Week #543 ~ Humphreys Waltz, by Daniel Nestlerode

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  1. Frithjof
    Thanks John, Christian, Dennis, Ginny and Simon for your nice comments.

    Simon – I appreciate your comment. But let us wait until David comes around with his version…
  2. JL277z
    Nicely played, and cool instrument choices, Frithjof!
  3. Daniel Nestlerode
    Daniel Nestlerode
    Cool version frithjof!
    I love the variation!

  4. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Stately and yet comfy, Frithjof. The concertina is a big step towards the full orchestra this tune deserves
  5. Frithjof
    Thanks Jess, Daniel and Bertram for the encouraging words.
    Great to get appreciation from the composer.
  6. Gelsenbury
    It's so nice to see you all engaging so well with this tune. I enjoyed all the versions!

    And thank you very much for your kind words about my recording. That's the highest praise I've ever had for my attempts at music. (Jess, you called all the instruments right.)
  7. JL277z
    I finally have some functional instruments to play this tune on!

    (or direct link)

    There are some string squeaks, fret buzz, instrument finish squeaking against plastic desk chair (especially noticeable on the baritone uke with its undersaddle piezo pickup that amplifies bumps and handling noise), but it's the best I can do right now. Seems I'm a bit out of practice/rusty again, haven't been playing much the last couple years.
  8. Frankdolin
    I can see a LOT of work went into this performance and video JL. Verry nice!
  9. JL277z
    Thanks Frankdolin! I really like the tune so it motivated me to play.
  10. Frithjof
    I very much enjoyed your video, Jess.
    The waltz is well played and sounds great. Nobody demands a studio-quality recording.

    As to the visuals: I like your combination of videoing your own playing on all instruments with a slide/video show.
  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A very fine effort there, Jess. Great choice of instruments and your arrangement works really well. You put a huge effort into getting all the instruments on film too and adding in the other visuals.
  12. Gelsenbury
    Wow Jess, that looks and sounds great! You've taken this nice tune and turned it into a real feel-good video. Bravo!
  13. JL277z
    Thanks Frithjof, John, Gelsenbury, and Frankdolin, for the kind words!
  14. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Some more kind words:excellent interpretation of this fine waltz. You really make your instruments sing!
  15. JL277z
    Thanks, Christian!

    By the way, I don't remember if I've already mentioned this, but your very nice octave-higher variation is what motivated me to finally stop procrastinating and buy some affordable fret-leveling tools to fix the banjo. It had several absurdly-high frets around fret 8 and beyond, where it would play the exact same note on two different frets. It came from the factory that way several years ago, but I hadn't done anything about it because I 'never' play in that area anyway.

    But when I heard your octave-higher variation on this tune, I was like "I gotta try that!" Banjo is probably the instrument I'm most comfortable with, so it seemed like the best choice for my one of my few adventures into new territory at higher frets.

    After reading Amazon reviews for umpteen zillion hours, and purposefully avoiding the higher end Stew-Mac price range, I bought a small light-duty fret leveler/sander thingie ($16) and a fret file ($28 because I didn't think the cheapest ones would work right, still less than Stew-Mac etc). Got that banjo fixed right up, yay! The file seems versatile, 3 different sizes of notches, worked good on the narrow banjo frets, and the bigger notch looks about right for my Strat large frets should they ever need attention. Although that sander would be insufficient if used very much or for areas larger than just a few frets. But it seems like the perfect combination for casual (non-pro) dealing with a few rogue frets once very few years.

    I'd thought, mistakenly, that those tools would also be required for the baritone uke I'd ordered that same week (it's the one in my video), but the uke arrived perfectly playable straight out of the box, woohoo! Wasn't expecting that. I had assumed it would be a mess like the majority of other new budget-priced imported instruments I've gotten ahold of over the years (including the recent cheap mandolin which had defective parts and was not playable without work - I kept the mandolin anyway because the seller was helpful and it sounds better than my previous one). Anyway the uke didn't need any adjustments at all, just tune up and start playing, it even came with decent strings already on it (and that trippy 1960s/70s-style orange strap! Lol) so I'm pretty happy with that purchase. It's the mahogany version, which is that manufacturer's only solid-top model at that price. Nice to *finally* get a decent-enough (for me, anyway) instrument at a budget price, I was beginning to wonder if that was even possible anymore.

    An aside, the baritone uke's guitar tuning (DGBE) is a new thing for me to learn, as I've always managed to avoid standard-tuned guitars (they always get retuned into fifths pretty quickly). But now that I've been plunking around on this baritone uke, I can see why DBGE guitar tuning is so popular on, well, guitars, as that tuning seems well-suited for chord work. Also, a minor point, it's good to finally have a use for the 'sweetened guitar' setting in my Petersen tuner.

    Back to the topic...

    Another Thank you to Daniel for composing this tune that's inspired so many of us.

    And also a Thanks to whoever it was the suggested the tune for Song-a-Week - somehow or another I got the idea it was Gelsenbury (?) who also plays a wonderful version of the tune.
  16. Gelsenbury
    You're right, Jess, I suggested this tune for the group. Of course, I couldn't be happier with the response it has produced. Some of my suggestions never even made it through the polls, but this one has obviously proven (rightly) popular.
  17. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    OK. So, I figure I may as well take a video and post it! I had 2 arrangements of this piece and started out working on the "vanilla" one. Then I made the mistake of showing my teacher the other version. She said it was a good time to learn the embellishments. Well, I'm still learning, but here goes.

    Daniel, thanks for creating this beautiful piece.

  18. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A fine effort there, Sherry. Good picking and timing.
  19. Frankdolin
    Niice Sherry! Slides and everything... Really coming along nicely, keep it up!
  20. Frithjof
    Nice take, Sherry.
  21. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    What the other players said, Sherry. And a good tone.
  22. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Well done Sherry. Recording a song is nerve racking... recording a video is even more so! A couple of observations if you'll indulge me. Your right hand looks very comfortable and relaxed throughout the complete song. This is what we all strive for. The left hand seemed a little tense the first time through, however it was very relaxed after that. Relaxation and economy of motion is the goal I think. Without the camera and the microphone causing me grief, my playing is so much better. Very well done (and it mostly gets easier to play even while recording the more we do it!)
  23. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Michael's words of wisdom are so well put, Sherry, and seem to agree with the observations I sent you in the PM. It does get easier the more you record and you have got over the major hurdle of getting yourself in the frame. Onwards and upwards!
  24. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions. I was surprised to see/hear my playing be so bad on the video, as I feel I can play the piece much better than I demonstrated. My teacher says she plans to try a different thumb position that might cause me to relax more. We'll see if that helps.
  25. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Well done Sherry, nice competent playing.
    -we probably all know the recording red light panic!

    I just leave the camera running and say to myself, ‘Now this is going to take a while.’
  26. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Simon, that makes sense, but doesn't it require a lot of editing? That's one thing I haven't learned to do.

    John pointed out my video is in reverse, which I hadn't noticed. As I look back at other ones I've taken (and not posted), they are not reversed. Any thoughts as to why all my Humphreys' vids are?

    I'm using my cell phone, if that's not obvious.
  27. Gelsenbury
    That explains it! I thought I'd never seen a rebeW mandolin before!

    Your teacher is probably right about thumb position. It's not quite clear in the video, but you seem to have your thumb pushing the neck of the instrument from the back. Most mandolin players feel more comfortable with the thumb showing over the neck. This requires the body of the mandolin to be stable between the forearm of your picking side and your body. Having said that, you played the tune well, and I heard no buzz at all.
  28. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    rebeW? Oh, I get it! Lol

    Brad Laird says point the thumb toward the headstock when playing melody and have it peek over the back of the neck when playing chords. I have a lesson with an actual mandolin teacher next Thursday. He's never commented on my form, but I'll ask his opinion.
  29. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    My primary teacher had a recital at a senior citizen independent living center yesterday. There were several violins and one mandolin (me). Here's my first tune. I missed several notes, but in this setting there are no do overs!

  30. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Interesting to hear how you have progressed in your delivery of this waltz since your first posting of it back in August, Sherry. You sound so much more confident in this latest one and your tempo is well locked into the piano accompaniment. You sound like a seasoned duo here, and the tremolo ending is just right. Great stuff!
  31. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Very nicely played Sherry. Good luck with the recital.
  32. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Thanks, John and Ginny. John, part of the credit goes to you for providing my practice backing track for this beautiful tune.
  33. JL277z
    Good work, Sherry! You definitely have that confidence now, well done!
  34. Gelsenbury
    And you were so modest that you cut out all the well-deserved applause! That sounded nice. Daniel's tune is being spread around the world.
  35. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
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