Guitarist

Ben Helm

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About Ben

Ben is a versatile session guitarist, bassist, MD and educator based in the North East of England.
Guitarist
Newcastle upon Tyne
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Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Ben Helm is a professional session musician, educator, band leader and arranger who has over 20 years experience in live performance, studio recording and directing ensembles. ​ Ben is a highly in-demand session musician in the North of England, throughout the UK and further afield. He works with a large variety of artists across the country and is adept at performing any style required live or in the studio. Ben performs as a soloist and with a host of ensembles for weddings, corporate events, theatres, concert halls, live gig venues, studio sessions and just about whatever other fantastic opportunities are thrown at him! ​ A few of Ben's career highlights to date include, working with Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), performing at the BBC 6Music Festival and headlining the Sage Gateshead in the North East. ​ Ben has featured in many local and national publications such as Q and CLASH and his work has received airplay on Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, 6Music, BBC Newcastle, and Amazing Radio. He is greatly inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt, George Benson, Martin Taylor, Chet Atkins, Claude Debussy and Steely Dan. Ben is proud to be an Eastman Guitars endorsed artist.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I require car parking close to venues
I can perform with backing tracks
I can perform while walking around a venue
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
Musicianship
Genres:
Classical, Jazz, Folk, Pop, Blues, Cabaret, Dixieland, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Modern jazz, Postmodern jukebox jazz, Ragtime, Swing, Gospel, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, Christmas, Ambient, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1960s era music, 1970s era music, 1980s era music, 1990s era music, Easy listening, Light music, Experimental, Acoustic, Ambient pop, Americana, Covers, Disco, Funk, Funk rock, Motown, R&B, Soul, Top 40, Vintage, Tribute, Rock, Alternative rock, Indie, Pop rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Synth rock, World music, Bossa nova, Italian music, Reggae, Salsa, Samba, Ska, Skiffle, Tango, Spanish music
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Instruments:
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Event types:
Hotel / Restaurant event, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types
Other skills:
Arranger, Songwriter, Producer, Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching, Composition teaching, Community music worker
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Song list

There isn't much I can't play, so whatever style you're looking for, just let me know and I can arrange a set list for you. There would be too many hundreds of songs to list here but here is an example list of some of my jazz repertoire:
Yes Sir, That's My Baby
All Of Me
Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
Marry You
Sunday Morning
Alright, Okay, You Win
Ain't Misbehavin'
Hotel California
Hallelujah I Just Love Him So
Heart Of Glass
As Time Goes By
Ain't Nobody
Blues My Naughy Sweetie Gives To Me
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Five Foot Two
Route 66
You Make Me Feel So Young
Jammin
Bare Necessities
Cheek To Cheek
All The Things You Are
September
At Last
Call Me Maybe
Crazy
Georgia On My Mind
For Once In My Life
It Don't Mean A Thing
Hit The Road Jack
Honeysuckle Rose
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
I'm Beginning To See The Light
Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)
My Baby Just Cares For Me
Orange Colored Sky
Satin Doll
Someone To Watch Over Me
Sway
There Will Never Be Another You
They Can't Take That Away From Me
You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I always try my best to be flexible to help ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. If timings change slightly in the run up to the event just let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate your needs!

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

Yes!

How much time do you need to set up?

I like at least 45 minutes for a stress free set up!

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Absolutely! My repertoire list on here is by no means exhaustive, just tell me what you want and I can do it!

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes!

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

Absolutely. I learn one request I may not know for free, and any other requests after that cost £20 per additional request.

Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£275
Up to 1 hour£275
Up to 2 hours£275
Up to 3 hours£275

Reviews

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From Encore customers:

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Lisa M, 1 year ago

Ben was fab!! The music he played for our wedding was lovely, gutted I didn’t get to pay a tad more attention to it as was so busy but loads of guests came up to me and David to tell us how great they thought he was!! We got lots of wows about the music, everyone was really impressed. Such a lovely canny bloke too! Definitely recommend Ben and can’t thank him enough for making our day special

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John M, 2 years ago

Great guy, super music, can't recommend highly enough

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Amar C, 2 years ago

Absolutely fantastic guitarist, great guy and a model professional. I found his approach meticulous, organised and efficient, to ensure that the performance was the best it could have been. It was a privilege to record my first single with his guidance and experience.

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James H, 2 years ago

Working with Ben was an absolute pleasure! From our very first initial contact, to actually playing the gig together on the night, he was extremely accommodating. His calm and welcoming approach was lovely, making it very settling coming in as a dep piano player. His attitude to the music and running the show made for a great atmosphere, plus he's got a great style and sophisticated approach to his playing... very tasteful! I look forward to working with him again in the future.

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From other musicians:

23rd February 2018

Ben and I perform in a wedding trio together and he stands out as one of the best session musician’s in Newcastle. His communication style and effective organisational skills make sure each gig is well structured, is fun, and runs to time. Thanks Ben!