This course is about improvising.
And playing blues on the harmonica.
If you like the blues this is for youze!
I am experienced in teaching this stuff so you will find it easy to understand.
I don't go too fast and I don't waffle on too much.
You get pdfs of everything I teach you and I make sure you have backing tracks/mp3s so you can play along and practise everything.
There's no rush when working through the course so I hesitate to tell you how long it will take but you could get quite a way into it during a weekend, and a month should see most people complete it.
We will learn in a structured way; after the introductory lectures you will start the program proper and each of the pieces has the following system:
This course will skyrocket your playing and give you serious advantages over people who don't know about these gifts from heaven - i.e. pentatonic scales.
This lecture is just to explain what you will get in the course and how you'll learn to play 9 pieces of music in 5 keys on a 'C' harmonica to the level where you can play them with a band - or just for fun!
What is the blues? Well, listen to track 'Ben's Boogie' and you will hear a juicy 12 bar blues which we recorded using a bullet microphone that started out life in the 1950s as a U.S. military P.A. mic! You will find the theme written out for reference on page 25 but please don't attempt to play it right now as it has 'bending' in it, and we haven't covered that yet.I'll add it for reference anyway.
If you want to download the entire book it is in the lecture description of lecture 2.
Here's the whole book if you want to download it although I will give you all of the relevant pages and mp3s as we go along: http://www.harmonicaworld.net/123asd132/theblues.zip - you might have to cut and paste it.
This lecture is a brief look at some of the 12 positions and leads you into pentatonic scales.
We learn about the three basic chords available on the 'C' harmonica, where to find them, and what to do with them. Next we will learn about the 12 bar blues and how to put these cords in the correct sequence. Finally we will explore articulation and how to make these cords work for you even better.
I've attatched 'Chowder' which is my version of Little Walter's 'Ah'w Baby' I mentioned in the video.
Introducing Pentatonic Scales. These are 5-note (penta =5, tone=note) scales and can contain ANY 5 notes but typically you find minor pentatonics and major pentotonics. Here we look into the minor versions which are extremely useful for improvising. We will explore how to construct and use these brilliant yet simple scales in four different keys.
Continued study of the Dminor pentatonic scale leading into learning Big Sultana.
Second part of learning Big Sultana phrase by phrase.
Using the D minor scale we just learnt, we'll now figure out how to improvise starting by just using one note repeated and repeated throughout one chorus - couldn't be simpler!
Now that we have learnt the tune, we will play it with the band using our backing track which was specially written for this project. I've added a slowed down version as well to make it easier and will look for a 'harmonica free' version. We will also continue to improvise using the scale we just learnt.
I thought I'd give you a view from the studio window just for fun!
This lesson teaches the E minor pentatonic scale which is a preparation for the upcoming tune called Elephant's Blues.
Now we have learnt the tune we will play it with the band on our backing track which was specially written for this project. We will also continue to improvise using the scale we just learnt.
Let's learn the tune in bite sized portions.
This lesson teaches the B minor flat 5 pentatonic scale which is a preparation for the upcoming tune called Peculiar Corners.
Well done, you got to the end, now you've got a bunch of new tunes up your sleeve, plus 4 minor pentatonic scales to rock your improvising world. I'll just give you some cool ways to expand your knowledge - try adding the flat 5th to each pentatonic and guess what, you'll have a complete blues scale. Very handy!
You will need a harmonica for this course.
Type - Diatonic
Number of holes - ten
Key - C
Model - I recommend the Sonnyboys Special as it is amazing value, high quality and low price.
Other harmonicas are also available.
See the independent review here: http://patmissin.com/reviews/sonnyboysspecial2.html
Where to get it? Locally or by post from my mail order shop www.sonnyboysmusicstore.co.uk.
Udemy like us to tell you that I will personally benefit if you buy from this shop.
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?
*Ben is the Chairman of the NHL - National Harmonica League in the UK
*Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996
*Lousy at speelling - 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 - Bodhran - 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'
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 300 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.