INSTANT HARMONICA – play Scarborough Fair 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.
You will hear the whole song and get an idea of what we will be learning and how we will be learning it.
We'll sing it through in the Simon and Garfunkel style with nice long gaps between the lyrics
Singing is probably the best way to learn a song on an instrument
Also have a listen to many versions by as many people as you can find
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'
PLEASE BE SURE TO OPEN THE PICS IN THE DOWNLOAD TAB FOR EVERY LECTURE - THEY ARE SCREENSHOTS OF THE WHITEBOARD AND WILL MAKE EVERYTHING MUCH CLEARER FOR YOU IF YOU ARE USING A SMALL SCREEN TO VIEW THE VIDEOS
Grab your C harp and let's go
Starting with the first two notes
Can you find them on your harmonica?
Look at the board if you can't find it
Now the next two notes?
44 66 all breathing in
Most of this tune is breathing in
I play - you play
Count this tune in 3 beats to the bar
Exhale to prepare for a few breathing IN notes
Control the aperture in your lips to get the single note you want
First two bars done
Let's look at finishing off the top line of music
Watch my face to deduce whether I'm breathing in or out
Also whether I'm changing hole or staying in the same place
Last note of the phrase is often the same as the first. It is here.
Chorus - or the repetitive bit
Sing it through with the chords
We are in D minor here - actually D 'Dorian'
Can you pick the notes out?
Sounds like 'Smoke on the Water'
Play these three notes 6 DRAW, 7 BLOW, 8 DRAW
Now run through from the top
Run it through from the top
Now the new notes 7 BLOW, 6 DRAW, 7 DRAW, 6 BLOW, 6 DRAW
Make a smooth transition between notes of the same breath direction (which are next to each other) by continuing to breathe as you change holes.
That's half of it done !
Well done you.
Halfway through now so let's play from the top with the band.
Just sing the bit we haven't yet done.
Repeat from the top
Feel free to try busking the rest before we learn it
Next bit 'Remember' - 3 notes
IN or OUT?
Can you work it out?
Next part 'Me to one'
Can you find it?
BLOW, DRAW, DRAW
Notice the phrase marks
This helps break up the music into manageable chunks that make sense
Phrase marks are like a conversation or a dialogue
4 notes to learn here
'who lives th-ere'
The tune will just come after a while and you won't think about the hole numbers or breath direction - you'll just play!
Make the last two notes smooth as they are consecutive and the same breath direction
Vibratos - hands, lips, jaw or throat
The throat vibrato is much prized by blues players and you can learn that in some of my courses - the ones with blues in the title is where to look for that stuff
Here's the last line
She (or he) once was a true love a true love of mine
Can you work out the notes yourself?
Let's play it around from the top a few times
Use the track in the download tab and go for it
Well done - you got it done!
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.