Week #538 ~ The Long Lane

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Sorry for my delay in posting! Since the last time I posted, we’ve loaded up and made the 1050 mile trip to our “winter home in the south”, along with our old dog and two old cats AND I managed to get my first COVID Vaccine! Yay!!

    This week’s winner is The Long Lane, which was submitted as an Irish Traditional hornpipe.

    Here is a link to one setting on the session.org

  2. JL277z
    Thanks for TheSession link, Barbara.

    I made that into mandolin TAB (has standard notation and tab together), viewable in the browser, or hit the "download" button to print the PDF. I didn't add chord names, because everyone has different ideas as to suitable chords.

    My try at this tune today (video below), some of those 'variants' are just errors in disguise lol, I just try to keep the beat and keep going. This minute-and-a-half video came out of the middle of a half-hour practice session - after I'd started to figure the tune out a little, but before I got exhausted (trying to not bump the mic/recorder behind the banjo, trying to hold still so I'd stay in camera view (camera monitor was obscured by onscreen sheet music so I had to set the camera view and then just try to hold my position), trying to not have the banjo dislodge itself from the impromptu roll of paper towels that the banjo brackets were wedged against in lieu of equipping the banjo with a proper strap, etc).

    (or direct link)
    It's a bit, um, odd, using a 5-string as a tenor, flatpick and all. This tune just seemed like it would make a good tenor banjo tune. But I haven't had a tenor banjo since the 1970s and no one around here has one. But I do currently have a 5-string, so that's what I used. Tuned aDADE, so as far as I'm concerned it functions as a makeshift GDAE tenor banjo except without the low G string (not required for this tune), and with an extra string inbetween the A and E strings. That allows regular octave-mandolin or GDAE tenor banjo fingering as long as I can remember to skip across the unnecessary 2nd string, which is actually pretty easy to do. The 5th string is muted (piece of paper stuffed under it to dampen it) as I'm not clever enough to come up with any immediate uses for the 5th string either (in flatpick melody mode, that is). I probably wouldn't take it out in public that way though, it's got light-gauge strings and super-low action and has to be played delicately or it gets overdriven (not good on banjos!), would not be suited to sessions without some modifications. I'm not going to re-string it into straight GDAE for flatpicking, because I want to continue using it for clawhammer (the reason I have the instrument in the first place). Most of my GDAE flatpicking stuff is on my modified electric guitar, the banjo flatpicking today was kinda just for old times sake I guess, and a little fun.

    Oh, and about that backing I use, yeah I know it's not 'traditional' or whatever, but I'm not worried about it.
  3. Frithjof
    Thanks for this “first practice” recording as a nice opening, JL. So we get an idea how it may sound on plucked strings.
    No problem with the not traditional backing for my part. I’m practicing with ChorPulse and I’m not willing to use the accompaniment style which this app calls “Irish”.

    N.B.: I like terms like: 'variants' are just errors in disguise!
  4. JL277z
    Thanks Frithjof!

    Frithjof wrote: "No problem with the not traditional backing for my part. I'm practicing with ChorPulse and I'm not willing to use the accompaniment style which this app calls "Irish"."

    Lol yeah same here, some of the app's styles are ok but some are not. IMO their "Irish" and "Bluegrass" styles are not usable. So I keep clicking on different styles in the app until I find something that works ok with the melody and that I like listening to, even if it's not the customary style for that melody.
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, JL --nice tempo and tone on your bastardised banjo!

    I like this tune, it has that gentle seaside feeling of a good hornpipe, but the phrasing is a bit tricky, in particular in the B part. This is an unaccompanied practice take, obviously too slow, but at least it gives an idea of how the tune goes:

  6. Frithjof
    That’s a nice take, Martin.
    obviously too slow“ – but wait if I ever record this hornpipe it will be much slower then yours. Measures with four triplets in a row slow me down a lot. And the B part with this very similar but different phrases is indeed tricky.
  7. JL277z
    Sounds good, Martin!
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    An interesting and demanding tune to play, Martin, and your version is a good one for getting the tune in one's head clearly. It took me a while to get round the triplets on the octave, but worth the effort. Certainly a tune I will come back to regularly now.

  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    That's a really nice take on the octave, John - not that much faster than mine, but sounds much more fluent. The subtle guitar backing helps with the pulse -- what chords did you use?

  10. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    That tune sits really nicely on the octave mandolin, lovely stuff John!
  11. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    And played beautifully !!
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks kindly, M, J and G. An interesting tune with its arpeggios and triplet runs. A Jill McAuley version would be fun to hear!

    Martin, the chords I used were D, G. A, A7, Em and Bm - the minors only in a couple of places. I put a capo at 2nd fret and used the equivalent chord shapes from the key of C so that I could avoid the open bass notes I would have got playing D and A in open position.
  13. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Working on a version now! Squeezing in mandolin playing time in-between getting the vegetable beds ready in our market garden for spring planting!
  14. Frithjof
    Of course, we all wait of your version, Jill.

    I had my humble rendition ready yesterday night. Then I found John’s version in the morning. It sounded that easy and relaxed on his octave mandolin. Therefore, I tried half the day to improve my playing but failed. Good practice time anyway.

  15. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Four great versions so far.
    I found this piece pretty tricky with the last triplet in the A part being ascending instead of descending as you would expect and lots of subtle variations in the B part.
    Nicebacking tracks by JL and John.
  16. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Good versions, Frithjof and Duncan. I like your mix of picked treble runs and hammer-on/pull-off phrasing on those triplets, Frithjof. I was using that mix too and it is easier on the octave, I believe, with its longer scale length making those pull-offs easier to execute. Duncan, you produce cleanly picked triplets, and yes, that reversed direction triplet is a wee swine!
  17. Frithjof
    Great version, Duncan. Fast and steady picking (including the triplets).

    Thanks John, too.
  18. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Nice submissions, everybody. : )
  19. Gelsenbury
    I've been trying to learn this tune, too. I think I may fail. It has a lovely flow to it, but there are so many notes to commit to memory.

    The submissions posted so far have been very nice to watch. John's seemingly effortless walk down the long lane is my favourite. But everyone introduced good ideas to play this nice melody with expression.
  20. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Dennis, though I have to confess that the "seemingly effortless walk down the long lane" was the result of very many attempts to get the tune recorded satisfactorily, especially on the second time around, when the brain starts overheating. I made no attempt to video the performance until I had a sound recording I was happy with, and by that time I had more or less memorised the tune, having played it so often.
  21. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Well, JL277z got the key right in his transcription. It’s in D. For some reason the version on the Session is scored in G, but with all the C notes sharped — which is necessary, because it’s really in D. Aye yi yi. I’ve been working on this today. It’s a bit tricky.
  22. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Yes, indeed, Mike -- I noticed that when I tried to come up with an ending. The version on The Session doesn't resolve, so I stopped on the D halfway through the final measure and tagged a D major chord at the end.

  23. JL277z
    John, Frithjof, and Maudlin, good pickin'!

    Michael Romkey wrote: "Well, JL277z got the key right in his transcription. It's in D. For some reason the version on the Session is scored in G, but with all the C notes sharped - which is necessary, because it's really in D."

    Well I didn't see any reason to keep TheSession's illogical key signature, I figured maybe it was some software glitch that produced that, so I went ahead and wrote it the way I thought it should be written. (By the way, her, not his.)

    So my next contribution to the musical cause here, is my revised guesses as to The Long Lane CHORDS, with arthritis-friendly fingering diagrams for mandolin, guitar, and ukulele (view in browser, or click Download button to print PDF). Slightly different batch of chords than in my first video in this thread, because some of my earlier chords were starting to get on my nerves a little. They still might not be entirely right (my ear isn't good enough to know for sure), but anyway here's the MuseScore MIDI simulation of the new chords:

    (or link if the embedded MP3 player doesn't work for some reason)
  24. Frithjof
    Thanks for the nice comments above.

    Seems we all decided for the key of D. My midi accompaniment for practice purposes is similar like Jill’s in some places but includes occasionally an Am and Am7. And it changed during the last two weeks from time to time.
  25. Gelsenbury
    I like those chords, JL. There's something about this tune that sounds untypical for an Irish hornpipe, but I can't put my finger on it. Great tune, anyway!
  26. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Nice versions gentlemen!
    When I had seen the sheet music on the session, I had decided that those triplets are too difficult for me...
  27. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Your chords and the ones I suggested to Martin above seem to correspond closely, JL, and your G6 is my Em(7) - both use the same notes. Your pdf file is a useful addition to anyone looking for a working arrangement of this fine hornpipe. Interesting that we all seem to have used that Session notation with the G major key signature then all the C# accidentals!
  28. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    This is as far as I got with this today before my brain started to bleed. I bet this falls right under your fingers on a concertina or something. : )

  29. Frithjof
    Oh, Mike. I’m relieved that you turned off the camcorder before the bleeding started. I can’t see blood. You shouldn’t try these tunes without a nurse in your home. Additionally a defibrillator would be great.

    As you mentioned a concertina… I tried it on my English concertina… very carefully of course …and decided that it need a real concertina player… or a real something player!
  30. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Good triplets there, Mike. It is a cracking wee tune indeed.
  31. Gelsenbury
    As I said on your YouTube channel, Mike: Impressive playing of a difficult tune! For a work in progress, it's amazingly fluent.

    John, I must say I haven't found any other notation than the one on The Session (linked by Barbara) and now the one shared by JL in this thread. None of my usual sources has this tune. I've been looking because the version on The Session looks so messy. I may put it into MuseScore or Denemo myself to get a legible version on a single page.
  32. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Dennis: there is already a version on Musescore, which is the one I used. It's identical to the one of The Session (clearly just importing the ABC into Musescore), but looks less messy on the page. Plus, it's editable, for example if you want to get rid of the accidentals and put it actually into D major:


  33. Gelsenbury
    Thank you for mentioning that, Martin. I don't have a MuseScore online account because I'm only an occasional user of the desktop version. But I managed to import the ABC from The Session and put the score into D. Much tidier!

    There isn't actually a way of sharing PDFs here, is there?
  34. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Dennis: You can't attach files in the social groups, but there is a thread in the main forum for that very purpose:


    Post the file there and then copy and paste the link to the file here. You will notice that the last file posted to that thread is the MP3 of Long Lane that JL277z posted a few message up.

  35. Gelsenbury
    Thanks again Martin, so let's try this for a tidier PDF of the Long Lane in D: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...6&d=1611738917
  36. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    This one worked, Dennis!
  37. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Whew, I gotta catch up with ye all! Lovely versions everyone!
  38. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Finally got a chance to sit down and record this tune! Can you tell that it's very cold here?

  39. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Worth waiting for, Jill. Such fine. clean playing, and super triplet runs. Great tone too - the mandolin seems to like being in Ireland!
  40. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Cheers John! I was just after putting new strings on it yesterday - trying out some D'Addario monels, medium gauge, quite liking them!
  41. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Great to see and hear you posting again, Jill. You do look cold, but it doesn't seem to bother your playing or your mandolin's tone. Wonderful playing.
  42. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Great recording, Jill, and good to see you here! That is so much cleaner than mine, sounding entirely at ease while playing this tricky tune at full speed. That's how it should sound!

  43. Gelsenbury
    That's brilliant playing, Jill! You're playing the whole tune, not just its notes. A good example to follow.
  44. Frithjof
    Great picking, Jill. Not only you played the tune fast and clean but also brought in some little variations. Thanks for this recording.
  45. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Cheers everyone, you're too kind! One thing that I think helped learning this tune was that I had it going around in my head for ages before I got the chance to finally sit down and record - I'd be humming it while I was out in the paddock working and coming up with wee variations for it.
  46. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
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