Week #11 ~ Forked Deer

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Sorry this announcement is a little late, but it IS still Friday! Forked Deer. I don't play this tune, nor have even heard it, so I'm no help!

    Here's TAB on mandolin Cafe

    Here are the search results on Mandozine for Forked Deer

    If anyone else has any links to tab, notation, etc., please feel free to post!
  2. OldSausage
    Here's one:

  3. mikeyes
    These ABCs are close, but you really have to listen to a good fiddler to get it right (from the JC Tune Finder):

    X: 1
    T:Forked Deer
    "D" defg abaf | "G" gage "A" fdec | "D" defg abaf | "A" gfed cABc |!
    "D"defg abaf | "G" gage "A" fdec | "D" dBAF "G" GBAG | "A" FDEF "D" D4
    "A" A4 A4 | "A" ABAF E2 C2 | "A" A3 A ABAG | "A" FDEC "D" D4 |!
    "A" A3 AcABc | "D" dBAF DEFD | "A" EDEF "G" GBAG | "A" FDED "D" D4 :|
  4. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    This is a great combination of musicians, playing of "Forky Deer," and something to aspire to in an ensemble setting (in my humble opinion). I think Byron would qualify as a great fiddler that mikeyes refers to.

  5. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    And Old Sausage POUNCES! Nice job. Mike Compton says this song goes back to at least an 1875 transcript. It was called "Forked Air" because of the "crooked" parts in it. Theory is that if you say "Forked Air" to somebody who isn't sure what you're saying (moonshine consumption possibly might be a factor) that becomes Forky Dare and Forky Deer and eventaully Forked Deer. At least, he says, that was Hartford's theory about how "Forked Air" in the minstrel songbook morphed into "Forked Deer." I found a Bush-Emmitt-Flinner-O'Brien version of this on the net. I'm mining it for inspiration.
  6. Tracy Tucker
    Tracy Tucker
    Great job, David! I love to watch you play. How long you been at it now?
  7. Tracy Tucker
    Tracy Tucker
    Joe, thanks so much for the video. Those 3 sound great together!
  8. OldSausage
    Thanks Tracy, I've been beatin at this mandolin for about 6 years now. I'll get it one day, though
  9. mikeyes
    Fiddler's Companion has a long article on Forked Deer with a number of variants noted:

    FORKED DEER, (THE). AKA - "Forked Buck," "Forky Deer," "Forked-Horn Deer," "Forked Deer Hornpipe," "Long-Horned Deer." AKA and see "Deer Walk," "Bragg's Retreat," "Van Buren." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Widley known. D Major. Standard or ADAE. AABB (most versions): AA'BB (Phillips) {Many older versions have several more parts than the two that are commonly played in modern times. Clay County, W.Va., fiddler Wilson Douglas, heir to an older tradition, plays the tune in three parts, as did his mentor French Carpenter. Roscoe Parish of Coal Creek, Va., also had a third part. Blind northeastern Kentucky fiddler Ed Hayley played a five part version, as did Charlie Bowman and Kentuckian J.W. Day}. John Johnson, an itinerant man originally from West Virginia who had artistic talent in several areas, had a version that had six parts, played ABACCDEFDEF (son of a jailer, he was said to have "fiddled his way in and out of most jails from West Virginia to Abiline"). Johnson (1916-1996) visited Kanawha County, West Virginia, fiddler Clark Kessinger (1896-1975) just a week before he died, an encounter from which he remembered:
    I went and played the fiddle for him, played The Forked Deer.
    Clark said, "That's not The Forked Deer." "Well," I said, "I
    don't know whether it's The Forked Deer or not, but I learned
    it from a record Arthur Smith made when I was a kid, and I
    know the tune's way older than I am." And Clark said, "That
    ain't The Forked Deer." But you see, I play six parts of The
    Forked Deer and he just played two. So I suppose that's the
    reason why he said that wasn't The Forked Deer. I learned that
    whole tune just like Arthur Smith played it. I've heard lots of
    other fiddlers put just two parts to it. (Michael Kline, Mountains of Music, John Lilly ed. 1999).
    R.P. Christeson (1973) notes that the tune bears considerable resemblance to a Scottish tune named "Rachel Rae," which can be found in some of the older Scottish tune collections (and which in America was printed in such collections as White's Solo Banjoist, Boston, 1896). He notes that some fiddlers play the first part of this tune differently than the Missouri version he gives, and use a portion of "The Forked Deer" as published in George Willig's or George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels (Vol. 1, No. 4, Baltimore, c. 1839)--which appears to be the first time the "Forked Deer" tune appears in print. It has been suggested (by William Byrne) that the title "Forked Deer" is a corruption of 'Fauquier Deer', referring to the name of a county in northern Virginia. Others believe it may have derived from association with the Forked Deer River in Tennessee. Apparently, it was asserted in a fictionalized traveller's account (published in the late 1880's by Dr. H.W. Taylor) entitled "The Cadence and Decadence of the Hoosier Fiddler" that the title referred to a Deer river and its tributaries (i.e. 'the forks of the Deer'). John Hartford and Pat Sky have speculated the original title may have been "Forked Air," meaning a crooked melody. Indeed, Paul Tyler reports the "Forked Air" title was used in a 1950 notebook in which A. Hamblen noted down tunes played by his grandfather and brought to Brown County, Indiana, from Virginia in 1857. The tune, as "Forkadair," appears in W. Morris's Oldtime Viloin Melodies: Book No. 1, and the "Forkedair Jig" is a title Gerry Milnes (1999) says was used in a minstrel-era version.


    Personally, I think that the name is derived from the Forked Deer river in West Tennessee but what do I know? I am from TN so there is a bias
  10. Ken_P
    Fantastic work, David! There are plenty of ways to play that tune, but it's hard to beat a nice direct version when you play it that convincingly.
  11. tuffblue
    I have been following the SAW group and will attempt to upload a version of The Forked Deer. I hope that is ok with everyone. When does it need to be up by?
  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Frank, welcome to the group! If you haven't already done so, please go to the 'introductions' thread, and tell us a little about yourself!

    There are no requirements as far as when you post your video. So, you can post videos to ANY tunes that have already been posted, both the official tunes of the week, or any other tunes that have been posted! Plus, if you have a favorite tune that hasn't been posted, feel free to start a new discussion, put the title of the tune in the subject line, and post your video!

  13. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Great job David. This is a tune that needs a lot of interpretation to get it right as Mike noted. Watching your version helped me a lot. I know the notes of tune the but right now the sound I am making does not seem like Forked Deer to me!

    Here is a version by Kevin that was posted a while ago -- he is also a Cafe member:

  14. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Bernie, thanks for posting that video of Kevin's. The camera angle is just perfect to really see what his left hand is doing!
  15. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Don't you love the ring he gets out of that Weber Fern?
  16. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Wow! Kevin's version is sweet and clean.
  17. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Here's another one.

  18. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    I'd like to know what kind of mando Kevin was playing in that video. It really does have a superlative tone, ring, and overall sound.

    On another note...here's a link to a recording of Emmitt, Flinner, Bush, and O'Brien at the Grey Fox Festival in Upstate NY Mike Romkey mentioned above. Forked Deer is about halfway through the recording. The whole thing is a 60 minute recording of a mandomasters workshop that took place at the festival in July 2003.

  19. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    In a couple of messages above Bernie D. mentions the tone of Kevin's Weber Fern. It definitely does sound superlative, indeed!!!

    I'm listening to the Emmitt, Flinner, Bush (and bit of O'brien) workshop as I type......EPIC!! Obviously good version of Forked Deer on there!! Thanks for sharing the link, Joe!
  20. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I find this tune just about impossible! All the videos are too fast for me to try to figure out, and I can't make ANYTHING decent out of any of the notation that I've found! It isn't a tune I've heard before, so it's not in my subconscious memory banks, at all! Much as I'd like to be able to record a video on this one, I don't think it's going to happen, with the time and travel constraints I'm facing!
  21. DavidHowell
    I'm having the same problem Barbara. With a slow speed player like myself, the song just ends up sounding like a bunch of random notes stringed together until the little measure at the end. That's when it all comes together, but until then. Nope, random notes.
  22. tuffblue
    A simple question. How do I add a video clip of my tune to the message? Cheers
  23. sbar15
    this is at a slow speed it is track 26.http://download.melbay.com/Daudio.asp?ProductID=98557D
  24. Susanne
    Great that Forked deer won the poll! I love that tune and wanted to learn it for a long time. I'll see what I can do with it. Sausage, nice recording, very bluegrassy.
  25. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Frank, first you have to upload your video to You Tube. Once you've done that, if you are going to be putting your video in a discussion that is already in progress, you go to 'post reply' (rather than quick reply), and compose your message. Go back to your You Tube video, and on the right side, you'll see something that says "embed". Copy that code (highlight and 'control' (or command if Mac, I think) and 'c'), then go back to your message on the social group. At the top you'll see an icon that says 'tube'. Click that, and paste ('control' + 'v') the code into the window that opens. Click OK. I usually 'preview' to make sure it looks like I want it. Then click 'submit'. Hope this helps!
  26. Kevin Briggs
    Kevin Briggs
    Good morning!

    I will try to record a slower "Forked Deer" for learning purposes. I would also find it nearly impossible to learn the song by watching a video of someone playing it fast.

    Thanks for the nice feedback, and please let me know if you have any requests.
  27. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Rob, thanks Rob...obviously my mind's on a vacation when I'm reading some of these post. Too many faux pas' in my life, I'm afraid. Terribly flawed person, I am!
  28. tuffblue
    This is my contribution of Forked Deer. Thanks Barbara for the uploading instructions.

  29. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    If I was to solely judge you on your mandolin playing (though none of us judge each other here) you wouldn't be flawed at all!

    Hopefully I'll maybe find some time to work on this tune later when my brain turns back on.....

    I definitely recommend listening to the Bush, Flinner, Emmitt (with some O'brien early on) mandolin workshop that Joe posted! Since it was just audio it was quite a challenge to try and pick out each the pickers when they soloed. Great version of Forked Deer...though it might not help people learn the song with the skill level these guys pick it at!
  30. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Nice pickin' full of great musical thoughts and variations, tuffblue!

    Rob, It's funny how osmosis works when after a while when listening to a piece of music. Doesn't always work.

    I'm gonna try to figure out how to download that workshop file on to a cd as I don't have an mp3 player. Looks like it might take some doin' as I probably don't have all the right software on this PC and my Mac's not hooked up to the net but there's probably a way. Then I could load it up onto a cd 6 or so times in a row and listen to it over and over. I try to do that as much as I can when I have several different fiddlers or pickers playin' the same tune I'd like to learn...put 'em all on a cd and listen to it a lot. Though those guys are playin' pretty fast, and awesomely, even if I can get just a bit of what they're doin' and work it in, to me that's worth it. It all helps me grow on the instrument as does listenin' to everyone's postings in this group.
  31. Susanne
    Tuffblue, good picking there and your mandolin sounds lovely!! What is it?
  32. tuffblue
    Thank you everyone for your positive comments, it is very encouraging. The mandolin is a 1996 Flatiron A5 and I love playing it. Cheers Frank
  33. Susanne
    I've heard lots of good things abot Flatirons. This one certainly has a great sound!!!
  34. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Never let it be said I'm a quitter! That slow version from Mel Bay (audio) helped me figure out the B part.... this is still a version made up from all the different versions I found! Too slow, missed notes, and my daughter's English Bulldog, Layla, ran into the tripod there at the end!

  35. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Dave, tuffblue, Barbara -- all nice! As ususal it is fun to see the variety of approachs and what little collection of mandolins there -- Sobell, Collings, Flatiron -- all A-models all cool! I just loaded a nice mp3 of Forked Deer by an old tyme fiddler, Ed Haley, and I will post it as soon as I figure out what he is doing!
  36. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Well done, Barbara, your tone is always impeccable! Next time tell Layla not to be camera shy when it's time for her cameo!
  37. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    You really pulled that off very well for not feelin' good about it. Nice job. I've come to expect that of your vids as they always seem very solid tempo and tone wise.

    Here's another A model version of the tune, Bernie...beware the F models...they'll probably be outta sight!

  38. sbarnes
    i unfortunately (or fortunately) don't do videos....no equipment but i do multi-track recording and play all the parts.....here's my forked deer....
  39. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Joe that is great! -- you have some really cool bits in there -- esp. on the B-part which is so troublesome and that minor key section. Great ideas!

    I am convinced your Gibson is a 1937 -- that inlay on the fretboard was something they were doing then -- this looks like a Nick Lucas inlay -- he had a promotional contract with Gibson and had that inlay on his guitars -- so the factory started putting it on other inturments.

    Pretty awesome Mr. sbarnes -- you are a one person band. Again l like your treatment of the B-part a lot.

    Here is a version I actually had not intended to upload to YouTube -- I closed out without saving thinking that would stop the upload but, no, once it says "success" you have to go in and delete manually.

    But since its there I will post this for now but I have a much cleaner B-part now that I will post tonight. This one started off OK but fell apart at the end -- the reason is the ending for the B-section is just too awkward.

  40. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    sbarnes... what are all the instruments on your mp3? very nice!
  41. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Since there is more than one David -- I would like to note the B-part devised and played very well (also) by Mr. Hanson seems like about as smooth of an approach as I've seen -- it works very well.

    I have looked a lot of Fork Deer offerings (including videos, mp3's and tabs) in the last two days since I've been trying to learn this tune. I was wondering if that is your own creation or is it a version that is published?

    I just noticed that the B-section on the version oldsausgae plays is very similar to David's as well (but only a single slide?) -- both of these approachs get you in and out cleanly - -very cool. All of the tab versions I have seen feel "clunky" to me -- especially the ending to the B.

    Also sbarnes -- where did you come up with your version if I might ask?
  42. sbarnes
    the instruments on my stuff are: mandolin, guitar and bass...this particular example had 2 tracks for mandolin (melody and chops), 3 tracks for guitar (rhythm and counter melody) and 1 track for bass.......
    i got the melody and chord progression from mandozine and made up the rest (counter melody, etc.)
  43. Susanne
    Great job everyone! Joe, that's such a cool version you have there!!!

    Here's mine:
  44. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Wonderful playing, susi, you give the tune a nice flowing quality. Very lyrical. And Barbara, nice job sliding into that C# on the B part. You're getting the hang of those slides.
  45. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Susi, I really liked that B part you played.... did you just come up with it, or find it notated somwhere?
  46. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    OK I don't want to hog the airwaves but I did not like my earlier version and I feel better about how I play it now but this is one tune that I will keep on doing over until I get it right! Still some clams but not as bad as before.
  47. Susanne
    Bernie, well done in your progress! It's cool with those triplets there.

    Barbara, I don't have patience (and probably a bit too lazy as well) to sit down with a tab to learn it note by note, I just made that B part up. I listened to a few recordings just to get the chord progression in my head and then played something that suited to it. My usual approach with bluegrass/oldtime tunes.
  48. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    susi -- TX. I fully agree with that approach -- it is folk music afterall. I think it is good that there are purists out there who will play every note exactly like Bill Monroe or whatever -- good for them and they serve a valuable purpose in preserving the genre and tradition. I love to listen to them.

    But that's not me I just try to get the feel of the tune in a format that I can play. Everyone is born with different talents -- music is not too high on my list of native skills but that does not stop me from doing it for fun!!
  49. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Speaking of chord progressions... those of you who have figured out the chord progressions, how about posting them, too! That is one area I am totally lacking in! I just hear the melody and work on the melody.. I know Joe posted in another post, that it's important NOT to get into that mode.. but to also know the chords! So, I'm going to try to work on that, as well!
  50. Susanne
    Hmmm that doesn't mean that I know the exact chords They're easy to figure out though:
    /AA/AA/AA/EA/AA/AA/AA/EA/ (Hope that is understandable)
    Someone more advanced than I may want to throw in some other chord, but I think this would be the way most people would play it, as bluegrass/oldtime music doesn't use fancy chords a lot.

    I do a lot of chord playing, since I sing, and I have been playing in jams and sessions a lot with backing instruments. I must say, though, that I have no chord thinking when I play a tune. I just have the melody sort of in my head and then I play something like it.. if I have someone to play the chords, and I need to play a break, I play something that sounds good with the chords, but I definitely NOT think that "oh, he plays and E chord there so I need to play this and that.." - I'm not capable to do such things. I just do what sounds good in my ears. My level of music theory is VERY low (if any at all).
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