Week #155 ~ The Maid Behind the Bar

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's tune is The Maid Behind the Bar, which is an Irish Traditional tune.

    Here is a video of the late Barney McKenna of the Dubliners on a tenor banjo:

    Here is a link to the tune on thesession.org

    Here is the ABC from that site:

    X: 1
    T: Maid Behind The Bar, The
    M: 4/4
    L: 1/8
    R: reel
    K: Dmaj
    |:FAAB AFED|FAAB ABde|fBBA Bcde|fBBA BcdA|
    |:faab afde|fdad fd d2|efga beef|gebe gfeg|
    fgaf bfaf|defd e2 de|fBBA BcdB|AFEF D4:|

    Here is a link to some TAB with a video

    Here is a video of 'our own' Mike Keyes doing it on a tenor banjo...

    This tune begs to be in a medley, as most videos I found on You Tube were medleys. Here's a nice one with mandolin..

    Here are some foot stomping young'uns playing fiddles...

  2. peddyrmac
    I will be first this week as I nominated the tune and learnt it last weekend as a tribute to the late, great Barney McKenna. I recorded it earlier today after seeing the landslide victory my nomination was having. I think I have a suspectly tuned a-string here though...

    OldSausage, I have tried to follow your advice re sitting and mandolin position. Looking at the video I can see I am not quite there yet, but I'm trying.
  3. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice peddyrmac. Good speed and clean picking. Thanks for the demonstration.
  4. OldSausage
    That's pretty cool Peddyr. Your position looks good to me, especially once you moved into the speedy part of the tune, the mando neck is good and steady, and your picking certainly sounds nice and clean - that's an inspiring performance.
  5. jonny250
    well played peddyrmac. that sounded great.
  6. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    We love two-speed renditions, peddyrmac. They show so many sides of the same tune.

    Congrats on being the first one - this week, but I, anticipating your victory, recorded mine in advance almost exactly one year ago
    As Barb said, this is typically played in a set with other tunes; here goes combined with Cooley's Reel.

  7. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Excellent playing Peddyrmac, you certainly got it up to speed quickly. I already knew this piece, so here it is.
  8. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    I'm still on my mandolin/octave mandolin duet kick, so here's The Maid Behind The Bar.

  9. OldSausage
    Beautiful, duet-iful
  10. GKWilson
    Sounds like everyone is having fun with this one.
    I actually had a little time to start learning this one today.
    David. O.S. is right. Your duet-iful is So-Bellutiful.
  11. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    This has been on my "to learn" list for a while. What a great tune, and everyone got into the spirit of it so well. This is a nice tribute to Mr. McKenna.
  12. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    David, I love the sound of mando family instruments playing together, and your Sobells sound magnificent together. Beautiful indeed. Always enjoy your playing, Bertram. Nicely done, maudlin and peddyrmac.
  13. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    David is on to something. I had this lively effect of OM melody with mandolin topping in early recordings of mine but never paid too much systematic attention to it then. I'll have to think about this. Apparently, the high register of the mandolin creates a perception of augmented hearing, like an old deaf man is suddenly feeling young again after having his forgotten cotton swabs surgically removed from his ears.

    There's another thing David is on to: during the first A part, I listened to the terrifyingly simple single-chord accompaniment and thought "David you can do better than that", when during the first B part and all the following the chords got more and more interesting and complex. I'll call that "creativity dynamics". It adds drama of Hollywood plot size to a small musical video.
  14. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Ah Bertram you're on to my tricks, indeed the single chord during the A part provides tension and hopefully a dynamic release when you get to the B part. It's difficult sometimes to make accompaniment sound interesting. Sometimes I endeavor to amuse myself.
  15. peddyrmac
    Thanks for the compliments y'all. I have purchased a tenor banjo as (hopefully) a more lasting tribute to Messr McKenna. It was dispatched on Wednesday last. I expect to have it tomorrow...so maybe a tenor rendition of this tune by Friday if I can get to grips with the beast.
  16. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
  17. peddyrmac
    good work Neil. Some nice variations in there...and some smiles to camera. I haven't mastered that bit yet
  18. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Cheers; the main variation i lifted from the dubliners version of that and toss the feathers.
  19. jonny250
    well played guys! Neil i like what your doing in the second part of the tune.
    I have had a real struggle with the 2nd part.
    here is my attempt:
  20. jonny250
    peddyrmac how will you tune the tenor banjo? can you use mandolin tuning?
  21. OldSausage
    Good job j250 - that B part is a tricky one.
  22. peddyrmac
    hi j250. Nothing wrong with that B part...and you can use your pinky, which is one more finger than I can use. Yes, I got the tenor today and love it already. It is set up to play GDAE, so (in theory) I should be able to play it already!
  23. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Lots of good and interesting versions once again. The SAW group always comes up with great offerings and this was yet another. Congratulations to all the posters so far. I took a while to get banjo and tenor guitar synchronised reasonably in the multi-tracking, so here is my belated version, with bouzouki backing.

  24. OldSausage
    Excellent, love the wiry old banjo sound you get there John. Here's my go, just a quick one.

  25. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great sound and playing, OS. love the ornamentations you get in with the pull-offs/hammer-ons.
  26. laura809
    John, I enjoyed hearing the tune with some other instruments. OS, that was a really creative and interesting backing track. It made your version very dynamic.
  27. fatt-dad
    I like this week's tune and am working on it behind the scenes. Dang pinky tune though. . .

  28. Francis J
    Francis J
    Some great versions of Maid behind the bar there folks. Well after some very frustrating days of experimentation with trial versions of video editing software, none of which I found helpful in any way, I reverted to Windows movie maker. Having first recorded the track on a Zoom recorder with Bouzouki backing I wanted to play mandolin on camera and then sync the video and audio. A very fiddly operation indeed!
    Anyhow this is the result, which is out of sync, and has other video issues as well, but if you can look away while it's playing you will get the feel of it!!! I'm tired now!!

  29. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Sync seems to be OK in most parts FrancisJ, and there's lots of nice variations, especially in the B part. It all feels very natural and easy!
  30. jonny250
    Very nice john, os & Francis!
    Os you make it look easy lol

    Francis i recently got the powerdirector 10 video editor and have found it pretty good. However windows movie maker is pretty good for what it does for free!
  31. Francis J
    Francis J
    Thanks Bertram and Jonny250, that's a tune I've played many times before, and yet the camera seems to introduce a bit of unhealthy tension. Jonny, i just seem to struggle with complex software, and powerdirector was one of the ones I tried! Excellent software, but too many options/complexities for me I'm afraid.
  32. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    John, great version with the Banjo, and lovely images as always! OS, I was hoping you'd come up with a version like that, look forward to trying to learn a bit of the ornamentation from it; Francis, I can sympathise with your moviemaking issues - every single time I record a SAW tune, I enjoy the learning and the playing, but the video recording and syncing just seems like a chore; but your version sounds great, and to tell you the truth, I often don't really watch the videos but more listen to them.
  33. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Francis, you go about it in the same way as I generally do when recording myself playing - i.e. record a good audio track then film the playing part while using the audio to play along to. The software I use is Sony Vegas Movie Studio and I line up the video (with its audio track) with the master audio I made first. By zooming in to the tracks you can see just where the sound on each starts and get this lined up, then delete the video's audio. It is tricky to get spot-on and is one reason why I regularly use scenic stuff, either still or video, as a background to my efforts.
    You have done a very commendable job here and the overall effect is very good, as is the playing and backing. I too find, as so many of us do, that as soon as the wee red light comes on on that camera the playing begins to slip and errors we did not make in all the rehearsals begin to appear.
  34. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Yes that's something that I love about the SAW, the fact that it's getting me in the habit of recording every week, and gradually the difference between my playing with the red light on and off is shrinking (though it's still significant), however, it's not as large as the difference between playing in a room by myself and playing in front of someone who asks you to play a tune for them and is listening intentively imo!
  35. OldSausage
    I agree Neil - in fact, I often find it more intimidating to play for just one or two people than I do for an audience of hundreds.
  36. Francis J
    Francis J
    John, thanks for the kind comments, I'm going to have a look at the Sony Vegas software and give it a go. OS, how true that is about a small audience, you feel like every breath is analysed! Neil, you seem to be one of the most consistent posters here, and continuously impressive, and I agree, the SAW does help to encourage practising!
  37. laura809
    The B section on this one drove me crazy. My fingers are sore.
  38. nanaimo
    Sounded great to me Laura!
  39. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    No craziness detected here, Laura, all nice and solid. I can understand all those who curse the B part for its pinkiness, though (I have found my own solution for that, as you can see).
  40. laura809
    Don't let the video fool you. I think I did about 100 takes.
  41. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A very competent effort there, Laura. Pinky reaching well for the high Bs too.
  42. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Sounding great, laura, and don't worry, that's still about 50 takes less than I normally need !
  43. OldSausage
    Good job Laura, sounding very cool.
  44. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Wow! So many great performances this week. Have you noticed how many of these tunes have a fairly easy A part followed by a %#&** of a B part? Here's my version. It's my old Kentucky mandolin and the usual suspects are providing the back up. (Hmm, and they all look quite a lot like me too! )

  45. nanaimo
    A fine job as usual Michael! As a newbie, i have been watching how you all hold your pick...seems to be a fair difference.
  46. OldSausage
    That's a good solid groove and a very cool arrangement. I must say your sidemen really work hard for you
  47. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nanaimo: there's been a lot of discussion about pick holdin' here at the SAW. I've noticed that lately my grip on the pic has been really light and loose. It's probably all of the delicate and pretty songs that I've been trying to play lately. If I play bluegrass, however, I'll clasp the pick a little more firmly with a different grip.

    Thanks David! Talking about sidemen, yours do a mighty fine job of holding the tune down too!
  48. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Yet another cracker, Michael. Another thing about our usual sidemen - they are really cheap to hire!
  49. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    What a bouncy version Michael, tiptoeing over wet grass on a sunny morning in May. I picture Dorothy and her sidemen the lion, the tin man and the scarecrow...
  50. peddyrmac
    Sooo....got me a new tenor banjo on Monday on a whim. I had never even held or played one before, but spurred on my my mandolin development and watching lots of Barney McKenna, I (easily) pesuaded myself to invest in a new toy. Here's my first effort.

    My initial observations are that contrary to my expectations the left hand stretch is easily compensated compared to mandolin (I bought a 17 fret), but the right hand is very difficult to get right due ot the volume and the slack strings. I am enjoying it though and it's a nice change to the mandolin

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