Tune Project January 2018

  1. Sleet
    Next up is Wayfaring Stranger. It's more beginner friendly than last month's tune and if you can sing, so much the better. There is a lesson on Mandolessons:http://www.mandolessons.com/lessons/...aring-stranger. Lots of room for variations and mando techniques on this. Have fun.
  2. choctaw61
    I was actually working on this one yesterday.
  3. HonketyHank
    I've been playing around with this. I keep loosing my train of thought and then finding myself playing "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess.
  4. Ellsdemon
    Alright, I'm a bit early but here's my attempt at this song. I've always have loved this song and I can't tell you how happy I was to start playing it.

  5. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    wow, you have a rock solid tremolo.
  6. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Do I hear a baby singing in the background?

    Nice job!
  7. Ellsdemon
    Thank you guys it was a load of funny working on this. No baby in this house. Just my insane 5 year old son screaming for no reason; just a normal day
  8. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Let's see: could he have been screaming because you were trying to record something?
  9. Sleet
    Good job with the tremelo action, Otto. Nice to hear that you love the tune.
  10. HonketyHank
    Yes on the tremolo but it's a nice interpretation of the tune, too.

    Not only is the tremolo nice, but you get it going right on the beat after the lead-in to it.
  11. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Otto, I may sound like an echo, but I have to tell you again how wonderful your tremolo sounds! Great job.

    I'll be uploading my version in a few moments complete with stunted, barely acceptable, something-that-kind-of-sounds-a-tiny-bit-like-it-may-be-an-attempt-at tremolo!

  12. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Okay, here is my attempt at improvising this tune. This is a true improvisation, where I try to make up some licks to go with the chords, then I try to play the melody from an imperfect memory, followed by more improvising. I realize that it would be better to make up an arrangement, practice and learn it, and play it, but I am trying to learn to improvise.

    I sing this tune in Bm and have been told by some that it is my "signature tune" - I suppose some people like the way I play and sing it. Right now, my vocal cords are damaged too badly to sing. What I've done here is to play it on guitar in Bm as I normally do, and tried to play around with it on mandolin with scale improv and melody.

  13. bbcee
    Well done, both of you - Otto, you're improving a lot! That's enviable tremolo. Mark, I see why that's your signature tune. It has a feeling unlike any other version I've heard. Excellent arrangement and presentation as well.
  14. bbcee
    Here's my submission ... tremolo is hard, and I ain't Otto!! I tried to go for a spooky, lonely vibe.

  15. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Bruce, it's a wonderful arrangement, with a very nice, haunting combination of strums, double-stops, tremolo and melody picking! Home run.
  16. HonketyHank
    "...stunted, barely acceptable, something-that-kind-of-sounds-a-tiny-bit-like-it-may-be-an-attempt-at tremolo!"

    "... I realize that it would be better to make up an arrangement, practice and learn it, and play it, but I am trying to learn to improvise. ..."

    Not only are these classic "pre-whines", they are proven to be unjustifiable. I give Mark two demerits for the prewhines followed by 5 merits for the audio and video presentation and the very interesting improv section.

    Then, I give BBCee 10 gold stars. Five for bravery in being willing to come on stage right after Mark, five for proving that he has good reason to take the stage rignt after Mark.

    This tune has always been a favorite of mine, too. I think primarily because I find that minor pentatonic sound so haunting and yet so flexible. Good for murder ballads, good for spirituals, good for a nice old stomping breakdown. One neat thing about this tune is that it is relatively simple technically which in turn allows for a wide range of interpretation. This is fun listening.

    I enjoyed both. Good job, Mark and bbcee!
  17. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Henry, you devil, you got me dead to rights and I'm sure I earned those demerits. I'm just glad you didn't give my buddy Bruce any demerits for writing "tremolo is hard, and I ain't Otto!!" That can't be considered a prewhine - and if it could, it would pale in comparison to the lofty quality of my "stunted, barely acceptable, something-that-kind-of-sounds-a-tiny-bit-like-it-may-be-an-attempt-at tremolo!" remark. If you're gonna resort to a prewhine, at least take the time to make it shine!

    Thanks for all the comments
  18. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Here's another one I posted just Saturday. I started learning this tune Friday evening, recorded it, spent the night making the video and posted to YT in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

  19. HonketyHank
    Wow. Another good one, Mark. I had no idea that O'Carolan was connected to this tune. First thought was "and a happy new year (?)". Really? O'Carolan?

    After some research, it looks like some do attribute the tune to O'Carolan (under this title) and some don't (if you call it "Ash Grove"). Maybe Welsh. Maybe English. Maybe Irish. Whatever. Still a nice tune and nicely done.
  20. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Henry, from Martin Jonas over in the SAW group, "This is one of those tunes attributed to Carolan that appears only in O'Neill and not in Sullivan."

    It was an SAW last month and after listening to their submissions this past Friday, I decided to learn it. I like it a lot, but will play it just a bit faster from now on.
  21. bbcee
    Ha, looks like I'm caught as well. But Otto really is nailing the tremolo on this tune! Thanks for the nice words all.

    Mark, very well played. Are you doubling yourself on the second time around? There's a really nice reverb-y quality to the sound in the left channel that's almost like an effect, one of those things that gives a good tune a special quailty.

    Not to start a flame war or anything ... I've been waiting for O'Carolan tunes to grab me, but I think they're just not my thing. I feel like such a philistine saying"meh" to a whole body of work that spawned most of the music I DO like.
  22. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Yes, a second mandolin playing unison partway through, I mentioned that in the credits but too quickly to read probably. I used an earlier take which wasn't so bad to double the sound and get some eerie separation there. The second mandolin has a bit more reverb on it. The tune is played too slow there, the initial 1 beat is not emphasized as it should be (songs starts on the 3), I shift positions too much when playing at 10th fret, have found a better way for that now, and the sheet music I used had a wrong note error that I've since corrected.

    Some of O'Carolan I like, by no means all. I thought this was a cool one, but I didn't really pull it off in that recording.
  23. Ellsdemon
    First off, Mark and bbcee, you both did an amazing job. Mark, I'm not kidding, I was moved by your submission. Awesome!! bbcee, I love what you are doing, I really enjoyed the pace that you put on. It felt way more soulfull to me, like sadness coming out. I really loved it.

    Second, thank you all for the kind words on the tremolo. I think it's taken some time for it to come out and sound better, but it did. I can notice improvements on it and it's enjoyable to practice more on it to get it smoother, more relaxed sound. Again, thank you all. I love this tune, and just like what Hank mentioned it can be played in so many ways.
  24. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Nice work, one and all.

    Nothing wrong with not loving a certain composer. We all get to have our preferences.
  25. Ellsdemon
    Where is everyone's submissions?? Come on, if we can do it, you can do it. !!
  26. HonketyHank
    I confess, I been goofing off. Whittlin' doodads.

    Believe it or not I haven't settled down to one version so every time I do a run-through, different stuff comes out of my mandolin accompanied by new and different mistakes. Tomorrow I will just turn on the camera and keep recording until I get one fairly clean all the way through. Or until it gets really late. Then chop off everything preceding the last attempt. Might be bluesy, might be high lonesome, might be clawhammery. Who knows.
  27. Spragster
    Ive been all over the place this month too. Great stuff buy you guys though. I always feel a little guilty watching the work you all put in if im not working on the same
  28. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    I'm with Henry. Every time it sounds different.
  29. HonketyHank
    Here it is. No frills.

    Two artists came to mind to connect with the title. Burl Ives and Johnny Cash. I never really cared for Burl Ives and I really liked Johnny Cash. So this rendition is dedicated to Johnny Cash even though I had no intent of trying to play it anything like he did.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that I kept finding myself playing Summertime from Porgy and Bess while practicing this tune. I still do. In fact I may well be playing Summertime in this video. The two tunes seem almost identical, in my mind at least. I thought about throwing in some images of fish jumping around in a cotton field and ending up with a cover shot of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, but rejected the thought.

  30. bbcee
    Nice job, Henry! Your tremolos sound good, and I like the variations.

    I didn't hear any "Summertime", but it would make a nice medley following on from this. If you can't avoid it, make it part of the song!
  31. HonketyHank
    I mentioned the Summertime / WFS thing to my wife and she said that she did not think of them as being similar much less the same. She then sang a bit of Summertime and I heard the difference. In the key that I used, Summertime would be in D minor. I played WFS in D minor pentatonic. If you take Summertime and prohibit those two non-pentatonic tones, you come pretty close to WFS.
  32. Sleet
    Mark, your version is beautiful and I can see why people enjoy it so much. I'm in the pro-O'Carolan camp. Bruce, a lot of feeling in your version, kind of heartbreaking. I think you got that lonesome vibe. Henry, nice job. I wasn't sure where you were coming from with the Summertime reference, but listening to your version, I sort of get it, though the fish in the cotton field took me a moment.
  33. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Thank you Sleet.
  34. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Hank, great job on the tune, I always enjoy your submissions. I have difficulty finding similarities between Wayfaring S & Summertime, though. But I play both of those tunes and familiar with so many versions of each. Now that you've mentioned Summertime I am going to have to do a mandolin version of that one as well. Also, like Sleet, the fish in the cotton patch threw me - then I thought of the lyrics and could see your sense of humor when you hear, "fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high"
  35. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    I had settled on a bluesy slides and double stop version when it hit me, I can play this whole song in second position. so distracted and no video, on the other hand having fun
  36. Ellsdemon
    Hank, great job on the tune as well. I like how you're highlighting the upstrokes on some parts. Nice touch and I think your tremolo is coming along very nice, let it sing a bit more.
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