Even with one hand tied behind his back (a skiing accident he told me as we arrived), Keith Bennett is still one of Canada’s most gifted harmonica players and an expert on the topic. I had the pleasure of taking the first level of Keith’s in-home courses on playing harp this past weekend with four other newbie players and it was a total treat!
In the photo Keith stands beside a partial collection of harmonicas he’s obtained over the years including a Chinese Sheng – the granddaddy of the harmonica! In his hand is a chordal harmonica (big sucker – it’s heavy!) and in the mouth rack a standard harmonica.
Over the course of three hours I learned about different types of harmonicas, draw vs blow, where the notes and chords are on a C harmonica and how to write them, how to play rhythm over a full blues chorus and solo, how to clean and maintain my new instrument and even how to bend a note – success!
But probably the highlight was meeting Boris, a fellow student, who at 80 years young is convinced he can improve his skills – alright Boris! (watch out ladies!)
I love the challenge of learning something new musically and working with a pro like Keith is probably the best way to get a leg up on this instrument. I’m looking forward sitting in on a gig soon with my new mad harp skills.
Contact Keith here if you are interested to find out more about his playing or courses.