“A real nice approach, and a wonderful teaching tool for everyone from beginners to intermediates” – Lee Oskar, President, LEE OSKAR HARMONICAS leeoskarmusic.com
“Ben, very cool – thanks for sending this to me. I look forward to listening to the audio. I’ll have to learn some woops and wees – I’ll surprise you! All the best in everything, Howard.”
Special bonus track (track 66) very kindly supplied by Howard Levy and ‘Genesis at the Crossroads’ (GATC.org) from their amazing album ‘Unfolding’ by Saffron Caravan.
Huge thanks to Howard for his friendly support and to Wendy and all at GATC.org.
“Ben Hewlett’s book and cd on the riffs and techniques of Sonny Terry will make great study companion for all developing harp players. Terry was a master of rhythm and phrasing, and Hewlett helps beginners turn simple patterns into complex ones. Although the material ranges from simple to complex, there is no doubt in my mind that beginning players will benefit from this project.”
“What could possibly be better than a book dedicated to the study of Sonny Terry? How about THREE books! ! ! Check them all out. You are not likely to be disappointed.
Sonny Terry was without question, one of the most well known of all blues harmonica players. Sonny’s stinging and popping sound, acrobatic use of hands, rhythmic groove and pyrotechnic display of whooping, made him in my opinion, the most unforgettable of ALL harmonica players! Knowing the effect it had on a live audience leaves little doubt as to why he was in demand his whole life and why almost everyone will remember his name before Brownie’s. If understanding and experiencing some of this magic is of interest to you, then
there is great news! Ben has taken numerous essential Sonny Terry licks and broken them down at three different speeds for you to access and learn as simply and painlessly as possible.
If you follow him, Ben will put you on the fast track to the summit of the musical mountain of Sonny Terry. This is indeed a journey that all harmonica players should experience.”
Joe Filisko September 2009
“Hearing Sonny Terry play blues harp was my inspiration to play harmonica, and I still love to play straight ahead, no-nonsense Blues”
“Wish you could take private lessons with blues harp legend Sonny Terry? Yeah – me too! Maybe when we get to that big jam session in the sky, then our wishes will come true, but in the meantime do yourself a favour and check out the latest offering from Ben Hewlett and Paul Lennon: even more riffs in the style of Sonny, dotted out in both standard notation and tab, enough to keep you busy until… well, until the next volume comes out!”
“A selection of riffs from the repertoire of one of the
most influential harp players ever, brought to you in
standard notation, tablature and audio examples by
Britain’s top harmonica teacher. A must have for anyone
studying the playing styles of Sonny Terry, as well as a
very welcome addition to any harp player’s library.”
“Ben Hewlett’s book is an invaluable tool for harmonica players. Every harmonica player with an interest in the work of Sonny Terry, one of the most extraordinary blues harmonica artists of all time, should read this book!”
Author, “Jazz Harp”
“Ben Hewlett has created a valuable resource for anyone who wants to crack the code of Sonny Terry’s amazing harmonica playing. The tabbed and notated licks together with the CD will repay close study. Ben wisely doesn’t attempt to supply details that are unknowable; he just gives you what you need to get a thorough grounding.”
President of SPAH, author, Harmonica For Dummies ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
Peter Madcat Ruth www.madcatmusic.net
“I first heard Sonny Terry on the radio in 1964. My mind was blown, and my life was changed. A few days latter I bought a Sonny Terry phonograph record and started to try to figure out how to play harmonica. My task would have been a lot easier if Ben Hewlett’s Sonny Terry Riffs books were available back then. I highly recommend you take advantage of this great opportunity to learn to play harmonica like Sonny Terry. Enjoy!”
(Extra thanks to this fine Grammy Award winning gentleman for letting us use one of his tracks – Georgie Buck – on the album as an example of contempory ‘Sonny style’ in full flight)
Jerry Portnoy www.harpmaster.com
“Ben Hewlett has produced an extremely useful, clear and understandable breakdown of the key elements of Sonny Terry’s harmonica style and techniques. Highly recommended!”
Richard Sleigh www.rsleigh.com
“Sonny Terry’s ‘controlled Epileptic fit’ style of harmonica playing was a jolt of Rock and Roll energy in the world of acoustic blues. I saw him once, and I was lucky – Brownie couldn’t make the gig and Sonny blew the roof off of the auditorium by himself with a sustained blast of genius and energy. Unforgettable.
If you are an intelligently lazy musician that wants to jump into the wild world of Sonny Terry, then be grateful that Ben Hewlett has done the heavy lifting for you. Just follow his instructions, learn the licks, master them and then forget them. Then look out – Sonny’s energy and genius will pop through you when you least expect it…. Your playing will never be the same!”
Steve Baker www.stevebaker.de
“Starting with those inimitable rhythmic chugging patterns and progressing through a wide selection of Sonny’s classic riffs, Ben Hewlett has succeeded in breaking down the essential elements of Sonny Terry’s unique harmonica style into easily understandable sections which are readily accessible to the intermediate player. Accompanied by guitar and drums, Ben plays each figure at the original tempo, then slows it down to half time so you can hear every note, before playing it at tempo once again. This is a great source, both for Sonny Terry fans as well as for anyone just looking for some cool licks.”
Rob Paparozzi www.robpaparozzi.com
“Ben has figured out how to make Sonny Terry’s licks & style attainable for harp players on all levels. His methodology and respect for the music are what make him a great player and an extraordinary teacher. Kudos to Ben for ‘demystifying’ the work of one of our Harmonica Giants in a way the makes it FUN to learn a style with many twists, turns, hoots and hollers! ”
Yes great stuff! Ben has dug deep into Terry’s sound.
I myself, am a huge Sonny Terry fan and played with
the guy. Sonny had a style that was truly his own,
Ben has done something here that Sonny would be
“A fine addition to the great Sonny Terry’s oeuvre.”
“Ben, Thanks very much for your book! One more a great job! It’s very progressive and very precise. Congratulations for this awesome work! I like it! I hope that the members will enjoy it on my advice; -)”
General comments on books and videos
I love it!!! Exactly what I needed! Tried portnoy’s yours much better.could be great to have it as an app. From the app. store.I will buy more stuff waiting for the bending :) Thanks again
Great stuff! Working my way through book one at the moment, but I’ll get there! Could you post a vid at some point demonstrating how we might link some of these riffs together into longer pieces? I sometimes (er, always) struggle to know how to develop chugging ideas like these.
You’re a great teacher man! before this video i was having a hard time bending half steps, after this video and a lot of practice i could bend the 2 and 3 hole a whole step down! Hongdekong
Hi Ben, Must say I love your books!!!Best method ever!!! Worth every $$$. If I may suggest to add for each riff the name of the albom and the song it was taken from with time notation so we can follow it.maybe you can do it in a separate sheet???-I would buy it!
Dear Mister Hewlett, i purchased one of your harmonica books a couple of days ago and i have to say that i really made some giant leaps in skill already. i started harmonica at the age of 15, then had a period of 2 decades without any musicmaking. some weeks ago, after seeing a live band, i decided to give my old harmonica a spin. youtube brought me here. thank you so much for sharing, Mark
Hey Ben, I spoke to you last year on Skype. My name is Joe M. I just want to say I think it’s awesome what you contribute to the Harmonica World. I was just watching one of your Sonny Terry Lessons. I wish you the best. Cheers mate. Joe
PS: I’ve been playing for 2 years. And I watch a lot of your lessons. I’m not too proud to say that. I’ve always told even my students. To always stay humble, and know that we all can learn something from anybody. You of all people should know that. Because I’m sure you’re overloaded with the amount of Harmonica players you teach. Thanks again for putting your lessons out there.
Hi Ben, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your You Tube videos. You have a really friendly and engaging style and I have learnt absolutely loads from your videos. I’m really loving it!! It’s great to see someone like you “giving something back” for nothing. I’ve tried to do something similar with my videos.
Anyway, I just don’t think we encourage each other enough sometimes so, once again, thank you!!Best Wishes, Les
Oh! This is great! You’re amazing play on the harmonica! I just ordered the same. I am from Russia. I hope when I deliver it, after a while I could learn to play like you!
DAMMIT at lesson five my left longue collapsed! J/K!! See this should be the first_ 5 minutes of a DVD on Sonny Terry style! That would be perfect! Oh you know, Sonny Terry style is so very popular and you are so very good at both playing and teaching it, it is in fact a fortitious marriage made for consummation! With kindest regards and solemn expressions of my deepest respect for a master of our craft, thank you. LackadaisicalE
ElAdrenalid has made a comment on :
“Chugging is whispering crazy words into your harmonica.
Outstandingly funny and entertaining lesson!
I agree with ElAdrenalid. Very good lesson, I found it extremely helpful. Thank you!
i love your videos and your talent!You explain well on your hamonica videos!And I subscribed keep it up!:)
Re: harmonica help!!
Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it – your videos are great and so useful too – thanks again 🙂
First, I want to tell you that I am thrilled with my purchase of The book and cd’s of Blues Harmonica. It is in my opinion the very best book out there and I have a few of them. Bill Thomas 2.4.12
Hello! firstly thanks for the lessons! iv leaned a lot from your youtube page! Sash1love
Hi 🙂 Just browsing youtube and stumbled across one of your videos…! I used to play the harmonica with you (many years ago) so they brought back some memories! Doubt you remember me.. Kathryn Walpole, at the time i was in St Michaels, Winterbourne. Played with you in the colston hall (blues brothers!) and won a few trophies in the competitions..! Still have them up in my room 🙂 Also came up handy to talk about in a recent university interview! Think im gonna get the harmonica out and have a go for old times sake as i enjoyed the vids on here 🙂
Comment on your video: Note bending – hole 1
It’s Dory in Finding Nemo! Whale-speak! But this is the only video that taught me how to actually bend a note :))) Thanks!
Hi Ben, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your videos. They are very informative and easy to follow (and fun too!) I started teaching myself the harmonica about a year ago and your videos are definitely the most useful – especially the note bending videos. I really couldn’t get the note bending thing until I watched your videos on bending holes 1 and 2. The sounds and mouth shapes really work and it is good to be able to play along with someone who can hit the right note. Of course, hole 3 is still sounding like a sick cow….but…..I’ll keep woking on it! I have book marked your web sites and will get some of your books in due course but just wanted to say thanks for the YT videos!!! Best wishes from Spain, Sam
Thank you very much for allowing me to recover the harmonica files. I have downloaded them and have already backed them up, so I won’t lose them again. I very much appreciate your site and your support. I plan on being a regular customer. And I look forward to your future offerings.
I have today received the book i requested ‘Sonny Terry Riffs’.
Thank you very much for your help and such prompt service. Very impressive.
I shall enjoy getting to grips with these riffs as i did with the ‘Chugging’ ones.
Your videos are a hoot! Entertaining and informative 🙂 Best regards from Florida – Jim Duke
I think your lessons are excellent and commend you. However, I think a video version of your lessons would be much preferable to the audio CD ones. The YouTube mini lessons you have are truly charismatic and Ben is a natural teacher who is very easy to follow. . Something you may contemplate for updating your wonderful products.
You must indeed pursue the video lessons as you are a natural teacher.
Your lessons are so much better than anyone else I have seen on YouTube; Adam Gussow, Paul Lamb, Jason Ricci, Ronnie Shellist and several others I have watched and I believe this is aided greatly by your charisma. I suggest you capitalise on this and make more use of your talents visually. You could be a video or TV superstar ! Richard Wall.
The begining of the video. I felt like i was in the Carolina backroads. I can listen to the beggining all the way through 1:20 all day. The #G harp is my favorite harmonica key. Like you Ben since you gave a demo on Golden Melodies. Thanks for the lessons. You are a great harp player. From one great player, to another, you inspire me. Punk25ist
Thanks for your reply. I’m sure I will get much enjoyment and knowledge from the new material.
I have struggled to learn acoustic guitar and harmonica since the 1960’s with very little success despite trying all sorts of instructional material.
After reading some comments on internet on Get Chugging I decided to give it one final go.
Last week when I was on holiday I got the cd out and had a listen to it for the first time.
For the first time ever I was listening to something I thought I could listen to, practice and learn.
Hence on my first day back at work I ordered the next 4 volumes in the series.
One of the big factors apart from Ben’s method and easy steps was your playalong music which I found inspirational.
It seemed to speak to me.
Thank You Both
Hello there Mr. Hewelett
First ive got to apologize for my english, im from Switzerland, where we just barely learn english. But now i got to say how much you inspired me. Im really young at age and never really used my time reasonable, but it was you who really put me on this Harmonica trail.
I listen to lots of music styles, but no music touches me like the blues. The sound of an harmonica really gives me the chills. So I decided to learn how to play, and I am really a Beginner right now with a Marine Band Harmonica in the key of C (do you think this is good for a beginner?), and I am listening and following all your youtube posts, i love them..really helpfull and instpiring.
Now i saw on the site called harmonicaworld.net you have those books, are they as great as your youtube posts? because I am in carreer training and have´nt got the money for all of them and the shipping into switzerland. But if they are as great as I think it may be worth? Anyway, what I am trying to say is, thank you Mr. Hewelett, you are blessed with a gift and we are able to learn from it. Thank you again, and a good day to you Mr. Hewelett!
Greetings From Switzerland
Hello, I write to you because I have seen almost all your videos and I realize that you are a real expert in Hohner Harmonics.
Hey Ben, Firstly would like to say I’m a massive fan of your videos, you’re a phenominal harp player, and genuinely an inspiration to someone like me who has only just started learning – so thanks for that!
hi ben, been watching your channel for a while now,and learned a lot. so far i’m doing well with tunes,rythems etc i wondered if you have any advice how to move on playing ryths blue etc many thanks Roy
Hi Ben and Paul,
I must say that I am enjoying the Playalong package (101 Blues Riffs) very much. I also like how the Riffs are repeated and slowed down….this enables me to detect whether the notes are blow or draw notes thus saving the need to look at the tabs.
I do not have any favourite styles as they are all excellent and I enjoy each challenge. At my age of 76 years I think I am coping very well with the lessons. I normally play in 1st & 3rd posns but I do enjoy the challenge of 2nd posn. I see myself as an intermediale level player but I do not play in public yet as I still lack the confidence as the people I associate with are very musically adept and could be critical if I mess up. I play by ear only.
Later after I have memorised most of the riffs, I may be looking for more 1st & 3rd posn riffs…Will let you know when that time comes
I must say that I still have difficulty in achieving bends as they should be done despite my persistent trying even after looking at all the advice from the experts on U-tube, however I am not going to give up trying.
Thanks for “listening” and allowing me to bend your ears
I had never heard of you before last night when I found you on itunes. You are just what I was looking for. Good web site, inexpensive great quality downloads, You Tube videos. Man I’m pumped!
I need alittle help. I just downloaded “Blues Jam Factory” from Amazon. It all went real smooth right onto my itunes. How do I access the PDF files with the music tabs?
By the way. Happy New Year! I hope 2010 is a good year for you. To hell with what everyone is saying, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to learn how to play the harmonica!
Your new student
I have been playing the harmonica for a bit now and I am thinking of taking up some lessons however I live in manchester can you recomend anyone within the Greater Manchester area. Just wanted to say I have found your stuff on you tube and its very insperational. I am a big Sunny Terry fan too.
Here in Brazil it is hard to find harmonica book!!
I have downloded the book and it is really fantastic. It has been a great material on my harmonica learning challenge!!
Thank you for such a great material!!
I hope I’ll upload a few videos when I get better on the riffs!!
My best regrads,
Thanks for this inspiring harmonica material !
Rune Hörnqvist, Umeå, Sweden
Hi Paul and Ben
Thanks very much for the service. Your product seems to be well appreciated on the forum Coursd’harmonica.fr. It is where I took the info. Paul Lassey a pro player and harmonica teacher in France and Belgium has very good words for it. I am from Canada. I was in Scotland in june-july. Met many english people too. I can’t wait to check the course!!!
L’harmonica est dans mon esprit
et sur mes lèvres…
I just sent a mail to Ben Hewlett. Your books are great stuff! I’m very happy with it. Great value for money. I did sign up already for the newsletter (that’s how I found the books!)
Keep on going with your very good work!
Pretty good! Would be great if it was also available on dvd.Any chance of that happening?
browniemcgheeggallin has made a comment on 2nd Lesson on Sonny Terry – The Ben Hewlett Harmonica Course: Pretty damn good man. You should do a short one on that off beat rhythm right at the end of this one ive been trying to figure out how to fit those in for nearly two years
Best lesson EVER!!!!!!! Nascarracefan88 Hello, I’ve found your site through YouTube when looking for different harmonica lesson videos. There are a lot of them but I’ve found only JP Allen’s lessons so far to be actually helpful, until now when I found you. Maybe you know JP Allen, he is also very into the chugging stuff and has a very enthusiastic style of learning. I’ve been playing the harmonica for about 2 years now and I feel stuck. Single notes I can handle, and some simple songs I know how to play. Bending is still a bit tricky, in theory I know how to do it, but it does not sound that good. Well I’m not that worried of the bending, that will come by time. Also a problem for me is that when I play by myself (which I do mostly), I’ve got a problem of staying in rhytm. Here the backing tracks might help? THANKYOU WONDERFUL BEN HEWLETT FOR ALL THE GREAT TUITION. HOPE TO MAKE IT TO BRISTOL FESTIVAL ONE OF THESE DAYS – MIGHT SEE YOU THERE. ALL BEST WISHES FROM DOROTHY. I must say I do like Ben Hewlett’s approach – some time ago I purchased your Get Chugging package which I find very good. I now wish to purchase the following items from you: Bones Of The Blues, 50 Awesome Blues Riffs, Sonny Terry Blues Jam Factory, Blues Riffs 101.