Learn to play 19 cool new Sonny Terry licks on harmonica now | Ben Hewlett | Skillshare

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Learn to play 19 cool new Sonny Terry licks on harmonica now

teacher avatar Ben Hewlett, Helping you play harmonica better!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

21 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. ST3 (part1) Promo

    • 2. ST3 (part1) intro

    • 3. ST3 (part1) Riff 1

    • 4. ST3 (part1) Riff 2

    • 5. ST3 (part1) Riff 3

    • 6. ST3 (part1) Riff 4

    • 7. ST3 (part1) Riff 5

    • 8. ST3 (part1) Riff 6

    • 9. ST3 (part1) Riff 7

    • 10. ST3 (part1) Riff 8

    • 11. ST3 (part1) Riff 9

    • 12. ST3 (part1) Riff 10

    • 13. ST3 (part1) Riff 11

    • 14. ST3 (part1) Riff 12

    • 15. ST3 (part1) Riff 13

    • 16. ST3 (part1) Riff 14

    • 17. ST3 (part1) Riff 15

    • 18. ST3 (part1) Riff 16

    • 19. ST3 (part1) Riff 17

    • 20. ST3 (part1) Riff 18

    • 21. ST3 (part1) Riff 19

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About This Class

Get 'Sonny Terry style' down on harmonica. Use this to play with guitar, voice, and band setups. Learn amazing skills here.

This course will enable you to play like Sonny Terry. Studying Sonny is a big challenge and this will be a great start if you want to learn more about his style. To create these riffs I studied the following original Sonny Terry recordings - Fox Chase, Airplane Blues, Raincrow Bill, Crow Jane, and Mean Old Frisco. So if you listen to those tracks you will hear many of the ideas in this course.


Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Hewlett

Helping you play harmonica better!



Contact me anytime through the site or email [email protected] if you have any questions HARMONICA HOTLINE 07973284366 - If you have any harmonica related questions you can call me. Yes it's true. This UK number is available whenever I'm free so try UK office hours (texts and messages cannot be answered )






*Ben is the Chairman of the NHL - National Harmonica League in the UK

*Professional Harmonica Instructor since 1996

*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

... See full profile

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1. ST3 (part1) Promo : Hi there. Thanks for coming to have a look at my new sanitary riffs. Course. It's not anything I've ever done before. The previous sanitary courses were completely different. Riffs, Aled, brand new material. So you're gonna need a C harmonica to start with for most of it. And then a little bit later, you need on a and the G. You don't have to have those, but it would be nice if you do. This is the sort of thing we're gonna learn. Several. Listen to this. 1234 Just running through some of these ribs. 123 A lot of red meat with some of these. Right? When you get to the end, you might find they're a bit too fast. If you have a listen to this one, this is this is rift 19. What? Three. So you might find that's a bit too difficult thing. So I've got a plan for you. Cunning plan. You see, when you try to play fast music and a lot of sanitary is very fast. So when I have listened to him and try to figure out what he's doing, I slow him down. So I use a slowdown alike, transcribe or the amazing slow downer I used transcribed mostly. And I can make a phrase like that. Theo sounds ridiculous. You just curious. Can't take it. But if you slow it down, you can think this course. Each of these 19 riffs you get five times you get it well, for you get six times. First I play it to you and I'll explain it and then I'll give it to you the backing track very, very slow and then medium and then fast and then slow again, then medium again, so you'll get a really good idea of how to play it. Changing speeds with these things seems to help the brain to cope with Theo. So this course is for you. If you like. Sanitary is rhythmic style on. Do you get lots of singled out melodies that run over the top off his his normal rhythms? So this is a great course for advancing your Sonny Terry skills and your rhythmic skills and your harmonica skills. So come on in. Have a look at it on DSI. We think 2. ST3 (part1) intro: Hi there. We're looking at some Sonny Terry riffs right now. This is a guy off, studied a lot. And if you know me, you know that really like his stuff. Did I tell you I've got one of Sonny's own original harmonicas? Look at this. Don't go away. How about this? Isn't this cool? It is an original Sonny Terry harmonica, which I got from his estate. They kindly gifted it to me for, um, well, supporting and promoting his work. Anyway, what I want to tell you was this is, um this is a collection of some of his riffs. Now it starts off quite easy, Andi. Then he gets more telling towards the end. So the challenging stuff is going to be this kind of thing way. So that's where we're kind of leading towards. You'll find that at the very end. But the beginning it starts off much more simply. And if you find it too fast cause that's the problem with sanitary stuff, it always seems that it's bewilderingly fast. You can slow it down on playback when you listen to it on the platform, or you can take the MP threes and put them into a slow down our like transcribe from seventh string or the amazing Slow down Our it believe, does the same thing. I think there are some others as well, so you can, if you find what I've given you, is too fast. Don't be afraid, because all fast music can be slowed down when you slow it down. It's really easy to play, so have no fear about the speed of this stuff. You've got to start slowly, but like riding a bicycle. You can't just jump on and be going amazingly fast. It doesn't work. Try this. See how you get on with it. Just take your time. Andi. You'll probably enjoy bumping into difficulties like breathing. Always remember to keep breathing. You'll definitely live longer if you keep on breathing, so just have an awareness of your your body. I might fall on my empty. Usually you'll find with this stuff, which is all second position stuff. You'll find your filling up. Try and get rid of the air. Don't worry about coming in. Concern yourself with pushing out, and that way you will leave the space, which enables you to take more air in the lungs will try to equalize all the time. The pressure will equalize. So don't worry about breathing in. Push the air out all the time and that will help you greatly. Okay, enjoy it. Let me know if you need any help. I just work through it lecture by lecture, going through it. And by then of it, you will be a much better player in the sanitary style and a much better harmonica player. So get on with it. Enjoy it. 3. ST3 (part1) Riff 1: So here comes our first riff on if you okay with bending notes, you get it. If you're quite new to bending notes, you can just play the two drawer without bend if you like. Come back to that later. Now don't forget that if music is too fast for you, can always slow it down and it becomes very easy every time you can slow it down if it's too fast. So here's the first roof. It's going to like this. Don't someone draw Theo, and then it repeats Who gets in sort of halfway stage todo the DDT. That's the halfway stage. And then the ending the And in fact, I'm going to suggest that you start off by singing Sing the rift, get it into your head, singing a number of times, and I'm gonna give you this repeated at different speeds because I have found in the past that playing things at different speeds really helps you learn it. I don't know why just the brain just kicks in. It really helps on. Do you can always If they're all of this is too fast, you can always just put the MP three into a slowdown alike transcribe and slow it down. Even Mawr. If you wish, you can slow it down on playback as well. So that's probably the quicker way of doing It is slow down. Go to the Corkum. Slow down the playback speed. Okay, enjoy the first riff on Let's get going. One, 234 Home, Um 1234 1234 one, 234! - 1234 4. ST3 (part1) Riff 2: Okay, comes the next one. We've got a slight bend in the middle of a chord here. So we got Oh, I'm gonna get you to try and bend one of those notes without the others if you can. Okay? It's gonna be much slower than that. Don't worry. Have a go at it. 1234 1234 Oh, 1234 1234 1234 5. ST3 (part1) Riff 3: Now here's a sunny rift that you'll be familiar with if you've listened to his playing quite a lot of breathing in. So it's kind of easier to do it faster than slower. Have a go that 1234 1234 1234 1234 1234 way. 6. ST3 (part1) Riff 4: Now this is a opening piece. Or it could be an intro piece interest or a turnaround rift that Sunday years. We'll play it four times. Here it is just once. We'll loop it round so you get a chance to practice it at different speeds. As usual. One 23 way. 123! 123 one, 23 Way 123 7. ST3 (part1) Riff 5: Here's another sunny piece, which is very easy to play slowly on a bit more of a challenge to play fast as usual with Sonny, you Kenbrell ache it down and slow it down, and it'll work nicely and then you try and play it fast and oh my God, Theo. So it's a classic question and answer. Try slowly and see how you get on. 1234 1234 1234! 1234! 123 Full. 8. ST3 (part1) Riff 6: Here's another classic sunny rift starting on a bent note, which gradually releases on then of arrhythmic part way had another hole on the little ending. And then when you do that hand pop at the end, be careful not to smash your teeth in. Just touch. Just touch without the hand hand. Just adds a little bit. You're only just touching. Do know. Smash your teeth in. Okay, Have a go at this one to three, four. 123 four. 1234 one to three Full. Oh, 1234 9. ST3 (part1) Riff 7: Okay, it comes riff number seven. Just Lysander all the way down from whole four to hold one. Now you've got a Siris of three triplets, which sort of harks back to the Sonny Boy. One John Lee Williamson kind of phrasing. That's one Triplett. The next one is the opposite on then. The next one is the same as the first theme. Sounds like Theo emphasize the first of each triplet first note of each three. Theo Little Chuck D At the end of its a typical sunny phrases, you know. Okay, enjoy that one one to three, four, three full. 1234 34! 1234 I think 34 one to three, four, three, four. 1234 34 10. ST3 (part1) Riff 8: Now he comes another riff, which is used sometimes as as an opening and intra roof. So triplets a rising bit. Theo. It's got a kind of strange rhythm to it, but it's fairly typical of what Sonny did. And you can add a bit of dirt if you want there. So I'm playing five drawer. But I'm adding a bit of either four drawer or six. Draw if you like. Theo. Lot of the time Sonny didn't play it clean. He added a bit of dirt, which means adding a little bit like 10% off the whole next to them when you're targeting either below or above. As you wish. So I had a bit of dirt if you want to. Okay, enjoy this one. One, 23 four, 23 four 1234 234 1234 234 one to three four to three four 1234 234 11. ST3 (part1) Riff 9: This is another phrase that you'll hear a lot in Sonny's playing Theo that syncopated middle section three. OK, so enjoy that one. Actually. Get the Syncopation right. It's very simple, but it's really effective, isn't it, Theo? You can even put a little puff off exhaled air in between the four drawing a three door of you. So you get that rhythm, Theo. Okay, Have a good one. To three. Four. No. 123 four. 1234 one To three, four, - 1234 12. ST3 (part1) Riff 10: his rift 10. Now here comes one of the doodle Oodle oodles that Sonny used to do quite a lot in his playing due to Lulu. Do you do? Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do do, do do. It's very common you'll hear a lot of you listen to Is playing Theo do so? It's usually kind of introducing. Something is quite a dynamic little part of his plane. Do Lulu. Okay, Enjoy that one to three, four 1234 1234 12 three, four 123 four. 13. ST3 (part1) Riff 11: So he comes Rift number 11. Now we need to grab our Kiev a harmonica. Now, if you don't have one, it's not a problem. You congee. Just drop the MP three into something like transcribe and change the key yourself. So not a problem if you don't have one, but pretty good. If you do have one, so try and get in A If you can, Theo. Terrible high speed, doesn't it so terribly difficult? Mean, So we've got this. This'll It'll chucker phrase after each single note. Six. Bo five blow chukka on, then five Blow four draw on, then chucker repeated Theo, if you want to use tongue blocking, which are sunny used time blocking, sort of half tongue blocked by default, that's really quite hard to know what he did. Ah, that's going to be 65 that makes sense. So tongue blocking the 1st 2 notes is an option theme. Once you can do tongue blocking, it's much more efficient, much easier than driving the harmonic around. It's just moving the tongue a little bit, so try ton blocking If you can't do it. Don't worry. Don't use that, Andi, If you don't have any hope. You can play all this without listing without playing along with me on any harmonica you want. But if you want to join in, it's on a help. Okay, have a go one three Football. One, 23 123 one, three, four! One, 23 14. ST3 (part1) Riff 12: So it comes with number 12 on again. I would advocate tongue blocking if you can. So you've got this Chuck single note chucker. Single note, that kind of thing going on. So I'm using the tongue for that three below. I'm using that as well. Theo, Theo. Just play the blow notes with the tongue block. Theo. Just one drawn out in that Deep down. If I just play the Checker playing with not too much air, try and take it easy, Theo. As I said earlier, if you If it's too fast, break it down, play it slow Lee, and you'll find it's very easy if you play it slowly. Fast music played slowly, is very easy to play. Sony. Sony. Tricky to play When it's fast, so do this. Drive different speeds and good luck. Three. Full one, 23 123 one three for one 23 Cool 15. ST3 (part1) Riff 13: So this is a variation on the previous one, which ends in a nice, long to draw three draw theme with a bit of sunny vibrato. Oh, so if you master the last one, this one will be a doddle. All right, Have a go. One, three, four. One, 23 123 Oh, one, three, four. Well, one do three. 16. ST3 (part1) Riff 14: Now this is reporting this on first view, you're going to think that is completely impossible. Are you crazy? I couldn't possibly ever play that. I must admit it took a lot of working out as to what Sonny does. And I don't know if we've got it exactly right. But it's quite close. I think you'll agree. So I'll play it slowly for you, Theo. The wheels fall off if you do it too slowly. Let me get a bit faster, Theo. So my advice to you would be to sing it. Did you do it immediately? Delete. He did. He did. He did it duty to do dead dater todo sing it loads of times and then play it and then you'll get it. And once again, you get this at three speeds. The 1st 1 is very slow than its medium than its um Yeah, slow. Then medium. And then fast, then slow, then medium. So you get five times. All right. Good luck. One three Football. One, 23 123 one, three, full. One, 23 17. ST3 (part1) Riff 15: This is very 15 and this is an extension off the previous one. If you or variation I should say If you found the last one very easy, you will find this one very easy. Let me play slowly. The's a couple of changes, like the main. The first long note. Put a little bit of a bend onto it. I haven't written that down on the school, but have put a bit of a bend theme. Next. It's the same theme. The last bar is different thing. Theo. Blow drawer, Bodrov Blow drawer, Alternate in and out breaths. Theme. Most important thing is the rhythm. So if you get the notes wrong and the rhythm right, you're doing okay if you can get them both right. That's even better if you get the right now it's for the wrong rhythm. That's not so good. So work on the rhythm. Don't worry about getting it perfect. This is just to sort of get your chops flowing. Onda get you playing like Sonny did. Okay, See you later. One, three, four. One, 23 123 one, three, four one. Do three 18. ST3 (part1) Riff 16: since his riff Number 16 on Now you're Gonna need your G harmonica, K G harmonica. And as I said before, if you don't have a G, it's not a problem. You can, either. Just playing play along on whatever you've got, but not at the same time as May or that wouldn't sound terrible. Or what you can do is you can just put the MP three into a system like transcribe Onda. That will change the key for you. I think the amazing slow downer does the same thing. There are many software programs where you can change the key to suit what you've got. So this is This is actually untraditional riff, which introduces Riff 17 and 18. So it's This is a precursor to the next three. The theme. Very easy to play. Enjoy. One, 23! One, 34! 123! One, 23 full one 34 19. ST3 (part1) Riff 17: So if 17 is, as I said, what comes after the riff 16 in a lot of Sonny's playing you're here. That's the kind of introduction, Theo is that repeated? So you on the top note, you've got 6665 Uh uh Well, blowing Andi, then you've got this checker. Was it'll drawing? So it's just a tongue blocked blow. Six, if you can. On then a court. Hello, cord. 123 and four. Or any of those, perhaps just one and two will do it very easy with ton blocking thief. You know, you're gonna be running all over the harmonica theme, Theo, but it's still possible to do that. And you might prefer to do that. So there you go. Have a go. Good luck. One, 23 34 123 one, 23 Thing. 134 20. ST3 (part1) Riff 18: This is refitting, and it's very similar to 17. Just two decide Different pattern. Theo. Top line is going 6565 with that low chucker. 656565 So this should be very easy for you. Okay, Enjoy that. One. One, 23 one, 34 123 One, 23 one, 34 21. ST3 (part1) Riff 19: This is Rift 19. This is gonna be the last one in this course. I think you've had enough torture already. But I will do a further course in this style. In fact, it will lead on directly from this refund. Developed further. So this is similar to 18 and 17 but he has a slight variation theme. 54 draw. Theo, Theo! Because he used to use this as a starting point. And then you would go all over the place from here. Way, Theo Way. So we're just taking fragments of what he does and trying to isolate them. And then you can put them together yourself. Okay. Enjoy. And I will see you next time. Bye for now. One, 23 full. One, three. 123 One, 23 School. One, 34