka Hoo Tikka Duddley
  • Chowder blues pattern
  • Doodiduck blues pattern

ASSIGNMENT = LEARN DOODIDUCK (PAWNSHOP BOUND)

07:57

Summary:

  • Straight or Swing
  • What is a bar?
  • Beats in a bar
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, more

ASSIGNMENT = TRY TO FIND SOME DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSIC AND CLAP OR PLAY ALONG IN THE RIGHT RHYTHM. YOU CAN EVEN DO THIS IN THE CAR TAPPING ON THE STEERING WHEEL - HARMONICA PRACTICE!

08:25

Summary:

  • Playing with a shaker
  • Sonny Terry - DO CHUCK, DEE CHUCK

ASSIGNMENT = PRACTICE THE ABOVE AND HAVE A GO ON THE SONNY TERRY RIFF

08:08

    Summary:

  • Tips and tricks
  • Blues wahwah
  • Vibratos
  • Use of tongue
  • Tremolos
  • Head Rolls

ASSIGNMENT = PRACTICE ALL THESE TIPS AND TRICKS AND WE'LL SEE YOU IN THE NEXT SECTION!

01:30

Well that's it, well done, you made it. So far!

But there's more; if you have enjoyed this so far please WRITE ME A REVIEW ON UDEMY, on twitter, FB, pin, tumblr etc and tell your pals - it's good to spread the word, they will thank you!

The next stage follows on directly from here. Beginners level two is the logical progressive step forward from this point. We start getting into single notes, and work through to tunes. So if you like playing tunes keep on going into level two .

Section 2: *BONUS* using only 4 holes (8 notes) to play tunes
02:17

Learn how to play the scale of 'C' on the 4hole harmonica, miniature harmonica or simply use a 'taped up' 10hole (cover holes 1 2 & 3 and 8 9 &10 with painters tape/masking tape and, for the sake of this lecture, consider the the four remaining holes to be 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Play it up, down, forward , backwards, each note twice or three times, going up in threes (cde, def, efg, fga, gab, c and back down), leapfrog (ce, df, eg etc.)

This will enable you to play thousands of tunes - I have a book called 'The Ultimate Miniature Harmonica Tunebook' - 365 tunes for the four hole harmonica by Pat Missin.

05:09

Learn to play this classic tune with me now on your 4hole, mini or taped up 10hole - just follow my instructions on the video or read it from the book.

Please take time now to print the Funky Nursery book so it will be easier to play.

The Funky Nursery Book is attached in suplementary material (next tab on the right of where you are reading this - the one with a big down facing arrow)

Each tune is written out for the 4hole as you have in your hands and also the 10hole so that when you've got it going on the 4hole properly you have another level of challenge awaiting you on the 10hole!

Each song comes in 4 tracks:

1. Sung - please join in

2. V e r y s l o w

3. A little faster

4.Same speed as the sung version

Please study the songs in that order.

If you want a paper copy of the book with accompanying CD you can get it from HarmonicaWorld.net

02:23

Here's another classic old tune I learned as a child, just follow my instructions on the video or read it from the book.

04:17

Another classic!

Take your time with this one and try to keep the timing correct - especially in the Merrily Merrily section - don't try to do it too fast. Use the playalong tracksprovided.

02:12

Here's another classic song which children have been singing for years. There is probably no end to the amount of verses you can add!

01:47

Three Blind Mice is a tale of violence and terror towards small furry disabled creatures. The tune is good though and repeats across every phrase like Frere Jaques does. Enjoy learning it.

01:38

Here's a song about some missing sheep. It's nice and east to play and I think you will enjoy learning it.

Follow my instructions on the video or read it from the book.

Section 3: A bit of engineering for you
05:51

If your harmonica goes 'squeaky' I'll show you how to fix it in this short and easy guide. You need very few tools and very little skill so everyone can have a go.

03:06

Here's how to retune your 4hole harmonica. Give it a go - what could possibly go wrong? I would only do this on harmonicas that are unplayable in case you make it worse but as alternative to buying a new one it's well worth a shot.

03:24

Here are a few more tips that will help you find your way around your instrument under the hood. Have a go at these little projects on harmonicas that are unplayable in case you make it worse but as alternative to buying a new one it's well worth a shot.

Section 4: Play Harmonica - Beginners level 2, How to play easy tunes on your harmonica
Introducing the next section
Preview
02:22
08:08

Summary:

  • Single notes, how to pucker up
  • How to play C and D on hole 1
  • How to play C and A on hole 10
  • Fat Tone - how to achieve it

ASSIGNMENT = WORK ON GETTING SINGLE NOTES WITH CLARITY, ACCURACY AND TONE

TRY PLAYING THE TWO BLUES TRACKS ATTACHED - THEY ARE FROM 'SEARCH FROM THE SINGLE NOTE' WHICH I WROTE A WHILE AGO WITH PAUL LENNON

10:49

Summary:

Single notes extension

Scale of C

Holes 4, 5, 6, 7 as well as 1 and 10

ASSIGNMENT = TRY TO GET CLEAR SINGLE NOTES ON THE SCALE OF C

07:54

Summary:

  • Tone - remember the five point about tone from Beginners level 1 course
  • Single notes
  • Tonguing - ha, ta, ka, cha, la, sa
  • Double tonguing taka, taka
  • Triple tonguing tataka, tataka

ASSIGNMENT = PRACTICE THE ABOVE WITH THE SCALE OF C AS TAUGHT ON THE VIDEO

07:10

Summary:

Learning box patterns and extending them

CEGD first one. Blow hole 1, blow hole 2, draw hole 2, draw hole 1 and repeat all this.

Next start the same pattern from hole 2, then hole three and upwards.

ASSIGNMENT = TRY PATTERNS WITH TA AND TAKA

08:09

Summary:

  • Faster box patterns
  • Starting on different holes
  • 3, 4, 5 and 6 note box patterns
  • Using tonguing as well co-ordinating tonguing and movement

(OOPS - on the video at 5:05 I say we'll play some 4 note patterns and then play some 3 note patterns - never could count very well!)

ASSIGNMENT = HAVE A GO AT THE PATTERNS AND SEE HOW GOOD/FAST/ACCURATE YOU GAN GET

08:09

Summary:

Looping in 7 beats or 8

On the video I get confused! I don't actually play the version with 8 notes on the video but you can have a go. It should be like this: going up CDEFGABCD and coming down like this: CBAGFEDC

Breathing patterns

Leapfrog

in 3s, 4s

ASSIGNMENT = PRACTICE THESE PATTERNS EVERY DAY

07:28

Summary:

Learning simple tunes - Twinkle Twinkle

From the downloadable CD/Book 'Funky Nursery'

ASSIGNMENT = USE THE FOUR ATTACHED MP3S TO LEARN TWINKLE.

1. SING ALONG

2. PLAY ALONG V E R Y ... S L O W L Y

3. PLAY ALONG A LITTLE QUICKER

4. PLAY AT FULL SPEED IF YOU CAN!

07:56

Summary:

Learning Dminor scale (dorian) 3rd position

Improvise with the notes of this scale on 'John Wintergreen'

This tune was composed for Mastermix (on HarmonicaWorld.net)

ASSIGNMENT = LEARN THE D SCALE.

HAVE A LITTLE GO AT IMPROVISATION WITH 'JOHN WINTERGREEN'

HAVE A LOOK AT PLAYING SCARBOROUGH FAIR - WE RETURN TO THIS LATER WITH A PLAYALONG TRACK AND WRITTEN MUSIC - BUT TRY TO FIND IT WITHOUT ANY HELP JUST NOW

07:29

Summary:

  1. Playing E phrygian minor
  2. 5th position
  3. belly dancing music
  4. adding the missing notes
  5. learning to play all seven modal scales

All 7 Modal scales:

CDEFGABC

DEFGABCD

EFGABCDE

FGABCDEF

GABCDEFG

ABCDEFGA

BCDEFGAB (start on hole 3)

ASSIGNMENT = LEARN THESE SCALES

PLAY 3 BLOW, 2 DRAW REPEATEDLY - BOTH ARE THE NOTE OF 'G'

04:26

I thought I'd share a cool video I did many years ago on a mini harmonica.

Nothing to do here - just so you can see what you can do with a 4 hole instrument. It has just the notes of the Scale of C - CDEFGABC and is the equivalent of holes 4-7 on the normal 10 hole instrument. Enjoy!

Wait - could you pick out some of those tunes and try to play them?

07:25

Starting to learn Scarborough Fair

This tune, and When the Saints in lecture 12, were also arranged for Mastermix (on HarmonicaWorld.net)

ASSIGNMENT = PLAY SCARBOROUGH FAIR WITH THE PLAYALONG TRACK

07:59

Starting to learn When the Saints

ASSIGNMENT = PLAY WHEN THE SAINTS WITH THE PLAYALONG TRACK. IT'S A BIT FAST SO YOU MIGHT NEED TO WORK UP TO IT!

NOW IS THE TIME TO GIVE ME SOME FEEDBACK PLEASE - A REVIEW ON UDEMY AND AS MANY STARTS AS YOU CAN MANAGE!

Wrapping up this section
00:54
Section 5: Play Harmonica - Beginners level 3, tunes, draw bending
Introducing the next section
Preview
01:05
08:39

Love Me Do

The audio track is not the original, it was modified for educational purposes. If anyone wants it removed just ask.

All the tunes in this course are taught with video screen capture. Please make sure you can see the chart by printing or having it on another screen if you need it during the lecture.

After the lecture take your time to go through the song slowly with the chart and try to memorise it.

Play it with a metronome (or metronome app) to get it into rhythm, but start slowly and gradually build up to to the speed of the audio where provided.

Sing the tune with the audio where provided.

Next try to play with the audio track reading and also from memory.

When you have the notes down, start to add dynamics such at volume changes, phrasing, intensity, big finish etc.

Invite some other musician to play with you on guitar, piano or whatever you can find.

Perform it! Enjoy it, and make a list of your repertoire - the songs you can play - and keep refreshing them, you never know when you might find a performance opportunity.


09:37

The Can Can

All the tunes in this course are taught with video screen capture. Please make sure you can see the chart by printing or having it on another screen if you need it during the lecture.

After the lecture take your time to go through the song slowly with the chart and try to memorise it.

Play it with a metronome (or metronome app) to get it into rhythm, but start slowly and gradually build up to to the speed of the audio where provided.

Sing the tune with the audio where provided.

Next try to play with the audio track reading and also from memory.

When you have the notes down, start to add dynamics such at volume changes, phrasing, intensity, big finish etc.

Invite some other musician to play with you on guitar, piano or whatever you can find.

Perform it! Enjoy it, and make a list of your repertoire - the songs you can play - and keep refreshing them, you never know when you might find a performance opportunity.

07:24

Yankee Doodle

All the tunes in this course are taught with video screen capture. Please make sure you can see the chart by printing or having it on another screen if you need it during the lecture.

After the lecture take your time to go through the song slowly with the chart and try to memorise it.

Play it with a metronome (or metronome app) to get it into rhythm, but start slowly and gradually build up to to the speed of the audio where provided.

Sing the tune with the audio where provided and use the different audio track speeds.

Next try to play with the audio track reading and also from memory.

When you have the notes down, start to add dynamics such at volume changes, phrasing, intensity, big finish etc.

Invite some other musician to play with you on guitar, piano or whatever you can find.

Perform it! Enjoy it, and make a list of your repertoire - the songs you can play - and keep refreshing them, you never know when you might find a performance opportunity.

11:24

Amazing Grace - perform this solo and you will have them crying in the isles, in a good way I mean.

All the tunes in this course are taught with video screen capture. Please make sure you can see the chart by printing or having it on another screen if you need it during the lecture.

After the lecture take your time to go through the song slowly with the chart and try to memorise it.

Play it with a metronome (or metronome app) to get it into rhythm, but start slowly and gradually build up to to the speed of the audio where provided.

Sing the tune with the audio where provided.

Next try to play with the audio track reading and also from memory.

When you have the notes down, start to add dynamics such at volume changes, phrasing, intensity, big finish etc.

Invite some other musician to play with you on guitar, piano or whatever you can find.

Perform it! Enjoy it, and make a list of your repertoire - the songs you can play - and keep refreshing them, you never know when you might find a performance opportunity.

07:45

Autumn Leaves

I really prefer playing this piece in the lower octave so I never play it as shown here, and I think you can tell I'm not comfortable in this lecture! But you have a go anyway - you'll be fine. Later when you can bend notes I'll show you how to play it in the low octave and I think you will prefer it there as I do.

All the tunes in this course are taught with video screen capture. Please make sure you can see the chart by printing or having it on another screen if you need it during the lecture.

After the lecture take your time to go through the song slowly with the chart and try to memorise it.

Play it with a metronome (or metronome app) to get it into rhythm, but start slowly and gradually build up to to the speed of the audio where provided.

Sing the tune with the audio where provided.

Next try to play with the audio track reading and also from memory.

When you have the notes down, start to add dynamics such at volume changes, phrasing, intensity, big finish etc.

Invite some other musician to play with you on guitar, piano or whatever you can find.

Perform it! Enjoy it, and make a list of your repertoire - the songs you can play - and keep refreshing them, you never know when you might find a performance opportunity.

07:41

Love Me Tender.

The audio is not the original but is constructed to educate. If anyone wants it removed please let me know and I will take it down.

All the tunes in this course are taught with video screen capture. Please make sure you can see the chart by printing or having it on another screen if you need it during the lecture.

After the lecture take your time to go through the song slowly with the chart and try to memorise it.

Play it with a metronome (or metronome app) to get it into rhythm, but start slowly and gradually build up to to the speed of the audio where provided.

Sing the tune with the audio where provided.

Next try to play with the audio track reading and also from memory.

When you have the notes down, start to add dynamics such at volume changes, phrasing, intensity, big finish etc.

Invite some other musician to play with you on guitar, piano or whatever you can find.

Perform it! Enjoy it, and make a list of your repertoire - the songs you can play - and keep refreshing them, you never know when you might find a performance opportunity.

09:24

Checking out the first three positions.

Please follow the lecture and refer to the attached file.

09:38

Overview of all 12 positions concentrating on the 7 modal positions.

Please follow the lecture and refer to the attached file in the previous lecture.

08:09

For now just follow the lecture but later I will add some charts, tunes and audio that I'm recording and writing now. Please message me if have got this far and don't see them yet.

09:03

For now just follow the lecture but later I will add some charts, tunes and audio that I'm recording and writing now. Please message me if have got this far and don't see them yet.

09:09

For now just follow the lecture but later I will add some charts, tunes and audio that I'm recording and writing now. Please message me if have got this far and don't see them yet.

09:37

For now just follow the lecture but later I will add some charts, tunes and audio that I'm recording and writing now. Please message me if have got this far and don't see them yet.

Wrapping up this section
02:22
Section 6: Play Harmonica - Beginners level, 4 improvising on harmonica
Introducing the next section
Preview
01:18
08:48

Summary:

Improvising with the C and G pentatonic scales

ASSIGNMENT: PLAY ALONG WITH THE TRACK AND TRY TO GET ACCURATE NOTES

08:50

Summary: more on the G and F pentatonics

ASSIGNMENT: WORK ON G AND F

TRY PLAYING C PENTATONIC FOR 2 BARS AND THEN G PENTATONIC FOR 2 BARS WITH THE TRACK FROM THE PREVIOUS LECTURE OR THE NEW (SLOWER) TRACK ATTACHED HERE. IT WILL FIT VERY WELL AND SOUND GROOVY!

07:51

Summary: Learning the D minor pentatonic

ASSIGNMENT: USE THE ATTACHED MP3S AND CHART TO UNDERSTAND THE SCALE AND USE IT FREELY. THE AUDIO IN THIS SECTION COMES FROM 'BONES OF THE BLUES'

08:31

Summary: Learning the E minor pentatonic

ASSIGNMENT: USE THE ATTACHED MP3S AND CHART TO UNDERSTAND THE SCALE AND USE IT FREELY. THE AUDIO IN THIS SECTION COMES FROM 'BONES OF THE BLUES'

08:23

Summary: Learning the A and B minor pentatonic

ASSIGNMENT: USE THE ATTACHED MP3S AND CHART TO UNDERSTAND THE SCALES AND USE FREELY. THE AUDIO IN THIS SECTION COMES FROM 'BONES OF THE BLUES'

06:47

Summary: Learning the D blues scale

ASSIGNMENT: PLAY ALONG WITH THE PREVIOUS TRACK IN THIS KEY OR FIND SOME FRESH BLUES MUSIC IN THE KEY OF D - I'M SURE GOOGLE WILL ADVISE IF YOU CAN'T FIND ANY.

08:19

Summary: Learning the E blues scale

ASSIGNMENT: PLAY ALONG WITH THE PREVIOUS TRACK IN THIS KEY OR FIND SOME FRESH BLUES MUSIC IN THE KEY OF E - I'M SURE GOOGLE WILL ADVISE IF YOU CAN'T FIND ANY.

Converting major pentatonic scales into blues scales Gmajor to G blues
07:42
09:29

Summary: Learning how to start soloing

ASSIGNMENT: follow the video

08:14

Summary: Blues Jam sessions or folk/Irish/klezmer sessions

ASSIGNMENT: GO TO ONE, RECORD IT , PRACTICE AT HOME THEN GO BACK AND PLAY THERE

08:55

Summary: What roles are the for the budding harmonica player at a session?

Watch this video to find out.

ASSIGNMENT: PREPARE FOR THESE ROLES

11:10

Summary: More Sonny Terry taught on the video

ASSIGNMENT: GET SOME ORIGINAL SONNY AND STUDY HIM

Wrapping up this section
01:55
Section 7: Play Harmonica - Intermediates, level 1, starting blues
02:21

Now we start the Intermediate section so expect to see a little revision of previous lectures - but now you are more experienced I will challenge you a little more.

Over the years of teaching I find people really like a little repetition so go with the flow but feel free to skip lectures if you wish. I recommend you don't!

The same will happen when we hit the next level.

09:38

Summary:

  • How to hold the harmonica
  • Play Hoochie Coochie Man - this time add a 5th note (last time you played IN OUT...OUT IN, BUT THIS TIME TRY THIS - in OUT in out IN - with the beat on the capitalised words. You can also try it with single notes using the attached file called Mannish Boy Riffs from the book 101 Blues Riffs
  • Play the blues Dr Dr Doc
  • These pieces come from Blues Jam Factory



ASSIGNMENT = LEARN THESE THREE THINGS AND TRY THE NEW RIFFS

10:30

Summary:

  • Learning about breathing - chest, lungs, abdominal, cheeks
  • Improve your tone quality - more in following lectures
  • The third lung
  • Chords


ASSIGNMENT = TRY WORKING ON ALL YOUR NEW BREATHING PATTERNS AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN

08:51

Summary:

  • Fat tone - let us zoom in on this, it is really important
  • Different types of harmonica body/comb
  • Put the harmonica further in your mouth - eat that Tin Sandwich
  • Open your teeth
  • Make the inside of your mouth actively cavernous
  • Harmonics
  • Play with hot air
  • Correct your posture
  • Breathe from the diaphragm
  • Try the Filisko method of holding your harmonica

ASSIGNMENT = WORK ON FATTENING UP YOUR TONE

02:52

Summary:

Exploring the resonant cavity on a jews harp

I get mine from Sound For Health

Take a look at this video

ASSIGNMENT = get a jews harp (Dan Moi) and try it out

10:04

Summary:

  • Open Embouchure for chords and chugging
  • Pucker embouchure
  • A brief look at Tongue block embouchure
  • Octaves
  • Intervals
  • Rhythms
  • Vamping
  • U - block embouchure

Filisko Tongue Block Trainer is worth a look

ASSIGNMENT = TRY ALL THREE EMBOUCHURES

04:58

Summary:

  • Extending previous lecture
  • Tongue blocking using models


ASSIGNMENT = PRACTISE YOUR EMBOUCHURE AND THE TONGUE-BLOCKING

08:22

Summary:

Chords, where they are on the harmonica and what their names are

ASSIGNMENT: TRY TO WORK OUT SOME TUNES USING ONLY CHORDS

10:05

Summary:

Playing tunes with only chords

Frere Jaques

Ode to Joy

Sonny Terry - how to manage your air

The first three positions in harmonica playing

ASSIGNMENT - PRACTISE THE CHORDAL TUNES AND FIND SOME MORE

HAVE A GO AT THE SONNY TERRY RIFFS

07:40

Summary:

12 bar blues preparation

Chowder

ASSIGNMENT - PRACTICE 12 BAR BLUES WITH CHOWDER AND ANY OTHER RHYTHMIC PHRASES

08:40

Summary:

Blues chugging

Dr Judy, Pawnshop Bound (Doodiduck)

ASSIGNMENT - USE THE TRACKS TO GET USED TO PLAYING ALONG WITH THE 12 BAR BLUES

06:57

Summary:

Sonny Terry techniques

Use track provided (from Sonny Terry Blues Riffs 2)

ASSIGNMENT - WORK ON SONNY'S STYLE AND CATCH SOME OF HIS VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE

08:52

Summary:

More complex chugging from 'Get Chugging'

Chow Diddley

I would like a chicken tikka

Tikka hoo

Tikka duddley

Hooka tikka

Woww

ASSIGNMENT -WORK ON BEING ABLE TO PLAY ALL THESE CHUGS WITH THE TRACKS AND WITHOUT SO YOU ARE COMFORTABLE AND YOU GET A STABLE RHYTHM

If you would like more of this have a look at my Udemy course on chugging called 'It don't Mean a Thing if it ain't got that Swing'

Wrapping up this section and previewing the next
02:03
Section 8: Play Harmonica - Intermediates level 2, bending notes
Introducing the next section
Preview
02:21
11:21

NB you may have seen some of this video but there are extra bits added so it's worth a watch.

Summary:

History of the harmonica

Exploring embouchure

Puckering up

ASSIGNMENT: PLAY ABOUT WITH DIFFERENT MOUTH SHAPES SO YOU CAN START TO CONTROL HOW MANY HOLES YOU PLAY

DO YOU OWN RESEARCH INTO THE ORIGINS OF OUR INSTRUMENT

09:23

Summary:

Lots more new train sounds

Time signatures - how many beats in a bar?

ASSIGNMENT: GET THESE TRAINS RHYTHMS DOWN AND MAKE UP YOUR OWN - LISTEN TO RECORDINGS OF STEAM TRAINS!

EXPLORE TIME SIGNATURES WITH CLAPPING, PLAYING AND USING A METRONOME

07:48

Summary:

learning warbles, tremoloes, head rolls, wawah, and different vibratos

ASSIGNMENT: PRACTISE ALL OF THESE, RECORD YOURSELF AND ANALYSE FOR IMPROVEMENT

07:11

Summary:

Learning how to pucker

Getting clear single notes

Learning to play all the notes on the harmonica in one beautiful smooth rhythmical piece of music

ASSIGNMENT: PRACTISE THIS ALL VERY CAREFULLY - USING RHYTHM AND METRONOME, GRADUALLY SPEEDING UP

08:02

Summary:

Learning to play doh re mi - the scale of C

Learning it with patterns

Bending hole 1 from D to Db

ASSIGNMENT: PLAY THIS A LOT IN ALL THE FORMS - THIS IS YOUR GATEWAY TO TUNES AND IS VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE DOWN

WORK ON THE HOLE 1 BEND IN THIS FORM D, DB, C, Db, C. IE 1 DRAW, 1 DRAW BENT, 1 BLOW, 1 DRAW BENT, 1 DRAW

08:15

Summary:

A little music theory - modes

Take a look at the Modal Scales chart and play through those

Then have a go at the tunes, some have backing tracks and Autumn Leaves has two speeds for you

ASSIGNMENT: TRY TO GET TO GRIPS WITH THE MODAL SCALES - EACH PRODUCES A MOOD. TRY THE PIECES AND CHECK OUT WHAT MOOD YOU FEEL THEY PORTRAY

08:04

Summary:

Bending hole 4 from D to Db (down a semitone)

Box patterns - practising scales

ASSIGNMENT: WORK ON THE BEND IN THIS FORM D, DB, C, Db, C. IE 4 DRAW, 4 DRAW BENT, 4 BLOW, 4 DRAW BENT, 4 DRAW

ALSO WORK ON THE BOX PATTERNS AND CONSTRUCT YOUR OWN

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Instructor Biography

Ben Hewlett, Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996 CTABRSM, NHL

  • Nearly 10,000 students can't all be wrong - now it's time for you to have a go!
  • You want transparency? OK. I'LL PROVE HOW GOOD MY COURSES ARE - IF YOU DON'T LIKE THEM YOU CAN HAVE ALL YOUR MONEY BACK - NO QUIBBLE; 100% GUARANTEED BY UDEMY! 

Here's how my courses are categorised in terms of subject, purpose and content. 'Instant' courses are simple tunes; 'Learn Harmonica' is the harmonica encyclopaedia for everyone; 'Bones of the Blues', 'Get Chugging', '101 Blues Riffs', and '60 Sonny Terry Riffs' are the video taught versions of books I've written (you can google them) and the others are all about different techniques. I also have Celtic music courses for you.

If you see a course you want but don't have the cash you can talk to me. If you are a student or not earning much I will support you with a lower price, but if you are doing ok you can support me - how's that?

About the Guru. Harmonica Guru? Guru Schmuru; I'm joking - someone said it once and it appealed to my ego!

*Ben is the Chairman of the NHL - National Harmonica League in the UK

*Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996

*Lousy at spelling - getting worse actually so tell me if you see a typo pleese

*Ben qualified as CTABRSM in 2002 (Certificate of Teaching - Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)

*Certificate of Music Workshop Skills (Goldsmiths University of London) in 1995

*Accredited Diatonic Harmonica Teacher 1993 - HTAB (Harmonica Teachers Accreditation Board, supported by Lee Oskar Harmonicas, the National Harmonica League of UK and the International Harmonica Organisation).

*Ben's teaching business HarpsCool is proud to be 'IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HOHNER'

'Ben Hewlett is one of the UK's most respected harmonica teachers and the UK's most prolific author on harmonica tuition. He will lead you through the ins and outs of harmonica playing through a series of short video lessons. His teaching style is confident, practiced, humorous, skillful, knowledgeable and packed with information in bite sized chunks. Ben is used to teaching all over the world at prestigious harmonica festivals and is delighted to offer his services to you.'

'You'll know Ben better as a harmonica teacher but he also studied Irish Drum - Bodhrah - and tin whistle in the 1990's with the now very famous Steafan Hannigan and Marc Moggy from Renegade Rhythms. He got so into Bodhran playing he bought an expensive tuneable drum from Marc and it works better than ever to this day. Ben has played Bodhran in bands and sessions for years and even has a Senheiser bass drum microphone embedded into his drum. Check out his Bodhran teaching on Udemy'

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I would recommend using 'Transcribe!' for slowing down and changing the key on my backing tracks - it's free as a trial and well worth a look in my opinion.

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I have been teaching people to play harmonica since 1996 as a full time job. I have started tens of thousands on their way to play the harmonica and I can tell you - it sure beats working!

I believe I was the first person to be a full time harmonica teacher in the UK, there are still very few of us - so there's plenty of room if you want to come and join me.

Recently I have become the Chairman of the National Harmonica League (NHL) which supports the UK harmonica players community.

Much of my time is spent writing books with Paul Lennon on how to play the harmonica, there are 20 or so with loads more in the pipeline - we have so many ideas it never stops.

I teach children near home, and with my team at HarpsCool where the team and I give 400 children weekly harmonica lessons.

My YT videos, and their success and feedback, are the reason I am teaching on Udemy; there are millions of hits on the youtube sites and thousands of subscribers. People are kind enough to say how clear the teaching is, and how it's helped them to understand aspects of harmonica playing - at last!

I run workshops at major harmonica festivals including SPAH in the US, the Bristol International Harmonica Festival in the UK, the World Harmonica Festival in Trossingen, Germany - home of Hohner, and the Harmonica Masters Workshops also in Germany.

I even use the harmonica in team building events for many international companies.

Cruise Ships have been part of my teaching life since 2002 and the combination of teaching, performing and travelling is quite a blast. Who knew teaching the harmonica would take me to the Caribbean three times, Africa, Russia, Scandinavia, and Atlantic Europe.

You will often find me performing in various venues and going to jam sessions, and I love playing with interesting groups or sitting on a number when The opportunity arises - that's one of the wonderful things about the harmonica, you can have it in your back pocket and join in with people wherever you are.

So you are in extremely competent and safe hands, so do yourself a favour and try one of my courses - in fact have a free lecture or two to suck it and see - that's a harmonica joke by the way.


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