Well hello again. A few things to talk about today. Lets dive in.
Patreon / LH website and blog
This blog has been running on low-steam for a long time. Now that I’m also delivering a Patreon subscription service too, all of my blog-style content is going up on there, and I don’t have time to update both. Not to mention posting two videos a week on YouTube (Life, Love and Blues Harmonica Licks, and Harmonica Miscellanea, more on these below). That means that there will be very few updates on the blog for the foreseeable future, and will likely not involve much instruction at all, if any.
The Patreon blog is updated much more frequently (typically two or three times a week) and includes a much wider variety of content than I would typically post here, including Patreon only instruction videos (the first set was instruction on playing over non-blues changes, the upcoming series will focus on Sonny Boy II, and I have much more planned for the future), gig report videos, plus any amount of extra harmonica related content and other benefits.
All of the material I’ve posted on the website will remain as a free resource, but I would direct you to Leeds Harmonica Patreon for fresh content.
I’ve been running this website since 2017 and there’s a lot of good info in the blog and especially on the Resources page. I’d encourage you to dive in and enjoy as much as you like. I feel justified in asking a small kickback for my efforts. Subscription to the Patreon is only USD $7 a month (you can pay with any currency). That’s less than the price of a pint in most pubs these days! For that you get access to everything I’ve posted there, and the amount of content is always growing, so the value increases each month.
I need to create some kind of public Leeds Harmonica Patreon trailer or something to demonstrate the benefits. But that’s not going to happen until the new year probably.
I would like to thank everyone who’s supported me and this website for the last six years. I’ll still post the occasional updates or other things I want to reach a wider audience, and of course the site will remain to promote my private teaching.
Ben “Buddy” Slack and Friends
A few weeks ago I went into the studio to record some harmonica for my friend Ben’s new album of original material titled You Will See the Light.
I’ve spoken about Ben before. He’s an absolute gem of a human, and an accomplished song-writer and performer to boot.
The first single was released last week. I’m playing harmonica and singing background vocals. It’s a really fun and positive tune in a traditional folk/gospel style. Yes, there’s swearing in it, but it’s just one word (albeit repeated something like thirty times). Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
The album will be officially released on December 8th 2023. It’s available to pre-order in digital or limited edition CD formats. Ben is DIY-ing the CDs himself. I can probably sort you a signed copy if you like.
There’s a launch show/party at The Grove in Leeds, kicking of at 3pm on Sunday December 8th. Entry is free and it’s going to be completely lovely.
Private harmonica tuition rates
A little over a year ago I decided to base my 1-1 tuition rates on the Musician’s Union recommended minimum rate. These rates update each academic year. It doesn’t appear to be the done thing for tutors to discuss their session rates in public, but you can find what the current MU rate is with a quick Google search.
I’m late in applying the increase, but wanted to remind everyone. I’m never comfortable talking about, or asking for, money. Some deeply embedded genetic English-ness at play perhaps. However, I pay my union fees and can justify union rates. Much more so than asking for some arbitrary figure I’ve plucked out of the air. I hope this makes sense and feels fair.
It’s incredibly helpful for my YouTube visibility when people like, subscribe, receive notifications, leave comments and generally interact with videos on the channel. The greater reach the videos achieve the more likely I am to continue making them, so please feel free to do any or all of the above with wild abandon and with my gratitude.
Here are the latest couple of videos.