Week #279 ~ Ode to a Butterfly

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Ode to a Butterfly, which was suggested as Bluegrass/Newgrass.

    Here is a You Tube of Nickle Creek playing this tune.

    I found this mandolin tab.

    This tune has had a run as an "other" tune, but I can't seem to get the vimeo video of Chris Travers playing it.... maybe you'll have better luck!. Here is the link.

    Within that post, Jim Baker had posted this ABC

    T:Ode to a Butterfly
    C:Chris Thile
    z6 [ec][ee] |: e2 e2 e2 ee | eg fe c2 ec | Be [e2c2] [e2e2] ef | gg fe fe cA | Bf zB f2 Bf | \
    gg fe c2 ec | Bf zB f2 Bf | gg fe cd ec |1 BG FG E2 ee :|2 BG FG E2 gb | be gf eg c'e | \
    be fg e'c' bg | fe ec (3Bce (3gfe | f2 fg f2 fA | Bf2B f2 Bf | gg fe c2 ec | Bf zB f2 Bf | \
    gg fe cd ec | BG FG E2 gb | be gf eg c'e | be fg e'c' bg | fe ec (3Bce (3gfe | f2 fg f2 fA | \
    ^Af zA f2 Ag | fe dc B2 A2 | ^Af Ag fe dc | B2 Bc B2 BB | =cg2c g2 ca | gf ed c2 cB | \
    =cg ca gf ed | cd ec ^AB cA | Ag ec Ba fd | e2 [ec]e e2 ee | gf ec3 ec | Be [e2c2] [e2e2] ef | \
    gg fe fe cA | Bf zB f2 Bf | gg fe c2 ec | Bf zB f2 Bf | gg fe cd ec | BG FG E4 | \
    BG FG EA Bc |: =dA FE =DA cd | =Df e=d cB Ae | AA eA A2 Ac | BA GF E2 EF | =G=D B,A, =G,2 FG | \
    =G,B A=G FE =Dc | =df ed cB Ag | aa gf e2 Bc :| aa gf e4 | \
  2. luurtie
    Do we expect a lot of versions here? I would say "don't try this at home"...
  3. OldSausage
    Oh come on, it's not as hard as it looks. Show some backbone, people.
  4. Marcelyn
    So true. In comparing my version to the Nickel Creek version above I discovered I've been playing it way too fast. I'll post once I get that sorted out.

    If hearing the tune slowed down a tad helps y'all in figuring it out like it does me, here's a video to check out...

    Here's another great sounding example that's slightly simplified and slower.

    Also, here's Thile playing through it solo.
  5. GKWilson
    Marcelyn's first [top] video is our own Charles DuMont.
    He hasn't posted in quite awhile.
    I guess in a way he has now.
    Come back to the dark side Charles.
  6. luurtie
    Thanks for all those helpful tips. Maybe I'll give it a try then.... Sorry David
  7. Marty Jacobson
    Marty Jacobson
    Now would be a good time to make sure your mandolin is well set up...
  8. Niavlys
    Do we all agree with the fact that the most difficult thing to master in this tune is by far the rhythmic structure? I still haven't figured it out, but it's a good exercise for my rhythmic ear. It seems to me, by listening carefully at 0.75x, that there's something like a half bar at the end of the A part…
  9. luurtie
    For me the trickiest part is the sliding in the second part. It's not easy to land on the right note when you slide up that high on the fretboard... I don't know if I can play an exceptable version this week.
  10. Niavlys
    Ha! Yes, it's one of the difficulties in the tune... I'm glad I have practiced this tune (partly) before, this group and week are just what I needed to finally learn how to play it properly!
  11. woodenfingers
    The trickiest part for me so far is getting over the fright of looking at all the notes on the sheet. I have learnt the first couple of lines but it might be a good while before I get anywhere near an acceptable rendition of it.
  12. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    I'm sorry but I'm not going to even bother -life's too short for me to take this on. Well done in advance to all those who tackle it.
  13. justkaron
    @Woodenfingers....maybe the solution would be to just play every 4th note.

    OK...kudos to all who are going to tackle it. I know this will be a very interesting week! I'm looking forward to the postings on this one!
  14. OldSausage
    One thing to bear in mind is that when you find something difficult to play, that's the best news you can possibly have, because it means that even attempting it will help you improve as a player. I know that's no comfort when you're at the point where everything is difficult, but when you're a little further on and perhaps feel you have reached a plateau, finding a tune hard to play should really be something to get excited about. Take it very slow, and take it in small sections...

    But of course, if it's way too hard for you then it's just frustrating, so don't give yourself unnecessary pain.
  15. Niavlys
    Another demonstration of Chris Thile's virtuosity:

    Too bad the video ends right at the moment he's going to explain (I guess) how to play the tune…

    EDIT: As for me, I'm practicing and finally getting close to a good understanding of the rhythm and notes, but I still need to practice some more…
  16. OldSausage
    Here's a slow version I did of just the head of the tune - it may help someone get it. I'm still learning this myself and just at the stage of playing it very slow to get it under my fingers. This is about 1/3 speed - I was playing along with a slowed down version by Nickel Creek in the headphones. And just the head of the tune, I haven't worked on the bridge yet at all.

  17. Marcelyn
    That slow version sounds excellent, David, and was so nice of you to share.
  18. CelticDude
    David, another thanks for this. Like others, I'm having trouble with the second part - when and where do I slide up to. I was trying to find a single spot (eg my 1st finger on the G#) and play everything from there. You are sliding up twice, and this makes more sense to me.
  19. Sasquatch
    Thanks David. As you stated in an earlier post, being uncomfortable with a tune is a good thing. Causes one to dig in a little deeper and learn something new.
    I am not struggling with the noting so much but rather the rhythm 'driving' the melody. It has different feel than I am used to. This has nothing in common with Monroe-style picking. Zilcho, Zero, Nada!!
    It may take a while, but I will get it.
  20. OldSausage
    You're absolutely right - you can't be playing this tune and thinking about Bill Monroe at the same time
  21. OldSausage
    I've been working on the bridge, and one thing to watch there, all the notation says the slides are from the 4th fret to the fifth, but when you listen and watch Chris doing it, he's clearly sliding his first finger all the way from the second fret up to the fifth to get that sound and put him in a higher position for the second part of the phrase. I'll try to post a video soon showing a slow version of how he plays it.
  22. luurtie
    Ok, I'll show you my progress. I think it's possible to play it clean within a couple of weeks (maybe months)... I'll start working on the bridge now.. I hope to post a better version some day
    I ripped a backing track from Chris Thile's homespun cd, very helpful...

  23. OldSausage
    Great work Hendrik, looks like you found your own way there. Nice job.
  24. justkaron
    That was GREAT, Hendrick!
  25. justkaron
    Bridge sounds like classical music to me.
  26. Marcelyn
    Wow, Hendrik, that's really impressive. Great work.
  27. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Even more impressive is the color coordination of your pants and the cushion beside you.

    Seriously though, very nice playing by Hendrik and OS.
  28. OldSausage
    Okay, for those of you following along, here's the bridge part played slowly too. What I'm doing here is much closer to what Chris does than the tab is:

  29. Marcelyn
    You sure get amazing tone from that mandolin. Thanks again for the examples.
  30. woodenfingers

    I don't know how you figure it out but even more I don't know how you remember it... Do you write it down?

    Well done.
  31. OldSausage
    Thanks guys. That's my Kentucky KM900, which records really well. Woodenfingers, I don't write it down - I actually find it harder to remember if I do (my brain is like "Hey! I know you wrote that down, so why should I bother to remember it?").

    What I did in this case was to slow down the recording to about 1/4 speed and play along with it until I got it. I stop it and start it a lot of times while I'm doing that to go back and figure bits out, and I also watched a couple of the videos of Chris closely to see exactly what he was doing once I had the general idea. By the time I had it figured out that way, I also had it memorized. I don't know if that approach would work for everyone, but I'd say it's worth a try. In the case of the bridge, the repeated patterns on the fingerboard make it quite easy to remember once you get the idea. That bridge is like a little finger exercise.
  32. Niavlys
    This one was quite a challenge! I decided to work on the solo version, the one without the bridge: fewer parts to memorize, more time to focus on the details. After a very frustating recording session yesterday, consisting of many unsuccessful tries, today's session was much more productive: I managed to record a good enough take, at a greater speed than what I was attempting yesterday… Do you have any tips to relax in front of the camera, and not letting the pressure trouble your playing?

  33. Niavlys
    OldSausage: Your playing of the bridge is great, I'll have to work on it later!
  34. OldSausage
    Very nice and very speedy too Niavlys. Nice accurate slides. If I ever figure out how to stay relaxed in front of the camera, I'll be sure to let you know!

    I thought I was going to do a take of the whole tune up to speed in front of the camera last night too, but it turned out I wasn't.
  35. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Niavlys, excellent. OS, thanks for the slow versions. I think there's lots to learn from this tune. I hope to get to it one of these years. And you're getting some great tone from that KM900, OS.
  36. luurtie
    Wow Niavlys, that was excellent! I'm very impressed! Thanks for the slow version of the bridge David , it is very helpful en well played!
  37. OldSausage
    Finally managed to get a take of the whole thing on camera:

  38. justkaron
    Great job there, David. Whew...that one is 'sumthin.'
    Niavlys and Hendrick, enjoyed the excellent work from the two of you also.
  39. luurtie
    That was great David..
  40. Niavlys
    Thanks to you all! OldSausage, your version sounds great, by the way do you have any audio recording tips? (other than buying some expensive gear! I use a Zoom H2 recorder and I could probably improve the quality without changing it)
  41. OldSausage
    Thanks Niavlys (and Hendrik and Karon!). Those Zoom H2 recorders are great, I don't think you need any more than that to capture the sound. The only thing that would make a difference would be to some post-production: edit the audio on your computer using a tool like Audacity (which is free), or Sonar (which is what I use) - there are other "DAW" packages like those available too. For Mac users, GarageBand is another option, although I've never liked it myself.

    Make sure you record at 24 bit, 44.1 kHz or better. You might want to experiment with placement of the mic, but even if you have a very expensive mic in the exact right place, the raw recording data that you get always needs some work on the equalization to make it sound nice - that's what Audacity or Sonar is for, they have filters and plugins that can balance the EQ, and also to ensure you're making good use of the dynamic range available. That's all I do with mine, and then add a little touch of reverb if it sounds a bit flat.
  42. Niavlys
    Ha, I haven't even tried editing the audio with Audacity, that's an excellent idea! Thanks for all the tips, and I hope you can expect a better recording for my next participation!
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