Week #343 ~ The Jackrabbit Trail ~ Butch Baldassari

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is The Jackrabbit Trail ~ Butch Baldassari.

    I'm not coming up with any notation.... if anyone can help, that would be great!
  2. luurtie
    I can't see this video (Because I'm in Europe?), but I found a video where you can hear the tune. This is not a very good example cause it's the last piece of the tune where you only hear variations.
    Maybe the fiddle-version from our dutch friend Joost van Es wil be of any help (starting with part 2)

    the chords are:
    Part 1 : I F I F I Bes I F I F I F I Bes I C I F II
    Part 2 : I Bes I Bes I F I F I Bes I Bes I C I C II
  3. Sasquatch
    Here is my much to rushed attempt at this tune. I am going to continue to chip away at this one.
  4. JL277z
    Sasquatch, you make it look easy! Nice pickin'.

    luurtie, thanks for the additional video - wish I'd seen that before I set about trying to decipher the Baldassari video... oh well...

    Barbara wrote: "I'm not coming up with any notation.... if anyone can help, that would be great!"

    I made a rough preliminary notation (based on listening to half-speed slowdown in Audacity) of some of the fiddle variations of only ONE PART of the Baldassari video version. I don't know if they're using alternate-tunings or capos or what, but their video is in the key of F, so that's what I wrote it out as - I can transpose it to a different key if you wish. They seem to use 'swing'/dotted notes throughout, but I just wrote them as regular eighths notes for easier writing/reading:

    That's as far as I got, I ran out of steam to do the rest of it (the rest of it either has accidentals or it switches keys or something, not something I'm used to dealing with very much).

    Hopefully someone else can expand on the notation, please feel free to change/adapt/modify my notes as needed - it would be great if someone else could figure out the complete notation for this tune. I've had my fun with trying to write the notes, so if someone else wants to take it from here, that'd be cool.

    I actually have been having some success with playing along with the Baldassari video, without bothering to worry about exact notes, but only after using a pitch-shifter to put it in a normal key (G) and slow it down considerably - I've never in my life played any stringed-instrument in the key of F and I don't intend to start now - so playing it by ear "close enough to the right notes" is one thing, but trying to figure out the exact notes they're playing, that what I was having some challenges with.

    For my own version, later, if I can ever get to where I can play it through without 100 mistakes per minute, I'm just going to wing it and play it my way, which won't be 'authentic' nor traditional and it probably won't be bluegrass either (I don't know how to play bluegrass), but it'll be a heck of a lot easier than trying to do a note-for-note copy of the master's/author's version.
  5. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Butch had the tone. Amazes me every time I hear him. Thanks for writing out the tune, JL277z.
  6. JL277z
    Don, thanks for the thanks

    The following recording is probably about as good as I'm going to be able to do with this tune, figured I might as well post it now. Key of G, not the Baldassari key, but G is easier. This is pure acoustic, (unusual for me nowadays), using camcorder's built-in mic, which records everything including the woodstove (popping sounds) that I'm sitting near, background machinery, etc.

    (or direct link)

    The mic-only thing was just on a lark, to try something different. Ordinarily I'd use a cheap pickup going through a guitar amp (and then to mixer, headphones, PC, etc), which eliminates the ambient-noise problems. I'm wearing headphones here (the jiggly wire in upper right corner of video) because I'm listening to a backing track to help me keep the beat somewhat better otherwise I tend to speed up as I play.

    By the way, the aforementioned woodstove is the reason why I'm using that cheap plywood $50 Rogue, because it isn't quite as easily affected by wildly varying daily temperature/humidity cycles. If the Rogue does crack eventually, it can be replaced. I would not subject my better-quality solid-wood vintage Favilla to this environment, I don't think it would hold up too well. My other main instrument that I use for most of my daily practice, a solid-body electric guitar tuned in 5ths, seems quite stable and unaffected whether it's 60 degrees (me wearing coat) and 80 percent humidity, or 80 degrees and 30 percent humidity.
  7. luurtie
    That was quick Sasquatch and JL277z??. Also thanks for the sheets! You both played it very well. I feel much more comfortable with a backingtrack to practise for a while and started with that a couple of days ago. I made a recording using a single Behringher C2 microphone in front of the lower f-hole and hope to give a better idea how my Prucha sounds. I don't have a lot of variations right now but here is my first attempt.

  8. Sasquatch
    I am not happy with mine. I rushed and made a clip much too soon. Gonna do it again. I noticed my recording is off sync.
    BTW, I am currently pricing some recording equipment so hopefully some dubbing is in my future.
  9. JL277z
    luurtie, I love it, it's wonderfully relaxed, and yet at the same time nicely energetic and it makes me wanna get up and dance. Perfect. And you're getting a really nice tone from that Prucha, sweet.

    Sasquatch, I hadn't noticed your off-sync until you mentioned it, and I'm certainly no expert about video stuff (I just started doing videos this year) but - after considerable frustration with sync problems - here's what I've found that helps with audio/video sync in general:

    1. At least for YouTube, if you're trying to sync an audio track with a video track: the audio track needs to be at least the full length of the video including any intro's/credits/etc., otherwise YouTube's renderer-thingie might get confused and the audio can get out-of-sync during playback. So let's say a video is going to be 2 minutes total length - that includes the intro's and credits - and you have an audio track that's shorter, say 1 minute and 50 seconds - so to make the audio track longer, use an app like Audacity to add a few seconds (or more) of silence at the beginning and/or end of audio track, as applicable, to make it at least as long as the entire video. Apparently the video apps somehow 'know' there's an audio track there, even if part of the audio track is silent. I haven't found any harm in making the audio track longer than the video track, in fact that's easier and I do it routinely, by adding extra silence at the audio track's beginning and end (using Audacity, prior to importing the audio track to the video-editor), then (in the video editor) scoot the audio track over to be reasonably in-sync with the video; any excess audio just gets trimmed off by the video editor anyway. Same for multi-track audio - fit them together or overlap them so that you don't have any areas of no audio track at all.

    2. Some camcorders, or at least the one I have, sometimes record audio a few frames out of sync with the video. The video I posted here in this thread is just raw footage except for the addition of the text (name of tune etc), but ordinarily I correct for the camcorder's audio-lag by separating the audio track from the video track and then off-setting them by a few frames in my video compositor app (Adobe After Effects). Although that level of fastidiousness is really not necessary because it's a small difference, and actually most of the time, to record stuff, I have a line-in running to the PC to record the audio at the same time that I'm recording the video with the camcorder, and then I sync them later in Adobe After Effects. Although I've always read that After Effects is not recommended for music stuff, I guess pro's use something different for music videos, but I'm not doing any actual editing of the music itself, just trying to align the audio with the video to get it the way it was when actually performed.

    Anyway, I wouldn't worry about a little out-of-sync, there's always going to be some sort of technical hurdles that get in our way, one nice thing about playing for other musicians is that they're far more likely (compared to general audiences) to be aware of these types of tech limitations and look beyond that to hear the music itself.
  10. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Congratulations to Sasquatch Luurtie and JL for working this one out by ear but especially to JL whose notation is almost exactly the same as Butch's own transcription in his Acutab book. I have incuded his harmony in the introduction then the melody as fast as I could play it without making mistakes. Perhaps my version should be rechristened the Tortoise Trail.
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