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Thread: What's your new fiddle tune?

  1. #1776

    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Boston Boy

  2. #1777
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Off to California
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  3. #1778

    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglocelt View Post
    The new fiddle tune I would like to learn is the crooked version of Flowers of Edinburgh as played by Bruce Molsky. Does anyone know where I can find the notation?
    My try at transcribing that tune, based on listening to it at half-speed. No guarantees of accuracy! The notes with big question-marks over them, are notes that I wasn't quite sure what they were - some of the question-mark notes might be wrong.

    But I *am* certain that the *timing* is correct, and yeah it's a "crooked" tune alright, for instance the tune's first part has 9 bars instead of the usual 8.

    Mandolin tab & standard notation for what I'm hearing in the Bruce Molsky version of Flowers of Edinburgh:

    1. Printable PDF:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2. TablEdit .tef file for playback in TablEdit and TEFview:
    flowers-of-edinburgh.tef

    That's about as good as I can do with that.

    If someone else would like to improve/correct those files or redo/rewrite them to make them more presentable, that would be great. Also, maybe someone could make a proper compatible mandolin version, as my transcription is just the fiddle notes which might or might not be 100-percent suitable for mandolin (especially if trying to play at warp speed). I would have added a guitar backing part to the TablEdit .tef file but I'm not sure what chords the Bruce Molsky band is using - it would be a nice improvement if someone could figure out all those chords and add them to the notation.

    References:


    ---
    Edited to add:
    My transcription is of the first minute and a half or so of the tune, it's both the A & B parts, twice each with what seemed to me like some slight variations (duly notated) the 2nd time. However I didn't get to the stuff they play towards the end of the recording, don't know if it's different or not.
    Last edited by JL277z; Apr-30-2018 at 6:55am.

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  5. #1779
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Cedar Hill

  6. #1780
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Quote Originally Posted by JL277z View Post
    My try at transcribing that tune, based on listening to it at half-speed. No guarantees of accuracy!
    Bruce learned that version of the tune from Art Galbraith. You can listen to the original version here. I think Bruce's version might be a bit different and probably more regularized.

    Thanks and a good try, JL277z (what is your name, anyway?). Frankly, I find it very difficult to learn a tune like that from the dots. You have to live with the crookedness for awhile. If someone played it at an old time jam I can follow after a few rounds, but I really have to pay along with the recording a bunch of times to get it in my head. The dots are helpful to me but not for a tune like this. For me, ear playing is the only way to go.
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  8. #1781

    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Bruce learned that version of the tune from Art Galbraith. You can listen to the original version here. I think Bruce's version might be a bit different and probably more regularized. ...
    Thanks Jim. That Art Galbraith version does seem a bit different alright.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    ... Frankly, I find it very difficult to learn a tune like that from the dots. You have to live with the crookedness for awhile. ...
    I like both. One or the other by themselves, is difficult. Both together, easier. For me anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    ... If someone played it at an old time jam I can follow after a few rounds, ...
    That's fast! Crooked tunes really throw me for a loop, I get so confused by trying to understand the rhythm, that I can't focus very well on the melody.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    ... but I really have to pay along with the recording a bunch of times to get it in my head. ...
    Same here, for normal tunes. (I'm a slow learner nowadays.) For crooked tunes, the process takes even longer. On this particular tune, I didn't even try to get the tune in my head first (might have taken months), I just figured I'd learn as I went along with the 8-note-at-a-time half-speed loops in Audacity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    ... The dots are helpful to me but not for a tune like this. For me, ear playing is the only way to go.
    Usually, the only way I can make any sense of 'crooked' tunes is to first chart out the basic rhythm (with a super-simplified melody line to keep track of where I'm at in the tune), figure out where the main beats are, I try to figure out where I think would be the most-likely place to put the barlines (same thing IMO, determines where the main beats are).

    I can understand rhythm better when I can see/visualize it - basically the same as a graph in math class - there's time on the x-axis, and pitch on the y-axis (that's really all that standard music notation is anyway, IMO, just a specialized graph). Makes it easier to understand the rhythmic flow of the tune.

    After determining the basic rhythm, then I go back and try to hear what all of the melody notes are. Sometimes I just play along on an instrument, other times if there are tricky passages that are completely puzzling I might try to write down some/all of the notes I'm hearing.

    When I was first starting out on fiddle and banjo years ago, I wanted literally *every* note I played to be *exactly* the same as my mentors' notes were. I got to a point where I did a lot of precise note-for-note transcribing of fiddle and banjo tunes to try to get the exact same sound in my own playing. That was ok to start with, it's a good foundation I guess, gotta start somewhere. But after a long time of that (years), I found myself making my own little impromptu variations on the tunes, so eventually I would just try to get the general idea of a tune, rather than a precise note-for-note copy of someone else's playing. That's been many years ago, and I'm obviously now very out-of-practice in transcribing stuff.

    There are some tunes (songs actually, not fiddle dance-tunes) where the 'crookedness' is more subtle and might not even be noticeable at first, but eventually it will become apparent when I tap my feet to the tune and keep getting 'lost' and having to reinitiate the foot-tapping sequence partway through the tune - that shouldn't happen in a non-crooked tune (my foot-tapping tends to be pretty rock solid, it's probably my best musical attribute). An example of such a subtle time-weirdness is the Zupfgeigenhansel German folk song "Und in dem Schneegebirge" which I was listening to a few years ago - after a while I noticed I kept 'losing' the beat partway through the tune - what on earth? So I set about to write down the tune, to try to figure out what was going on with the rhythm. Discovered that one part of the song had one measure that consistently had only 2 beats in it, whereas all the rest of the song had 3 beats per measure (my attempt at notation is shown here at 0:07-0:15, and 0:31-0:39, and 0:55-1:03, and 1:19-1:28)... ok that explains the 'missing' beats, they actually *were* missing!

    Anyway, back to the topic here, my attempt at creating a Bruce Molsky Flowers Of Edinburgh sheet music presented additional challenges for me because I was having trouble determining the *pitch* of quite a few of the notes, a few of them seemed almost like quarter-tones or non-12TET or something, plus the other instruments in the mix made it hard to isolate the fiddle sound. Perhaps the fact that I was using Audacity's half-speed feature might have had something to do with that (I ordinarily use both the non-pitch-shifted version *and* the octave-lower version that I actually prefer), but I've been told that there are better tools for slowing down music. I imagine it would probably be a lot easier to transcribe that tune if one had access to a fiddle-only track, without the other instruments. I've never been very good at isolating individual sounds from prominent background noises, or in this case when there are several instruments, so my difficulty in determining some of the notes might just be the limitations of my own now-elderly ears.

    In any case, it's quite a lovely tune the way Molsky plays it, although I think if I were to actually learn to play it I'd revert it back to a non-crooked version... I'm old and set in my ways, grew up with 'normal' 8-bar (16-bar) dance music, and anything else is probably something I will never quite entirely 'get used to'.

    The one-and-only instance of a 'crooked' fiddle tune I ever encountered as a kid, was a version of some tune that my dad played, he put in a few extra beats even though no one else we knew did, so when playing backup for him we always had to remember to put in those extra beats on that particular tune, otherwise we'd get out-of-sync with his playing. When I got a little older (teenager) and thought I knew everything (lol!), I tried to get him to play that tune 'normal' but he had no interest in doing that, he liked his version, he didn't see anything unusual about it and he didn't want to change it. I was never able to determine if that's the way he had actually learned the tune (he'd learned most of his music down in Texas in the late 1920s and 1930s), or if he'd just somehow inadvertently added the extra beats over years of playing it. That was one of those fiddle tunes that actually *did* have lyrics, which he sometimes liked to sing while playing, and I've noticed that singers seem a lot more likely to enjoy tampering with the rhythm of tunes (adding extra notes, deleting notes, slowing down, speeding up, just generally messing with the rhythm). I guess for songs that's ok, maybe even a good thing sometimes, but not so good for dance music unless there's a specific dance that actually accomodates those timing differences.

  9. #1782
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Thank you so much JL277z for posting that notation; greatly appreciated. I am so used to playing the regular version of Flowers of Edinburgh in sessions I had great difficulty picking up the crooked version by ear. I will now be able to bamboozle/ annoy other sessioners with it. I might even be able to get away with playing it in Edinburgh sessions where, I understand, they are so sick of the original they demand dark forfeits from anyone caught playing it.

    Kevin
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    "Off to California" is a fun one I am enjoying.
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  12. #1784
    Still Picking and Sawing Jack Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Pulaski Guards' Reel.
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    Is it a tune about one of these?
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    Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
    --William Shakespeare

  13. #1785
    Still Picking and Sawing Jack Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Lamplighter's Hornpipe. p. 185 of Ryan's Mammoth, p. 17 of Mandolin Player's Pastime.

    (As an introduction to Old Time Mandolin, MPP is a great resource if you can find it. The photo below is an example of one of the many tunes in the book, most of which seem to come from Ryan's Mammoth but include tablature for persons with that proclivity.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
    --William Shakespeare

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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Attempting to learn New Camptown Races.

  16. #1787
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    [QUOTE=JL277z;1651120]My try at transcribing that tune, based on listening to it at half-speed. No guarantees of accuracy! The notes with big question-marks over them, are notes that I wasn't quite sure what they were - some of the question-mark notes might be wrong.

    But I *am* certain that the *timing* is correct, and yeah it's a "crooked" tune alright, for instance the tune's first part has 9 bars instead of the usual 8.

    Mandolin tab & standard notation for what I'm hearing in the Bruce Molsky version of Flowers of Edinburgh:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I like your transcription especially the lower string part of it. Here is the way I have been playing it through this transcription which for the most part is very similar to yours but not all. Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flowers of Edinburgh - Bruce Molsky.pdf  
    Attached Files Attached Files
    I Pick, Therefore I Grin! ... "Good Music Any OLD-TIME"

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  18. #1788
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Here's 4 tunes that I'm working on

    Devil in the Haystack
    A Bunch of Chickens
    Bear Pen Hollow
    and Chinquapin Hunting
    Attached Files Attached Files
    I Pick, Therefore I Grin! ... "Good Music Any OLD-TIME"

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  20. #1789

    Default Re: What's your new fiddle tune?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodwizard View Post
    ... Here is the way I have been playing it through this transcription which for the most part is very similar to yours but not all. Thanks!
    Sounds good!

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