SCROLL RIGHT DOWN FOR LATEST REVIEWS. Please note all Zoom workshops are filmed and short snippets are sometimes used to promote future events.If you don't want to be filmed just use an anonymous profile photo. You can still join in with talking and playing. If you can't get in call Ben on FB messenger.
(future events are subject to change - who knew?)
June 7th 2020
Tom Halchak Blue Moon Harmonicas
Randy Landry Lone Wolf
May 31st 2020
Greg Heuman Blows Me Away
Kinya Pollard HarpSmith
May 24th 2020
TEAM LEE OSKAR
May 17th 2020
May 10th 2020
May 3rd 2020
Jon and Yuki Vaughan
April 26th 2020
April 19th 2020
April 12th 2020
April 6th 2020
March 29th 2020
Just me - testing, testing, 12 12
May 10th 2020
4PM THE WORKSHOP IS ALL ABOUT THE BLUES - BASIC 12 BAR BLUES STRUCTURE
THE WORKSHOPS ARE ON 'GETTING SINGLE NOTES' - 5 WAYS TO GET SINGLE NOTES, WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THEM, SCALES, EASY MELODIES, GROOVY EXERCISES FOR SPEED PLAYING, MODES/POSITIONS IF THERE'S TIME - LOADS OF GOOD STUFF.
Front man, harp player and co-singer for the Original Blues Brothers Band for 20 years. Rob has opened several times for Bruce Springsteen. He has toured with Dolly Parton, George Jones, and has contributed to works by Whitney Houston, Judy Collins, Cyndi Lauper and Bobby McFerrin, among others. and is the singer for the reformed Blood Sweat and Tears.
Jerry played harp and been in blues and rock bands most of his life. He took lessons with Sonny Terry and recorded the lessons. Those recordings have been cleaned up oand you are going to hear some excerpts on the show.
2019 SPAH Pete Pedersen award nominee, Jerry Fierro is bringing harmonica to the forefront of the Florida blues scene by bringing what he has learned from Sonny Terry and other greats to the studio and stage.
*Lars Seifert MD of Seydel.de will be giving away a Seydel Summer Session Steel worth €49 to the first person who types the answer in the Zoom chat box - what is the question? wait and see!
The winner was MaryBeth H!
3pm UK time: Beginners workshop 'FOX CHASE and RAINCROW BILL'
4pm UK time: Improvers workshop 'FOX CHASE and RAINCROW BILL'
Raincrow Bill (Henry Whitter) and Fox Chase (Deford Bailey) are wonderful rhythmic chugging pieces steeped in history, fun to learn, and very useful to be able to do. If you are a pure beginner you will definitely be able to learn the basics at this workshop. Improvers will get a good challenging workout!
5pm UK time BEN'S HARMONICA SHOWCASE - talk to the harmonica stars; get some questions ready to ask them:
TRAINSOUNDS FOR HARMONICA - How to supercharge your HARMONICA skills! Learn rhythm, chugging, breathing, speed, excitement, dynamics, music, ear training, chords, whistles, steam, and power...
7.30 This week we feature the lovely Ed Hopwood from https://www.theharmonicabarge.com/ talking, teaching and playing old timey harmonica, folk and blues. You will love his style of playing and intrigued to know he will be joining us from his narrow boat - the harmonica barge!
8.30 Filip Jers will join us. He is an internationally known harmonica player and composer from Stockholm, Sweden. At the age of 29 he has performed in almost 30 countries; Europe, Asia, Africa and North America http://www.filipjers.com/. He is a multi instrumentalist specialising in diatonic and chromatic harmonica. Filip is rapidly becoming one of the finest jazz and blues players on the professional circuit. Filip Jers has won two golds at World Harmonica Festival 2005 in Trossingen, Germany. He has been given numerous awards through the years most recently his jazz quartet was selected as "Best Group" at the European Jazz Competition in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
♥️"What did participants say about their experience?"
Hi Ben Thanks for that. It was nice to see real things happening in real time. I am definitely up for more of this. I didn’t put myself forward for any of the demonstrations mainly as I was having to balance my phone, as my tablet picture was too dark. Next time I will use my laptop. Very early days on playing the harp and I really noticed a difference. I have always found 2 draw a bit difficult, but I was hitting it every time by the end. Thanks once again and I look forward to the next sessions. G
Hi Ben, As always I think the workshop was absolutely fantastic. You get the greatest guests. These were all exceptional people and really interesting. I loved the history presented by John and I will probably be making use of his services for sure because, according to Dad, he has a couple of bad reeds in his harmonica. Paul was fascinating .. a very talented man. Brendan was so awesome, a fantastic talent and I loved his enthusiasm and willingness to share his time so freely. I will definitely be buying his CD. I am going to try and get my father-in-law set up. He has a chromatic and he used to love playing but his wife hated it so he stopped playing for many years. She passed away a couple of years ago and we have convinced him to pick it up again. I think he would absolutely love it. At least I am really hoping so, it would be so good for him. See you on Sunday 👍😊Cheers, Z
Hey Ben, Thanks again for setting up these Sunday sessions. They've been brilliant! I was floored listening to Brendan yesterday, completely lost on a lot of what he was talking about but something to shoot for. Also, thank you for sending the PayPal link. The last time I went to the play harmonica page to register/donate for the class the page says I've already enrolled. Looking forward to Sunday! J
Hi Ben, Thanks for that, good to know the recordings will be available for folks who couldn’t make it on the day. I love the informality of it, makes it feel very friendly and welcoming. If you are still looking for name suggestions, how about Ben’s Sunday HarpFest? Or, Ben’s Sunday HarpTogether? All the best, F x
Hi Ben, Brilliantly organised! Great idea, combining some workshop playing with top class guest experts. The highlight for me was Brendan Power. He had so much fascinating stuff to tell us, and play for us, that you must get him back as soon as you can. I also love his New Irish music cd. I’m sure he could talk for several sessions on his music, his special harmonicas, playing in Riverdance etc etc.and we would all be enchanted. One request from me: please could we do a workshop which has a tune, say something based on a twelve bar blues? D
Hi Ben, It was an absolute privilege to be involved with your Harmonica Workshop on Sunday. Really enjoyed hearing Brendan Power in particular, I have a Lucky 13 great harp. This is a brilliant workshop there is no where on the internet you can get this quality of teaching and experience on a contribution basis. I would highly recommended this to anyone interested in playing harmonica. I appreciate all the hard work you put into this each week and I would very much like to continue to attend if permitted. Looking forward to hearing a book next week.Kind regards C
Are these exercises written down somewhere? Very useful session this morning, thanks. I think I just got twice as good, granted it's a low bar I'm starting at. Back to Day 6.. Cheers, B
Thanks Ben- that worked ok! At least it did with 18 participants. I’m signed up to your monthly mini-courses, looking to develop my blues-harp so I’d join a group like we just had with a slightly more advanced course - blues licks? Suggested songs to play along with? Best, B
I tuned in to the first one - Zoom works really well. I think there was a peak of 18 participants… no issues at all apart from the horizon on your pic behind isn’t truly horizontal!! Cheers, S
Ben, That was very useful. Good to see so many others of all ages taking part and enjoying the session. Cheers, J
Hi Ben, Just thought I'd drop you a line to say I enjoyed that zoom meet... Was good to have a brief lesson and I did learn something! Especially as I'm only on day 6 of lessons and very much a beginner... I'd be interested in 1-1s or small group lessons this way if you felt that is something you'd like to do... Thanks for taking time to do the lesson... Regards~D
Thank you Really enjoyed myself. I was taking part on an I pad will try the PC next time. Have a good evening. B safe, Regards, K
Ben, well done with the group. Really enjoyed it. Basic, but as Ive been playing 10yrs and knew less than half of what you explained, that's probably why Ive plateaued for last 5 years! Re energised. Cheers, Stay safe, P. Hampshire UK
Glad it went well. Hoping to jump on one of the later ones if my broadband is strong enough, it's been a bit wonky the last few days. T
Hi Ben. That was really good fun. The mute button was a life saver I reckon. Really enjoyed it and great to see yourself and other people. I was on an iPad which seemed to work really well. Thanks very much. J
Hi Ben, I was at the 4 o'clock meeting. I was able to follow what you were saying - though the sound broke up a little, and every so often the message 'your internet connection is unstable' flashed up. I don't know if that's to do with the age of my laptop or the fact that my wife was watching iPlayer in the other room! Anyway, I enjoyed it. Just wish I could bend notes more effectively...Regards R
Thanks Ben, Really good to be in on your lesson. I was able to dig way down inside my diaphragm, especially when I laughed. I could definitely hear the difference in the sounds. Thank You!!, F
Hi Ben, It was fun. We covered stuff I’m studying on one of your courses but it was good to go over it again. I think the zoom workshop has a lot of potential but you will have to keep people muted when you are teaching only to unmute themselves when required. You may need to explain the controls at the beginning of the workshops. Raising your hand when you want to take part works well. I also think the jam idea sounds fun as well. Good luck with the other sessions. Cheers, S
Hi Ben I have just attended the 4pm workshop and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the way we were all muted and then could participate if you wanted to hear us (voluntary) or one of us wanted to speak. It's a great way for harmonica players all over the world to get together. I am quite happy to listen to your advice on any aspect of playing and then go away and practice. I will be interested to see how playing over a backing track goes if that is the next thing you do via zoom!! In the meantime I am working through 2 of your online courses so that will keep me busy whilst in isolation. Thanks again for sharing your talent with all of us. Kind regards from sunny Sussex P
I really like the interactiveness, in the sense that i can immediately ask questions and have em' answered. Good stuff. B
Hey there! I was in the 2nd group, it was fun. Zoom is new for many of us but it is actualy working quite well. Group mute is really a usable thing. I have your compkete package but if it is possible I would like to continue the Zoom journey. Keep up the good work! Best regards, A from Hungary :D
Hi Ben! Here my feedback for the first session. I totally enjoyed, the audio was good and your explanation clear and concise. I didn't realize one hour passed, good sign I would say! Looking forward the next session Best regards, E
Hi Ben I joined your 4 o'clock session yesterday, sorry I had to leave early but I had a video conference with work. Hope I didn't appear rude! I thought the session worked pretty well and could definitely be a viable group teaching platform. Just need to sort an etiquette for muting. Maybe you might have to be a bit more assertive in getting people to join in. Less confident people are likely to sit and listen without engaging (like me!) and get less out of the experience? Anyway, if you go ahead with the group lessons let me know! Cheers - B
Well done Sir, I'm impressed with the platform, my sessions today were on an old Samsung S6 Android phone and an old (Win7) low spec PC plus my broadband has been bad for the last few days but zoom remained stable. I should add that I,m between broadband suppliers so am current on copper rather than fibre and am more than 1KM from my local exchange. Using a crap machine was a deliberate action on my part for your benefit ! My success means that students in countries with poor infrastructure and/or cheap machines should be able to join a session fairly confidently of success.
The picture and audio of the host (yourself) was great throughout with the exception of some louder chordal playing which distorted most likely due to the mic used, but it was bareable. I feel this will be fantastic for group lessons where you go around the class (as per when your cousin picked the next player) but NOT all at once. From my end whilst students voices could be heard on the audio clearly their harp playing was mostly not as distinct, I expect that the audio is tailored for voices, as is a phone line. As the host your experience may have been different which is in part why I asked if you could hear me clearly. One feature that Zoom appears to have but wasn't explored is to share your desktop, This will allow to to have a PDF of TAB etc open on your machine and students will be able to see it, this could be very useful methinks. Any questions then give me a shout. Enough of my waffle, nice one Ben, enjoy your beer Cheers T
Ben, this was an interesting experiment. I'm not sure how/if the Zoom technology works for sharing live music. I could hear you very well and I could hear the backing track you played, but when others played it was not clear (talking about the technology, not their harp playing). Maybe everyone's settings just need to be adjusted, but I think that all needs to be figured out. Just curious to know if you could hear me well when I was playing (if you even remember who I am after doing six of these sessions today!). -G
Hi Ben, As I said on the Zoom message (which I hope you were able to see), my apologies for dropping out so early, but wife informed me that our son was about to call and in these times of enforced estrangement, we can’t afford to miss calls from loved ones. However, I hope for two things: firstly that I will be invited back for future sessions and secondly that if tonight’s session is available to watch again (not sure if Zoom offers that facility?) that I will be given an opportunity to do that? I hope to hear from you. Thanks. Regards A
I really enjoyed your workshop today Ben. I am a newby to harmonica and looked at a few online instructors but I am very glad i ran into you and udemy. I hope to become a good blues harp player in the next year. the neat thing i thought of your workshop was that you have students from all over the world participating in the class at the same time! lets do it again!Cheers, S
Hi Ben, I enjoyed the lesson and the interaction. I really enjoyed your relaxed humorous style of teaching. I thought Zoom worked well as a delivery medium (though I am a bit of a dinosaur on the Ipad). Great picture and sound when you are in frame but when going to others not quite as good. Reflecting on my own abilities I am unsure what level I am at. On some things I’m OK and on others I am pretty ordinary. Again, thank you very much. Cheers, W - Australia
Thanks for the invite Ben! I enjoyed the lesson would be interested in checking out future classes this way. It forces a bit of socialization around the instrument, as I think a lot of beginners are pretty much in a vacuum. I’m a bassoonist but bought a a few harmonicas a couple years ago and its time I did something with them! Your Udemy course is first rate (only started this week) and today’s class on tone really cuts to the heart of what its about as a wind player. I’m going to freak my bassoon students out and make them get harmonicas. It is great for demonstrating the role of your anatomy in creating sound, instead of holding this wooden thing in front of you with (at times) a problematic reed that is affecting your tone as well. Great stuff! Peter
Hi Ben, Thanks for letting me join. Sorry I was late. That was very good to watch. If you set up streamed classes the reluctance will fade away as they get to know each other more. I think the ability to see each other is a very big factor in the success of these things – much more so than I imagined when I first started looking at this. Going to try it out this week, hopefully. R