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INSTANT HARMONICA – play the wonderful Blowing in the Wind right now!
If you have a tune that you would like me to teach please message me.
Take this course and play the tune instantly. No musical experience needed.
You will pick it up straight away without needing any music skills. This is easy to play and really fun to learn. You will be proud of your achievements and happy with the results.
'INSTANT HARMONICA' is a new series of courses where you learn one tune per course. You will find it is taught in a friendly and encouraging manner and most importantly is it taught v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
Ben Hewlett is a very experienced music teacher who is able to be very patient and methodical. Each lecture will introduce you to the next group of notes – usually just 4 new notes and that's it.
This method is very easy for you to pick up the tunes as they are repeated over and over again until you have got it. You can even re-run the video if you find it useful.
Take one course and learn your favourite tune. The try another. Remember you can always get your money back if you wish but otherwise you have lifetime access to the course.
Imagine how amazing it will feel when you whip out your harmonica and play this tune – your friends and family will carry you shoulder high in triumph. Hopefully they don't carry you out of town and dump you in the river, but hey, swimming's good as well.
The health benefits of playing the harmonica are well documented – google it. Your lungs get exercised, your lung capacity increases, aerobic movement is good for you, playing music makes you smarter they say.
You will have fun on your own and with your friends, and more oxygen to the brain will make you think you are having a good time so it's all good.
Not for you? No problem.
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|Section 1: Intro and course overview|
Today we are going to learn to play Blowing in the Wind on the C harmonica - that's the 'diatonic' harmonica.
If you need a harmonica you can get one locally or if you would like one by post you are welcome to use my mail order shop - www.sonnyboysmusicstore.co.uk and I would recommend the Sonnyboys Special as a good harmonica of quality and value.
In this lecture I discuss the piece, tell you about the most famous players of the tune.
Then I show you how it will be easy for you to learn and what teaching methods I use.
I use a program called transcribe! to slow down the music and you can search for this and get a free evaluation copy to check out. I have no affiliate links with the author although he is a friend of Paul Lennon, my writing collaborator.
Here's the link:
The main mission in this lecture is to get you to sing the tune until you really know it.
Move to the lecture called 'First line, first half' next or - if you are having trouble playing single notes go to the 'Single Notes' lecture.
Any course in my INSTANT HARMONICA series needs only two things:
a harmonica (key of C, 10 holes, diatonic)
and the ability to play single notes - but I'll show you how to do that now in this lecture
Make your mouth into the shape you might use if you whistle - it's known as the pucker, pursed lip or kiss shape. Allow your lower lip to drop and push the harmonica in a little; the further it goes in the better it will sound! Relax your lips to let the harmonica in and gradually try to get the shape that gives you a single note.
Some people use a pencil or straw to model the shape you need so try that as well.
I have a bigger course with five lectures on this subject if you want to go deeper - it's called 'INSTANT HARMONICA - how to get single notes in 5 easy steps' so dive in and take that one if you like
The more complicated way is called 'tongue blocking' but I will not go into it here except to say you use your tongue to block the holes to the left (or sometimes the right) side of the hole you want to play. Here's another of my courses that explores the use of the tongue in harmonica playing - 'Killer Harmonica sounds using the tongue and bending notes'
|Section 2: First line|
This lecture is all about the first few notes and starts just with hole 6.
If you have trouble getting single notes please go back one lecture and sort that out.
The black arrow pointing up means breathe out and the red arrow pointing down means breath in.
In this lecture you will find all the resources you need for the course in the download tab at the top of your screen on the right.
Hopefully you have now got the first few notes sorted out.
Now we'll work on the 'man wa-lk down'
Let's sing the first line a few times to get the phrasing right and then we'll do it with the harmonica.
6blow, 5blow, 4draw, 4draw
Do it slowly and then with the band - (I don't mean 'The Band', I mean the slow backing track)
Get this straight and then continue on to the next lecture.
|Section 3: Second line|
Working on the second line now using 6blow as the main note.
The draw notes add tension so make sure you play them.
Practise without the band following the video.
Keep repeating this line and next do it with the band.
|Section 4: Third line|
The third line is different each time.
Before she sleeps in the sand
6blow, 6blow, 5blow, 5draw, 5blow, 5blow, 4draw.
|Section 5: Fourth line|
This lecture is all about the fourth line.
Guess what - it's the same as the first line
So that makes it quite easy as it is something you have done before.
The only change is connected to the words so add some more 6blows.
Play the song from the beginning up to this point - use the backing tracks and do it with me on the video.
|Section 6: Chorus|
This lecture is all about the chorus.
The answer, my friend
5blow, 5draw, 5draw, 5blow, 4draw
Play this round and round first.
Next play it from the top to this point.
This lecture is the middle part of the chorus.
Is blo-wing in the wind
4draw, 5blow, 5blow, 5blow, 4draw, 4blow
Play the tune from the top with the video to build your confidence.
This lecture is all about the last part of the chorus.
The answer is blowing in the wind
5blow, 5draw, 5draw, 5blow, 4draw, 4draw, 4blow, 3draw, 4blow
|Section 7: Finishing off|
In this lecture we play the entire tune through at the slow speed.
You will hear me start to improvise a little - I play it an octave lower and then with a little improv using the major pentatonic.
Practice the whole tune now with slow and fast versions of the backing track.
|Section 8: Outro and wrapping up the course|
Bob's solos are hard to replicate as it's a style he developed over the years and my style and taste is quite different.
However what he does is bounce back and forth between the blow and the draw chords up at the top end of the harmonica.
Follow the video for guidance - it's hard to put this part into words.
Some takes of this song are played on a G harp and I think that makes it sound better - the C is quite bright in the top register. My advice is to use the top end judiciously - we don't want to encourage marital breakups or howling dogs as we play our sweet music.
I also show you some other ways to play in this lecture.
Tongue blocking and rhythms are shown in this lecture as well as many other different ways to play.
Have a go at the scale of C. It's a brilliant little Doh Re Me tune and will be very helpful.
Extend it by missing out notes F and B (5draw and 7draw) and you will have a different scale remaining - this is called the C major Pentatonic Scale and is your favourite friend when you are improvising. CDEGA are the notes.
Start those exact same notes on A and go up to A and you have there the 'A minor Pentatonic Scale' - ACDEGA. This is even more useful than the previous scale for improvising.
If you can already play this scale give yourself a challenge and start it from hole 1 blow.
You will find the bending requirements are rather intriguing!
|Lecture 14||1 page|
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.
I will 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?
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 - 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 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.