Week #122 ~ Spotted Pony

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Spotted Pony.

    I found this on www.thesession.org

    X: 1
    T: Spotted Pony, The
    M: 4/4
    L: 1/8
    R: barndance
    K: Dmaj
    |:D2DD E2EE| F2AF G2FG |1 ABde f2ed |f2a2 e4 :|2 ABdA Bd2B | AFE2 D4 ||
    |:f2af e3e | efed B4 | ABde f2ed | f2a2 e2de |f2af e3e |
    efed B4 |1 A2BAd3A | BAF2 E4:|2 ABdABd2B|AFE2 D4||

    But since this is an old-time tune, and thesessions is really about Irish trad music, who knows how accurate that is.

    Here is a link to a page that you can scroll down and click on a midi file for the tune, in the online Hetzer's Fakebook

    Here is a link to some standard notation on Traditional Old Time Music

    Here's a great video, on a youthful fiddle and guitar backup

    Love this old time feel!

    I think this one is easy to play along with, and they play it many times... a good practice video!

  2. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    The alternate title for one of the tunes we did here in the past couple of months -- or maybe in another song group (g) -- was "Spotted Pony." I don't have time to track it down. I trust this isn't an unsuspected repeat with a new name? I apologize for bringing this up if it's a red herring. I have a mild case of new-tune intoxication.
  3. Michael Thompson
    Michael Thompson
    I decided to get through this one real quick this week and not worry about any kind of accompaniment or anything. I used a TablEdit file I found on mandozine: http://mandozine.com/music/search_re...rder=A&submit=

    Well...here goes nothin'.

  4. Marcelyn
    Love it, Michael! Very old time, and such awesome tone.

    Mike, I also rememberr seeing this in the list of related tunes of Rabbit in the Pea Patch, and while there are a few similarities, it's definitely a different tune. They'd probably make a good medly. On the bright side, where Rabbit in the Pea Patch was a little difficult for some people to internalize, I think this one's a lot easier to grab on to melody-wise.

    Here's the Youtube lesson I found really helpful...

    Two things I found interesting from his video are that the A and B parts are pretty much reversable. Also, I like his tips on how easy it is to create variations on the low part which he calls the B part.
  5. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Here's mine once through! Sorry for the little false start!

  6. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    David, that was great! I love the drones you get in there!
  7. ieatcrayons
    Well I haven't smashed this thing against the wall in frustration...yet
    Sounded like a fun piece so decided to give it a shot this week here's my stab at it:
  8. Marcelyn
    Wow, three more great versions.
    David, yet again you've captured my ideal for how I hope to play this song in ten years. Really cool.
    Barbara, your rolls, steady rhythm, and tone are awesome.
    And EC, is it Chris right? Welcome back I like the way you changed up the melody.
  9. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    I really like the variety I'm hearing here. Some really nice versins of a long-time favorite of mine. I first learned this tune on mountain dulcimer perhaps 17 years ago, but I had not worked it out on mando until now. I got it from Lois Hornbostel's dulcimer classic "American Fiddle Tunes" tab book. To get it to the tempo my brain wants to play it I had to spare my fingers some of the notes (well, actually, it is my right hand that requires grace; it just won't keep up with my left hand).

  10. Toycona
    Nice job, Martin. You have a very melodic dog. He knew just when to jangle his collar.
  11. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    You can NOT imagine how long it took me to train that dog to jangle its collar in just the right spot!
  12. Michael Thompson
    Michael Thompson
    I was thinking the same thing about that dog and its collar. Reminds me of Sam Bush's story about how "Laps in Seven" was inspired by his dog drinking water.

    Also, that shirt is pretty sweet, Martin.
  13. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Martin, I have to admit, when children or animals wander into the videos, I have a hard time paying attention any more! Was that two dogs, one with a toy, the other wanting it? It was such a teaser, just seeing a little part of the picture, and trying to figure out what was going on! Nice playing, too!
  14. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    That was two dogs. Winston the Pembroke Corgi and Baxter the maltipoo. Baxter was wanting Winston to play with him, but Winston was focused on chewing on my son's underwear! He will chew on anything that smells like us; the more disgusting the better.
  15. laura809
    Hi everyone. I'm new to the group. This is my first post. It's a little slow because I just learned it this morning.
  16. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Hi Laura, and welcome to the group! Great first post! Tell us a little about yourself!
  17. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    That's more or less the speed I play tunes I've been working on for a month. The first day it's the same speed just with a bunch of wrong notes. Seriously, you had a good swing going to the dotted-rhythm parts. That's the main thing.

    Welcome to Song-A-Week!
  18. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Nice clean picking Laura. What kind of axe is that? And are you really left-handed or did the video do that mirror-image thing?
  19. laura809
    Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I have played guitar and bass for many years. I bought my first mandolin several years ago, but after learning a few chords, it hung on the wall collecting dust. A few months ago my 8 year old asked to learn how to play. I figured I better teach myself so that I could help her. My guitars and basses aren't getting much attention lately. I love how comfortable and portable the mandolin is. I also find it a lot easier to play melodies on, which was always a weak spot in my guitar playing.
    I am playing my new Eastman 615, a recent upgrade from the Epiphone mm30 that hung on my wall for so long. I used Photo Booth to record my first video. I noticed the mirror image thing, and figured out that I need to use iMovie to correct it.
  20. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Excellent picking, Laura, you have included some nice double stops.
    Here is my version played on a Stagg.

  21. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Another excellent version Maudlin.
  22. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Nice work, y'all. Yeah, now that you bring up "Pea Patch" I do recollect that was the tune related to this one. I better get on the stick and learn this!
  23. El Dino
    El Dino
    Here's my go at it. I also learned it with the lower part as the A part- just seems right to me.
  24. laura809
    Very nice job! I think you are right about switching the A and B section. It does seem more natural to start with the lower notes.
  25. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Dino, superb! That's the tempo I'd like to play it at, with all the notes. To get anywhere close to that I have to simplify to accomdate my discoordinated right hand. Your version is exactly how I learned it on the dulcimer years ago. I also learned it with the lower part as the A part.
  26. Toycona
    Great old timey fee, El. I like the B part first too. I'll have to try it out that way.
  27. Marcelyn
    That was totally amazing Eldino. It's going to take me a while to figure out all that stuff, but I'm on it. And I'll only dock you a few points for playing it backwards.

    Here's the Spotted Pony I finally wrangled...

  28. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great, El Dino.
    Very nice first post, Laura.
    Nice work by everybody else. Thanks for giving me the idea of drones, David.

    Here is a very quick take, because I have to go back to practicing Big Sandy River.

  29. Marcelyn
    Would you look at that. we were uploading at the very same minute, Manfred. What are the odds? Probably a lot higher now that you're in the same time zone I guess. That mandolin is truly beautiful, and great playing too.
  30. Toycona
    Manfred, that is a really sweet sounding mando, for sure. Nice playing...and killer synchronicity with Marcelyn. That bodes well...
  31. El Dino
    El Dino
    I've enjoyed listening to everyone's take on this tune. Nice picking everyone! And I guess I'll always play the parts backwards! Marcelyn, I really like your use of slides and the rythmic accents. Makes the tune real bouncy sounding. Martin, I'd like to hear it on the dulcimer. Sounds interesting..
  32. Marcelyn
    Thanks, El Dino, and I was totally kidding about your "backward" version. Actually, if I remember, this happened once before on Damon's Winder. Believe it or not, it took me half the week to realize that David H. was playing the same tune as I was, only switched up.

    Martin, I second the call for your dulcimer version.
  33. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Alright, here you go. But the dogs are "tied up" in union contracts (pun intended).

  34. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Martin, that was beautiful! Our first dulcimer post!
  35. Marcelyn
    That sounds great, Martin. I love dulcimers.
  36. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Thank you ladies.
  37. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    So tell me, compared to a mandolin, how hard is it to learn to play a dulcimer?
  38. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    I wouldn't say that it is hard, it's just different. Since you already have extensive instrumental experience I am sure you would pick it up fairly quickly. It is fairly easy to pick out a tune on one, as it is diatonic (not chromatic). It's like playing on just the white keys on a piano. If you know what note to start on you just work up the scale one fret at a time and there are no notes NOT in the scale (except at the optional 1 1/2 and 6 1/2 frets). And you can note only one string while strumming across the others as drones; you don't HAVE to make chords. For this reason there are a lot of mediocre dulcimer players. To be an accomplished dulcimer player you have to practice, just like any other instrument. Like mandolin there are many tunings, but two "standard" ones ~ Ionic (Daa) and Mixolydian (Dad) <--capital letter indicates the lowest string, furthest away from the player. So the "default" key is D. But as one becomes familiar with diatonic instruments, you learn that they can be played in other keys as well. If you have a good instrument with quality geared tuners you can retune quickly to C or E or whatever.

    Bear in mind that the dulcimer is a quiet, personal instrument that is often played solo. It is easily drowned out in a jam session (one reason I picked up mandolin). There are, of course, ways to compensate for this, but not without amplification.

    A quality dulcimer can be had for much less than a comparable quality mandolin. If you are serious about getting one I would urge you to consult with me further. The dulcimer I play was handcrafted to order, including the custom inlay. I paid less than a grand for it in 1998. A similar quality mandolin would probably be in the 5 or 6K range.

    Below I have posted an example of a "beginner" player and then one of Steven Siefert, a nationally reknowned champion dulcimist, playing Whiskey Before Breakfast capoed to the key of G. Steven is playing what I would guess to be a production model McSpadden with, perhaps, some cutom additions.

  39. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Martin, thanks for posting your dulcimer version of Spotted Pony. That's a cool sound with the drones. I really enjoyed everyone's playing on this--great versions by everyone. David's version with the drones got me going. I added a few Monroe slides to it and came up with this.

  40. Marcelyn
    Bravo, Don.
  41. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Hey, I really like your take on that Don.
  42. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
  43. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Martin, amazing sound and playing!

    Don, what a great version and super relaxed playing.
  44. RalphM
    Great music everyone! David, what kind of instrument is that with 10 strings? Sounds really cool! Here's my go at it.

  45. Toycona
    Here's my entry. What a fun song to learn!

  46. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    Thanks to all for your good examples (double stops, slides, solid playing). Great posts Ralph and Laura. Thanks for sharing your dulcimer with us Martin. Many different versions and styles made this another super week.

  47. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Very nice work Mike. I like how you went up in the A part kind of like a question and response.
  48. fatt-dad
    one more. Again, with no finesse

  49. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Here's our run at it. We included another Spotted Pony which I believe is a Missouri tune. Our false start cracked me up so I didn't cut it out. The A part in the second tune gives me fits for some reason.
  50. Marcelyn
    Really nice! The falce start got me smiling too. Been there, done that.
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