Week #187 ~ Denver Belle

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Denver Belle, which was submitted as an Old Time and/or Bluegrass tune. I'm not familiar with it...

    I found this on Old Time Music, with the standard notation and mandolin tab.

    I did a You Tube search, and found these:

    This one is by a member of our group!



    Here's one with Kenny Baker on fiddle, and Sam Bush on mandolin:

  2. cjprince
    cjprince
    omg...I had planned to do a better one....
  3. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    cj.... nothing that says you can't! But, I think this one is pretty darn good!!!!
  4. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    This one makes me smile!

  5. GKWilson
    GKWilson
    cj. You might do another one. But, it would be hard to make it better. Very nice.
    Gary
  6. cjprince
    cjprince
    Dave - that was beautiful! I can not continue breathing until I get an octave mandolin....
  7. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    CJ and David, you are no slouches! Hard acts to follow.
    And Michael, yes, the kids make me smile, too. But it's kind of discouraging how they comfortably pick/bow away at a tempo I have been working towards for years and still is beyond me.
    Here is my effort. Bass metronome courtesy of Band-in-a-Box.

  8. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice effort CJ. David, it's hard to resist the siren call of the octave mandolin, especially one in your capable hands.

    Manfred, that was very awesome! And your tempo seemed exactly right to me! I think the kids don't realize that they are doing anything special, they just do it because it's how they expect it to sound... and they've got a lot of time to practice too!
  9. luurtie
    luurtie
    Wow David and Manfred, you did both very well. I will post my version later on. I don't seem to get de second part right.
    Is it difficult to play such a mandola David? I always think idea that one needs very strong hands to play it the way you do!
    Manfred, that mandolin has an incredible nice sound!
  10. luurtie
    luurtie
    Here it is, after 30 takes I give up. It's not going to be any better for now

  11. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice version, luurtie. Your should not give up after a few takes
    I will not give away how many attempts I made.
    And thanks for your kind words, guys.
  12. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    That's a great sounding mandolin, luurtie! I like your version of this tune a lot! Here's my version. After an afternoon of attempts this is the best one I could come up with for now...

  13. luurtie
    luurtie
    Wow, Michael that's an incredible version. Jou put so much wonderful extra's in it. I'm also impressed with the warm sound of your km600 mandolin.
  14. laura809
    laura809
    Michael is an especially tough act to follow, but there are lots of great versions this week. I really like this tune. Luurtie, it is good to see you posting again. You have had very nice submissions the last couple of weeks. David, the octave mandolin made for a unique version. Manfred, I agree with you about getting a little discouraged by those kids. That was a great performance. Dad looks so proud, but the kids don't even seem to realize how good they are.
    My version is sloppier than I would like it to be, but I am trying to play looser and put in more variations.
  15. jonny250
    jonny250
    wow, where to start!? JC a solid performance, David the Octave sounds fluid, very nice. mafred and Luurtie, i enjoyed those and Micheal i have re-watched that just a few times
    Laura nicely done with a few runs and rolls thrown in, sounds good. I enjoyed your AoB sumission with MM too by the way [no hiding around here ].
  16. laura809
    laura809
    Uh oh Jonny, I thought I could sneak under the radar. Well since I can't hide.....I have a pretty good guess what Mike would say about my performance. I definitely could use some stronger upstrokes. He would probably recommend slowing it down to clean it up. And I sure wish I could get away from having the music nearby as a cheat sheet....
  17. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great stuff.
    Michael's signature sound, playing and add-ons.
    Laura, really nice variations and a great-sounding mandolin.
  18. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Well you've all been so inspiring this week you've coaxed me out of retirement. It's been a while since I made a video, I'd almost forgotten how hard it is to do, kudos to all who've been keeping it up. I couldn't pass up this old Kenny Baker classic.

  19. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    That was superb David. Where have you been hiding?
    And where does that "clack, clack" come from? You don't have a fretboard (Florida) extension, right?
  20. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Thanks Manfred - I've just been in the basement. There's no Florida on this mando, but somehow the fingerboard extends right into the sweet spot nonetheless - perhaps the sweet spot is in a different position than on other mandos. I still hit the fingerboard all the time with my pick while recording. I actually don't mind it much, but it drives some people nuts. I can avoid it if I'm thinking about it.
  21. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Laura, your strategy for playing looser and putting in more variations makes for very enjoyable listening. Thanks!
    David, nice to hear your wonderful playing on this old Kenny Baker tune -- I'd hoped you couldn't resist this week's tune...
  22. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Denver Belle is new to me, and I have fallen in love with it this week; it's a fantastic tune! Laura, I have to chuckle at your comment, because I strive and would love to play as "sloppier" as you!!
  23. JLewis
    JLewis
    Thanks David. Another version among so many from this group I'd like to emulate. You've been missed, good to see you again.
  24. harrywhohaa
    harrywhohaa
    You all are doing some pretty inspiring versions here, I love this tune but I can't play any variations except when it's real slow, as shown here:

  25. Blue Ghost
    Blue Ghost
    Great version, Harry! Some times slow is better.
  26. dfalkiewicz
    dfalkiewicz
    WOW! these are great! Is everyone playing this tune by ear, tab or music?
  27. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great job Harry. That's a fine set of variations!

    Playing a tune really fast doesn't work for me unless I've learned to play it slowly first. A tune is ready for the "speeding up" process only after I've internalized the tune (memorized it and know how I want to play it by going over it slowly and very deliberately playing each phrase until it seems right.)

    Then I'll make a backing track on guitar at the tempo I'd like to reach or just try to keep up with a recording of the same tune and see what happens. Sometimes it is fairly easy to reach the tempo sometimes not. When it's hard to keep up, it's usually something in the fingering that slows the tune down, so I'll just practice the difficult phrase or fingering over and over until it gels. Sometimes it just won't work out and I'll change the difficult part to make it easier to play and then away I'll go playing the tune as a whole until I reach my target speed...

    I like to start with a bare bones tab arrangement of a tune and then add my own personal touches until I've reached an arrangement that I like (and can play.) It's hard to do this as a beginner cause there's not a big enough "database" of material to draw from that has been memorized, but after a bunch of tunes have been learned it's possible to attempt this. (Or you could just pick and choose ideas from the Song A Week Social Group's latest song... that's why I love this group.)
  28. harrywhohaa
    harrywhohaa
    Thanks Michael, reading about your process is really helpful. I also find 'sleeping' on a tune - learn it at night then first thing in the morning have at it again - really locks down that brain and finger memory!
  29. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin


    Great playing by everyone this week. To answer dfalkiewicz's question I have followed the tab and notation posted by Barbara except for inserting some semi-quavers in the B part to imitate Eddy Baker's fiddle.
    Congratulations to C J the first person to suggest a tune and provide an example themself.
  30. luurtie
    luurtie
    Great versions , Maudlin, Harry and laura. Your version was excellent David! All versions give me some inspiration to post more of my recordings.
  31. jonny250
    jonny250
    Michael, thanks for the explanation of how you put it together, very helpful

    Maudlin that sounded good!

    I have struggled lots with this tune, especially the B part - not sure why, other than i didnt use tab!
    Here is my effort, i nearly gave up - and maybe i should have...
  32. cjprince
    cjprince
    Jonny - glad you didn't give up on it. It sounded really nice.
  33. AaronVW
    AaronVW
    As usual, great versions all around! It has been a while since I posted and as it turns out, this is a perfect song to play on my just completed mandolin build, handmade in Denver, CO! Looking forward to getting more time to play and post now that I won't be spending so much time in the workshop. I have posted pictures of the whole build here.

  34. luurtie
    luurtie
    Very nice playing Aaron! That mandolin sounds good already, can you imagine how it's going to sound when it opens up completely?
  35. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    That's a beautiful mandolin, and I love the walnut extras, especially the tuners! How fitting that your first post here with it was Denver Belle. Cool.
  36. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Having looked into some of what's involved in building a mandolin, I have nothing but admiration for anyone who can produce an instrument that looks and sounds as good as that. Nice playing too!
  37. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    What a great sounding and looking mandolin... just beautiful. You should be very proud. No wonder we haven't heard from you lately. Welcome back.
  38. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Lots of great versions of this wonderful tune. Here's my slidey version.

  39. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great job on that killer mandolin of yours!
  40. luurtie
    luurtie
    Great picking Don!
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