Week #456 ~ Irishman's Heart to the Ladies

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Irishman's Heart to the Ladies, which is an IT jig.

    According to The Session, it is also known as A Health To The Ladies, An Irishman’s Gift To The Ladies, Brigidin Deas Ní Dalaig, Carty’s, Fond Of The Ladies, Here’s A Health To The Ladies, Irishman’s Heart To The Ladies, The Irishman’s Heart To The Ladies, Irishman’s Hearts To The Ladies, Little Boy Ted In The Hay, Sweet Biddy Daily, Sweet Biddy Daly, Sweet Biddy Daly’s, To The Ladies.

    Here's a link to six settings on the session.org

  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Here is my mandolin-only version of this week's tune. Thought I'd try a change from the multi-tracking stuff. Just used the Tascam DR-05 and my Sanyo Camcorder, and set the Tascam to record in mp3 mode rather than wav. Not a lot of difference in the sound by the time it gets to the YouTube stage.

  3. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Nice one John!
  4. crisscross
    Sounds really nice, John!

    And for those players, who'd like to record themselves with a chord back-up:
    or, if you dare to strum one additional minor chord:
  5. Frithjof
    Good to get your mandolin playing as reference, John.
    Thanks for the hint, crosscross.
  6. gortnamona
    lovely stuff John, i knew this one was familiar, so gonna cheat a little here and repost one i did a few years ago as another tune nice to look back at older videos, i did like that capek.

  7. Gelsenbury
    One day in, and two great submissions already! I didn't know this one, and the melody hasn't sunk in yet. But your videos will be a good learning tool.
  8. JL277z
    John and Gortnamona, sounds great!

    Crisscross, thanks for the links!

    I couldn't quite figure out the first sample video at the start of this page, the video with the piano & guitar & mandolin. On the low part of the tune, the mandolin player looks like he's using his pinky on the 5th fret... huh, don't see that very often... I slowed it down to 1/4 speed and I'm still not sure, he moves around so much while playing, it's hard to see what he's doing... would have to study it more, I guess. I suppose it doesn't matter, it's just different and it caught my attention; maybe he has hand/injury issues or something, who knows. FWIW, I use pinky on 5th fret on tenor & other longer-scale octave-mando type things, but not on mandolin. On mandolin I use the same fingerings I would on a fiddle. Guess it's a "use whatever works" type of thing though.
  9. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine picking there, Lawrence. It's good to revisit old recordings we have made to hear how much we have progressed (or not!).
    JL, you got me curious about the fingering on the first video, so I had a look. Must admit I had not looked at it earlier. I wonder if it is maybe that his pinkie follows his third finger closely and looks like it is playing, when it is just moving in sympathy with the finger? There was one spot, however, when it certainly looked like it was fingering a note. As you say, whatever works for us is what we should use.
  10. crisscross
    Sounds fine, the Capek!
    Very good playing, Gortnamona!
  11. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely playing and a very sweet sound from your old Capek there Lawrence!
  12. JL277z
    John Kelly wrote: "... maybe that his pinkie follows his third finger closely and looks like it is playing, when it is just moving in sympathy with the finger? ..."

    Good point. There is quite a bit of that.

    John Kelly wrote: "... There was one spot, however, when it certainly looked like it was fingering a note. ..."

    Yeah I still think he's using that pinky on *some* of the 5th fret notes. Maybe not as many as I'd thought at first, though. It's just a curiosity.

    In any case, some mighty fine pickin' there, what I can hear of it, anyway... kinda wish the piano & guitar weren't so loud...
  13. JL277z
    I just noticed something else odd that I have never seen before, this time in the *2nd* sample video, I'll repost it here so you don't have to scroll up - look at what the left-side guitar player does at 0:12, it looks like he wraps paper or something around the neck and then just strums without fretting any chords! So, for rhythmic effect only, I guess? He starts out fretting normally at first, then at 0:12 switches to the paper no-fret strum thing:

    (or direct link)

    Is that a known technique? Kinda like impersonating a washboard or one of those rattle/shaker things or something?

    Might be a sensible choice, given that his band already has another guitar and a keyboard/piano and an electric bass... might be a little 'muddy' if both guitars were strumming chords...

    I can't really hear it all well enough to know for sure what's going on there.

    All I know is that neither I nor anyone I've asked locally have ever seen that no-fret paper strum rhythm technique before. (Is there a proper name for it?)

    I just tried it on mandolin, well I dunno, who knows, with a little practice I might be able to make it into something useful...
  14. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    JL: "the mandolin player looks like he's using his pinky on the 5th fret... huh, don't see that very often..."
    ...I'll say that is a guitar player trying to use guitar fretting hand attitude. Everything looks so inefficient (including his way of brushing back his hair to have it fall back in the same shapeless shape).

    JL:"Kinda like impersonating a washboard"
    ...that is my guess, too, based on the sound produced. Reminds me of a snare drum.
  15. crisscross
    Well, yesterday I took one day of leave from my classical toils to play this nice jig, only to discover that for all my progress playing a smooth tremolo, as a jig picker, I'm still mediocre at best. So I played but one chorus to keep the damage as small as possible...
  16. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    I wouldn't call that "mediocre" at all - you're too harsh on yourself!
  17. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nothing mediocre there, Crisscross. Nice rhythm and lift to your playing.
  18. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Welcome to our club of less-than-thile mediocrity, Criss

    However, I'm afraid that heart at 0:14 is not exactly what the ladies are after, at least not until they're over 70
  19. Gelsenbury
    Great playing!
  20. crisscross
    Thank you all for the encouragement!
    That means, I won't give up trying to become a halfway decent jig picker...
  21. gortnamona
    lovely stuff CC
  22. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite

    My abbreviated version
  23. JL277z
    Colin, very nice! Well done.

    Crisscross, sounds great! Nothing "mediocre" about it, sounds just fine.

    Re my earlier post about 1st sample video at top of page:

    Bertram wrote: "... guitar player trying to use guitar fretting hand attitude. ..."

    Could be.

    Bertram wrote: "... inefficient ..."

    Lol yeah good point.

    I suppose all that extra motion (including the hair brushing) would be useful in some situations on-stage, particularly if a person was accustomed to playing for audiences who expected to see a 'show' rather than just hear some music.

    Me, I prefer to sit calmly and try to play as effortlessly as possible... has the side-effect of making things look easier, rather than making it look more difficult by exaggerated motions or that flashy high-up-the-neck thing that rock guitarists do... but my approach isn't exactly a formula to get-rich-quick selling concert tickets.

    Re 2nd sample video at top of this page (the paper/muted/guitar/rhythm thing)...

    Bertram wrote: "... Reminds me of a snare drum."

    Hey I think you're onto something there... I just found an online reference to something Johnny Cash supposedly did, putting a piece of paper under the strings for (as you said) a snare drum effect. For instance, the guy in this video (fast-forward to 0:55) is using a card woven into the strings on the neck. So, a Johnny Cash thing then, or maybe Cash borrowed the idea from some anonymous oldtimer or bluesman or something, who knows.

    The difference being that the player in the 2nd sample video doesn't weave the paper under & over the strings, he just wraps the paper on top of the strings and then proceeds to hold onto the paper for the rest of the tune. Accomplishes about the same thing, I guess.

    In a way, it seems slightly similar to bluegrass mandolin 'chop' chords... sort of... a rhythmic device. Except the bluegrassers are actually fretting chords (at least I guess they do, I dunno I don't play bluegrass), although not sure the average non-musician audience member would be able to tell the difference.
  24. gortnamona
    nice one Colin, lovely tone from that mandolin
  25. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Clear and clean, Colin, but cut-off. Cause?
  26. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    I enjoyed all the videos. Nice tune - and playing.
  27. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nice clean and rhythmic playing, Colin.
  28. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I love jigs! I love Down Up Down picking! I already knew this tune, from one of my favorite books, New England Fiddler's Repertoire. As always, played simply on my Collings MT2O mandolin, twice through, in some wonderful winter sunshine beaming through my window!

  29. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Good delivery, Barbara. That Collings has a great balance and sound.
  30. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite
    Very nice version, Barbara! In our session, we play this with "When sick, is it tea you want?", a good tune with a great name.
  31. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lovely version there Barbara!
  32. crisscross
    Colin and Barbara: two jig masters!
  33. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Here goes. One tune feels lonely, so I paired it with Tripping up the Stairs. Reminds me of Freddie Frinton in Dinner for One, drinking the health of the lady first and tripping up the stairs later...

  34. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Bertram, that was lovely!
  35. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    I've enjoyed everyone's versions of this, and it was good to hear Barbara sounding as good as ever.
    I've been taking Marla Fibish's mandolin course on peghead nation for over a year now and I've been working on her technique for playing off beat jig triplets which is to play them UDU. I'd previously played them DUD but I was so impressed with her playing that I've made the switch - which is still very much a work in progress. I used this tune to practise these and put every triplet off the beat. The next step will be to dampen them with my fretting hand - Marla achieves a very light off beat flutter with this technique which is really important for these off beat triplets because you don't want them to detract from the beat. When I'd listened to her recordings I couldn't work out how she got this sound - her course has been a revelation.

  36. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    James that was great! So, what you are saying with Marla's technique, is that you are still playing your main jig rhythm picked DUD, but you are throwing some triplets into it, and those triplets, you play UDU? Sounds awesome!
  37. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Thanks Barbara. Yes the DUD jig pattern doesn't change but if the triplet is played across the 2 and 3 notes ( or 5 and 6) ie off beat they are played UDU , those starting on 1 and 4 are played DUD. It feels natural in that the pick direction is not broken at the beginning of the triplet and so is consistent with all other triplets in Jigs and reels. Marla plays a lot of triplets in Jigs and reels on the off beat which is quite a characteristic of her style as opposed to a lot of banjo players that put them on the beat - which of course is also effective in giving a driving style, but it's good to be able to mix it up a bit.
  38. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Thanks Barb.
    James, these UDU "reverse triplets" is a thing I used to do frequently before I gravitated towards more doublestops, more volume and more speed. They kind of come naturally with the pick flow, replacing a single U.
  39. Gelsenbury
    Nice set, Bertram.

    I had never thought about pick direction when adding triplets to jigs in DUD DUD picking. James's video shows the technique very clearly, but I honestly couldn't tell you how I do it.
  40. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Thanks Dennis,
    yes, I know the phenomenon. I look at my hands and say "what d'ye think yer doing?"
  41. Frithjof
    I’m really impressed by all these fine submissions.
    If I ever thought I could achieve a decent jig playing so may be in a distant future.
    I derive a cold comfort from a notice by Megan Beller from the Fiddle Studio:

    The contradance standard for high level dancing and recording is 120 bpm. For a local dance 105-110 is more common, a jam tempo or tempo just for playing at home could be anywhere from 80-100. Irish jams and dances can run faster for jigs, 120-130+.

    http://www.fiddlestudio.com/2010/04/...to-ladies.html (first link provided by crisscross)

    BTW: I'm the fastest jig player in my own living room.
  42. Gelsenbury
    Speed is my biggest weakness too. Just let me acknowledge that to prove that I'm not making excuses. I need to work on my speed. But building speed requires more practice time than I have.

    But, and this is my main point, I do think there's a bit of an obsession with speed going on in the ITM scene. The (many) sessions to which I've been in England play Irish music faster than the (few) sessions to which I've been in Ireland. And the most accomplished players, who record music for a living, simply play as fast or as slow as they want to in order to achieve the desired musical effect.

    So, while practising your speed, never forget that good tone and rhythm are more important. As Padraig Carroll wrote in his instructional book on the Irish mandolin: If you can't play it slow, you certainly can't play it fast.
  43. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I am impressed by people who can play fast. But, I'd much rather hear something played 'right', with the right kind of feeling, than something played fast just for the sake of speed! Also, James, can you link to a notation that shows where these triplets come into play?
  44. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Sorry Barbara I wasn't using notation - I just worked out where to put them and specifically was looking to put them on the off beat really as a technical exercise.
  45. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great versions from Bertram and James, and so different. Your drones add so much to the texture of your playing, Bertram, and that picking technique of James is quite a feat! Nice to hear a jig at what I'd call a reasonable speed, too.
  46. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    James, I went back and read how you explained it, with my mandolin in my hand, and I understand (and am going to embrace) the technique. What you are saying is that where in 6/8 notation, where there would be 6 eighth notes (picked DUD DUD) the 'triplet' is thrown in, making one of those sets of 3 eighth notes, actually 4 notes (in the same space of 3).... So, for example, if the triplet is being thrown in the 1st half of a measure, it would be picked D UDU DUD, and it flows with the pulse of DUD DUD, because you normally would be starting that 2nd note in the measure with an Upstroke, and you would be playing the 4th note of the measure with a Downstroke (the first 'beat' of DUD), and by doing it the may Marla teaches, you retain both of those things. Makes sense!
  47. Brian560
    I am glad to read about all of these comments on counting notes. Its something of a struggle for me especially when trying to keep the feel of a particular time signature. My latest battle is dotted notes in 3/4 time.
  48. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    I expect you all look at David Benedict's Mandolin Mondays blog here, but for anyone who does not, he has done some really super jigs this week.
  49. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Where would one find such blog?
  50. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Yes that's it Barbara.
    There is a link to the blog on the cafe home page.
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