Week #531 ~ The Four Poster Bed

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    The winner of the week's poll is The Four Poster Bed, which was submitted as a Scottish Traditional tune. Please forgive my delay in posting the results... In today's Covid pandemic world, time has lost all meaning to me!

    This tune recently was posted as an Other Tune (in a medley) and you can find that discussion here.

    Here is a link to the notation on the session.org That site says it is also known as Four Posted Bed, The Four Posted Bed, Four Posts Of The Bed, The Four-Poster Bed, The Fourposter Bed, Pedwar Post Y Gwely.

  2. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I see that Mike Romkey couldn't wait for me to finally start this discussion! So, here's his submission!

  3. Frithjof
    Mike, this is a really great opener for week # 531. I like the addition of the second mandolin. Great support by the guitar, too.

    BTW, Bucktown Revue Sept. 25, 2020 show on your channel is amazing!
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Great stuff, Mike!

    I posted my recording back in April as the second part of a set with "The Hen's March Through The Midden" -- a classic tune combination, much favoured by the late Dave Swarbrick. Here is mine, with the "Four-Poster Bed" starting at 1:10 minutes:

    The instrument is a Gelas-type double-top French mandolin made by Rene Gerome, probably 1930s.

    The gimmick in this tune is that you're meant to tap the four corners of the fiddle with the frog of the bow. I've tapped the pick on the pickguard instead.

  5. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Two fine contributions: Mike with his F5 mandolin and a nice guitar backup, and Martin doing percussive effects on his French double-top mandolin.
  6. Frithjof
    Martin, I love the sound you produce with your double-top mandolin.
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Mike and Martin, great versions; Mike, a nice bit of jumping the gun on this posting!

    My version of this classic Scottish fiddle tune. Where Martin tapped on his mando with his pick, I tapped the guitar I did the backing track with. To add variety I changed key half way through the tune, from D to G.

  8. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Excellent John. All of these posts were very good and fun to watch. The key change was an excellent idea John. Are you tapping in two different keys too? Haha.
  9. Gelsenbury
    Great to see you all join in! I like all these different interpretations.

    Here's my collaboration with John, which Barbara kindly linked above. By the time we did this, I'd forgotten that I'd also suggested it as a poll tune. I'm pleased that it has a proper home here now.
  10. Brian560
    All the above are excellent. I am glad everyone posted them early. Now I know what the tune is supposed to sound like. Also, the Rauschpeife added a perfect accent to the tune.
  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    You made a good job of editing those sound tracks, Dennis. I like the mando and octave responses to each other and that cheeky-sounding rauschpeife!
  12. Frithjof
    John and Dennis, you offered two very enjoyable videos. Thanks for the entertainment.
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Very enjoyable versions.
    Mike racing off at the starting line, well done that man!
    -and great harmony.
    Martin and John fine playing as usual -very steady there John.
    And your medieval interventions are always a pleasure Dennis.

    The Ashbury octave and Sigma mahagony top guitar on this one.
    Oww my knuckles are sore!

  14. Gelsenbury
    Your octave sounds great on the knocks, Simon! Good playing with nice timing as well.
  15. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Dennis but I think this is a hand busting tune, maybe get a foot hammer next time
  16. Frithjof
    Great version, Simon! And thanks for the warning concerning the knuckles.
  17. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Actually Frithjof, it’s only 16 knocks per tune, but the problem arrives during filming, another 16 knocks for the second instrument, another 16 knocks because a huge grain truck passed by when recording. Kids screaming outside my apartment because school is over for the day? -another 16 knocks. Cat wants to go out? another 16 knocks...
    And we haven’t even begun to talk about actually practicing how to accomplish this novel mandolin technique.
    Naaaaa! This tune requires specialist protective equipment.
  18. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Really enjoyable version there, Simon. You coped so well with Life's little knocks too - screaming kids, grain truck, cats!
  19. Brian560
    I liked that one Simon, and I enjoy your description of the perils of recording. I was especially impressed with the way you were able to consistently keep those knocks in time with the music.
  20. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks John, it’s easy though, it is a lovely little tune.
    And thanks Brian, the secret for that is that I most often use the right foot for beat one in the measure and left foot for beat three. Or just right foot.

    Then, guitar technique is usually bass note, strum, bass note, strum ie. 4 quarter notes for one measure.

    Finally, practice the transfer of the rhythm of a right (or left) foot tap to a left hand tap and back to the feet again using the metronome. Basically knock (actually ukulele slap and then strum, ukulele slap and then strum for each measure) the instrument with the feet as a beginning exercise.

    The other secret is metronome, metronome, metronome

    Oh no! I should have replied, ‘Oh, I know, it’s just this mystical talent that I was born with!’
    Ha, ha, but no, anyone can do it, it’s just hours of practice.
  21. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    One day without the net and there are three new versions: John changing the keys mid-tune, Dennis showing pictures of South France and Simon gives us a lesson in foot tapping. They all sound very nice! I also tried this tune, and similar to Martin, I did the knocking with my pick on the mandolin. I use quite a heavy pick, so the knocking happened a bit loud...
  22. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Very nice CC, thereís that fine fluttering tremolo again, Iím going to have to try it with a pick like yours. Or maybe at least just try it.

    The foot tapping chat wasnít for you though, it was for all the many lurkers (yes youíre reading this right now) who come to this Social Group who are going to record a version this time. If itís played one time through itís fine.

    This is such a cheerful tune!
  23. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice sound, Christian! I've been trying to count along as something feels a bit odd about the rhythm -- do you have an extra beat in the measure after the knocks?

  24. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Christianís done the honeymoon version Martin, correct number of measures and the extra knocks are fine.

    Wonder how Ginny and Barbara are getting along with their versions.
  25. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great delivery there, Christian, and I love your inclusion of the Scottish Saltire in the opening shots! I thought your rhythm was really steady and did not detect any extra beats. I assume the bedroom is your own and not just the guest room?
  26. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Might just be that it's a different version of the tune from the one I've been playing that throws off my count. Apologies for any confusion!

  27. Gelsenbury
    Well played, Christian! Is that your pick in the video? I haven't seen this brand before.
  28. Brian560
    I like that one Christian, its a nice arangement
  29. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    very good, Christian, correct number of beats, and it's no wonder the knocks come out so loud with that flintstone of a pick
  30. gortnamona
    great stuff by all with this one , what a happy tune
  31. Frithjof
    Nice sounding video, Christian. I myself wouldn’t dare to knock the top of my mandolin with a pick – regardless of which brand ever.
  32. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Thanks all! The pick is a Trekel pick which is similar to a Wolle. Both are very thick, but it's a good way to teach your wrist to stay relaxed.
    But when knocking on wood, it doesn't seem to work anymore. Well, I do that quite seldom, so I lack the practice.
  33. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Nicely done CC. I left comment on your page.
  34. Callum Murray
    Callum Murray
    Nice versions everyone! I especially liked your use of tremolo Christian.
    I'm a little late posting this but here's my version.

  35. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    This is very nice Callum. I have played this numerous time and cannot get the knock on the mando without losing my place..so bravo to all the knockers out there. Your version is very clear and sweet. Nicely done.
  36. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine version, Callum. I like your technique of the pull-off on the high A and the tapping round the four bed posts! The fiddlers would love this version.
  37. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Very nice Callum! You knock where it's supposed to be done, on four different places of the mandolin's top.
  38. Brian560
    That sounds great Callum, both the playing on the strings and the resonant taps on the mandolin corners.
  39. Frithjof
    Lovely version, Callum.
  40. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Very relaxed Callum, and everything under control. This is the first time I can actually see the knocks.
  41. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Bertram, Simon did knocks too. Callum, do you have a YouTube channel? That way we can follow you and make lovely comments.
  42. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Nice playing there Callum, impressive to see all the tapping in the right places too!

    Ginny I did, though it’s true, they’re partly hidden
    -perhaps I just dubbed the knocks over the original track?
  43. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    You're right, Ginny, Simon did knocks, but it was with the left hand which is supposed to do lots of irregular moves anyway, so it was something you accept as normal and forget, not something that haunts your mind forever, like Callum's knocks did to me.
  44. Callum Murray
    Callum Murray
    Thanks everyone! I enjoyed watching a live Dubliners version on YouTube, so tried to copy what the fiddler did.

    Hi Ginny, I'm not sure how to add a link to my channel here, but here's my YouTube user ID - UClrL8owP9M7Mej_zXcoqk4g
  45. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice, Callum!

    I think the secret to knocking the four corners of the mandolin (or fiddle) is that it only works if the notes between the knocks are plucked with the left hand fingers, as Callum did, and not picked as I (and everybody else) did. If you need your right hand in place to pick the note, you don't have time to get to the corners.

    Just for fun, here are Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol showing off on this tune, starting at 2:08 minutes into the video:

    Simon Nicol is doing the knocks properly on the corners of his guitar, while picking the notes in between with his left hand. However, when it's his turn, Swarb cheats and doesn't knock...

  46. Gelsenbury
    You can't see it in our video, but I knocked the table with my left hand while picking the high E with my right (I'm right-handed, if this clarification is needed). The price to pay is that the E continues to ring over the knock. Callum's solution of using a left-hand pull-off to make the E sound and knocking with the right hand is better. Great idea, and generally well played!
  47. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Martin, thanks for the link to Dave and Simon. What really fun versions and played with consummate skill by both. And they were having so much fun!
  48. Brian560

    Here is one of the versions I did of this song. I really wanted to do a recording at a faster tempo but my schedule has been rather busy lately.
  49. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Well done Brian, and I like that tone on your mandolin, what make is it?
  50. Brian560
    Thanks Simon. My mandolin is a 1920's Martin BK (Koa). I recently had its frets leveled and dressed along with a setup, so its intonation and action are as good as can be.
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