View Full Version : Whiskey Before Breakfast

Martin Jonas
Sep-05-2004, 8:44am
I've just recorded and uploaded a basic version of Whiskey Before Breakfast. #I was aiming for an Old Time sound, so I wheeled out my vintage Majestic flattop for this one. #As a result, a very different tone from my recent recordings on the bowlback and/or the F-style. #I haven't played the Majestic in a good while, so it's nice to revisit it and to notice just how different its tone is.

Seeing no discussions here yet, I thought I was the first one to upload, but when I checked after I put mine on Yahoo, I noticed that c3hammer and farmerf5 pipped me to the post. #I've just had a quick listen of theirs:

In quite a departure from the recent trend, all three initial versions are mando-only without overdubs. #I like that: it makes it easier to hear what's going on and what the note choices are.

c3hammer: Nice jazzy variations and playing around with the tempo and good tone. #I like it, especially the chords thrown in at strategic places!

farmer f5: Lovely playing. #Once you pick up the tempo, there's a great groove going on -- very toe-tapping. #I always find it a problem to inject that type of levity and danceability to my recordings, which tend to stay pretty four-square. #It's my Germanic heritage, no doubt.


Sep-06-2004, 12:26am
Well Martin, sorry to go against the 'new grain', but I finally got my multitrack Audacity to work (by loading it on THIS machine, rather than my other) so I've just posted my semi-basic, semi-fancy version with a few instruments. Now that I've got multitrack capability, I no longer sound like some rythmn-compromised bozo (just a bozo who hasn't mastered all the instruments put in front of him--he just records them anyways!)

My upload is currently working better than my download, so I've yet to hear your (and other) version(s), but I'll be looking forward to it.

Happy Pickin'

Sep-06-2004, 8:12am

I've come to the conclusion that I'm hopeless when it comes to rhythm that's why I don't ever record a rhythm track. I actually can't even do one, much less make it sound ok.

Nice one jimini_pickit!

There's another one out on yahoo by watkinsthilefan that has a near perfect rhythm to it as well.

Maybe some day I'll figure it out, but I'll have to stop listening to all this weird jazz before that will ever happen http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Martin Jonas
Sep-06-2004, 9:02am
Jim/Pete -- I didn't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with using backup, just that it made a nice change to hear several unaccompanied version to start with.

Jim: great picking again, and in many ways the best of both worlds, as your mando is right up front and you can hear every note clearly, but the bass line emphasises the rhythm further. I adore your driving mando style; with the alternation between single-notes, crosspicking and chords, you really know how to move a tune along!

Pete: I have to admit that my own no-backup recordings are also largely a testament to my playing limitations. I can strum chords and play lead, but somehow can't get the two together on a single recording.


Sep-06-2004, 10:01am
I actually like the picked versions with out all the extras too.

I did just have a major break through though. If you listen to a version of the song on head phones while you are recording the rhythm comes out pretty good.

I did both a rhythm track and a lead while listening to Butch Baldissarri's version of WBB from "30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin".

Holy Cow! It works. The two actually work together. That's a first for me. LOL!

I uploaded it to the yahoo site.


Sep-06-2004, 11:08am
Thanks for the nice words...I'm pleased with the mix, but it's just something I threw together at 1:00am (while the kids are in bed...no interruptions!) so I wish I could have spent more time mixing, but all in all I thought it sounded good enough out of the box to post, so I let it go. I was originally going to post the lead mando only, but thought I'd try the backup instruments (1 chop mando, 1 guitar, 1 bass) and it did seem to blend pretty good, as you say without muddling up the lead mando part from showing through. Mixing is fun, but there's always the cutoff point, where things can be 'over-produced' so that's a fine line to tread and decide.

Now if I can just learn more than 1 roll pattern on my banjo, it'd be a great addition to that song!!

Happy Pickin'

Sep-06-2004, 3:04pm
It's great to hear your versions. Seems like this is a tune most people have played, since there are so many versions so soon??? I just learned it, I've just sort of picked it out before. I'll wait until I upload mine...
Great variation, I like that!

Martin Jonas
Sep-06-2004, 4:22pm
I can't speak for anyone else, but I hadn't played it before: learned it on Friday and recorded on Saturday. I chose a fairly basic version, which was pretty straightforward to pick up.


Sep-06-2004, 6:26pm
For me, the 'simple' part of my version was from a MC download off the Tab Files section about a year ago, from a duet version of WBB...the more 'intricate' pieces of cross-picking, etc are from a fiddle version off a bluegrass CD I have. As with any song, there can be many versions, but those are the only 2 I have to go by, so I combined them into my version.


Dan Adams
Sep-06-2004, 7:45pm
Thanks Martin! I've always liked the tune and I play it all the time. It's a standard 'jam' and performance tune. Like you, I need to record all the songs of the month, and post Sally Goodin to complete the series. But 'East Tennessee Blues' has thrown a wrench into to works. I've never heard the tune and now I have to learn the darn thing? At least I've had experiences with all the other tunes. Now I'm worried. Guess I'll learn, then post.

Thanks Again, Dan (farmerf5)

Sep-11-2004, 5:18pm
Listening to all these great versions of WBB got me motivated to record something... I haven't been playing too much lately.. (6.5 weeks until my daughter is born!!!)

I hope it sounds ok...

Thanks & keep up the great work,


Sep-16-2004, 1:59pm
As I'd already learned this tune a while back I wanted to do a better job than on my previous efforts, but you wouldn't believe the trouble I had recording it!! Kept messing up until I nearly gave up completely. Anyway, after all that effort I thought I'd better upload it. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Not sure it was worth it though! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Mark Normand
Sep-17-2004, 9:13am
I posted my plinky version of WBB on yahoo, and still practice it every night. Hopefully one day I'll be able to go much faster, recently got hooked up in a jam of strong players, they ripped this up. I didn't. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Moving right along, on to East Tennessee Blues http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif


Sep-20-2004, 9:47am
Mark, it sounds great!! I like that version - you put in more notes than I do in mine. It's really nice.

Fiddlegit - your version is awesome!! Love to hear your fiddling and this recording is one of your best.

Sep-20-2004, 9:49am
Uncle Ken, just listened to yours too, it sounds great. It's such fun listening to the differences of everyone's recordings! Not one of them are like another...it's cool!

Sep-20-2004, 10:55am
Susanne, Thanks for your kind words, knowing there's at least one person out there who likes my fiddlin' makes it worth carrying on. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Thanks for all the other recordings guy's, every one of them have inspired me to try out some new variations.

Mike Buesseler
Sep-20-2004, 3:47pm
I've been keeping my head down around here for awhile. #(Trying to get my pick to work a little smoother...well, a LOT smoother.) #Anyway, for this month, I decided to learn a new version of WBB. #I have a terrible tendency to lead the beat by a ways. #So, I played against an accompaniment that was supposed to help that. #I STILL lead the beat, but the background was so corny, I decided to leave it in. #(It's a recorded kalimba...)

So, for what it's worth, my Whiskey BB, just posted.


Sep-20-2004, 4:06pm
MikeB! No humbly stuff here!!
What a sweet version! So far you are my choice of Whiskey Before Breakfast. I´ve been to Ireland a couple of times, and this is what it sounded like when I walked into the local pub at 8 in the evening - in Westport, Killybags and all the other joints I hit.
Got to admit: WBB never meant much to me; I settled with ETB this month, but you really opened my ignorant eyes and mind to this song.
Thanks Mike, and please keep them coming!

Sĝren / sjusk

Michael H Geimer
Sep-20-2004, 4:10pm
Well Mike,
You'll be happy to hear that now *my* pick is all hung up. I've changed my grip, and it's like starting all over again ... but it improving quickly.

I'm sure *your* playing is as great to hear as it has always been.

I've been quite 'scattered' lately, so I apologize for not having minded this month's contributions. I have DL'ed a few and started listening, but haven't yet found the time to reply to each.

I hope to record a guitar/mandolin trade-off arrangement, but don't hold yer breath.

- Benig

Mike Buesseler
Sep-20-2004, 5:19pm
Well, hot dang! #Thanks, folks. #I hesitated to post my somewhat goofy arrangement.

Benig, glad you picked up on that "pick" comment. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #I'm hammering away, trying to sound like you...and Uncle Ken...and a bunch of other folks around here. #I listened to several before commencing my recording. #Loved them ALL!!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Mike Buesseler
Sep-20-2004, 7:02pm
And this should teach you not to encourage me. #I had to go back and try WBB at a little higher tempo...about 180. #It actually makes a smaller file, but I still feel like a ball hog.


Sep-21-2004, 2:41am
Mike: Neat!!!!!!! Very nice version!! I agree with Sören about that Irish touch. You're inspiring me to improvise some, I was getting a bit sick of my version...

Dave Hicks
Sep-21-2004, 7:51am
Mike - Nice and smooth, really catches the Celtic rhythmic feel.

I've just posted my twisted version; sorry, it's a rather large file. (I'm not sure why so large, it's not all that long.)

Sep-21-2004, 10:28pm
very nice job with WBB!! wish i knew how to dance!

Sep-21-2004, 10:32pm
plant dude,
very clean recording. you've definitely got your own style, man! not many of us can say that. not sure i'd be able to classify this genre, but somehow i feel i should be sipping on a pina colada while listening to this . . .


Dave Hicks
Sep-22-2004, 7:21am
"Jerry Garcia tries to go Jamaican but falls short"?

Mike Buesseler
Sep-22-2004, 7:52am
Planteco, DUUUUUDE! REALLY nice arrangement!! Man, I wish I could take off on a tune like that! Excellent, just excellent. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Sep-22-2004, 11:05am
Where do you go to listen to these tunes. I'm sorry but I can't figure it out. Thanks!

Dave Hicks
Sep-22-2004, 12:17pm

Michael H Geimer
Oct-05-2004, 9:00am
MikeB ... love that kalimba! (and your playing too, of course)

Fiddlegit ... there's thread around about 'if there was no mandolin'. I would hope I could play fiddle as well as you. Great job.

Ken ... Wow. Cool feel, great tone, great timing. You've got it all going on!

planetecology ... your eclctic versions beg the questions RE: your handle ... What Planet!?! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

I sat out because I really hope someday to record a guitar/mandloin duet, but my parts just aren't 'there yet'.

I'm defiantely in for Bill Cheatum this month. I've already got my metronome notched up to a whopping 76bmp! Ooooooh!

- Benig

Mike Buesseler
Oct-05-2004, 4:42pm
I'm defiantely in for Bill Cheatum this month. I've already got my metronome notched up to a whopping 76bmp! Ooooooh!

Benig, you have no idea what encouragement comments like this give me. #I, for one, think you are a top notch musician (I'm not alone around here, either). #If you work up your tunes from tempos like that, well it just gives me hope, is all. #

Speed is just one of my many serious limitations. #I just *cannot* seem to get anything playable above a certain tempo. #I've hit a ceiling or something. #I'd feel better about it if I played as silky smooth as you do.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Michael H Geimer
Oct-05-2004, 4:57pm
Hey Mike!

Truth be told ... @ 76bmp the metronome is clicking away on the 2's and 4's, so the 'real' tempo is more like 150bmp. Still quite pedestrian. And "Yes", I play most of my stuff around those tempos, until it comes easy and natural.

Even though I've got a decent recording posted for it, I still work on The Fisher's Hornpipe at 76bmp as well, as I'm nowhere near solid with that beast.

You've got 'no issues', Mike ... at least none that are any different than the rest of us!

Oct-06-2004, 4:20am
Benig... Your too kind, I've listened to your previous work and I'm sure if you decide to try fiddle it wouldn't be long before you could play better than I!

Dave Hicks
Oct-06-2004, 6:43am
I hope that means you liked it. Since I know I'm not going to play cleanly at 210 bpm and do any improvising, I rearrange the tunes to work at slower tempos. (But something about the Whiskey melody makes it a natural for that rhythm, no?)
Oh, and no planets, only plants - I'm a botanist.

D.H. (plantecology04)

Michael H Geimer
Oct-06-2004, 8:56am
Ahhh ... plantecology! That explains it! Then I will respectfully rephrase my praise, and ask, "What plant were you on!" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif Great stuff!

Oct-06-2004, 1:32pm
Hey y'all...
Been (inconspicuously) absent for awhile, lotta work and other excuses not to pick...

reposted my version of E tennesee a week or so ago, and just now flopped my version of Whisky on the project site. This is the first recording that I have done that is actually two takes...sorta. I did the AA BB AA BB in one, mistakes and retards and all, then I put a real quiet track behind it for the AA BB AA, first of a chop progression, then a harmony in 3rds for the second AA.

See, THIS is what really happens when whisky is breakfast... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Oct-07-2004, 9:24am
I think you do great, Smolt. If you can play at that speed you shouldn't complain! (or maybe folks play fast to cover mistakes?? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif Anyway, it sounds good, you should be really proud of yourself!

I finally uploaded my version, much more amateur-like, but the only one I could come down with without too many mistakes. I tried to use a back-up track but just messed it up so I did it without any metronome or clicks or such, so I probably speed up. And now I find myself looking down on my stuff again......bad, bad bluegrasstjej...
Really, I'm quite satisfied with it. Just wish I could play faster and smoother.

Oct-08-2004, 6:25am
Susanne, I'ts nice to hear your playing again. (it seems ages since your last one)You should not look down on your stuff, it's good music. If it does speed up it's only slightly and there's nothing wrong with that, the pro's do it all the time!

Oct-09-2004, 2:49pm
Hi Roger, thanks for your encouragement. it means a lot to me. You know what? I'm improving greatly on the fiddle, and may even be able to record old project tunes on the fiddle soon. it would be fun anyway!!!

I just love the fiddle! Nearly can't lay it down to play the mandolin...just that I need mandolin practice, since I'm bringing it to Ireland next month, I'm not yet good enough to play fiddle for people (apart from my boyfriend, who actually is the one who taught me).

Dec-07-2004, 9:47am
Little late, but I uploaded a barebones version for general criticism...but to Yahoo groups--didn't see we can bypass that page now. Its also posted on in the photos of my Ratcliff mando here on the Cafe.

Dec-07-2004, 5:34pm
Neat!!!!!!!! I love it when folks add tunes when we don't expect it and it sounds great too. Wow, I get some new inspiration to do recordings. I've been to lazy on that lately.

Dec-09-2004, 11:09am

nice clean rendition! your mando has an interesting tone. what you picking?

thanks for sharing and keep up the good work



Dec-09-2004, 12:43pm

nice clean rendition! #your mando has an interesting tone. #what you picking?

thanks for sharing and keep up the good work


Its Laura Ratcliff #6, with J74s that probably need a changing. That tune was recorded with a Wegen M150, which I think skews the tone to the top end. I have a comparison between the Wegen and the Ultex 1.14 in the thread in the # "post a picture of your mando" (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=18361;st=25) forum. I do love the tone of this mando; its more than I deserve with my modest ability. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Thanks for the kind words. I think I let the timing drag in a couple of places--although I think I cover it so that overall the timing is decent. Obviously I am concerned about this since I recorded with out a 'nome or flashing timer.