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Thread: Pick direction in Tarantellas

  1. #1
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
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    Default Pick direction in Tarantellas

    As the Tarantella is 6/8, is it traditionally picked DUD DUD, like a jig?

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    I am interested in the answer to this too, I am pretty sure I am doing jig picking when I play one.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas


  4. #4

    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Same thing for me.
    I guess I used DUD DUD when I played the Wedding Tarantella.
    In the Ranieri method, triplets are taught this way. (Page 33 of Volume 2)

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    DUD DUD for me too, but I try to avoid turning tarantella into a jig. John La Barbera in his book Italian Folk Music for Mandolin and Fiddle notates them mostly as DUD DUD, but occasionally as DDU DDU as well.

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by jeho2a View Post
    DUD DUD for me too, but I try to avoid turning tarantella into a jig. John La Barbera in his book Italian Folk Music for Mandolin and Fiddle notates them mostly as DUD DUD, but occasionally as DDU DDU as well.
    Me too, but there are times when I will just use straight alternate picking...depends how fast they band play the tune.

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    There is almost nothing that cannot be played with (mainly) alternate picking.

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  12. #8

    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    I alternate pick Tarantellas. I find that I can't get the tempo up to where it needs to be if I jig pick it. I also think the triplet feel of the music is a bit more even than a jig.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by Billslovin View Post
    I alternate pick Tarantellas. I find that I can't get the tempo up to where it needs to be if I jig pick it. I also think the triplet feel of the music is a bit more even than a jig.
    Even though I said I used other picking, when I think about it most of the time I'm mixing alternate picking and some Gypsy/economy picking on tarantella.

    Like these guys:





    This guy uses the DDU in the intro - but not when he plays the melody:


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    JL277z 

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Like these guys:
    I really like the first one of those; i spent ages learning it from the Youtube movie. I wouldn't recommend the flying finger fretting style, though!

  17. #11

    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Coming from a bluegrass/fiddle tune background, the idea of economy picking seems pretty bizarre, but I'm going to explore that and see if I can make it work.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by Billslovin View Post
    Coming from a bluegrass/fiddle tune background, the idea of economy picking seems pretty bizarre, but I'm going to explore that and see if I can make it work.
    The Gypsy jazz guys swear by it.

  19. #13

    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    The Gypsy jazz guys swear by it.
    I realized that I already know some of this from some of the classical work I've done. Many of the Calace arpeggio studies use d-d-u or u-u-d.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by Billslovin View Post
    I realized that I already know some of this from some of the classical work I've done. Many of the Calace arpeggio studies use d-d-u or u-u-d.
    What the Gypsy jazz guys do is keep as many downstrokes as possible when changing to a thinner string. So economy picking would use that D D U (two downstrokes in a row and an upstroke), but the first downstroke would be on say the 3rd string and the next downstoke is a continuation on the 2nd string - a single motion much like sweep picking.

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    I played the Wedding Tarantella again last night -we are playing it at a wedding in a few weeks- and realised that my pick direction is all over the place, and changes with the pulse of the song in each section. People seem to like the way it sounds, so for the moment I am not going to try and analyse what I do, maybe after the wedding.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by jeho2a View Post
    John La Barbera in his book Italian Folk Music for Mandolin and Fiddle notates them mostly as DUD DUD, but occasionally as DDU DDU as well.
    +1 -- John T. La Barbera has done a deep study of the style, and spent years in southern Italy learning. He has devoted two pages of the above book to stylistic picking patterns.
    www.augustwatters.net
    Exploring Classical Mandolin - available on Berklee Press
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  26. #17
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    In my lessons with Giovanni Vicari, he insisted when ever you move to a new string, you start with a down stroke. He was old school Italian. He would try to keep phrases on one string when possible, not jumping to the open string and back, instead fretting the 7th fret. That way you can keep a steady DUDU picking.
    I don't "Jig pick" a Tarantella, I try to keep a fluid line. It does mean the picking pattern will change when changing strings. I think this is where David is coming from. Picking patterns are not always one way or another. The pattern will change, depending on when the phrase moves to another string. Maybe this is where Jeremy is finding himself.
    I will admit that later when I got into playing fiddle tunes, I used the traditional pattern of a steady alternate picking with more open strings. It just sounds right. It took some adjustment, tho.
    Now, I'm stuck in between the 2 schools.

    Joe B

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopops View Post
    In my lessons with Giovanni Vicari, he insisted when ever you move to a new string, you start with a down stroke. He was old school Italian. He would try to keep phrases on one string when possible, not jumping to the open string and back, instead fretting the 7th fret. That way you can keep a steady DUDU picking.
    I don't "Jig pick" a Tarantella, I try to keep a fluid line. It does mean the picking pattern will change when changing strings. I think this is where David is coming from.
    Knowing when to play the DDU or other patterns and when to use economy picking - well, I'm still working on it!

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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    It's probably obvious anyway, but I would say that it's better to have a systematic approach than not to, and that it matters less what the method actually is (as long as it makes some sense, of course).

    I prefer the DUD DUD approach myself, mainly because I have been playing jigs for years and am practised in picking like that quickly and smoothly, all that's needed is to make sure to even out the notes in each triplet. But I wouldn't strongly press the case for it, as I can see that it would make sense for someone else to use a different approach.

    John Barbera's approach, described in his book Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes, is DUD for triplets, except for two cases:

    1. DDU when crossing strings (downstroke on the new string),
    2. D-U when there's a slur into the second note: e.g., Downstroke hammering onto second note followed by upstroke for third note


    I find that I do the first of these, but I do D-D in the second instance.

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  31. #20
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pick direction in Tarantellas

    I agree with jeho2a, I find it helpful "to have a systemic approach", as a starting point. It should not be a cage, don't feel locked into using it every time, in every situation. Exceptions prove the rule.
    I remember reading an interview with Jazz Pianist, Keith Jarrett, about this this same subject. He was saying, from a Piano point of view, sometimes he uses different fingerings that break from the norm.
    Joe B

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