Instant Harmonica - play the gorgeous Skye Boat Song now!

Learn how to play this classic Scottish Island piece and join your local music group - try this easy step by step guide.
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Instructed by Ben Hewlett Music / Instruments
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  • Lectures 11
  • Length 38 mins
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • 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 10/2015 English

Course Description

INSTANT HARMONICA – play the wonderful Skye Boat Song 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.

What are the requirements?

  • You only need a C diatonic 10 hole harmonica for this course

What am I going to get from this course?

  • play The Skye Boat Song on your harmonica. You will also be able to learn all the songs in the INSTANT HARMONICA series so look out for the courses coming up

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for complete beginners; you don't need any musical experience, I'll walk you through the whole thing very slowly step by step. If you are an advanced player you will cover the whole thing very fast and you may find it is too slow for you

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

Section 1: This is the intro where I describe the course to you
02:46

In this lecture I will tell you all about the course.

You will see what you are about to learn and find out how you will learn it.

This is a brilliant tune and I really hope you enjoy playing it with me.

Hopefully you will want to play it with others and maybe even in public some time.

I have added three versions of the backing track to this lecture - slow medium and fast.

You will find these in the download section on the right of the main screen, look for the download arrow icon.

Let's go - enjoy, and make sure you get right to the end and write a review please.

02:07

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
03:48

Here's the first lecture that starts the tune.

This lecture covers the first four notes of the tune.

Please look carefully at my face as I play and you will be able to see when I breathe in and when I breathe out.

You will also see which hole I am on if you are eagle eyed.

Certainly you will see if I move holes, how far and in what direction.

So study the face of a harmonica player to learn what they are playing.

03:44

In this lecture we pick up from the previous lecture - the work 'like' is where we start.

This lecture introduces the idea of playing with a band.

You will find three versions of the backing track in the introduction lecture on the right under 'view resources' and the download tab.

05:18

Let's finish the top line starting with the word 'wing'

Play it with me and also using the backing track - slow version.

Take a look at the phrasing as I describe on the video.

Section 3: Second line
03:54

So now the first line is complete we find that the second line is very similar.

The only difference is the last note which is a 5draw instead of (in the top line) a 4blow.

5draw gives you a lift and leads into the second part of the tune.

Finding the first note of the piece is important.

If you want to know where 4blow is, knowing 1blow is an octave lower might help you.

Section 4: Third line
03:47

The third line has a much more pensive feel. The words are different as well and it is a direct contrast to the first part.

Practice the first phrase 6566 all breathing in - over and over.

The second phrase is much more tricky but if you slow it down enough it becomes quite easy. Start with 6blow 4blow back and forth and then add the rest.

00:40

Now an easy bit on holes 5 and 4 - 'Thunderclouds rend the air'

Let's play from the top to there now with the band.

Section 5: Fourth line
04:41

We made it - the last line!

Apart from the last note it's the same as the third line.

We found the same with the first two line if you remember.

Now we can play the whole thing from soup to nuts.

You might want to use the medium speed backing track if you are ready.

Time for you to consider the dynamics of the music as well now.

I'll tell you all about it in the video and we'll go into it further in the final lecture but first I want to tell you about the scale of C in the next lecture.

04:20

This lecture explains what all the notes are and where they are

Here you will learn the scale of C which is a very useful tune for playing tunes

If you aldeady know this stuff you can skim or skip it

Like I said earlier, 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

03:00

Now we have the tune down, we can play it over and over.

Then let's look into the dynamics, octaves, tongue blocking, playing in different octaves, adding vibrato and other decorations.

Use the different speed backing tracks.

Now it's YOUR tune - good luck, please leave a Udemy review, and tell your friends about this course!

See you next time

Ben


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Instructor Biography

Ben Hewlett, Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996 CTABRSM, NHL

  • Wow, over 10 thousand students - you could be next!!
  • 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 - 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'

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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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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.

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.


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