Thursday, May 21, 2009

Harping On: Christelle Berthon

Christelle Berthon is well known for her videos on YouTube. She has quickly climbed in fame throughout the harmonica community. Born and raised in France, Christelle is one of the best known female harmonica players today.

1. How did you first start playing harmonica? It was in 1992. I wanted to entertain myself from the oboe (I was a classical musician) just to explore new territories, so I said a harmonica is cheap so why not give it a shot, at the start I was thinking it as a joke, but the future proved me the opposite.

2. Many people are surprised to find this out about you. Please tell our readers how long you’ve been playing. I've been playing for 2 and half years since 1992 till 1994-95...Then I've meet my partner, and she was not fan of blues, and I've to pay the rent (Paris is very expensive) and the life in a flat not allow to play (neighbors all around)...All these things lead me to stop playing music....I've not played a single note in 11 years, till November 2006 I was in Ireland and a lady offered me a CrossHarp in C by Hohner, because she knew that I was a former musician...So I've started again...So Yes I'm considering myself as a sort of beginner.

3. What do you think makes your playing stand out? I don't really know...Most of the comment is about my tone...Some say that I play fast but not as fast as I wish. I'm playing music without patterns or licks, just the instant moment, trying to build a melody of my own...This is why I love to do my You-Tube Videos without rehearsals.

4. You have become a very recognized harmonica player in the internet community, mostly due to YouTube. How do you feel this has affected you and your playing? Not at all...I mean it's always nice to be recognized as a good musician and everything that will happen in 2009 (SPAH 2009 has invited me, I'll play out there with Jimi Lee on the guitar) is a consequences of my YouTube videos, BUT all that has no consequences on my play or even me...

5. What kind of feedback do you receive from people? The 90% is that it's good I think....Some other people think that I'm faking my videos, or insults me and most of the time these people have NO VIDEOS to show whatsoever....

6. Is any of it ever over the top? Yes some people are saying to me that they hear my channel in the morning taking their breakfast or people saying that I make them cry, or giving them shivers... I'm so touched by that.

7. What are the advantages/disadvantages to being a female harmonica player? Not being taken seriously, and very often. Having the jealousy of male harp players....

8. In the states, the harmonica is often unnoticed and/or not considered to be a “real” instrument by many. How is harmonica playing received in France? Exactly the same as in the USA.

9. What is your favorite thing about being a harmonica player? I'm a harmonica player by accident, I'm more a musician....But being a harmonica player as well is gorgeous, I mean the feeling you've have while you eat some notes, bend, and OB. Almost like a French kiss...

10. Last words to members of HOOT? The key is inside you, not in tabs not in playing like your idol....Play as yourself, and play 2 hours a day... And you'll be the best.


  1. Great interview. As usual, Christelle comes off as humble and friendly. I have always enjoyed her videos. It's nice to see a little of her background here.

  2. She is not bad to to look at. Very sensual playing style. No guy can compete with that.

  3. Christelle Berthon is a great musician. She plays it and she feels it. What else is there? Fame? Sure, but it will come. She must know she is good.


  4. fantastic playing I have been playing since 1966 and still learning she is an insperation to me we have many harp players here in toronto canada i will be proud to promote christelle,s tallent I have already learned something from her. we all learn a little from each other. keep on playing. Michael.

  5. I to like her and would like to see what she can do with the song the almond brothers band plays called statesboro blues.

  6. Produits Talent, charisme, et la beauté, les parabens, Cris ...!!!!
    J. Amaro Brésil.


Leave comments here:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.