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Thread: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    https://youtu.be/JaHexaUgpcU

    Tergal14 has lots of good videos on YT. This is one...on this lovely jig he uses his little finger in ways Iím not used to seeing, like on the fifth fret. This surprised me. Actually, it makes his playing look easier than it feels for me. Any thoughts?

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    That is interesting. I usually cheat to avoid use of the pinkie. Never thought of using it when I didn't need to.

    In any case, thanks for posting: I see that Tergal14 has a great collection of lessons on Irish tunes and techniques: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lO8Abek3Hg-tHo . I'm going to take some time and dig into his videos.
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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Well, it obviously works for him, but I wouldn't recommend it as standard practice. The conventional 2-fret-per-finger technique is the most efficient way to play, especially at faster tempos. It gets your little finger used to the stretch for the high B note in a fiddle tune, and it gets your 3rd finger used to the stretch for the occasional G# in first position.

    The 2-fret-per-finger convention is the mandolin version of 2-notes-per-finger technique on the violin. They figured this stuff out long ago, and you won't see a good fiddler using this technique.

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Hank, if you watch some of those videos, you are going to see a very nice collection of mandolins! He has a beautiful Gibson A-4 and a whiteface A-3, besides the MTO-2. All look gorgeous!

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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    I think it is significant in the case of this tune that it is the key of Dm, and therefore you will be playing notes on the first fret.

    In the majority of Irish tunes in D and G etc you don't usually need the first fret so many players use their first finger on the second fret and use the pinkie (if at all!) only on the seventh fret.

    But because in this tune you are using the first fret, it could (like perhaps in this performance) have the effect of basically moving your whole hand down a fret, in which case it might be easier to use the pinkie on the fifth fret.

    That's how it looks to me, anyway.
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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    I think it is significant in the case of this tune that it is the key of Dm, and therefore you will be playing notes on the first fret.

    In the majority of Irish tunes in D and G etc you don't usually need the first fret so many players use their first finger on the second fret and use the pinkie (if at all!) only on the seventh fret.

    But because in this tune you are using the first fret, it could (like perhaps in this performance) have the effect of basically moving your whole hand down a fret, in which case it might be easier to use the pinkie on the fifth fret.

    That's how it looks to me, anyway.
    Now that makes sense to me. Thanks , Dagger.
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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    That makes as much sense as anything. The guy can certainly play! FWIW, I’m learning the tune, using regular fingering. It’s working fine....so far.

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Does anyone know who Tergal14 really is? I love his playing and the lessons. I don’t do FaceBook. Maybe it’s right there. Anyone?

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    https://youtu.be/JaHexaUgpcU

    Tergal14 has lots of good videos on YT. This is one...on this lovely jig he uses his little finger in ways I’m not used to seeing, like on the fifth fret. This surprised me. Actually, it makes his playing look easier than it feels for me. Any thoughts?
    Even more interesting is how he plays the notes on the 7th fret in the B part of this tune. It seems like his 3rd and 4th fingers need to be together. Either he learned that way or he had some injury and can't stretch his pinky away from the 3rd finger. He moves his whole hand to reach that fret.

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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    Does anyone know who Tergal14 really is? I love his playing and the lessons. I donít do FaceBook. Maybe itís right there. Anyone?
    His name is Frederic Bourgeois, and he is French. He plays with a group called 4 de Trefle. They're quite good, here's their website:

    https://tergalfred.wixsite.com/4detrefle

    He also plays tenor banjo.

    Jack

  13. #11

    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    He certainly launches into those triplets, I think thatís the way to go.
    It seems that triplets have not only a different timing but also a different energy.
    Like going into the triplet zone.
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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Thanks for the info, Jack. I guess a French/Irish group is no more unlikely than an American/Irish one.

    Simon, are those quick ornaments really triplets? I don’t think so, in a strict musical sense. Irish ornaments, to me, and Frederic has complete mastery of them. I can do a barely passable version, played slowly...sometimes. Just a perfect little twitch for him.

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Ok, while I’m at it, does anyone have any advice on learning those quick ornaments? I know, I know, this has been discussed here before...but what hasn’t? Besides, nothing I’ve read has helped much.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    Simon, are those quick ornaments really triplets? I don’t think so, in a strict musical sense. Irish ornaments, to me, and Frederic has complete mastery of them. I can do a barely passable version, played slowly...sometimes. Just a perfect little twitch for him.
    The usual convention is to use the word "treble" to distinguish it as an ornament that's independent of the tune tempo, and not a "triplet" which would be written as part of the tune and played at tempo. I think mandolin players probably got the term "treble ornament" from tenor banjo players, where it's a central part of the Irish style on banjo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    Ok, while I’m at it, does anyone have any advice on learning those quick ornaments? I know, I know, this has been discussed here before...but what hasn’t? Besides, nothing I’ve read has helped much.
    It's just the usual boring answer: practice, practice, practice. And then more practice.

    I don't know if this will help, but for what it's worth: I find it easier to play treble ornaments with the pointed end of a pick that isn't too thick (currently a Blue Chip TAD40-1R, about 1.0mm). I can't do it with a thicker Bluegrass-type pick, but you don't want to go too thin either, or you get a "slap" that robs energy when hitting the strings.

    Another thing that helps is having a slight angle on the string attack, with the thumb pointed slightly down so the pick isn't hitting the string flat-on. Aim for a sound that doesn't have much if any actual pitch, more of a percussive sound. The rest is constant practice to get it to sound right.

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  19. #15
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brid Harper Jig Fingering

    ďI don't know if this will help...Ē

    I donít know, either, but it canít hurt! Thanks.

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