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Nedrick's picture

After listening to some unrelated ad lib practice sessions that I recorded over several months, there were some licks that seemed to fit together. That's how this piece got started. From that point I experimented by adding new licks, my goal being to create a piece with interest through texture, syncopation and surprises. I hope it comes across in the listening.

A few spots had to be altered from draw to blow notes, or visa versa, in order to pace my air supply.
The last chorus has a few meter changes and diverges from the standard 12 bar blues progression. And what sounds like the end of the piece, isn't - it's just a brief pause, then followed by the actual ending.


Madcat's comments:

Peter Madcat Ruth's picture

The best section of chugging is from 0:02 to 0:16. From then until the end the chugging mostly disappeared - and I missed it...
The part from 1:46 to 1:50 was cool... but I was waiting for the chug which never really returned...

Thanks Peter!

Nedrick's picture

Thank you for your comments and appreciation of the 1:46 to 1:50 section.


Joe Filisko's picture

That's what I call power and pure adrenaline! Some cool melodic ideas appearing. I really liked the beginning. I really wanted to hear it revisited. I want to encourage you to use more dynamics. I'm hearing that you are playing a bit too much in the upper range of your dynamics. The typical listening audience really likes to hear things played softly from time to time. Your power driven approach has caused reed fatigue in your hole 4 draw causing the chord to be a bit out of tune. I do realize that your composition is called "Carnival", but should you have wanted it to sound more bluesy, you should try and minimize your playing in the higher half of the harp. JF

Thanks Joe!

Nedrick's picture

This is a rare opportunity having you listen and comment. I'm very grateful! Your positive remarks about the melodic ideas and "adrenaline" made me especially happy. I'll works on my dynamics, etc.

Comments - Tom Ball

Tom Ball's picture

The tongue-block slaps are very effective and I like the sense of rhythm. I also dug the ascending line at :16. A couple of observations, tho: at about :42-:44 (and at a few other places) these is audible breathing noise – you may want to strive to eliminate that. And at about 1:09 the draw chords are drawn so hard that the chord itself becomes flat. But the timing is really fine. I like this - nice job.

Thank you Tom!

Nedrick's picture

It's a privilege to have critique from you. I really appreciate all of your comments. Thank you! As a "new" harp player (14 months) my biggest challenge is getting the breathing right. I hope to improve on this. This first time recording with an external mic I had "thin" mic tone problems and found that by playing louder the mic tone deepened - but as you pointed out it resulted in some flats.

Comments - David Barrett

David Barrett's picture

Your rhythmic idea jumps out right away... nice. The sense of a 12 Bar Blues comes through, but around measure 10 it moves away. Just an observation... you went somewhere I didn't expect. Some nice licks in here. You're playing on the edge of destroying the harmonica... I would recommend you play softer... please be kind to your harmonica! ;-) Nice dynamics at 1:40. I liked the change at 2:00. I would have liked to of heard a bit more structure, but a good submission.

Thanks David!

Nedrick's picture

David - Thanks so much for you comments - a great opportunity to have your direct guidance! This was my first experience at recording with an external mic. For me it had a "tinny" tone. But by staying close at 3" from the mic and playing pretty loud, the mic tone improved although it was still "thin". Just couldn't find the right balance of the tone and volume with the mic. Have been playing harp for a bit over a year (+1 yr back in 1972) so I have lots to learn yet. Also, about the 10th bar of CH1 where you mentioned "... it moves away". Can you please elaborate? I can't figure it out where I went amiss. Thanks for all your outstanding work helping us reach our full potential.

very unique

kevin jean's picture

cool note combinations, good timing, stayed in the groove...sounds like 2 guys playin' at once!

Thank you Hank, Jordan, Rob and Kevin

Nedrick's picture

I really appreciate all of your postings and the details in your comments. It's great to hear from other harp players. And good luck to everyone who entered the contest. It was great taking in your different approaches and styles.

Original indeed!

robfraser's picture

Plenty of excellent technique there! You have loads going on in this piece which certainly evokes the title. Your ending puts me in mind of a post carnival moment, slow and quiet in the aftermath- wicked!

Ah Yes!!

hank stefaniak's picture

Liked the full chord slaps with the riffs in between - some really nice rhythmic variations in there (trills) - sounding very fine!!

Blues carnival

jodanchudan's picture

The blues carnival idea is great - sounds original and it works very well; it's evocative. Strong beat throughout and a wide range of techniques - amazing stuff! By the way, that's a really cool effect at 0:54 - how did you do that?


Nedrick's picture

Jordan - Thanks so much for your comments. It's really appreciated! The bend at :53-:54 was done by pulling in strongly with the diaphragm (or stomach muscles?) on the 3rd hole of the A harp while at the same reducing the embouchure size down to almost a pursed lips position. Hope I'm describing this the right way. It's one of those things that just happens, then later you try to figure it out.