Hello, my name is Ben Harmsen and I'm a guitar player from Detroit, Michigan. I know how to give your project guitar playing that "pops." Whether it's tight rhythm playing or aggressive, in-your-face leads, I can deliver the guitar sound you're looking for, and I'd welcome the chance to play on your project.
I find it very rewarding to bring other's artistic visions to life. For several years I've played live and in the studio as a guitarist for-hire, specializing in learning the songs of others and delivering a great performance. I spend a lot of time making sure my playing fits the song and the needs of the songwriter. I can work as either lead or rhythm guitarist, and play both roles effectively.
Currently I play guitar in a few groups:
Halloween: The Heavy Metal Horror Show
The Zoo: Scorpions Tribute Band
The Corduroy Job
All I need is your project with scratch guitar tracks. We'll discuss what sort of sound you want, then I'll provide a recording using my equipment, as well as a dry guitar track if you'd rather re-amp the guitar yourself. I'm happy to do revisions to make sure you get the best guitar track possible.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Ben Harmsen
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I have no problem with either. But if I have the ability I will go analog, simply because digital plugins are often trying to emulate analog gear, and I might as well go with the original inspiration.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Most importantly I want to know how much input they would like from me, do I play exactly what they wrote or add my own spin on it? I am happy to do either.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Diezel VH4 head, my Electra Les-Paul style guitar, my EVH cabinet, a delay pedal, and a looper pedal.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been playing guitar for 20 years total, and professionally since 2016.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I play strong rhythm with lots of dynamics combined with a melodic lead style. My rhythm playing has lots of muting and 'dead' notes, percussive sounds to add groove. My lead playing combines Eric Johnson-like runs with dramatic bends and wide arpeggios to accentuate the underlying chord progression.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Classic rock, 80s metal, grunge and classic metal, with my personal projects being progressive rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I am very good at playing in time, whether it be precisely with a click track or adding a satisfying 'swing' to a groove. With my strong prog rock interests, I can do well in uncommon time signatures. Solid rhythm is not just for drummers, and is essential to a good sounding track.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Usually live fill-in gigs where I have to quickly learn and perform a set with minimal rehearsal, some session work as well.