Instant Harmonica - play The Kesh (part 2) - easy and fun!
4.8 (5 ratings)
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Instant Harmonica - play The Kesh (part 2) - easy and fun!

Learn how to play this classic Irish piece and join your local music session - try this easy and fun step by step guide.
4.8 (5 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.
54 students enrolled
Created by Ben Hewlett
Last updated 8/2015
Price: $40
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 35 mins on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • play The Kesh 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
  • I recommend you take The Kesh part 1 first but after that you need nothing for this course - just a harmonica - 10 hole diatonic in the key of C

INSTANT HARMONICA – play The Kesh part 2 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. It is best to take The Kesh part 1 first. If you are an advanced player you will cover the whole thing very fast and you may find it is too slow for you
Compare to Other Harmonica Courses
Curriculum For This Course
Welcome to part 2 of The Kesh
9 Lectures 35:25

This lecture explains that this is part 2 of the Kesh and I recommend you take part 1 first.

Preview 00:41

Now we start to fill in the missing notes.

This time signature (6/8) means there are 6 beats in the bar but it feels like two groups of 3

So you can count it 123 456 with a strong pulse on 1 and 4

You could also count it 123 123 like a waltz

Or even 1 and a, 4 and a.

Hence the phrase 'diddly diddley' which I've heard describing (not very kindly) this type of music.

So learn the first few bars with me now.

I've added an audio file of me playing the tune three times with a backing track. It's quite slow but may not seem like it when you first hear it! You can use it as you get used to playing the notes I show you.

If you would like a slower version message me and I'll make one.

Preview 03:49

Now we will finish the top line off.

Notice the repetition means we've also just played the majority of the second line.

So take your time on this and repeat it over and over.

Preview 02:06

Have a look at what I've added to the board and you will see how repetitive the tune is.

Play it from the top please with repeats.

Notice when you repeat the A section add the 3 blow but when you head to the B section the pickup note is 4 draw.

Preview 04:32

Here comes the B part now.

The filling in notes could be thought of as decoration as they simply drop down a hole and then back without changing breath direction.

It's the same idea in the second bar of the B section but not so practical for harmonica players - you need to play 6 draw, 7 blow, 6 draw so practice it well.

If you find it too fast play it more slowly!

B part

Starting at bar 11.

Note the repetition that keep occurring.

Let's play from the very top of the piece but without repeats.

Play it over and over.

Well done - you are 75% through the tune! Keep going.

Bar 11

Let's add the first part of the last line - guess what, it's the same as above in bar - until the last note anyway.

Play it from the top now please.

And again.

Starting the last line of the tune

Let's finish it off.

Play the last line slowly with me now.

Now play the B section over and over.

At the end of the section use the 4 draw when you go back to the B section again.

At the end of the piece when you want to stop it head for the 10 blow or the 4 blow by sliding there still breathing out.

The Finishing of the tune

How can we extend this tune?

Play it tongueblocked

Use the rhythm with chords

Use tricks that the fiddle and whistle players use - the scotch snap, the cut, the roll - the 'doodle' or 'duddla' sound.

Or even 'diddle-a da'

Or 'drrrrr' like rolling your Rs

Or the 'mandolin' vibrato

Or the flick - go up one hole and back.

Or an octave lower/higher

All these are taught in my 'Learn Harmonica' course if you want to follow this up.

There's more, but right now......go to a session!

Bonus - how to extend this course even further
About the Instructor
Ben Hewlett
4.6 Average rating
1,408 Reviews
16,620 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.