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Instant Harmonica - play the groovy Beatles Yesterday today!

Learn to play this amazing Lennon/McCartney piece and join a beat-jam - get my easy step by step guide, I'll show how...
4.8 (6 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.
285 students enrolled
Created by Ben Hewlett
Last updated 7/2016
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 13 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
play Yesterday 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
View Curriculum
  • all you need is a ten hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C. You can get one locally or from my mail order shop sonnyboysmusicstore (link is on the last page of the course, in my profile or google it) - I'd recommend the Sonnyboys Special in C as a good all-round harmonica with low cost and great quality.

INSTANT HARMONICA – play the wonderful Yesterday 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.

Who 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. However if you add tongue blocking and playing an octave down or using a different key harmonica you will get a big challenge here!
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 14 Lectures Collapse All 14 Lectures 01:04:07
Intro and overview
2 Lectures 07:54

In this lecture I'm simply telling you what's in store.

It's worth a quick watch and then we push on the the meat of the course in the next lecture.

Preview 04:11

I believe the best way to learn a piece of music is to sing it.

So let's sing!

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they're here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly I'm not half the man I used to be.
There's a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she had to go, I don't know, she wouldn't say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why she had to go, I don't know, she wouldn't say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm

Preview 03:43
A section, first Line
2 Lectures 10:14

In this lecture we start to learn the first notes.

It starts really simply with:

4draw 4blow 4blow

Try to get that right first.

The next few notes are:

5 blow twice and 6draw twice.

Bot too hard!

Preview 05:18

Now we can finish the first line.

You can print the file in the downloadable tab and you will see the same thing on the screen.

The lyrics are:

...seemed so far away.

I am attaching the ENTIRE song here in this lecture with harmonica tab - it's in the downloadable tab.

Also the half speed backing track.

Completing the first line
Second Line
1 Lecture 05:39

Now it looks as though they're here to stay.

Please follow the lecture and also read the file in the download tab - they are the same.

Learning the second line
Third Line
2 Lectures 07:52

Here comes the third line of the song.

'Oh, I believe in yesterday.'

As you will hear in the video I have had to make a few compromises to enable beginners to play the song one one note is in this line - can you tell which one?

Third line of the tune

Here's your chance to play through the A section with the band.

Here are the lyrics again - if you want to practice singing, or want to sing in your head as you play - and I STRONGLY ADVISE THAT YOU DO.

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they're here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly I'm not half the man I used to be.
There's a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Play through the whole A section
B section
2 Lectures 13:03

Time to start the B section now.

Here are the lyrics:

'Why she had to go, I don't know, she wouldn't say.'

What a great song this is!

Starting the B section

Now let's complete this section - here are the lyrics for you:

'I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.'

Completing the B section
The ending
1 Lecture 02:32

The ending is pretty much a repeat of the final line but hummed in the original.

I won't give you the hummed lyrics but they are on the video!

The ending
Playing the whole song
4 Lectures 16:53

So now time to go up a gear and play the whole song at 70% of the normal speed.

Can you play it with your eyes closed?

Try to memorise the lyrics and sing them in your head as you play.

Playing the whole song at 70% speed

So now time to go up another gear and play the whole song at normal speed.

Can you play it with your eyes closed?

Try to memorise the lyrics and sing them in your head as you play.

Playing the whole song at full speed

In this lecture we look into playing the correct notes.

'..all my troubles...' should really be E F# G# A

5blow, 5overblow, 6draw single bend, 6draw - or

2blow, 2draw single bend, 3draw triple bend, 3 double bend.

Pretty tricky either way.

I have a course on bending notes if you are interested in studying that.

Hence the compromise.

Or try playing it in F as the original is played. 

Paul McCartney tuned down a tone and then played as if he was in F for some reason.

What about the missing notes I mentioned? Here they are.

Well done, you made it!

get down to your nearest open mic or find someone to play it with - enjoy!

Outro and summing up
About the Instructor
4.6 Average rating
920 Reviews
13,182 Students
60 Courses
Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996 CTABRSM, NHL
  • Wow, over 12 thousand students - you could be next!!

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 


'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.


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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