Week # 519 ~ The London Lasses

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I've noticed we have quite a bit more participation, since most of the world is on some kind of pandemic lock down!

    This week's winner is The London Lasses, which was submitted as an Irish Reel. It is also known as The Bird In The Cage, London Lassies, The London Lassies, The Races Of Athlone, Streams In The Valley, The Streams In The Valley.

    Here is a link to five settings of the tune on thesession.org

  2. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Barbara!

    This is a new tune for me, so I've looked it up at The Session:


    It seems to be played mostly in G, but i fancied the setting in D because the open strings make for more interesting harmonies.

    Played on my all-mahogany custom Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin. I've just put new strings on (first time in years!), which need to settle down a bit -- I'm not used to the OM sounding quite as lively.

    I bought this OM a few years ago from the Cafe classifieds. It's a one-of-a-kind, the only all-mahogany OM that Mike Dulak has ever made (even his "stock" OM model is very rare and long discontinued). He gave it the model number M-111, as an extension from his M-11 mahogany mandolins. I understand it was a custom order for an Australian player, so I'm not sure how it made its way to the UK. Fancy tuners, Allen tailpiece, internal pickup and custom inlays on the back.

  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Not much interest in this tune, it seems. I rather like it, and as I'm still in the process of putting up video of each of my regular instruments, I've just recorded it again, this time on my OM's little brother -- my Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin (spruce top, mahogany back). Same luthier, but different beast. This is a rather more cultivated instrument with lovely playability. I've had it for about 15 years, when I bought it on Ebay Germany from an American ex-pat.

  4. Frithjof
    Don't you worry! We are watching you.
    I myself practice the tune in G. It will need a while to get it right (on my level ).

    Meanwhile you may have a go on your other instruments, too. Iím waiting for this mandolin with the double top close to the window. Only once I saw a similar built OM.
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Well played on both instruments, Martin. Tricky little syncopations in the tune give it interest.
  6. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Good effort Martin and nice firm tone, well done for leading the way.

    This is certainly not the easiest tune to play with those upbeats but in D it resembles some other familiar tunes. Am learning Jenny’s Chickens at the moment, and it’s similar in that respect.
  7. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks a lot, folk!

    Frithjof: Well spotted! That mandolin close to the window is indeed a French Gelas-type double top mandolin (made by Rene Gerome). I'll need to think of a suitable tune -- it's not like other mandolins...

    John/Simon: Yes, the tune doesn't quite go as one would think, which took me a a few takes to figure out. In addition to the syncopation/upstrokes, it's also one of those tunes that doesn't resolve on the final bar but rather on the first note of the first bar. That means that each part leads straight into the repeat of the tune, giving it that breathless quality. When you do actually want to end it, you need to add another beat at the end to resolve to the tonic (D major in my case).

  8. Bad Habbits
    Bad Habbits
    Martin - very well played and great tones. For whatever reason, I just can't seem to get this tune into my head, so I guess I will never get it under my fingers. Thank you for your posts.
  9. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    This one has grown on me. It's a good pinky workout. I attempted to make a video of this Sunday afternoon but discovered London Lasses and ale drinking are a poor combination.

  10. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Nice! Well done Mike, good clean picking.
  11. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Really nice picking Mike.
  12. Gelsenbury
    Well played! Two good versions here.

    Like Bad Habbits, I struggle to get this melody into my head.
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Here’s a version by my favourite artist Dennis

    -Joe Met plays it faster and on the fiddle at the end.
    And I think it’s one of the best tunes ever for learning variations on a pattern.

    Here’s Joe Met playing piano -he’s a multi-instrumentalist and it’s a quite different version in D major. This time without the upbeats.


    (Joe would like to thank Tunebook SD, Mandolintab.net, Adobe, and TheSession.com and YouTube)
  14. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Some fine versions of this reel by Cafe members!
  15. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Simon, is your friend Mr. Finale..the pages look just like mine. ?
  16. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Actually Ginny how much is Finale, are there different licences? Iíve always used the open source, Ďfree if you donít sell ití type stuff.

    I agree with Mike, this is one of those tunes that grows on you.
  17. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    I have Finale and like it but it is very expensive - I have an older version, acquired somewhat..um...let's just say, I didn't pay.
  18. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    If I remember, Simon, there is a free version of Finale called Notepad. I use Musescore which is an open source program and has far more features and depths than I will ever need, but it suits me for what I do. It can export in pdf, midi and even mp3 formats and you can import ABC files directly into it, so loads of material available. And it will create TAB for you too. To each his own!
  19. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I also use Musescore. While it cannot open Finale files directly, it can import MusicXML files. Finale can export to that format. If all you have is a Finale file, but no license for Finale, the free Notepad version will also convert to MusicXML for import to Musescore. I've done that with a few Finale files downloaded from IMSLP.

  20. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Ah Finale! There's a subject. I have it. I am not exactly a fan. I find it difficult to use, and I loathe The Ribbon interface. They (Avid, the owner) are converting to a monthly paid-only subscription with the new version. Meh. I have been using Notation on my iPad, from Presonus. I really like Presonus hardware and find their scoring software far easier to use than Finale. I'm thinking about getting the MacBook version of Notion. Sweetwater has it for $107, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than Finale.
  21. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Motorbikes and JCB diggers in the background of this one.

  22. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    ahaa - this time I counted back from the 12th fret - your capo is on the 5th, not the 7th. Sounds unimportant, but fretboard navigation interests me.
  23. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I was just trying to accommodate, Bertram. Now itís in the key of G.

    Other thoughts:
    1 Itís not such an easy tune to play to begin with, so bringing it up with the capo helps.
    2 Capo to play faster
    3 I prefer the tone on the fifth as opposed to the seventh
    4 Capo on the fifth will take the key from D to G, and the other versions are in G
    5 Fret seven and dropping a string to stay in same key not possible because part of the melody in D is already on the fourth string.
    6 Play it in D, up an octave with capo at 5, and play the E string 12 th and 14th fret notes in the B part, another possibility.
    7 Could have put the capo at the 12th fret to keep it in the same key... I might try that next time

    Of course I could have got rid of the capo all together and tried a majestically, epically slow rendition... but Iím on a tight schedule.
  24. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I just noticed that because in your last post to Miss Monaghan's you announced the 7th for London Lasses - watching you

    This schedule thing is something I have not understood yet, I must admit. What happens after the deadline?
  25. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    At least on this one he is back to one capo, Bertram Very fluent and relaxed playing yet again, Simon. You have made a huge effort to keep those tunes coming over the past week or two. I have enjoyed keeping up with you.
  26. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    you're right, John. In the circle of chairs at Capos Anonymous, they value progress, and so should we
  27. Brian560

    Here is my try at this one. I followed Simon's metronome G major version, with a double IPA
  28. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Really nice Brian, I like this one a lot!
    It sounds like youíre playing in a real session.
    Youíve got a lot of nice smooth melodic runs punctuated by jumps where the tune is a little too fast. I get that with string changes and slides where I need to practice getting into position faster, using half speed and really aggressive, fast jumping (just the jump) , at half speed.

    Youíve got a great flow to it with good feeling, well done!
  29. Brian560
    Thanks Simon. The second section that take place on the E string is a challenge. I have to make an extra effort to hit that string a little harder when at the seventh fret to get the volume. That section is also challenging because of the variations in the melody. Its a bit of a tongue twister for the fingers. Both give a tension in the playing in the second part that isn't present in the first half. I like that contrasting aspect of the tune. I also like that the second part always makes me to play it one more time to see if I can get it right.
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