Week #146 ~ Snowflake Reel

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner, in a close one, is Snowflake Reel, which was submitted as a Bluegrass tune. I'm not familiar with it.

    I found these:


    Here's a midi file

    Here's another link to some notation.

    And I found this on YouTube:

  2. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    The B section is pretty cool!
  3. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    That version could be called the "deadpan reel".
  4. Doghearty
    Well, I'm intimidated. Deadpan or not, that guy is good.
  5. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Here is the Steve Kaufmann version on a Gremlin. This is an appropriate tune as there are still piles of snow lying about.

  6. fatt-dad
    this will be fun, 'cause I actually kind of know this tune. Don't often play it with others, but I can get it sorta. . .

    Now to work on my recording skills. . .

  7. OldSausage
    Good work, Mr Maudlin. I didn't think anyone was going to post a version of this for another day or two, I'm finding it quite tricky to learn. You deserve a better YouTube name than that too, you know.
  8. Francis J
    Francis J
    Great work there maudlin, It's going to take me a while to have this one sink in! The tune was written by Wally Traugott, a Canadian fiddle player, and record mastering genius. I found another version here that's a good listening source. Have to work on this one.

  9. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
  10. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Neil: great tempo and excellent picking on what is turning out to be quite a tricky little number this week.
  11. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Here's the Snowflake Reel at a moderate tempo with guitar and bass backup. The mandolin is a KM600 Kentucky, the guitar is a Simon & Patrick and the electric bass is a Hofner.

  12. GKWilson
    Very nice Neil. And Micheal that was SPECIAL. Really.
  13. OldSausage
    Excellent work, both Neil and Michael.
  14. Marcelyn
    Love it, guys!
    Michael, you really captured the sound of tiny snowflakes coming down. How cool.
  15. peddyrmac
    Ok. I give up! No more time to practice this week as the in-laws are coming to visit, so here it is warts and all. That Bb is a stretch and I have never worked on using that pinky. Maybe I should just cut it off!

  16. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Two great versions; Michael, loved the triplet hammer ons in your version, think i'll be playing it back more than a few times trying to work them out.
  17. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Great job, ya'll! When I hear ya'll play it, it sounds like a real tune. When I try to play it, I can't make it sound anything more than a bunch of notes that don't come together right!
  18. OldSausage
    Great job, Peddyr. You're right, Barbara, it's not easy to get this to move from being a bunch of notes to being a tune. When I saw this otherwise named as "Snowflake Breakdown" I started to see how it worked as just a kind of vamp with a novelty section in the chromatic fall and the funky key change. The simplicity of the 'A' section vamp is just there to set a groove going and make the start of the B part sound good. At least, I think so. I couldn't muster the resources for a video this week (I've not been well), so here's my recorded version on SoundCloud:


    This was recorded on my new Silver Angel mando, so see if you can tell the difference.
  19. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    OS, your version sounds great, pity, would like to see it played; hope you get well soon
  20. OldSausage
    Thanks Neil, I'll try to post a video of it when I'm feeling and looking a bit better
  21. peddyrmac
    amazing as always OS!
  22. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Yeah, the new Silver Angel mandolin sounds really great. It's got a balanced, really great modern bluegrass tone which is exactly right for your style of play. Snowflake Reel or Breakdown sounds great too. Especially liked your variations on the b part and all the cool bluegrass licks you always seem to work in somehow. Way to go!
  23. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    MM, Neil, Michael, Peddy, OS, you make it sound so easy. Very enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.
  24. Marcelyn
    I'm definitely liking the new Silver Angel, David. It sure didn't take long for you to get used to it.
  25. fatt-dad
    I don't really belong in this group, 'cause I just play for therapy and you all actually play. So here's the way I learned the "Snowflake Reel," as played on my '84 Flatiron 1N.

  26. OldSausage
    That's a great fiddle-type version f-d. You don't seem out of place here to me. Plus you've got a cool mando.
  27. fatt-dad
    I'm kind of happy I learned how to embed a video too! Almost all of my mandolin playing has been learned by listening to fiddle players. I really like your playing. (I've been lurking. . .)

  28. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Very nicely done, fatt-dad. Speaking for myself it seems that anyone who loves mandolin music belongs here... Hope you'll stick around and pick some more tunes.
  29. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Therapy seems to work, fatt-dad. Great introductory performance.
    Maudlin, nice effort. Do you intentionally pick so close to the bridge? Just a thought I had watching you.
    Peddyrmac, good effort, in-laws and all.
    Neil, what Michael said: great tempo and clean picking. I just clocked your tempo and couldn't believe the reading on my metronome. Your speed sounds so effortless.
    And Michael, the same is true for you, of course. Your 'moderate' tempo only sounds moderate because it is so effortless. As always a 'SPECIAL' version and excellent multi-instrument production.
    I have been busy this week so I will try to learn this tune at my moderate tempo tonight.
  30. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Welcome, fatt-dad! Tell us a little about yourself and your mando! I think we ALL play for therapy! And, as Michael said, everyone is welcome here, all they need is the desire to be here! I suspect, from the number of people who have joined this group, we have far more 'lurkers' than we have posters! That's the beauty of this group; while I think it's more fun to become known, and have actual interchanges between members, you don't ever have to post a video, or even make a comment, and there's plenty that you can gain from us!
  31. laura809
    This tune was pretty tough to get to a decent tempo. The example from youTube was pretty intimidating. I was impressed with everyone that managed to get a version posted. Fatt-dad, it sounds like your therapy is working out for you. Nice job on a tough tune.
  32. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice one Laura. I agree that the Snowflake Reel is pretty tough to get to a decent tempo. It seems to me that getting any fiddle tune adapted for the mandolin and up to speed is always an effort.
  33. fatt-dad
    Wow! You're asking a flaming extrovert to talk about himself? Be careful what you ask for. . .

    I'm a gray haired old man. Studied geology in Colorado worked as a field geologist all ove the west and then became an engineer (geotechnical to be precise). I worked in consulting for about 30 years and about a year ago, went to work for my state's department of transportation. My kids (one boy and one girl) are out of the house and in a month me and the misses will have 25 years of matrimonial bliss to celebrate.

    I got my first mandolin in the late 60s - an old Kay that was given to me. I went to my first bluegrass festival in the early 70s and have been playing music since the 4th grade - mostly trumpet and guitar. I sing in my church choir, but really can't read music on the mandolin at all. I play by ear and am blessed with some aptitude on learnign by ear - thank goodness.

    Telling you all about my mandolin implies I only got one - ha! I have some addictive gene and have owned up to 30 mandolins, but ultimately reason prevailed. I basically have three players, not including my IV kit, which stays at work. My Flatiron 1N (shown in video) gets a lot of playtime. I've owned my 1920 A3 the longest (well not counting my Kay), I have another Flatiron - alson an 84, but it's an arched top A5-1. Love it too!

    Currently I have two mandolins on order. Dave Cohen is building me an A5 out of walnut and redwood and Larry Muth is building me an A5 out of red spruce and maple. I have a problem. . .

    Mostly I play old-time fiddle tunes on my mandolin and I know hundreds. I'm sloppy, loud and too fast. Art imitates life, eh? On guitar I play acoustic "country" or "Piedmont" blues. My teacher John Cephas (RIP) got me on a journey and I'm still struggling. Thankfully you aren't asking for any videos of my guitar work. Here is a photo of my instrument collection:

    Back to work!

  34. OldSausage
    Awesome job Laura. And thanks for the intro f-d, I never would have guessed all that stuff, although I would have tried. What a great collection, too - very glad to hear it's still growing.
  35. OldSausage
    Finally got it together to make the video:

  36. fatt-dad
    OS, that was great!

  37. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Another fine version and glad to see you've gotten over your illness. That mando looks as great as it sounds too!
  38. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great sound from your new mando, David, and lovely playing, of course.
  39. Francis J
    Francis J
    Fantastic playing everybody. OS glad you're better, and playing so fluently, as always. I've almost given up on this one, my recycle bin is full of failed attempts.
  40. OldSausage
    Thanks guys! Don't give up Francis - you can do it!
  41. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    David that's another one for that CD we've talked about. The Silver Angel sounds fantastic as does your playing.
  42. OldSausage
    Thanks very much David. I guess now I have the mando I wanted, I have no more excuses not to work on that CD
  43. Francis J
    Francis J
    Here's my take, played on a plywood plank, which despite it's lowly origin seems to be making an effort to open up. A friend of mine bought it for his daughter, and she wasn't interested, so I got the job of breaking it in. It's very quiet, but it seems to respond to the mike.

  44. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite
    Another lurker in the group is outed! This was a fun tune to learn, and I had software, hardware and Internet challenges too. This is my trusty 1918 Gibson A model mandolin. It has a custom made 1-piece bridge, which gives it a very mellow tone, but makes it too quiet for ensemble playing without amplification.
  45. OldSausage
    That's great Colin - I really enjoyed the variations in that version, and your playing. Here's your video embedded - to do that, just click "Go Advanced", then click the red YouTube icon and paste just the code, in this case 6BZEBMXh--c, in the box.

    Colin's version embedded
  46. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite
    Wow, thanks for bailing me out, and for the instructions. I was just in the process of trying again.
  47. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Francis J: the mandolin may be humble but the results when you play it are outstanding. Good job on a very hard tune!
    Welcome Colin! That is a very nice sounding mandolin and you've done a very good job on your first video post. Hope to see and hear more in the future...
  48. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite
    Thanks for the encouragement! That's what I really appreciate about this group. You'll see and hear me again soon.
  49. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Welcome Colin, great start of your recording career.
    Francis, plywood has not prevented you from recording a very nice effort.

    I don't know how a few flat notes could throw me off so often. I am not a stranger to F scales. Yesterday I had played this tune so often that in the end I made mistakes in the easiest passages. So I slept a night and here is finally a take I can live with - although many practice sessions were much better and faster.

  50. Toycona
    Good job, Manfred! I'm on hiatus for a few weeks, as this is my ultra busy time (work stuff). I'll get back to it soon...
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