Week #514 ~ Fort Smith Breakdown

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Oops! Late again!

    This weekís winner is Fort Smith Breakdown, which was suggested as an Old Time tune. Iím not familiar with the tune, and posting from my phone. Hopefully, one of our members can link to some notation and video!
  2. Simon DS
    Simon DS



    New and improved transcription of Dust Busters vid:

    T:Fort Smith Breakdown
    C:transcribed from ‘The Dust Busters’ by Simon DS
    |:gagd3 ef|g2d4 ef|gage dBAF|G2G4 ef|
    gage d2ef|g2 b4 ba|g2 gedB AF |1G2G4ef:|2[M:2/2]G2G2||
    [M:4/4]|e4e4B4G4|D2B,3A,B,A,G,4|e4e4B4G4|D2B,3A,B,A,(G,4| |[M:2/2]G,4)|
    |:GAGD3 EF|G2D4 EF|GAGE DB,A,B,|G,2G,4 EF|
    GAGE D2EF|G2 B4 BA|G2 GEDB, A,B,|1G,2G,4EF:|2[M:2/2]G,2G,2||
    [M:4/4]|e4e4B4G4|D2B,3A,B,A,G,4|e4e4B4G4|D2B,3A,B,A,(G,4| |[M:2/2]G,4)|

  3. OldSausage
    Things to watch for are:
    1. the last bar of the B-part is a half measure, so you need to watch the timing very carefully.
    2. The first time through the A part is played in the higher octave. The second time through (i.e. after the B part is played) the A part is played in the lower octave.
  4. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks, it’s funny I didn’t hear that as the octave down but another instrument. Will modify, should be ok by 30 jan 2020.

    Done it. I’m happy to change it if there are any other errors.
  5. OldSausage
    These versions might give people some more ideas too:

    it's hard to figure this one out until you've heard a few different versions.
  6. OldSausage
    Here's my version of Fort Smith Breakdown. I haven't done one of these for a while so I'm a bit rusty at the video production.

  7. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    That is some excellent picking at pro level David. Enjoyed it very much - each note was played clearly and precisely ..in awe....
  8. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    David - great work, and wonderful to hear your picking in the group again! There's absolutely no way that I could play that tune at anything like this speed, and doing it so cleanly and with so much energy is awesome.

  9. Gelsenbury
    Yes. How do you do it?
  10. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great to see you posting again, David. You have been missed! Only problem with this post is the height at which you have set the bar! Great playing.
  11. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Amazing David, well done!
    I really like the tone too, and I don’t normally have problems with MAS, but seeing the colour of your mandolin...
  12. OldSausage
    Thanks for the kind words everyone. I'm looking forward to your versions.
  13. Gelsenbury
    I'm trying, but I can't get to match the notation to what I hear in the videos with this one. It may be time to improve my skills in learning by ear.
  14. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Not sure if this is the actual tune, ha, ha, but it is certainly the hardest one Iíve tried so far...

  15. Frithjof
    Cool picking, Simon. Slides in both directions Ė I canít do that.

    OS plays like OldSausage. It's not rocket science Ė he is used to do that.
  16. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Frithjof, I hardly ever do slides so this was good practice, left fingers tripping over though, it’s the coordination between the left and the right hand on this one.
    I like the slow ones.
  17. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Simon - just a note to tick you off - if you hit reply on YT I get a notification and I can see it. If you post a separate comment I can't see it unless I'm back on that song's post. That song was really good by the way,...I think it sounds difficult. Well for me anyway. Working on some weird stuff right now, will post in a few weeks.
  18. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks, ok Ginny.
    You know you could probably practice with slide exercises, I’ve only recently started and I found it helps a lot, especially with moving accurately around the fretboard.
    About five minutes a day with each finger? (Hope you have a dishwasher, when I clean the dishes by hand, i have to wait a couple of hours).
  19. Gelsenbury
    I'm reinstating my contribution here, which happened during the installation of the new software and was subsequently lost during the much-appreciated rollback.

    Since I don't normally play much American music, this was a real challenge. The musical vocabulary is different. And, since I can't play fast, I was faced with a decision between slowing down the tune substantially or simplifying the melody in the A part, which has the most notes. I chose the second option because I really wanted to push myself to play faster than usual.

    As a consequence, I can now say that I played this just as fast as Old Sausage - in fact, the recording was created by playing the chords along with your video and then overdubbing the melody. So it's the same speed ... I just don't play it as well, and not all the notes!

    The mandolin is my Ibanez M510e because I thought this tune called for F-holes. The pick is a Hawk Tonebird, with a bevel that I think slightly helps the speed.
  20. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Dennis, I think that is really well played. !! This was so well done by so many players.
    Just out of my naivete, what is reason you thought this called for F holes..Is there a difference..like one style for some songs and another for different songs?
  21. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Oh, Ginny - you are awful! FIne picking, Simon and Dennis.

    Maybe Dennis chose f-hole because the tune is Bluegrassy/Old TIme, and that fellow Bill Monroe may have determined on what instrument such tunes should be played. More of a percussive chop on the f-hole, I think.
  22. OldSausage
    Yes, excellent Dennis, that's the exact right way to go!
  23. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    I changed it John..they're O holes right ? ..I have one of those on my octave. I should have known better. (although my initial thought was funnier)
  24. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Like an old Western movie, he’s on a cart with bottles and old tin cans rattling, the medicine man rolls into town accompanied by Dennis’s colourful version.
    I like this one a lot.
  25. Gelsenbury
    Thanks for the nice comments! This was a real trial for me, and I seem to have passed.

    Why F-holes? Well, many people say that oval holes have more sustain and F-holes have a more "piercing" sound, with more separation between the notes. I haven't played enough mandolins to know for sure, but I'd say that's true for my mandolins. I usually play an oval hole, which suits me because I often play slowly enough to make the sustain worthwhile. But the F-hole sound, to my ears, has advantages for tremolo, chords and, on this occasion, faster playing.
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