The Tip-Top Polka (The Bacup or Britannia Coconut Dance)

  1. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Here an optimistic, carefree little tune!
    I hope very much that you guys enjoy this one!!
    (More banjo content)

    -oh no!!!
    Isn’t this the tune from the crazy 1920’s? With men too drunk to walk, let alone dance and women wearing bras made from coconuts?!

    Yep, I thought it sounded familiar!
    The Rochdale Coconut Dance…

    This is why I should do my research before posting!
  2. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Is it familiar because of the coconut under garments? It IS a cool, bouncy little tune and once again the banjo lets the melody come through.
  3. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Ginny though as you probably noticed, I messed up the recording at the end just before uploading to YT so I had to replace it with the new version, lost your nice comment, sorry, very chaotic at the moment…
  4. JL277z
    Fun tune!

    You play it very nicely, Simon, and with great danceable rhythm built right into your playing.
  5. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Jess, yes I’ve stopped using a click track for some recordings which makes the whole recording process more relaxing/bouncy.
    -if I make a mistake in the rhythm (measure too long or short, mainly due to a complicated right hand flow) then I just keep going!
  6. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice infectious little tune!
  7. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    A toe-tapper for sure. Nicely done even if you did sneak the banjo in there.
  8. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Michael and Don, I’ve been humming this tune all night, in my sleep even.
    Now I want to inoculate myself with some cool improv or harmony…
    I’m wondering if it would help to spend more time listening to and playing along with these recordings to get some sort of melodic distance?
  9. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nice one, Simon. I read the article you put the link to and I now understand the short and repetitive nature of the tune, played endlessly as the dancers processed along the road, and it would very quickly get locked into their heads. It certainly has in my case and I am not even dancing.

    Re improvising, I work along with the chord patterns, building phrases that work with the particular chord, Michael P has an interesting comment on his Sweet Georgia Brown thread where he talks of building and learning his soloing passages, so a great deal of work goes into what appears to us as a lovely, fluid piece of improvising.
  10. bbcee
    Forget sneaking the banjo in - did you do the basketball live, or as an overdub? You're turning into a serious one-man band, Simon!

    Great tempo on this one, and it's probably going to replace the Styx song in my head that's been torturing me for days, so I'm very happy! Thanks for posting.
  11. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Tiptop, Simon!
  12. JL277z
    Simon wrote: "Rochdale Coconut Dance"

    My try is a medley of the key-of-C setting *and* the key-of-G setting of Rochdale Coconut Dance from yet another similar TuneArch page. I used a jazz backing track in iRealPro (phone app). I figured the bouncy backing would help me lock in to a slower rhythm more naturally, so I could practice the melody better, without speeding up too soon like I often do. My oddball chord choices are probably half wrong, although I can't really tell. I didn't notice the string buzz *while* playing mandolin, but it's noticeable in the recording (not the mandolin's fault). Anyway, fun tune to play!

    (or direct link)

    Incidentally, I wouldn't be able to play all those weird and unnecessarily exotic chord changes on a standard guitar, but I do alright with such chords on baritone uke (only 4 strings, yay!) where it's actually kinda fun to experiment with (privately - I wouldn't do it in a public session or jam). Standard guitar chord diagrams can be quick reminders of baritone uke chords as well (same top four strings, DGBE, well at least the way mine is tuned), although even there I often play simpler chord fingerings (even of fancy chords) to be more arthritis-friendly.

    - Jess
  13. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Very exotic, nice Jess!

    I’ve just realised that even though they played the Rochdale coconut dance in the town of Bacup, The Bacup, which they play with coconuts, is not the same tune!
    (I think I got that from thesession)

    (Number 20031 here)

    T:Tip Top Polka
    Z:Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook 2021 (see Creative Commons cc by-nc-sa licenced.
    Bc|"G"d2d2"D"dedc|"G"B2B2 B2GA|B2B2 B2d2|"D"AGAB A2A2|"C"c2c2 cdcB|"Am"A2A2 A3G|"D7"FGAB cdef|"G"g2g2 g2:|
    |:ef|"C"g2e2 edef|"G"g2d2 d2GA|B2(3BcB A2G2|"D7"e2d2 d2ef|"C"g2e2 edef|"G"g2d2 d2G2|"D7"FGAB cdef|"G"g2g2 g2:|
  14. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks John, Bruce and Christian, yes the impro is yet another thing to practice, though I still have at least 150 other tunes printed out and ready to be ‘finished off’ for recording.

    And then yesterday I found another Tip-Top type sugary little tune, can’t get that out of my head now!!
  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Interesting arrangement, Jess. Using the ready-made backing track has certainly been of use to you in this one as far as keeping your rhythm steady.
  16. JL277z
    Thanks Simon and John!

    Simon wrote: "I've just realised that even though they played the Rochdale coconut dance in the town of Bacup, The Bacup, which they play with coconuts, is not the same tune!"

    Ah that explains it then! I hadn't noticed a similarity upon first impressions, but I figured it was probably there and I'd just missed it somehow.

    Thanks for that link. It has both tunes (Rochdale Coconut Dance on page 143, and Tip Top Polka on page 176), so I put them side-by-side in two different windows (on my computer screen) to compare them. Yep you're right, two different tunes.
  17. JL277z
    For those who are mystified by ABC or would like a little help with standard notation, below is mandolin tab and basic guitar accompaniment tab for Tip Top Polka. Based on the melody and chords in Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook that Simon linked to earlier. Two formats:
    1. Printable PDF.
    2. Tef format, for playback in TablEdit or TEFview apps.

    - Jess
  18. Gelsenbury
    Simon, your inner metronome is obviously so well trained by now that you don't need the click track any more. Your playing sounds rhythmic and in perfect time to me.
  19. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Dennis, but on the contrary I will always need my metronome!
    Sometimes, especially if I go outside to new surroundings it puts my timing out and especially if I don't stand on level ground or I have to sit on the log in an awkward position, or have helicopters flying around my head. I can actually tell if my timing isn't going to be as good as usual because if I move my arms from left to right a little bit I can feel whether the flow of my body is ‘at one’.

    If I play without a metronome my inner metronome Will occasionally say to me, oh you're sliding forward a little bit too much, For example.
    If there is a metronome running at that time I have learnt how to slowdown evenly in order to get back onto the beat. What's nice about this internal clock is that if I listen to someone who plays very freely (!) Then I can remember where they speed up and slow down in each measure in the A part and the B part. In that way I can slow down or speed up slightly beforehand and give the impression that the timing is ‘perfect‘. It reminds me of when you make some sort of compositional mistake while drawing, and then start putting in added features to balance out the drawing.
    -but now it’s so good to play without a metronome!

    (and there are some uses of the metronome which I think are actually counter-productive)

    I was listening to a MIDI file this morning, and remembering how as a beginner it really helped me to remember the tune and the fretboard and the mechanical flow. At the same time it made my rhythm very mechanical, but I guess at the time you can't have everything.
  20. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Fine playing, Jess! The swing ryrhm and the walking bass have been a good choice.
  21. JL277z
    Thanks Christian! It turns out that (as with other backing apps) iRealPro MIDI can be opened in MuseScore (or TablEdit or TEFview etc) to see the standard notation and tab for each 'instrument' in the backing track. This particular bass line doesn't look too difficult, so I think I'll try to play it.

    - Jess
  22. Frithjof
    Thanks for your recording, Simon and Jess.

    Thanks, Jess, for the hint to open an iRealPro MIDI with TEFview. It may help in some cases.
  23. JL277z
    Frithjof, thanks! The main thing I need to remember when contemplating learning notes from a midi is to be careful when choosing one. Many are too repetitive, whereas others seem a bit more inspiring.

    - Jess
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