Week #235 Rebecca by Herschel Sizemore

  1. Marcelyn
    Rebecca is far and away this week's front runner. For all of us who can't get enough playing in the key of B, it should be a blast!
    It looks like Herschel Sizemore wrote and named this popular tune in honor of his mother, Rebecca. According to the bio on his site, Mr. Sizemore was born the youngest in a family of ten children down in Alabama in 1935. He had an early exposure to bluegrass through his mother's singing and his father's fiddle playing. They say Herschel's older brothers burnt the fiddle their father played one day because of a kindling shortage--and there's got to be more to both the beginning and the ending of that story. At around seven or eight, Herschel started teaching himself mandolin by ear while listening to the Grand Old Opry radio program. His primary inspiration was the playing of Bill Monroe, but Herschel went on to forge his own style known for its precise picking and strong melody line.
    On Mr. Sizemore's website, you'll find books and instructional videos covering this tune. He also apparently offers lessons for all levels from his home. How cool is that?!
    Mandozine offers four versions of tab for Rebecca here.
    Here's Herschel Sizemore himself demonstrating Rebecca.

    Here he is playing the tune solo.

    Here he is with Jason Wood in a mandolin duet.

    Here's a great solo mandolin version from Rich Kearns

    And finally, here's a jam with a couple nice mandolin breaks.

    It's a challenging tune, but hopefully some of our tallented bluegrassers will get the ball rolling early.
  2. jonny250
  3. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Tab on the café tabs for this one.
  4. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Well, I'll take the plunge and go first. I picked out the melody by ear and came up with the following...

  5. Grommet
    Very nice Michael, loved those double stops.

  6. jonny250
    very well done Michael, this is such a tricky tune! although i am enjoying trying to bend my fingers around it.
    the extra 2 beats - is that called a backstep, or is that different?
  7. luurtie
    Well done Michael. It takes a lot of practise to play it exactly the way Sizemore playes it, but your by ear method works very well. Maybe I'll try that too and make my own interpretation..
  8. Marcelyn
    That's great, Michael! Your playing is so smooth, I only noticed how fast it was moving when I tried to play along. Thanks for the early example.
  9. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    The two extra beats? I had to go check that I put them in... I'd recorded the guitar part first and hummed the melody so that it would come out the right length. I guess you could call it a backstep or as the fiddler's say, a crooked tune, because it does have extra notes in it. It comes at the end of each section when the B chord runs a little long. Maybe it's so you have a fraction of a second to think about what to play next...
  10. Sasquatch
    Michael, I am really (as usual) enjoying your playing. The B note hammer-ons on the A-string used during the B chord is part of the tunes' flavor. I like how you improvise this portion of the tune. In trying to piece this tune together, I find myself sometimes doing both for a different dynamic. Anyway, great job as always!
  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great playing as always, Michael! Interesting that you did the rhythm track first then added the melody - tricky!
  12. jonny250
    ah yes a crooked tune - like the crooked version of chinquapin i guess. thanks for clarifying it
  13. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    John, I cannot play at this tempo unless I have a band pushing me along. (My guitar backup made me play up to speed.) After years of playing bluegrass, I've noticed that it's hard to reach the really fast tempos by yourself. It's best as a group effort, everyone pushing everyone else along...

    Sasquatch, I looked at some tab and it didn't make too much sense to me. So I found the chord positions, a minimum of melody notes and improvised the rest after listening to a bunch of players do the song. As time goes by I'll probably find some more of the original melody...
  14. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Awesome Michael! I'm finding this one a little tough.
  15. Marcelyn
    I've never played in the key of B before and it shows, but I'm glad this week got me into closed position playing and plan to keep at it. Jeff's helping out with some really nice backup on ukulele. Just to avoid showing Michael up, I took the tempo down a notch or two.

  16. luurtie
    Very Nice Marcelyn and Jeff, It can certainly be played a lot slower. Is your Girouard a very loud mandolin Marcelyn? I love that tone. We play a lot in B with our band but to me and it's still not my favorite key. Very busy this week, I hope to come up with something. Funny how you combine it with uke, I've never thought of doing that.
  17. Marcelyn
    The mandolin is a loud one. It has no trouble handleing Jeff's banjo. Uke does bring a different feel to the tune. I think he went with that over banjo because he was way too busy to learn a solo break this week and that strum pattern which shifts between 2/4 and 4/4, works better on ukulele. Why he chose to learn uke over guitar to begin with all boils down to an obscure scene from Joe Vs. The Volcano.
  18. luurtie
    I tried something today. I found nice audiotracks from http://flatpickapprentice.blogspot.n...6/rebecca.html which I used. Recording comes from camera this time... Sorry

  19. Alex Orr
    Alex Orr
    Some nice versions already posted. Luurtie, I recognize those backing tracks! I've practiced Rebecca along with those tracks more times than I can count. I absolutely love that guy's blogspot page. I've fiddled around with using some BIB real band tracks that I found at Banjohangout as accompaniment when practicing fiddle tunes, but I find theflatpickapprentice tracks to be much better. I wonder if that guy has any idea how many folks rely on his tracks as their fiddle tune accompaniment when playing by themselves.

    I learned this one a while back from a Butch Baldassari DVD. It never gets called around here so every time I get around to it in repertory practice I usually have to relearn a line or two. This time, however, I seemed to have it all down on the second try

  20. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Marcelyn: very nice stuff going on in that break... and who knew Jeff would turn out to be the "Lester Flatt" of the uke.
    Luurtie: that's a great rendition on a really powerful bluegrass mandolin.
    Alex: excellent break that'd fit any where this tune is played.
    Well done everyone!
  21. jonny250
    Waay to go you guys - Marcelyn that was very coool - i enjoyed the laid back approach and Jeff looks like he needs a beer to go with the uke
    Luurtie - i'm always amazed at how fast you pick up these tunes, it sounded really good.
    Alex, wow! that was clean and it was interesting to watch your left hand fingering. nice job.

    So i'm a little hesitant to post my version after such a high standard! but as i've been playing it all week, here it is:
  22. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    No reason to be apprehensive at posting this one Jonny, sounds great. Wish I was that far along, busy week. All great versions. Fun sounding tune.
  23. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Jonny, that's a good solid arrangement played very nicely.
  24. Alex Orr
    Alex Orr
    Johnny, really nice playing. You sound very relaxed on that one. I'm curious, I was looking at the headstock and was wondering what kind of mandolin you're playing?
  25. Marcelyn
    Very cool, Jonny. You don't play anything the same way twice, do you?
    Hendrik, the new mandolin sounds awesome.
    And Alex, I totally admire any musician who starts off a video by saying the name of a tune then playing it straight through. In fact, it's usually a running gag I put Jeff through on my first few takes.
  26. jonny250
    Thanks for the encouraging comments
    Alex, it is a Gibson F5G and in the flesh sounds lots better than through my little sony mic, a proper banjo axe!!
    Marcy, no - i cant remember anything long enough lol. i just go far some target notes and phrases.
    Michael i will be working through those B licks on your other video, thanks
  27. Sasquatch
    I am finally posting my attempt at this great mandolin tune. Its been one of those weeks! Anyway, started recording Thursday evening and after several attempts, I finally had one finished. However, the storm rolling through the Hoosier State with its high winds knocked out the power, and in turn lost my project. Such is life.
    I really like this tune. Very challenging stuff from a great man and player, Herschel Sizemore. This is another tune I will continue to play and tweak.
    Great stuff from all the posts. I really look forward each week watching and learning from my friends in Mando World. Thanks guys and God Bless!!
  28. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great playing with a lot of excellent variations. If you don't mind, I'm going to borrow a few of your ideas as I continue to work and tweak this really challenging tune also. Thanks!
  29. jonny250
    very nice sasquatch, you certainly kept it lively with that up to tempo version. nice one!
  30. luurtie
    Hey Alex, nice playing. you have a very full sounding mandolin..
    Jonny, I realy enjoyed your enthousiasm and musicality.. Please go on with it, your recordings are very entertaining..
    Timothy, I know I've said it before, but you're the real bluegrass player here. When are you starting to mix your recordings? You don't have to, but I'm very curious how it would sound with an accompany track. You could use the tracks I mentioned earlier..., they are very steady
  31. Marcelyn
    Wow, Tim, what a great job on this one! That's a lot of fun to hear.
  32. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    I haven't been participating much lately, but I drop by to hear all of your fine playing. I finally got around to Rebecca today. Keep up the great work, everyone!

    I borrowed heavily from the late great Butch Baldassari's playing to come up with my version of Rebecca. I hope to get it up to speed one day. Played on my 6 month old Hilburn A5 mandolin. Backup by iReal b.

  33. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    That's nice, Don. Sounds very laid-back, but is still a very good tempo.
  34. Marcelyn
    That sounds amazing, Don!
  35. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    What a great version of this song you've come up with Don. Don't be a stranger 'cause I know many of us look forward to a new offering by you (and also to see what kind of mandolin you're playing at the moment...)
  36. AaronVW
    Nice work, Don, and that mando sounds great! I must have seen either your mando or the one right before it in progress when I was up visiting Jim at his shop last winter. He builds some very fine instruments and it's great to see that they are finding their way into the hands of talented players.
  37. jonny250
    Don that was great! i really enjoyed the up the neck variation - lots of ideas there for me to think about...
  38. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Thanks for all your comments!! You made me feel back at home here on the SAW group.

    Michael, I'll try not to be any stranger. I think the Hilburn is here to stay, but you never know with me I guess. I'll try to post more often. Aaron, I think it may have been the mando before mine, but it could have been mine because he delivered it in May.
  39. Heath
    Just found this group. What good fun! Here's me playing Rebecca. Great tune!

  40. luurtie
    Be welkom Heath, I'm very glad that you found our group! Excellent playing!
  41. jonny250
    Welcome to the group Heath!
    Thats a really cool first video in the group - good picking, i enjoyed it
  42. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    That's some really fine pickin' with a great ending...
  43. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Welcome and great playing, Heath! Sounds like you have Herschel's version down.
  44. Marcelyn
    Really great playing, Heath. I hope you stick around here for some more tunes.
  45. Heath
    Thanks! Yeah, I'll definitely get involved in some more tunes. Great fun!
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