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At Least

mcpat76's picture

This is one of the most difficult harmonica projects I have ever encountered. I had never played solo harmonica before. It's so hard!!! It took me a lot of time and frustration to build this song. I wanted to do a better job, but after hours of recording I thought I would get crazy.
The song is in 2nd position. I tried to find a catchy head that's repeated at the end. I also tried to add diversity to the solos. As I was working on the ending I throught a Little Walter lick would do the job.
I recorded the song through a voice recorder and I could not get a better sound from the mp3 converter.
Thank you for listening.


Sweet! Super charismatic tones, captivating playing .

chrismar's picture

it was vey enjoyable, Without being too academically analytical, I thought your playing was rich with heartful tones and warmth of character. Thanks so much for sharing


Madcat's comments:

Peter Madcat Ruth's picture

That was a curious 6 beat bar that began at 0:26... Those show up in old blues recordings from time to time. Was it intentional? Also it sounds like you dropped a beat somewhere around 2:00 and soon after you had a few bars in 3/4 time... kind of cool. Was it intentional? If it was, you might want to emphasize that section... If it wasn't intentional you might want to eliminate that section. Very cool original sounding lick at 1:06. The ending took me by surprise. Also, I recommend you work on the tempo of the song so it stays even from section to section.
Interesting piece.

Thank you so much for your

mcpat76's picture

Thank you so much for your comments Peter Madcat.
To answer your questions, it was not intentional. I worked on this song in a hurry and after spending hours recording I decided to stop even if there were some mistakes.


Joe Filisko's picture

Good command of your playing technique. Your melodic ideas were often quite cool but the odd meter (counting) that was happening could be distracting. This piece would certainly work even more effectively with a band. A couple of general rules for solo playing like this is to mainly stick to the lower end of the harp and try and work some more dynamics into it. Keep the melodies prominent and the chording more faint. JF

Thank you

mcpat76's picture

Thank you so much Joe! I am taking your comments into consideration. Your advice will help me improve. No doubt about that!

Comments - Tom Ball

Tom Ball's picture

Rhythm is solid. Good ideas at 1:04. At 1:39 you show fine control of the bent part of the note. Flutters at 2:00 are very well played. Overall you show excellent control of the instrument, although the song structure is a bit eccentric.... (Of course, one could also say that about Lightnin’ Hopkins or John Lee Hooker!) :)

Thank you so much for your

mcpat76's picture

Thank you so much for your comment Tom.
It is so wonderful to have someone like you listen to and critic our songs!
I agree with you about the song structure. I am working on it...

Thank you everyone for your

mcpat76's picture

Thank you everyone for your kind comments. Thank you David for taking the time to comment on each song.
Two things that you said were actually bothering me while I was working on the song: the length of the form and the rushing in CH3. But after three hours of recording I didn't want to go over these again as the dateline was close. I am so used to play with back-up music that it was sometimes hard not to miss some beats. This excercise shed some light on some weaknesses I was not aware of. Thanks again David.
I must admit that since participating in this contest I became interested in solo harmonica. I think there's going to be some time put aside for it during my practice time.

Very Good!

Spl20's picture

I enjoyed the Boogie woogie feel it has, Very nice!

Comments - David Barrett

David Barrett's picture

CH1 - Nice opening and rhythmic base that's there throughout the song
CH2 - Nice IV Chord sequence. I like your bass line V-IV-I ideas
CH3 - You rush a bit here, but nice melodic ideas
CH4 - Great change in rhythm here and use of tongue blocking ideas
CH5 - Nice 3' tremolo, a 3" would have been nice on the V Chord
CH6 - Nice flutter
CH7 - Great to hear the head come back / Great idea to use the V-IV-I 3x at the end).

You have a good general sense of the 12 bar blues and good chord-appropriate bends. In some places you change the length of the form (adding or dropping beats). Though not as important playing by yourself, it's still important. This is a growth area for you.

Well done!

jodanchudan's picture

I agree with robfraser that it'd make a great instrumental. This swings really well and there's a good balance between repetition and variation - great stuff!

The Most

hank stefaniak's picture

Wel done!! Nice strong articulation and a cool groove. Lots of solid techniques used. You should feel good about what you did with this one!!


robfraser's picture

That's a great tune. It would also make a great bandstand instrumental! Excellent bending control and octaves and you have a good groove going. Well done!

But Not least

patricia mifsud's picture

Very catchy,very enjoyable-loved listening to this!