Instant Harmonica - how to get single notes in 5 easy steps
4.8 (10 ratings)
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Instant Harmonica - how to get single notes in 5 easy steps

Want to play a tune on your harmonica? Take this course and I'll show you how. I'll walk you through in baby steps.
4.8 (10 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
839 students enrolled
Created by Ben Hewlett
Last updated 7/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 38 mins on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • play single notes on your harmonica. Now you will be able to learn all the songs in the INSTANT HARMONICA series so look out for the courses coming up
View Curriculum
  • You don't need to know anything - other than that you want to play a tune on a harmonica. You will need a 10 hole harmonica in the key of C

This course shows you how to play single notes on your harmonica.

I intentionally didn't put much practice material in the course because this is really to qualify you to play tunes and tunes are the main aim.

That said please listen carefully to all the techniques and repeat them over and over to practice and learn the skills with muscle memory and intellectual process.

If you can already play single notes you can skip this (or take it and improve your playing) and go straight to the Instant Harmonica Series ie any of my courses with the words 'instant harmonica' in the title - or just search for those words or even search for Ben Hewlett and you'll get there.

This is for beginners and is very slow and easy to understand. I'll show you how to do it with demonstrations and I'll be using the whiteboard. You will learn to play the Doh Re Me tune - known as the scale of C.

We will learn 8 notes.

One at a time.

Very slowly.

Once you can get single notes the world is your lobster - you can play thousands of tunes with these 8 notes.

Let me know if there is a song or solo you want to learn and I'll try teach you how.

Look for any of my courses called 'INSTANT HARMONICA' and you will have the skills to play the tunes.

So here are some of the tunes coming up/available in my 'INSTANT HARMONICA' series:



Dirty Old Town


Amazing Grace

Over the Rainbow

Ode to Joy

The Kesh

Oh Suzanna

When the Saints

Scarborough Fair

Also you will be able to play solos similar to the harmonica playing of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Paul Jones, John Lennon...

Let me know if there is a song or solo you want to learn and I'll try teach you how.

Who is the target audience?
  • This is for total beginners who have not played before. If you can already play single notes pucker style you don't need this course. It is training for all the songs in the INSTANT HARMONICA series
Compare to Other Harmonica Courses
Curriculum For This Course
Here's how to get single notes on the harmonica
7 Lectures 38:02

This lecture is the introduction to the course

The first thing is - do you actually need this course?

If you can already play single notes then NO you don't but if you would like to get some help on the subject you are in the right place

It tells you what you will learn and how you will do it

Preview 00:59

This lecture starts very slowly giving you an overview of all the 20 notes.

Next I show you the main 8 notes we will learn in this course.

Now I'm showing you how to play hole 1 as a single note.

There are different ways to get single notes but I'm showing you the easiest.

Preview 06:53

Why should I learn to play single notes?

Why learn to play single notes?
1 question

Let's start with hole 1. Try to play it without letting hole 2 into the act.

Now we look at hole 10.

Where to play hole 10 to avoid marital breakups? I will advise you.

Next we look at playing hole 4 breathing out.

Now Hole 4 breathing IN.

Let's move up to hole 5 OUT and then IN.

Put those four notes together for the first part of our scale - the scale of C

Preview 06:37

Recapping last session on holes 4 and 5 - C,D, E, and F

Fragments of tunes - 'Praise Him, Praise Him' and 'Esso Blue' advert theme tune

Now adding G and A on hole 6

Eastenders theme

Long notes and short notes

Rhythm and beat

Metronomes - help you play in time

Explaining why two IN notes are next to other

Learning hole 7

Playing the whole scale CDEFGABC

Controlling the aperture in your lips

Learning holes 6 and 7

Tricks to learning the scale of C

Using painters/masking tape to reduce choice and error

How do you hold the harmonica - let me show you

Different ways of holding the harmonica

Vibrato and 'wahwah'

Playing the scale going downwards

Reminder of why we're doing this - so you can play tunes - folk, jazz, blues, celtic, oh suzannah etc and also your favourite Neil Young solos or something by Nobel Peace Prize in Literature winning Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jagger, Jones, Lennon...

Frere Jaques

How to work out the tune yourself

Keep practicing

Scale of C

Check your single note accuracy - 50%?

Playing a little faster

Hear and see it on the piano

Play along with the piano

Looping the scale

One cojon to accompany the playing

Playing in a continual loop for one minute to build skill, concentration and stamina

Speeding up - take the challenge

Playing all the OUT (blow) notes

Breathing issues

Playing all the IN (draw) notes

Twinkle Twinkle

When the Saints

Oh Suzannah

Now you are qualified to play single notes and are all set to plat the tunes in my INSTANT HARMONICA COURSES

What would you like to play?

Ode to Joy, Cockles and Mussels, The Kesh Jig, Cock o' the North, Summertime, Amazing Grace, Over the Rainbow, solos from Neil Young, Dylan, Jagger...

Finishing off the scale of C and starting some tunes

Wrapping up

What next?

What are you now qualified to do thet you wern't before taking this course?

Now go to any of my INSTANT HARMONICA courses and play the tunes

About the Instructor
Ben Hewlett
4.6 Average rating
1,408 Reviews
16,619 Students
69 Courses
Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996 CTABRSM, NHL

Wow, over 16,000 students - you could be next!!


Please note I am your HARMONICA SPECIALIST - that is my main focus.

Please see my copyright policy at the bottom of this page.

I always give current students a 75% discount on everything so if you take one course you are 'in my exclusive discount club' which means I will tell you every month what's new and where the discounts are.

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 now have a few Celtic music courses for you. My interest in sound and travel has also led me to do some live workshops on English conversation and pronunciation (in Vietnam) and I have written some Udemy courses on that subject.

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. I also heard Capo is worth a look.


Join/subscribe/follow/friend my FB page to get notifications of live Facebook workshops.

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.

For the last few years I have been 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.


Respect and thanks to all the artists for writing and performing these amazing songs that you want to learn.

The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Research, Education, Libraries and Archives) Regulations 2014 (extracts)

I quote:

 "Not more than 5% of a work may be copied under this section by or on behalf of an educational establishment in any period of 12 months, and for these purposes a work, which incorporates another work is to be treated as a single work. 

Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of private study does not infringe any copyright in the work.”


Any recordings used in my courses represent less than 5% of the entire work and are already in the public domain on YouTube.

Any written transcriptions are written by me or my team to promote the work and the artist and to facilitate students who want to learn more about their music.

Any audio backing tracks are written and recorded by me or my team to promote the work and the artist and to facilitate students who want to learn more about their music.

If you are a copyright holder and feel I have used too much of your work please contact me on or 07973284366 and I will remove whatever you feel is inapropriate without question.