Week # 15 Southern Flavor

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  1. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    The people have spoken: The tune for week 15 is Southern Flavor. (Barb asked me to Name That Tune while she is tied up with her daughter's wedding.)

    This is a Bill Monroe tune, and it rocks. Strong rhythm, lots of tremolo. Hopefully, Don or one of the other Monroe experts can weigh in with a slow teaching video and some background to this tune -- when it was written and recorded, whether it's Mr. Monroe's composition or Kenny Baker's tune, etc.

    Here are a couple of Monroe videos; there are a ton of people playing this tune on YouTube, but Big Mon is the place to start:

    Here's some ABC:

    X: 1
    T:Southern Flavor
    C:Bill Monroe
    S:TablEdited by Mike Stangeland for MandoZine
    F:http://www.mandozine.com/music/TOW.txt 2009-08-07 16:23:54 UT
    =z8 | =z4 B2 =d2 | "E"ee ee ee e=g | e=d BA BB BA | =G=D EE EE EE | [E2B,2] [EB,][EB,] [EB,][EB,] [E2B,2] |
    ee ee ee e=g | e=d BA =G2 A2 | "B7"AB BB BB B=d | B2 Be B2 =d2 | "E"ee ee ee e=g |
    e=d BA BB BA | =G=D EE EE EE | [E2B,2] [EB,][EB,] [EB,][EB,] [E2B,2] | "G"[BF][B=G] [BG][BG] [BG][BG] [B2G2] |
    "F#"[B2F2] [BF][BF] FA F=D | "E"[E3B,3][EB,] [EB,][EB,] [E2B,2] | [E2B,2] B,A, =G,4 |
    "D"=D[DD] [DD][DD] [D2D2] DE | FE =DF ED EF | "E"[BG][BG] [BG][BG] GF EC | [E2B,2] [EB,][EB,] [E2B,2] C2 |
    "D"=D[DD] [DD][DD] [D2D2] DE | FE =DF ED EF | "B7"G2 B2 BB B=c | B2 Be B2 =d2 | "E"ee ee ee e=g |
    e=d BA BB BA | =G=D EE EE EE | [E2B,2] [EB,][EB,] [EB,][EB,] [E2B,2] | "G"[BF][B=G] [BG][BG] [BG][BG] [B2G2] |
    "F#"[B2F2] [BF][BF] FA F=D | "E"[E3B,3][EB,] [EB,][EB,] [E2B,2] | [E8B,8] |
    W:Created with TablEdit http://www.tabledit.com/

    I'm sure there's a TablEdit version. Maybe somebody can find it and post a link. (BTW, if you click on the TOW.txt hyperlink above, you'll find a file containing ABCs of a ton of great mandolin tunes of the bluegrass and Irish variety, along with a couple of modern compositions.)
  2. Tom Tax
    Tom Tax
    Click on this link and you can download a TablEdit file.http://www.mandozine.com/music/searc...rder=A&submit=

  3. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Thanks, Tom. The ABC above plays OK but doesn't display the final few measures. Maybe somebody who speaks ABC can figure out the problem and repost. I can't find another transcript on the Web.
  4. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Here's a young band from Wisconsin playing Southern Flavor. They're very creative and inventive in their approach to the tune.

  5. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    OK here is a version that I posted last fall -- but I reserve the right to improve in it a bit -- I did not really get enough Monroe sound to make me happy -- so I will repost later.

    (Oh and also this was before the "knee rule" so I can not be held as risque!

    Done on a regular digital camera -- quality kind of bad sorry - I have a regular video camera now.
  6. jamann
    Here's my attempt at Southern Flavor. This is another one of my favorite Bill Monroe tunes. Heck, they're all my favorites. Bill didn't write a bad tune. Hope I did it some justice. Played on my Weber LE mandolin.
  7. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I keep calling this tune "Southern Comfort." Don't know why. Kudos to Bernie and Jamann. Let's see some more posts from y'all!

  8. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Great job jamann and Mike! Nice and clean

    jaman -- I wish I had the patience to get the tune fully down before rushing into tempo -- I think that is part of the reason I never really get a song right -- you nailed every note - and also your spoken intro to the piece "Southern Flavor" were you trying to mimic Big Mon? Because you sounded just like his spoken intro! Very cool

    Mike -- "I keep calling this tune "Southern Comfort." Don't know why"
    Well, I do the same thing and I DO know why! I would kill to be able to come up with an intro like that -- but I can't. Very very tasty!
  9. KyleBerry
    I will have to spend weeks on this song in order to get it!!
  10. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Kyle -- it might come faster than you think. Have you ever downloaded the free viewer called TabView onto you computer? If so I can send you a tab and you can play along with the pointer as the song plays.
  11. Sore Ears
    Sore Ears
    Getting my pick speed up is my problem with this tune. The tune is pretty basic but having seen Monroe rip it up..... the only way I can pick that fast is with a stiff tremolo and that will not cut it. Monroe and others seem to be able to pick with a relaxed tremolo. This tune could be a great learning experience.
  12. KyleBerry
    Bernie yeah I have been playing along on TabView. And it is coming faster than i thought it would be. You were right. Just listening to you all play it, i didn't think I could do it.
  13. Susanne
    Kyle, I'm with you there... for me I KNOW it will take weeks... at least... Good luck anyway.
  14. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I suggest looking to Jamann's version for inspiration if this is giving you grief. His version is nice and clean; I think it works great at that tempo with that feel. Note that there's a little feeling of push on beats one and three.

    You have to get the hang of Monroe tunes. They're not like anything else. I'm no expert, but I think one consideration is that you need to get the feeling of the tune right. Sorry I can't articulate it any better than that. But with a tune like "Soldier's Joy," if you can play the notes, the tune is mostly there. With Mr. Monroe's tunes, you have to get the mojo right as well.

    The other issue has to do with the right hand. Using "Soldier's Joy" again as an example, the right hand just plays the melody line and that will suffice. With at tune like "Southern Comfort," you have to keep that right hand going and add octave notes and drones and two-string chords wherever you can toss them in.

    I've been working on Monroe tunes and tunes in that style off and on for a couple of years. It's taking me a while to get it, but it's worth the effort. It opens up a whole dimension of playing beyond the mostly single-note melody tunes.

    Maybe try breaking the tune up into parts and just work on it a section at a time. (Weird that there are no repeats in this tune.)
  15. OldSausage
    And here's my version, demonstrating to some extent what Mike was just saying, though I doubt if I got the Monroe mojo, this is just the way I do it and it's a little different to Bill's. On the recording Bill made of this there aren't any repeats, but when he played it live (on the YouTubes of him doing this) he repeats the A part twice.

    I played it through once slowly and then did a version up to speed

  16. SweetTea
    Very nice OldSauge. I like the slow/fast version you did. It will help me try to learn this song.

    This type of song is harder for me to learn because I have to really focus on playing the corrent number of notes when there is a long string of the same notes played. It takes me longer to get the feel of the song and play it correctly. I guess toe tapping is a requirement for this type of song.
  17. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Nicely rendered, O.S. Your fast clip illustrates another aspect of Monroe music: a lot of it is playing tremolo over chords, and the melody line often involves "playing" the chord or pieces of it.

    I know just what you mean, SweetTea, about having to obsess over the number of notes in a string. I think this is where notation falls a short in transmitting the info. The simplest way to write it out is a ton of notes, when what is really being played is tremolo over a note or chord or part of a chord. It looks a lot more confusing that it really is. If you can just play the tremolo at the right rhythm, voila!, that's what's written.

    I REALLY find YouTube videos helpful in learning Monroe tunes. The scores have a way of taking something that is relatively straight forward and with a strong grove and making it dense and impenetrable. That said, I think it is important, once you have the basic tune down, to focus on some of those places where quarter notes come in in the midst of a string of eighth notes. There are subtle rhythm things that are easily glossed over that really make the tune.
  18. Joe-TN
    Thanks to all for the videos so far...I think I'm kind of stuck on the part about "....whipping it like a mule". Or something like that. Anyway, MoJoe in great profusion, along with a few notes that ain't part of nothin'. But I'm learning a lot from you guys.

  19. OldSausage
    I like it Joe, nice attitude. Sounds good.
  20. jamann
    Bernie quoted, "jaman -- I wish I had the patience to get the tune fully down before rushing into tempo -- I think that is part of the reason I never really get a song right -- you nailed every note - and also your spoken intro to the piece "Southern Flavor" were you trying to mimic Big Mon? Because you sounded just like his spoken intro! Very cool "

    Thanks Bernie for the kind words! As for as trying to mimic Big Mon? No, there was no thought behind that spoken intro.

    To all that are finding it difficult to learn this tune. I suggest going to the version on mandozine (the version I'm playing) and slow it way down to 80 bpm and play along with it until you got it down smooth and memorized before trying to speed it up any. It's not too difficult and you'll have it down before you know it! It's such a fun tune to play you won't be able to stop playing it. Enjoy!
  21. Joe-TN

    I'm having fun with this. At least I'm getting somewhat to the point that I don't just collapse when something goes awry.


    I second your recommendation for the Mandozine tab. That (and your version on youtube) was really helpful in explaining what I was hearing.
  22. SweetTea

    Thanks for help. I will have to try to tremolo approach. This tune is going to take me a little time before I can video it with any confidence.
  23. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Purddy good Joe! - I hear a little Big Mon peeking through -- some tasty endings too! That sure is an interesting looking wall behind ya thar!
  24. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Really like your version OS -- a little different than Monroe though? Not completely sure about that -- I have to watch him closely again some time it been a while. But its a real nice flow you have going in it.

    Added -- actually you state upfront its different -- missed that the first time.
  25. KyleBerry
    Ok I finally got this one down. I don't know if I got the Monroe feel, i tried too.

  26. KyleBerry
    You all did great by the way. I really got my inspiration from jamann's video.
  27. Susanne
    Very well done, Kyle! You are already ahead of me, having played for a month (or is it 2 months by now?) and I've played for years without getting anywhere. I'm impressed! As for me, I just gave up on this one, at least for now.
  28. KyleBerry
    Thank you susi. I have been playing for about 3 months. You can't give up on this one. I didn't think I could do it, but after a couple hours of practice I finally got it. keep on trying.
  29. Susanne
    Maybe when I'm out of this low state of mind. I tried some yesterday, but think I need a back-up track or something to play along with. I'm not able to count notes on those tremolo-sort of things, I just need something that lets me hear how long to keep doing them I tried to slow the mp3 down with Audacity, but it distorted the sound terribly. Maybe I can try to slow the midi down.
  30. OldSausage
    That was really good Kyle, I believe you did get the Monroe feel.
  31. KyleBerry
    Do you use TEF view? You can slow it down as much as you want and speed it up.
  32. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    Damn, Kyle! That was great! I would say and you definitely got the BIG MON feel in that one! Nice to see you improve with every video!

    Susi, don't give up! This song is really great for working on an even up-down motion of the right hand attack. I also found that being able to slow down the TEF file, as Kyle suggested, really helps learn it. It's a tune to definitely set aside some time for....however long it may take to get it. Everything else you've done so far has sounded good!

    Jamann's video also has really helped me quite a bit, also.....Thanks for posting it! I appreciate your authenticity and respect of the Big Mon!

    I'm envious of all you tother guys that posted so far!! Bill would be proud! "Mighty fine, mighty fine".....

    I'll get a video of this up soon, if not just my first take so far....
  33. KyleBerry
    Thanks a lot Rob! Hurry up and post yours, I want to hear it!!
  34. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Nice work, Joe and Kyle. Bill Monroe lives!

    Please note the stages of Monroe Addiction, as defined by several prestigious psychiatric studies:

    Phase 1: What in tarnation is this, music from Mars?

    Phase 2: Oh, I kind of get this. Let's see ... yeah, there's something really catchy about this, though I don't think a normal person would ever play like this exactly, but ... dang.

    Phase 3: Complete surrender. You wake up one morning with a Kentucky accent and an irresistible compulsion to buy a white Stetson.
  35. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Nice job on this one Mike and Bernie. OS, that C chord in there is very cool. Joe, you got the real flavor happening, and Kyle! you nailed it.

    I love that video where Bill gets down on this tune.

    Sorry about the bad video quality--just moved my music room to a bigger room and I need to fix up some lighting in here.

  36. KyleBerry
    Don that was awesome! You are so smooth. I have to work on that continuous right hand motion.
  37. jamann
    Very nice Joe and Kyle! You both definitely got that Monroe feel going. I like that you both kept it clean and simple. I was talking to Frank Ray a few years back about his approach to the mandolin and he told me he tries to make every note count. I've been trying to do that ever since. If your not familiar with Frank he's one heck of a picker with the group Cedar Hill. He's right up there with my favorites. Bill leading the way of course.
  38. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    Mighty fine version, as always, Don! Gil F? Got' the right hand with a master plan!

    Here's my versions...my first take from yesterday and my final copy (for now) from today.

    Time for me to go to bed!
  39. KyleBerry
    Very nice Rob! You add a lot of flavor in all of your playing!
  40. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Great playing all! I'm loving this week so far... Here's mine, Let it buffer all the way and it should play without any skips.

  41. Joe-TN
    Okey Dokey! Aside from the really nice clean picking, is it Red Bull that gets this up to speed? Very nice. You need the white Stetson.

  42. Tracy Tucker
    Tracy Tucker
    How's come Chris' videos don't show up for me?
  43. KyleBerry
    Great job Chris!! Yeah what is it that makes you go so fast? lol. What browser you using Tracy?
  44. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    "What is it that makes you go so fast?" Mostly... Camera fright, nervousness, etc. Also, Isn't that the way Bill played it?
  45. KyleBerry
    Yeah that happens to me too, but I don't go that fast! lol.
  46. Joe-TN
    Your rendition seems absolutely the way Bill played it, I just wanted to be sure that I had the right energy drink before my next attempt
  47. KyleBerry
    Ok here is me trying to go fast. Not very successful.

  48. OldSausage
    There's a great little section in that first YouTube (at the top of this thread) that I didn't notice until today, where Bill comes round for a 3rd time on the tune. While Marty was doing his guitar solo, Bill was inexplicably reconfiguring his mic so it was down by his knees. Then he bends down and does some really pretty things with the tune - especially the part where he does a descending scale and gets the fiddle to play harmony. I've tried to capture a little bit of that here, and overdubbed a second mandolin for the harmony.

  49. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    Old Sausage comes through again! Nice harmony!

    I guess Bill used to do the bend-the-mike-lower towards the end of S. Flav. as a joke. In this video below they really play it out. Big Mon had the personality!

  50. OldSausage
    Yes I guess it must have been a thing, thanks for posting that Rob. Bill's first time through on that video is killer.
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