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Conferences Advanced Topics Topic #142
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Member since Jan-20-03
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Jun-26-06, 10:25 PM (PST)
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"Knud Playing Critique"
I have used Dave's offer and with his permission i will publish his comments (and my playings) here for inspiration.

I wrote this to Dave:
"....One with a melody you know and one which i think you don't know (danish summersong - popversion of an old one). I took "smile" because i bend on 3,4 and 6. The other one because i'm training this melody for the time being (very, very popular melody here in Denmark).

Both played on Golden Melody (C).

I started playing for about 9 month ago..."

The to melodies/playings are here:


Here is Dave's comments/critique:

"Both sound great for the time you've been playing.

Vi elsker vort land1.mp3: Your rendition overall is very musical, even though I'm not familiar with the song. Your bend down a whole step on hole 3 is good, but slightly flat and a bit out of tune (mostly the first bend). It's virtually impossible to always play this note perfectly, but if you are going to miss, it's better to be slightly sharp than flat (not bent quite as far). You can check your pitch with a tuning device to see exactly where it's at. Your timing overall seems good as does your addition of secondary techniques like slides and tonguing. My biggest complaint would be the tone and energy. Both can be addressed by attempting to get more air through the harmonica to create more volume which not only will be louder, but more "soulful" and energetic.

Smile.mp3: Mostly the same comments apply to this song. It sounds a bit more rushed than the other though. The bend on hole 4 draw sounds even a bit more forced than the bends on the other tune (although your 3 draw bends are better in tune here). This is quite normal, just do your best to smooth them out as much as humanly possible. Keep in mind, for blues and jamming, bending hole 4 draw all the way is a good thing, but when playing a melody, you'll want to take the bend down about 3/4 of the way to achieve the correct pitch.

If you really enjoy playing melodies (it appears that you do), consider fooling around on the chromatic. It's perfect for attaining smooth, in tune songs. Sometimes, a song is possible on diatonic, but it just comes out nicer without bends getting in the way like on the chromatic.

For 9 months of playing, you are kicking some major butt with your playing. Keep it up."

.. and some more (when he answered a question i had about the energy-thing):

"What I meant about the "energy" is all about you and has nothing to do with the model of harmonica. Good breathing creates a sense of 'power' in your sound (like James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Boy Williamson II). Good breathing adds volume, power, and a sense of confidence in your sound (this is much, much easier to explain and demonstrate in person). Good breathing makes it sound like you mean EVERYTHING you play versus merely putting forth notes."
Those where his words. I certainly can use them. Best of all: Dave offers that he will do it again in a couple of month.
. Thanks again, Dave!


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