Week #433 ~ Nancy Ann

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    We had a tie this week, and since it's been a while since we've had an Old Time tune, and Nancy Ann was submitted as an Old Time tune in A, I decided to go with Nancy Ann.

    This is the only notation I could find!





    [YOUTUBE=1q1AiQj7hZM][YOUTUBE]



  2. JL277z
    JL277z
    Looking forward to hearing some more versions of this tune.
  3. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin


    Here it is on a Gremlin
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A good effort, MM. Nice to hear a straight, unaccompanied version.
  5. gortnamona
    gortnamona
    nice one Maudlin, i must make the effort and dip my toes into oldtime a little more, i do like it
  6. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Well done Maudlin.

    Here's Nancy Anne played on mandolin, fiddle (tuned AEAE), and guitar. I've played the fiddle for 20 years or so without too much success. However, I'm trading guitar lessons for fiddle lessons with a really great fiddler I used to play with back in the 70s and she has been concentrating her teaching efforts on my bowing. Thanks to her, I know what to do with the bow (but it's a struggle to actually do it sometimes!) She is also making great strides on the guitar. Hope you enjoy my effort...

  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great to see you back and posting, Michael. The fiddle is indeed a frustrating instrument to take up, as I know to my cost (three years and nowhere near ready to make public my efforts), so it is encouraging to see your comment about the length of time you have been developing your skills. Very fine recording of the tune here.
  8. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Nice fiddling Michael, good to see you back. I too know the frustrations of learning the fiddle, I finally gave up for good about two years ago. I can bow a bass but a fiddle is beyond my grasp. Excellent recording and video as well.
  9. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Nice little tune, and nice submissions by Maudlin and Stuche. Put me in the camp of trying fiddle a couple of different times in my life and giving up.
  10. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Thanks John, David and Kay for the kinds words. Oh, I've given up on the fiddle at least 4 or 5 times over the years too. I think a good fiddle teacher is the ticket. Usually I'm self taught on all my instruments but I just couldn't figure out how to bow successfully by myself. I needed help! The lessons are paying off and I hope to do more songs with mandolin and fiddle in the future. Looking back over the list it seems I missed quite a few great songs in the past year that I've been absent. I'm looking forward to working some of them out and posting the results!
  11. JL277z
    JL277z
    Good versions, you guys! Michael, I dig the fiddle slides and double-stops! Maudlin, I admire your willingness to tackle all the notes!

    I couldn't play all the mandolin notes at speed, so I just left half of them out. Literally, I'm only playing about every-other-note on the mandolin, just the basic melody outline.
  12. JL277z
    JL277z
    Below is my attempt at re-learning this tune, first time in decades I've played it on banjo, and I don't recall that I ever played it on fiddle. This is cross-tuned mandolin tuned AEAE, and clawhammer banjo in G tuning capo'd up to A. Testing my new Zoom H2N recorder, this is all-acoustic with no effects and no EQ except the Zoom's built-in "low cut" and "limiter", none of my usual pickups & reverb - no reverb needed with open tuning AEAE, that tuning makes the mando 'ring' a lot, plus the banjo rings a lot naturally anyway. Has some boo-boo's and unanticipated 'variations' but I try to just keep the beat and keep on goin':


    (or direct link)

    Yeah it's "repetitive" and there aren't any bluegrass-style "breaks" (solos) but it's oldtime dance music, that's normal. I like that, from a player's point of view, because you get into a sort of an upbeat trance mode after a few times through the tune.

    (Try to ignore the sailboat that sails backwards at 0:43, I was preoccupied trying to set the direction of movement & I totally spaced out on which way the boat was actually pointing.)

    Anyway... having the mandolin tuned AEAE lets you play the exact same notes an octave lower also, same fingering. Not sure if normal light- or medium-gauge strings would handle the extra tension, might not work too well, but I run extra-lights so that gives some leeway.

    I like my new Zoom H2N recorder, I should have bought one a lot sooner, but I don't like the "pick click" I'm getting in this recording. Next time I will locate the Zoom somewhere other than on my knee below the picking hand, but I can't get too far away or the mic will capture fans, fridge, nearby machinery etc. It's also possible I could be a little 'spoiled' since the last couple years I usually use a pickup instead of a mic, and pickups don't seem to 'hear' much pick click. I might have to modify my technique or something...

    Oh... and about those silly little animations, I was just having some fun with a video app. Most of it's done from scratch using the video tools provided by Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop, but the Loch Ness monster and the 3rd boat are clip art from the internet. I ran out of energy, and ideas, after adding the custom-made (and rather drab) UFO at 2:36-3:00, so from there on out it's more plain. These days my new-learning abilities are somewhat hampered and I don't pick up new things like I used to (regardless of how hard I try), so in my 2 years of messing with AE I've only barely scratched the surface of what the app is capable of (the vast majority of it is way over my head, if Adobe's internet tutorials are any indication), but it's fun to try stuff anyway.

    Addenda:
    I just noticed one more thing I don't like in my video, towards the end of the video the banjo's main G note seems to be a little out of tune. Hmph. Wish I'd noticed that *while* I was playing and I could have hit that note (open 3rd string) a lot lighter so at least it wouldn't have been as loud and not as noticeable, on that off-pitch note. Oh well. I'm not trying to nitpick myself but I do like to spot errors so I know what to do in future similar occurences, "tough job but somebody's gotta do it" lol.

    P.S.: Yesterday I actually had *video* of me playing this but my new Zoom H2N audio-recorder takes the exact same SD-card (memory card) as my camcorder, and I stupidly got the two cards mixed up when I was taking the cards out of the devices in order to put them in the PC so I could copy the files onto the PC (the cards look identical, same brand and size, and as usual I hadn't bothered to label anything - must've inherited that from my dad lol). I ended up mistakenly putting the camcorder's SD card into the Zoom and erasing it to clear out space for the next recording, unfortunately that was *before* I had a chance to copy the camcorder's video footage to my PC. Ugh! I would have much rather shown the actual video of me playing, but it didn't work out that way. I liked this 'take' well enough that I didn't want to have to redo it - it was hard enough the first time finally getting a quiet time in the house to record where there weren't a bunch of competing noises messing up the recording. Incidentally, I think the Zoom probably has a way to get audio into the PC via USB but I haven't got that far yet, I'm just doing things the simple clunky way by using the SD cards between Zoom & PC, to start with anyway.
  13. JL277z
    JL277z
    FWIW, about the above video - in case anyone's curious, here are mp3's of the raw audio of each instrument separately. As might be expected for picking intended as a duet, the instruments sound better together than apart. Should be playable in the browser without having to download files:

    1. Mandolin tuned AEAE. Not much to it, it's pretty sparse. Hearing it solo instead of 'hiding' behind the banjo, makes all my various flubs a lot more noticeable. oh well.

    2. Banjo. My usual assortment of reusable stock drop-thumb, pulls, hammers, etc. Plenty of mistakes, work in progress.

    I recorded the banjo first. To keep me on a steady tempo, instead of using a click-track or metronome I had the following wildly-wrong-genre but fun one-chord canned drum track on playback in my headphones:

    Drum track canned backing. Note that I intentionally chose the one-chord "A5" chord because I like the constant "A" and "E", reminds me of bagpipe drones, and also I couldn't decide what, if any, proper chords to use. (The banjo double-stops are ambiguous and don't really define specific chords too well.)

    If you have Chordpulse and you want to experiment with changing tempo/style/etc, you can download the actual cps file (go past the "we're sorry no preview" to get to the download button).

    So then for recording the mandolin, I set the just-recorded banjo track to playback through my headphones (no drum track this time), pushed the "Record" button on the Zoom H2N, and stumbled through the mandolin part.

    One thing I will say about AEAE tuning on mandolin is that I absolutely love open tunings! You get all that "sympathetic resonance" from the open strings, reminds me a little of the nyckelharpa, the open strings make for that natural reverb sound.

    Think I will keep the mandolin tuned to AEAE for a while and try some more key-of-A tunes.

    Also want to say Thanks! to Michael Pastucha, for first mentioning AEAE fiddle tuning - I'd almost forgotten about that tuning, been a long time since I've played fiddle. When I first tried this tune on mandolin in standard GDAE, I was not impressed with the sound I was getting out of my mandolin. But then I remembered what Michael said and I thought "Hey it's an A tune, heck I've bowed a mandolin (yup), no need to be normal so why not try AEAE," woohoo what a difference. Easier fretting too, that 6th-fret 3rd-string note becomes a 4th-fret note instead.
  14. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    The tuning AEAE is a staple of old time fiddling! Putting a mandolin in this tuning for me usually takes an extra day because the mandolin needs to 'resettle' with the new tension from the strings. I use extra heavy strings so that might be why I don't use it much on the mandolin. However, I have two fiddles and one is in standard tuning and the other in AEAE.

    By the way, the ability to distill a melody down to just a few notes is essential when playing bluegrass mandolin. In fact, many banjo tunes don't really have much of a melody for the mandolin, so you might wonder how a mandolin solo even happens. This is where a study of 'hot licks' for the mandolin comes in really handy. Simply put, you start with the bits of essential melody you need for the tune, add in your hot licks, maybe a double stop or two, a taste of a harmony, and there you go. It's really that simple. To come up with a really great solo takes... you guessed it... (fill in the blank).
  15. JL277z
    JL277z
    Michael Pastucha wrote: "...Putting a mandolin in this tuning for me usually takes an extra day because the mandolin needs to 'resettle' with the new tension from the strings. ..."

    I was expecting that here when I first tuned it up to AEAE, but it settled right in after about 20 minutes. I figure that's because I'm using a probably-overbuilt, plywood mandolin ($50 Rogue) that doesn't react to much of anything (tension, temperature, humidity etc). Gotta love plywood for dimensional stability!

    Predictably though, there was some instant new bridge-lean. Not enough to worry about and presumably it will (mostly) un-lean itself when I tune it back down to GDAE.

    Michael Pastucha wrote: "...I have two fiddles and one is in standard tuning and the other in AEAE. ..."

    Good thinking.

    Hey, you're givin' me ideas here, maybe I should buy another identical mandolin before the price goes up. (And here I thought I was cured of MAS.) Prices are already higher now at some retailers, for some inexplicable reason, but the place I bought my existing mandolin still has them for the same price as before. Hmm...

    Michael Pastucha wrote: "... By the way, the ability to distill a melody down to just a few notes is essential when playing bluegrass mandolin. In fact, many banjo tunes don't really have much of a melody for the mandolin, so you might wonder how a mandolin solo even happens. This is where a study of 'hot licks' for the mandolin comes in really handy. Simply put, you start with the bits of essential melody you need for the tune, add in your hot licks, maybe a double stop or two, a taste of a harmony, and there you go. It's really that simple. To come up with a really great solo takes... you guessed it... (fill in the blank)."

    Excellent information! Thanks!
  16. Gelsenbury
    Gelsenbury
    Sounds very professional there, JL! I can't hear any missing notes at all.
  17. JL277z
    JL277z
    Thanks Gelsenbury! The open tuning makes the mandolin ring so much more than normal, so it's easier to get away with playing fewer notes.
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