Week #99 ~ Stone's Rag

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner, by a landslide, is an old time tune, Stone's Rag.

    Here is the abc for the tune

    X: 125
    T:Stone's Rag
    C:Old Time
    S:From Brody's Fakebook
    A2|:"C"cdeg- ga-ge-|ag-eg- ga-ge|"F"FGAc- cd-cA|"D"dc-Ac- cd-cA|!
    "G"Bd-BG- G^FGA|Bd-BG- G^F-G2|[1"C"cdeg- ga-ge|"G"g6 e2:|[2ge-ga- ag-e2|
    "C"c6g2||"A"ag-ea- ag-e2|ag-ea- ag-e2|"D"dc-Ad- dc-A2|dc-Ad- dc-A2|"G"Bd-BG-
    G^F GA| Bd-BG- G^F-G2|"C"cdeg- ga-g(e|g4)"E"^g4||"A"a=g-ea- age2|ag-ea- age2|"D"
    dc-Ad- dcA2| dc-Ad- dcA2|"F"c'4 a4|"C"ga-ge- ed-c(A|"D"G)A-ce- "G"ec-d2|"C"c8|]

    I just learned this tune, but it's pretty simple. For those of you who learn by ear (not by tab or notation), the thing to pay attention to, is your pick direction! I tried to video this so you could tell what I'm doing!

  2. Ten_or_Fifths
    I had a few hours free earlier this week and Stone's Rag was the obvious leader.

    I wasn't able to get the chords at the end down in the time I had, but otherwise a super fun ragtime tune. (I got it out of a collection of ragtime tunes for fiddle, but I don't have the title on me - it wasn't from the ABC). Big Muddy MW-0 and I capo-ed my tenor banjo to make it a "banjolin" Also playing the same tenor banjo in CGDA on rhythm.
  3. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Here is the notation and tab for Stone's Rag from Traditional Music Co UK.
  4. Ten_or_Fifths
    Ah, the book I used is Ragtime for Fiddle and Mandolin by Steve Parker.
  5. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Very helpful video Barbara, thanks. You know...I'm not at all sure this song needs to be played any faster...It sounds great at this tempo! I think I'm going to work on slower, more 'groove-oriented' tempos on this one.
    Great job 10or5ths!
  6. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    My research on the tempo of classic ragtime tunes was very interesting.
    It seems that there is much debate among the "experts" as to the original "proper" tempo for rags. Here is a neat essay on the subject.

    So, in the spirit of Scott Joplin's famous admonition, "Do not perform this piece fast. It is never right to perform ragtime fast." I offer my take in swing tempo (~100 beats per minute).

    If this doesn't get you tappin' your foot and feeling like you're in a 1930s speakeasy, I have not done my job! Hope you enjoy it.

  7. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Here's my version on a Sobell mandolin.

  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Great versions, both ya'll!
  9. tnt2002
    I had a great accompaniment from Band in a Box. Love this tune.


  10. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Tom, loved it!
  11. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    David & Tom; excellent versions!
    Very well done.
  12. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice playing everyone. David & Tom: both versions had a wonderful ragtime feel. You not only learned the notes but put a lot of feeling into them, thanks!
  13. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I am currently working on improving my right hand technique, and found this a perfect tune to use! I have changed the angle that I tilt my hand, slightly, and am concentrating (HARD) on having my movement be in my wrist, not in my elbow. I played this tune concentrating on maintaining a smooth down/up/down/up motion with my right hand. I played it the first time through, playing straight 8th notes, and the second time, I used more of a dotted (hornpipe) rhythm, which I think gives it more of a ragtime feel.

    Practicing it this way, playing ALL the eighth notes, makes it easier to get the 'odd' pick direction right, when you tie the eighth notes as written.

    I was concentrating hard on my right hand, and see now that I wasn't playing the tune exactly as I should have been, but it's close!

  14. tnt2002
    Nice job!

    That's a good way to get the pick motion right. The two up-strokes in a row in the middle of each measure don't feel natural at first, but with with practice, it feels right.

    Sounds very rag-timey!

  15. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is a fun tune, sounds great and sits really nicely under the fingers. The old-timey vibe of the tune called out for some reso tenor treatment, so here is my version. Fairly straightforward with a few double-stops and chords thrown in. I had a look at a few different transcriptions and like this one best, from the old Co-Mando list (the tempo of 480bpm given in the ABC is clearly bogus, though):

    X: 1
    T:Stone's Rag
    F:http://jc.tzo.net/~jc/music/abc/mirr...ableditabc.abc 2011-03-20 18:01:14 UT
    |cdeg zage|cdeg zage|FGAc zdcA|FGAc zdcA|
    BdBG z^FGA|BdBG z^FG2|cdeg zage|g6e2|
    cdeg zage|cdeg zage|FGAc zdcA|FGAc zdcA|
    BdBG z^FGA|BdBG z^FG2|gega zge2|c6g2|
    agea zge2|agea zge2|dcAd zcA2|dcAd zcA2|
    BdBG z^FGA|BdBG z^FG2|cdeg zage|g4 ^g4|
    agea zge2|agea zge2|dcAd zcA2|dcAd zcA2|
    c'4 a4|gage zdcA|GAce zcd2|c8|

    Also found a really nice flatpicked guitar version from Karl Straub here (who credits Bob Wills as his source):


    Taking these two sources together got me this:


    Edit: I've swapped the Youtube clip for a different take with more agressive picking (see my later post below).
  16. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Fantastic so far, will have a go tomorrow....love it.....
  17. Marcelyn
    I'm loving all these versions. ToF, your improvised banjolin, and TNT, your honkey tonk style sounds cool with this tune. Martin, we were on the same wave length this week. Here's my Sound Cloud upload on a Republic resonator mandolin.

  18. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Marcelyn, you've got a great vibe going with your reso-mandolin.
  19. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    Marcelyn - Another great performance at a tempo I can appreciate. Thanks for sharing.
  20. Marcelyn
    Thanks, Mike. I tried to put Ed's research to practice where tempo was concerned. It's just one of those tunes that sounds great either way.

    And thanks, Michael. the resonator is a lot of fun. I hadn't played it in a while and had to get used to it all over again. Your National should make another appearance sometime soon.
  21. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Great postings from everyone, it never ceases to amaze me how everyone interprets a tune in their own way. This is my effort......

  22. Marcelyn
    Your mandolin is really ringing out tonight, Tosh. I think it must like ragtime music.
  23. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    All you need is a jug, a washtub bass and a kazoo and you're ready to take the jug band circuit by storm. Excellent job Tosh!
  24. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Marcelyn and Tosh, these are sounding great. I think the tune really benefits from that somewhat metallic tone one gets from picking close to the bridge, or using a reso, or both. Speaking of which, when I played my reso tenor version, I recorded three or four takes and uploaded the last one because at the time I thought it was the most fluently played. I have now listended back to all of the takes, and I think one of the earlier ones actually sounds better -- I picked closer to the bridge and it came out more agressive and in your face. So, I've swapped my upload for the other take:

  25. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Marcelyn, Michael and Martin, thanks for the kind words. Marcelyn, the resonator is really something else, a totally different perspective on the tune and fascinating sound, not too far away from David's Mandonator. Martin, the Tenor Res is pretty unique I would think, not seen too many of these around......I think I'd like a Tenor guitar, but then again, there are lots of things I would like to get!!!!!
  26. dcdan
    Tosh really crystal tone, martin the tone of your resonator tenor gives it a kind of late 1900's tone right down to the creeek of the chair right when you settle in to play. Marcelyn I think I like your timing best for this tune very "Jiggy" wish I heard it before I recorded mine.
  27. dcdan
    Here's mine shot on my rm1 affectionately known as the "hubcap"
  28. Chris Ferreira
    Chris Ferreira
    Once again I'm humbled by all the great interpretations out there in Mandoland! I decided to bring back my backup band (me) this week with an acoustic guitar and acoustic guitar faux bass track. Here goes...

  29. dcdan
    It sounds great chris you can almost here the tuba playing that baseline.
    i really have to learn how to lay down one track and play it back while i'm playing melody
  30. Chris Ferreira
    Chris Ferreira
    Thanks - the magic of Garageband. I'm hoping to learn more about iMovie so I can do those cool pic in pics I've seen here!
  31. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Dan and Chris, great stuff. I'm looking forward to getting a macbook soon, then I can meddle with garageband and imovie myself.......
  32. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Chris, I use garage band, but have only used it for recording my own instruments, haven't tried adding computer generated 'faux' backup... is that hard to do? I mean, is it easy to figure out how to do?
  33. dcdan
    As long as someone is bringing it up ...I have garage band and i- movie on my macbook..can anyone explain to me in terms a child might understand, how to do that picture in picture thing or , split screen
  34. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    DC - I just goggled "imovie picture in picture." This is the first one I opened. It takes you to an Apple tutorial.


    Pretty cool. I've enjoyed your playing. Especially on the Hubcap.
  35. Chris Ferreira
    Chris Ferreira
    Thanks for the picture in picture link. As for my "faux" bass comment, for clarification, it's just another track on Garageband. I play my acoustic guitar through a mixer with the lows turned up and dampen the strings with the heel of my hand - no high tech magic.

  36. dcdan
    thanx for the link...workin on it
  37. Ten_or_Fifths
    Keep in mind that PiP kind of implies multi-track editing also, so it's a little trickier (actually pretty tedious) than the wonderhowto link *if* you want the audio synced up.

    The short summary is: 1. turn on iMovie recording. 2. Turn on Garage band recording. 3. Play against click track until you get a good take. 4. Stop both recordings (don't play longer or you'll never find your good one). 4. Trim the garage band track, save to mp3 and note the length. 5. Find your last note in iMovie and cut a clip of the same length (look for your first note at the beginning of the clip, the clip trimmer can help or you can use the clip trimmer later. 6. Turn looping on in garage band and set the loop limits to repeat your original track seamlessly. 7. Create a new garage band track. 8. Repeat steps 1-4 and 5-7 for each PiP track. 9. Follow the steps in the Apple tutorial to drag your PiP clips onto the main clip in iMovie. 10. Turn the audio volume down to 0% on all video tracks (though you might want to temporarily leave them at 15% to help with the precision editor audio alignment). 11. Export your garage band multitrack recording as an MP3. 12. Load your mp3 into iTunes. 13. Import your MP3 from iTunes into Garage Band. 14. Go slowly mad as you try to align the multitrack audio with the main clip and the PiP picture. Part of the difficulty is you can't see the audio waveform in iMovie like you can in Garage Band. (discussion of the problem here: http://discussions.apple.com/message...sageID=8890592)

    There's a link at ukulele hangout for a similar process using FinalCut http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...o-%28How-to%29

    Some of the iMovie features (clip trimmer, volume adjustment, precision editor, etc.) are demoed in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwE4NOt3Ztw

    Hope this helps. If you want a non-synced main video (kids, boats, Scottish Glens) with a single-track mando in the PiP or if you don't care that the strumming lines up then it's a lot easier. I also suspect more professional video editing tools make this whole process simpler.
  38. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I actually do mine a little differently. I start in Garage Band, and create the multi-tracked version, work on it till I'm satisfied, then mix it down to an mp3. Then I go to iMovie, and start a new project, start the video recording. I then play the mp3 on my computer in iTunes, looped to repeat, and start videoing myself playing along with the mp3, and keep going till I am happy with it. If I am going to do PIP (which I did for the first time today) or fade from one instrument to the other (I've done that before), I then record myself playing the other instrument along with the mp3. When I'm satisfied, I put the main footage into the new project. Then, I found the footage of the other instrument that I wanted in the PIP, and selected it, and added it as described, as picture in picture, just estimating where I want it to go. Then, I played the clip, and just moved the PIP around till it was lined up. If you have the audio going on both, it's pretty easy to get them synced just by ear. Then I found where I could turn the audio on the PIP clip all the way down. Then, I added the mp3 as background audio to the movie clip. If you leave the audio on on both mp3 and video, it makes it easier to just move it around till it's synced. Once I got it synced, I highlight the movie clip, and 'edit' and 'detach audio', then I delete the detached audio from the video, leaving the mp3 as the only audio. Then, I 'shared' it with YouTube.

    So, the video you see of me playing, isn't the actual video of me playing what you are hearing on the mp3. But, it's me, and I WAS playing it in the video... I just deleted that audio portion!
  39. Eddie Sheehy
    Here's another Marker for the Cause... Played on a 1909 Gibson A4...

  40. tnt2002
    Chris, I like the backup music. perfect for this song. Eddie, nice job. I love the tremolo at the end.
  41. dcdan
    Nice job eddie love the funky 7th chord ending
  42. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Here comes my take, played on my Mandola.

  43. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    First heard Stone's Rag when I was the guitarist for a fabulous fiddler from Texas. On this version the guitar part is at the same tempo as we used to play it, however, I only attempted the melody at this speed -- variations will come later after much practice.

    It's played on a F2 Gibson mandolin and a Simon and Patrick guitar.
  44. Grommet
    Nice sound on that Mandola Bernd-
    Great arrangement michael, loved the ending part.

  45. tnt2002
    One word. Wow!
  46. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A great tune and one I will really make an effort to learn. Interesting variations in tempo from the different players so far and backings really lift the tune to new heights. Well done, all.
  47. dcdan
    Michael theres not enough o's in smoooth, you make it look so easy. Is that f2 around 1916 or so?
  48. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    dcdan: I once looked up the serial number and this F2 was made in 1911. Everything is original except for the bridge, the worn off finish on the top, and a crack also on the top that the person I bought it from repaired. It sounds great and hasn't been played too much until this past year. It didn't cost so much back in 1974 when I got it... which was good cause I didn't have much money to spare back then -- come to think of it, I still don't have too much money to spare...
  49. Fishguy
    Going back in the archives... I just recorded this one so my daughter can practice it on her fiddle.
  50. woodenfingers
    Hey Fishguy, well done. Thanks for bringing this back, it is now on my to do list.
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