Annie Laurie

  1. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Today, I recorded one verse of this beautiful Scottish song to practice two things:
    -Playing in the third position(which I have until now only used if absolutely necessary)
    -The rest stroke(which after decades of picking freely still gives me headaches)
    But the melody of this song is nice, no matter where and how it's picked, so I made a little video to present the song here.
  2. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    True CC. This song is just plain beautiful no matter how you play it, and although is very nicely played.
  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Lovely delivery, Christian. Now you have a Scotsman's interest roused to have a go at this one. As Ginny says, it is a beautiful melody and the lyrics are also so beautiful. Watch this space!
  4. Michael Romkey
    Michael Romkey
    Lovely tune. What's a rest stroke? (Joke alert.)
  5. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I never understood the purpose of a rest stroke, and now I hear it for the first time. Great demonstration Christian.
    And I am accusing you of surreptitiously inserting a pic of the Wuppertal Schwebebahn among Scottish scenery pics!
  6. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Bertram said "And I am accusing you of surreptitiously inserting a pic of the Wuppertal Schwebebahn among Scottish scenery pics"! And here am I thinking that that railway was maybe Annie Laurie's local means of travel when she was meeting up with William Douglas! Or maybe he used it when he fled to the Low Countries after being on the losing side in the Jacobite Rebellion.
  7. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Thanks folks! Two questions open:
    -what is a reststroke?
    That's when your pick after hitting a note with a downstroke falls on the adjacent string, thus producing a fatter tone.
    You can see this kind of picking at 0:21 of this video:
    -Why the Wuppertal Schwebebahn in a video of Scottish music?
    In Wuppertal is the only place on earth where you can get a Master's degree in mandolin.
    The chief mandolin player now is Caterina Lichtenberg, but for a long time, it was Marga Wilden-Hüsgen.
    She wrote a mandolin method, where about 80% of the notes are played with a downstroke/reststroke.
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Christian's lovely version of Annie Laurie got me wanting to have a go at it too, so here is my version, coupling it with "Gin I were A Baron's Heir". For non-Scots, "Gin" is not the drink but the Scots for "If". I added harmony lines to both tunes on a second mandolin track and guitar chords. I played the first tune in C and the second in D for a bit of variety.

    The pictures are of the Lauder Memorial at Invernoaden near my home. Sir Harry Lauder, the famous Scottish entertainer, owned a large estate and mansion house around Invernoaden and Glenbranter, and the monument was erected by him in 1921 in memory of his son John, a captain in the local 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who was killed in action in December 1916.

  9. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    These are two lovely songs John, played as usual so well and with some excellent harmonies. I thought 'Gin" was referring to me. Drats.
  10. Frithjof
    Clean picking with rest strokes, Christian. I assume it’s not easy to change between rest stroke and tremolo.

    John, you added some nice harmony and accompaniment to both tunes.
  11. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Frithioff, you've got to practice the change between notes played with a slanted wrist and faster notes played with a perpendicular wrist a bit, but so you have to di with almost anything on the mandolin.
    John, fine version of Annie Laurie, I really like the harmony lines. Nice couple with Gin I were A Baron's Heir.
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Christian. It was your posting that gave me the inspiration to have a go. Another advantage of using the rest stroke is that it ensures that you actually pick both strings of the course. I was playing with a fiddler friend recently who had only been playing mandolin for a short while, and she was asking me about her picking, which she thought was not getting a good sound. I watched her play a tune and realised that she was only picking one of the strings rather than both in any course; this was because she was picking up and away from the soundboard on each stroke, so the pick was missing the second string. We managed to adjust her picking action by getting her to play through towards the next course, keeping the pick movement flat across the strings - the rest stroke!
  13. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Nice and frilly polyphonics there, John. You must do a fugue next

    Ginny, "gin" is Scots for "if". So referring to you with that would mean your real name was "Iffy" - none of us would ever do that
  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Oh Bertram, I might find that too confugueing to play! Thanks for your comment and I am sure that Ginny will know that none of us would ever think of her as "Iffy".
  15. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Great recordings, Christian and John (and yes, I also noticed the Wuppertal Schwebebahn, one of the world's more unusual means of local transport). I came up with my own version, which turned out to be quite different from either of yours. I'm playing this as a duet of mandolin and tenor guitar, alternating melody and harmony. Harmony part found on Musescore, which I have wedded to a chord selection from a different source. Seemed to work OK!

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar (x2)

  16. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Interesting blend of different arrangements in this one, Martin, and the overall effect works well.
  17. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Very colourfull arrangement, Martin. I like the two tenors.
  18. Frithjof
    The different harmony changes the mood of the song a little but works great. Well done, Martin.
  19. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John, Christian and Frithjof. The harmonies are actually exactly the same in all three verses, but they're played on tenor guitar in the first and third verse and on mandolin (to a tenor guitar melody) in the second.

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