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Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes

Grab 07 Mar 01 - 08:50 AM
wes.w 07 Mar 01 - 09:17 AM
JulieF 07 Mar 01 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Sabine 07 Mar 01 - 09:56 AM
Mark Clark 07 Mar 01 - 10:08 AM
Kim C 07 Mar 01 - 10:12 AM
Sorcha 07 Mar 01 - 10:27 AM
bill\sables 07 Mar 01 - 10:33 AM
Grab 07 Mar 01 - 10:44 AM
wes.w 07 Mar 01 - 11:03 AM
Grab 07 Mar 01 - 11:19 AM
winniemih 07 Mar 01 - 11:41 AM
wes.w 07 Mar 01 - 11:53 AM
Stewart 07 Mar 01 - 12:01 PM
Murray MacLeod 08 Mar 01 - 08:00 AM
Grab 08 Mar 01 - 08:09 AM
Marion 08 Mar 01 - 08:37 AM
Marion 08 Mar 01 - 08:51 AM
Snuffy 08 Mar 01 - 09:25 AM
Sorcha 08 Mar 01 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 08 Mar 01 - 11:09 AM
Grab 08 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM
Grab 08 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM
Sorcha 08 Mar 01 - 01:28 PM
Jeri 08 Mar 01 - 01:39 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 08 Mar 01 - 09:03 PM
Stewart 08 Mar 01 - 11:09 PM
Stewart 08 Mar 01 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 08 Mar 01 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 09 Mar 01 - 05:28 PM
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Subject: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Grab
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 08:50 AM

I got my fingers back into fiddling last year, and I've got the technique back up a bit. Thing is, my repertoire's still pretty small - 3 trad tunes, various Levellers songs, and that's about it - so I think it's time I learnt some more.

I've got a book of 100 trad tunes, but only 2 of those actually sounded good, which was rather disappointing. I know of several internet resources of trad tunes out there, but there's zillions of tunes in them so it'd take years to work through them all. I'd like to work from stuff heard at local folk clubs, but most of the places I go to are singing, not straight instrumental stuff. So does anyone have any personal favourites they'd recommend? What do you like playing best? Chances are, stuff that sounds good to me is also going to coincide with what most ppl here like (or some, at least) which'll give me something to start with.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: wes.w
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 09:17 AM

Sounds like you need a person to help you to play through those trad tunes rather than just a load of recommendations. Two percent sounding good is pretty low.
You could go for the abc format stuff and play it on the computer to get through the tunes quickly to find what you like though, rather than try to work them out yourself from music stave.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: JulieF
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 09:33 AM

Try O'Neils book of traditional tunes (can someone add the correct title as I tend just to know it as O'Neils. )Also look for slightly more formal groups of players who tend to have their own tune books eg The Sheffield Tradditional Fiddle Society - Unfortunately they are sort of between books otherwise I could have sent to you a copy. all the best

Julie


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Sabine
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 09:56 AM

Hi,

I found several pages which were of great help. Some have midis or gifs or abc.

Blarney Stone Pub Session Tune Book highly recommended!

The kitchen musisian

Ceili House Band

The Session

Hope I could be of any help.

Kind regards,

Sabine

Cantalibre - more than just folk


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 10:08 AM

Grab,

I'm a strong proponent of sightreading and theory skills for folk musicians but, on the fiddle, there is no substitute for actually hearing a skilled fiddler play the tune. 99.9% of the fiddlers you adminre learned their tunes by ear. That's the way you'll get the tunes to sound right. It's better to miss a grace note or two and get the right feel for the tune.

Try County Sales for one of their massive fiddle anthology albums and listen to them over and over. If your tastes run more towards the Celtic, I'm sure there are similar recordings in that genre as well.

Good luck,

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Kim C
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 10:12 AM

Sara Johnson at the Kitchen Musician has been a BIG help to me. She has several small books, easily readable, with historical documentation on the tunes. Plus if you are looking for something that isn't in one of her books, she can probably help you find it!


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 10:27 AM

The way I read this, he wants specific tune reccomendations......not places to find them. I like:
Billy in the Lowground
Drowsy Maggie
St. Anne's Reel
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Blackberry Blossoms
Sandy River Belle
John Henry
Frankie and Johnny
Wreck of the 97
and a whole wagon load of Irish tunes:
Mouse in the Cupboard
Red Haired Boy
Kerry Polka
Southwind
I could go on for pages.........get somebody to play them for you......one time through and mark the tunes with a number rating, then you can go back and learn the favorites.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: bill\sables
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 10:33 AM

Hi Grab, the tunes you need to learn are those which are played around the sessions in Cambridge. Every session has its own favourite tunes although there are a few old standards which everyone plays. We, at the Jug play one set while The Sloop, Barton on Humber, where Skipjack plays have another set and the Maltings at York yet another set. There is some overlap and musicians who travel to other sessions generally carry tunes from one session to another. It might be an idea to ask at your local session if you could use a tape recorder and then listen to the recording till the tune is in your head. There are many sites for midi mucic and one I would recomend is Barry Tailor's who has tunes from Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, USA, and Wales.
Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Grab
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 10:44 AM

Cheers for a bit of advice. My problem (well, musical problem anyway ;-) is just as Mark says, I don't know how they should sound. And in particular, I don't know the rhythm. Every tune is just listed as 4/4 with a series of quavers, but very rarely do they think to tell you if it's a shuffle rhythm (ie. long-short triplet feel). Sight-reading the tunes and working out whether I like them isn't a problem if I can get that, but it'd be a bugger to learn a tune and then find it's all to cock. There's a fair chance that using the wrong rhythm is making the tune sound crap.

Maybe everyone else knows from the title of the tune or the type of tune or whatever, but not having a folk-dancing background, I couldn't tell a reel from a jig from a hole in the ground...

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: wes.w
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 11:03 AM

Grab
You couldn't tell a reel from a jig from a hole in the ground?
I'd recommend you click to the abc page:
http://www.gre.ac.uk/~c.walshaw/abc/
where you'll find software to play abc format music on the computer in the correct rhythm, and turn it into music stave if you like the tune, as well as loads of links to tune books. Adrian Scahill's abc sets are one of my favourites, and all are free.
good luck!


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Grab
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 11:19 AM

Problem is, I know there's different rhythms to different types of dance. But I'm (insert unpleasant act here)ed if I can find a reference to tell me what they are! Anyone help?

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: winniemih
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 11:41 AM

The idea of recording at a session is a good one. Also, have you any music clubs or societies in your area? In the Portland OR area, there are old time fiddling groups, bluegrass open sessions and groups, a folklore society (mixed vocal and instrumental), Irish sessions all overthe place; and my favorite, the Scottish Fiddling Society (also open to accordians, guitarists, etc.) which often provides sheet music and practices the tunes periodically. I have learned many tunes from this group. Alot of it is word of mouth, altough some of the groups advertise.Good luck with your fiddling. Winnie


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: wes.w
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 11:53 AM

2/4 - Polkas: 1 AND 2 AND
3/4 - Waltzes: 1 2 3
4/4 - Reels and Hornpipes: 1 2 3 4
but Hornpipes are sometimes 'skipping' rhythm rather than 'running', so often not as written in music stave.
6/8 - Jigs: 123 123
9/8 - Slip Jigs: 123 223 323
12/8 - Slides: 123 223 323 423
and more... but that covers most of the common ones in UK and Ireland. But human help is going to be much better than anything I can say here, Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Stewart
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 12:01 PM

The Fiddler's Fakebook is a great resource of tunes and also intro info on styles, etc.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 08:00 AM

Don't despair, Grab. When I first met my musical partner,just over a year ago, all she could play was stuff by Mozart and Beethoven. Now, her rendition of "Devol's Dream" along with a zillion others, is the talk of South Florida. I agree with Stewart, the Fiddler's Fakebook is a essential reaource. Also the Portland Collection, (pricey, but worth it)

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Grab
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 08:09 AM

Cheers for the advice folks. Sorcha, that kind of list is just what I was after - I'll have a look for those tunes and try them out. Thanks everyone for the useful links, and for the pointer to that book, Stewart. I guess that's my birthday present lined up then. :-)

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Marion
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 08:37 AM

Grab, here's another thread you might want to explore:

links to musical favourite threads

It's a project I started once, gathering together links to all the threads where people talked about what tunes they liked best. I gave up on it, but you'll still find some useful threads there... favourite reels, favourite jigs, favourite hornpipes and so on.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Marion
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 08:51 AM

Here's another thread you should check out:

10 Standards for Irish/Celtic jams

In this thread I had asked people to list what tunes they considered the standards that everybody knows... a slightly different question from asking for favourites.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 09:25 AM

Grab,

Reels and hornpipes are both written as 4/4, but there's a completely different feel to them.

Hornpipes tend to be slower, and have four distinct beats in the bar (1-2 2-2 3-2 4-2). Although often written as two quavers to the beat they are usually played with a dotted rhythm (dotted quaver + semiquaver, or somewhere between). And each section often ends with 3 crotchets

Reels are played faster and usually have two main beats to the bar (1-2-3-4 2-2-3-4).

There are plenty of tunes that you can play as either reel or hornpipe, and you get a completely different feel. Try Yankee Doodle for instance, just to get the feel.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 10:29 AM

Hey, Grab, I got an idea! There are several fiddlers here, me, Jeri, KimC, etc. I would be willing to put some of my favorites on tape, or tape some stuff you already know you like. We could do them at half speed, then at full speed, so you could really hear what they are supposed to sound like. Send it to you Snail Mail!

I'll bet the others would too. PM me with list and snail mail addy if you're interested, OK?


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 11:09 AM

La Bateaux

Big John McNeill

BOTH TUNES ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cHEERS, sAM


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Grab
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM

Wow Sorcha, that'd be great! Or do you do Paltalk? be cool to hear you there? Mind you, the time everyone in the US is on, it's well past my bedtime (since we're 5 hours ahead of you).

Be interested to hear how you play. One of the tunes I play is "King of the Fairies" which I learnt off Dave Swarbrick's recording (and a bit of sheet music :-), but whilst all the ornamentation sounds right for him, it didn't feel right for me, so I play it much more pared-down now, although at roughly his kind of pace. A friend also plays it (I often accompany him on guitar for it) and he tends to do it quite fast, almost exactly as it's written on the page. Both of us learnt off the same recording. How much of that kind of thing is personal preference, how much is regional variations, and how much is in how the tune "should" be played? cos I'd rather play it "my" way than the "right" way, given the choice.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Grab
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM

Forgot to say, cheers for those links Marion.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 01:28 PM

Grab, I can do a "straight" version, then a "my version" if I ornament. Some, I don't. Send address, OK? And a list of what you want to hear, or just my own favorites?


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 01:39 PM

Just a few for starters:

Hornpipes
Set: Jimmy Allen & Newcastle
Off To California
Reels
Billy in the Lowground
Devil's Dream
Drowsy Maggie
Mason's Apron
Jigs
Banish Misfortune
Swallowtail Jig
Morrison's Jig
Marches
Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine (or Alps) (March)
Slipjigs
Another Jig Will Do
The Butterfly
Waltzes
Amelia's Waltz
Midnight on the Water
Southwind (really an air, but many play it at the faster speed of a waltz)


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 09:03 PM

Reels:
The Bucks of Oranmore
Toss the Feathers
Wind that Shakes the Barley
Golden Keyboard
Glass of Beer
The Musical Priest
Silver Spear
Sally Gardens
Silver Spire


Jigs:
Pipe On the Hob
The Kesh Jig (overplayed in my opinion)
Morrison's
Behind the Haystack
Rambling Pitchfork


Hornpipes:
Boys of Bluehill
Harvest Home (listen to Nomos" rendition)
Peacock's feather( Not as common but worth having)


Polkas:
Maggie in the woods
Wren's Polka(Patrick Street recorded as "Salmon Tailing Up The River)
Ger the Rigger
The Britches full of Stitches
Egan's Polka
Bill Sullivan's (aka Mickey Chewing Bubblegum)
St. Mary's


Slides:
Merrily Kiss the Quaker's Wife
Star above the Garter
Padraig O'Keefe's
Denis Murphy's (inconclusive title, because there are tons of slides named for him)




Arcady's 2nd CD "Many Happy Returns" is a nice collection of old favorites, played EXTREMELY well. The story goes that Johnny McDonagh was in a session where an older musician started "the Sally Gardens" and the younger players weren't interested. The result was a project intended to get back to the old chestnuts. Nice songs as well, sung by Naomh Parsons.


Slán,
Rich


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Stewart
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 11:09 PM

Here's a link to the PORTLAND COLLECTION

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: Stewart
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 11:18 PM

Also a great collection of over 600 Irish fiddle tunes of all types - Gaimh, Caoimhin. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes...A Compilation of Irish Tunes Played at Seattle Sessions. Seattle: Fish House, 1995. - available from Dusty Strings, or The Fish House, 3616 Burke Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103, for about $22.

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 11:29 PM

Cole's 1000 Fiddle Tunes, a reprint of the 19th century Ryan's Mamoth Collection, is still in print. There also the three volumes of Irish tunes in Brendean Breathnach's Ceol Rince na hEireann (a supplemental volume was recently added, long after he died). Also Irish is the 3 volumes of the Roche Collections, and most after about the first 1/3 of Joyce's "Old Irish Folk Music and Songs" are fiddle tunes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Recommended trad fiddle tunes
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 05:28 PM

Forgot the master American collection of traditional fife and fiddle tunes, S. P. Bayard, 'Dance to the Fiddle and March to the Fife'. Many are old world tunes.


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