Week #126 ~ Seneca Square Dance

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Seneca Square Dance. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I'm able to make this announcement while tent camping in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, but would appreciate it if someone else could link to some ABC or notation!
  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Here is a link to he tune in tab and notation, Barbara. No doubt more will come in very soon too.

  3. avwdds
    Here is a nice straight forward version done on accordion accompanied by guitar. The melody is easy to follow and for those who want to do accompaniment, the guitar part might be helpful.
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Here is my version, recorded today on guitar, Vega tenor banjo and mandolin. Good tune, Barbara, and different from my usual diet of Scottish and Irish stuff. Thanks for this one.

  5. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    Here is an abc from Nigel.

    T:Seneca Square Dance
    T:Waiting for the Federals
    Z:Nigel Gatherer to CoMandoList TOW
    |:"G"B2 BA/B/|dB B/A/G|B2 d>B|"D7"A/B/A/G/ ED|!
    "G"B2 BA/B/|dB B/A/G|"D7"A/B/A/G/ EF|"G"G2 G2:|!
    |:"G"g2 g>e|dB2B/d/|g2 g/f/g/a/|"Em"b/ee/ e>f|!
    "C"g/a/b/a/ g>e|"G"d/g/e/d/ B/A/G|"D7"A/B/A/G/ EF|"G"G2 G2:|!
    |:"G"g2 g>e|dB2B/d/|g2 g/f/g/a/|"Em"b/ee/ e>f|!
    "C"gg/a/ g/f/e|"G"d/g/e/d/ B/A/G|"D7"A/B/A/G/ EF|"G"G2 G2:|!
  6. laura809
    John, I like the way you switched instruments in your video. I'm really starting to want a tenor banjo!

    Here is a link to some more notation options for Seneca Square Dance.
  7. mikeyes
    Also known as Georgia Boys. It was a favorite tune during the Civil War. As a matter of fact I will be playing this tune at a Civil War reenactment ball tonight.
  8. Marcelyn
    John, with your multiple instruments and all my multiple takes, I'll bet we were playing this through at the same time at least once this morning. You really know how to bring out the dance rhythm in a tune. Also, I love your combination of instruments. Those sound perfect together.

    Mikeyes, you've got to get someone to get that on video tonight. That would be great.

    Here's mine on a Newell flat top.
  9. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Really nice sound and playing, John.
    Marcy, you are such a hard act to follow on these tunes. Is this now your new mando?

    Mikeyes, thanks for mentioning Georgia Boys. I have played this tune for a while and would never have guessed it was the same tune as Seneca Square Dance, which I have been practicing in the Horne Intermediate book.

    I know that Georgia Boys is often played much faster.
    However, to me it sounds very melancholic and I like the slower tempo much better.
    Seneca Square Dance to follow soon
  10. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Manfred that was beautiful, good choice in arrangement and your mandolin sounds fantastic.

    Marcy very nice indeed.

    John you make me want to buy a banjo even though I know I can't play the damn thing.

    Here's my try on Waiting For The Federals on my usual arsenal.

  11. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great sound from the Hansen Band, David. And you don't seem to be afraid of the Federals ... everything sounds so relaxed.
  12. Marcelyn
    Excellent, Manfred and David.
    Manfred, I like the slow version too. I think it's just about the same tune as I'm playing. And that's my flat top mando from Keith. Nothing new around here to report.
    David, I'd be willing to place a hefty bet you would sound awesome on banjo. Really outstanding arrangement there.
  13. fsusubdad
    Nice job so far. Great tune too. Here's my attempt - I mostly based this on the Butch Baldassari version on "A Day in the Country". Skip Gorman has another cool version on "The Old Time Mandolin Vol I".


  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    What fine versions and variations from all so far, and thanks for positive feedback from fellow posters.
    Marcy, you are really getting lovely cascading runs there on that Newell mandolin. Very well-articulated playing.
    Manfred, your slow rendition is indeed very atmospheric and proves the point that a fast tune can be slowed down to create a whole new offering. Always harder to play slowly as every note comes under scrutiny!
    David, you consistently create little masterpieces. You would take to the banjo very easily I am sure and it gives the pinky a bit of a work-out too.
    Dan, some neat variations in your version.
    All round, a good offering for this song-of-the week choice.
  15. fsusubdad

    I've been interested in a tenor banjo myself. Is it tuned GDAE like a mando? I have a clawhammer banjo that a friend of mine put together....wonder if I could swap necks? Love the way it sounds for sure!

  16. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Hi Dan, my tenor is tuned GDAE which allows me to play it and the various mandolin family instruments I have without having to rethink fingering, other than that on the longer scales, bouzouki and to some extent my octave, I use my pinky more when playing melody. My Vega is a 19 fret and has an approximately 586mm scale length and my bouzouki has a 620mm scale.

    Not sure about swapping necks from one banjo to another, but I'm sure there are lots of well-informed folks here who will answer that one now, or you could try over on the tenor banjo group. I'd imagine it might be possible but pot diameters might vary and make the neck joint not have the correct radius to fit against the pot (?) Tenors are fun, and I'd recommend listening to the sounds Jill McAuley gets when she plays her Irish tunes - one of the reasons I decided I would like to try the tenor.
  17. Marcelyn
    I'll take the neck swapping question, Dan. Tenors and banjo mandolins with large pots and nice tone rings are often canabalized by clawhammer players, but I've never heard it going the other way around. All things being equal, a 5-string banjo is worth a lot more than a tenor, so your best bet is to trade it. But then again, clawhammer banjo is pretty cool in my opinion, so if you play at all, just hang on to it and snag a tenor to keep it company.
    Nice variations on this tune by the way. I've got to check out the CD you mentioned. I love Mandolin in the Cow Camp.
  18. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    I converted an old 5 string to 17 fret tenor. The five string was not worth much and had a warped neck. I bought a tenor neck off Ebay and adapted it. Works pretty well.
  19. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice Dan. Your playing follows the advice in the book I have learned it from: 'This tune has a march-like sound that doesn't need to go too fast' (Intermediate Mandolin, by Greg Horne)

    After practicing it much faster I read this advice and here is my stab at it:

  20. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Good job everyone! This was a fun one to learn, wasn't it?
  21. OldSausage
    Nice work everyone, I especially enjoyed David Hansen's version, you really do a great job. Here's a low-budget production from me:

  22. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Nice one David, it didn't seem low budget to me, sounds like your impeccable style of playing that has been missed in your absence, It's good to see you posting again.
  23. Marcelyn
    More great versions. Your so-called "low budget productions" are worth their weight in gold for both entertainment and instruction purposes, David, so thanks for sharing.

    Martin, your signature hammer ons are great for this one. I have a sneaking suspicion you might have suggested this civil war song, and if so, thanks, I love the old time sound and minor chords.

    Manfred, I agree it sounds great at prety much any tempo. That's another super arrangement.
  24. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Some stunning versions here, and very inspiring to listen to. I've been busy lately and not had a great deal of time, but I had a bash on my String Assisted Random Note Generator........

  25. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    It weren't me Marcelyn, but I was thrilled to find out it was a CW tune!
  26. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Tosh, that monster reminds me of that old E.F. Hutton commercial. "When the S.A.R.N.G. speaks, people listen!" I find it fascinating that even though it is as big as a guitar it retains its distinct mandolin tone.
  27. laura809
    Excellent job everyone. There is a nice amount of variation among all the posts, both in tempo and feel. My sheet music suggested 100 bpm, but that seemed rather slow for a tune with the word "dance" in the title. Marcelyn had a nice danceable feel. Manfred's posts were a nice example of how the mood changes with tempo. David, I love the full sound you get with all the instruments. I also enjoyed the effects that you used to change up your video. OS, even your low budget productions are amazing. Tosh, is that an octave mandolin? It was a nice variation from all the mandolin versions.

  28. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Some more great versions here, folks! Laura, loved your chordal playing there and Tosh, that's surely a bouzouki judging by the scale length? A very successful tune.
  29. Eddie Sheehy
    A mandocello, more like... Weber Gallatin?

    Great job everyone!
  30. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    This tune is really enjoyable to listen to -- especially all the fabulous versions above. From John Kelly to Laura everyone has done an outstanding job. Hopefully mine continues that trend....

  31. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Lots a fabulous versions indeed. This one is on the list, but not this week.
  32. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Laura, John, It is as Eddie says, a Weber Gallatin Mandocello, I haven't played it as much as I should have done so I had a bash here. Can see from the vid I need to work at lots of things but it was fun. I got a Macbook but it keeps crashing so I'm not very happy, especially at the cost of it......when technology works it's fine, but when it doesn't it's a case of Pass Me The Hammer Mama, There's A Fly On Papa's Head!!!!!!!!!!!!
  33. Marcelyn
    Tosh, if you don't uncage that beast more often, it may just get mad and eat one of your Shippey's for lunch.

    That's a nice and relaxed version, Michael. And the chords in yours sound great Laura. I'd like to learn that one.
  34. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Once again a cracking rendition and arrangement, Michael.
  35. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Geez, Michael, I really hate your guts. ;o)
  36. OldSausage
    Great job, Michael, that's a really nice arrangement.
  37. richardoxley2
    HI everyone I just got my new Resonator Octave Mandolin so I thought I would have a go at the Seneca Square dance on it I am nit used to it at all yet so I am not very good yet. I have TablEdit so I did my own arrangement hope you like it. Hopefully I will be a bit more used to it by next weeks tune of the week
  38. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Richard, went to have a listen but the video is marked as private. Can you adjust it in your YouTube account to make it accessible to us, please. Dying to hear this new instrument of yours.
  39. richardoxley2
    Sorry about that will do right now let me know if it works
  40. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    That's a very nice sounding octave mandolin, Richard. Can you tell us who the maker is? Nice performance too.

    Thanks everyone! It may seem relaxed, Marcelyn, but recording the hand slaps against my leg drove me up the wall. Old Sausage, I'll echo David's comment and say it's nice to hear your mandolin again. Martin, what can I say? Other than right back at you buddy!
  41. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    That is a powerful beastie you have there, Richard; great tone and clear notes across the board. Link working fine now and you certainly have a great instrument. All the best with it and looking forward to more from you.
  42. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Got lucky again this week and had one of Seneca Square Dance already out there.Tempted to do it again and see what the difference is over a year.
  43. richardoxley2
    Michael asked who made my mandolin it was custom made for me by a local Luthier Kif Wood here is his web site
  44. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice, Steve and Co., and so much more great stuff here from everyone, especially from OS and Michael.

    Steve I am envious of your smooth integration of rhythm and melody playing.
  45. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Thanks Manfred. That has been a goal of mine from the beginning, to sort of merge the rhythm and melody. It removes some of the more "notey" aspects of modern mandolin playing that I dislike, but also works to both support the fiddler in my old time band and to make sure the rhythm drives. Some tunes seem to lend themselves to it easily, and others are a struggle from the first note.
  46. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    That's an excellent job of 'merging the rhythm and melody' in a truly old time mandolin way. I could dance to that all night long -- if I knew how to dance that is! Good backup guitar too!
  47. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Thanks much Michael! We actually do a ton of contra dances here locally. Dawn had been playing for three months when we made that video and has come along considerably since then. She has a new guitar coming for Christmas--her first custom. A small bodied Archtop.
  48. avwdds
    Wow! You all get right to it and post these great renditions in just a couple of days! It took me nearly all week to muster up this attempt and with all the multi-instrumentalists out there I was inspired to use GarageBand for the first time and try to add a guitar track with this week's tune.

  49. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nice mix and I'd never guess it was a first try at multi-tracking. It's fun, isn't it! Your balance between backing track and lead mandolin is good - backing clearly there but not overpowering. Look forward to more from you.
  50. Marcelyn
    Lovely double stops, Aaron. That's a really good arrangement.

    Rick, cool resonator. I haven't gotten the chance to hear an octave resonator before. It sounds wonderful.

    Steve, great playing as always.
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