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Dick Hauser

United States
3941 posts
since 6/23/07

07/17/2017 12:29:53 Reply with Quote

I downloaded a bunch of fiddle tunes played by clawhammer banjo players.  I downloaded Youtube vides, then used other software to create audio files.  I use "The Amazing Slow Downer" to play the tunes.

For some reason, playing along with the clawhammer banjoists has me using more of everything.  More double stops, more slurs, etc..  And, the tunes are tunes are commonly played - at least in some places.  I get the feeling that doing this makes playing alone more fun, and will better prepare me for playing with other musicians.  Doing this makes me listen to the other instrument, the banjo.  I am adding more dynamics to my versions of the tunes. I am doing this for tunes I might play in a jam.  

This is working so well, I am doing to download videos of banjoists playing Irish tunes.  I will start out with a dozen tunes that include jigs, reels, hornpipes, and polkas.  If doing this helps my playing, and is more enjoyable that what I am currently doing with Irish tunes, I will start adding other tunes to that library.

 

 

rosinhead

United States
319 posts since 9/1/10

07/18/2017 10:06:08View rosinhead's MP3 Archive View rosinhead's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I do the same thing with the same results.  Usually I just find the youtube videos and play along rather than download and create audio clips, but I do have backup audio clips that I use from time to time.

I used  the oldtime jam website for quite a while, but I found as I improved that the tunes just seemed to be set at too slow of a pace for my liking.  I think it is great for learning and practicing new tunes though.

I agree that playing with another instrument, whether recorded or in person, really pushes me to play at the best of my ability.  I find myself getting more adventurous with my bowing as well as experimenting with the notes.

We also have a weekly jam on Sundays that usually goes for about 3 hours.  The great thing with that is that we play the tunes for much longer than I would normally if I was just sitting alone at home.   In turn, I start finding ways to keep it interesting after about the 10th time through. smiley

Keep us posted on how things work out with the irish tunes.

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Lonesome Fiddler

1023 posts since 12/11/08

07/18/2017 10:28:27View Lonesome Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Lonesome Fiddler's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I find that practice is fun.  Just endlessly going over the same stretch of notes.  Pinning down those darned pitches.  Working to find the most effective bowing -- which is often not the shuffle.  Working on tone.  Do I want pretty?  Do I want fierce?

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Lonesome Fiddler

1023 posts since 12/11/08

07/18/2017 10:28:40View Lonesome Fiddler's MP3 Archive View Lonesome Fiddler's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I find that practice is fun.  Just endlessly going over the same stretch of notes.  Pinning down those darned pitches.  Working to find the most effective bowing -- which is often not the shuffle.  Working on tone.  Do I want pretty?  Do I want fierce?

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amwildman

United States
1923 posts since 12/23/07

07/18/2017 10:35:14View amwildman's MP3 Archive Reply with Quote

Irish music has a much bigger variety of instruments than some other styles, and each instrument brings something unique to the table. Phrasing, tone, ornaments, different ways of emphasizing the rhythm and adding lift. Each is limited in some way, which often makes the total greater than the sum of its parts. I think this is why irish sessions are popular. Besides the beer, anyway. Playing with any other instrument adds things to your own playing, whether it is copying/imitating, complementing or contrasting flavors etc.

I've been playing mostly penny whistle lately, and get more inspiration and ideas from fiddle or group playing than other whistle players. I think it makes me a better player on whistle, and in general than if I only played with whistle recordings.

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Dick Hauser

United States
3941 posts since 6/23/07

07/18/2017 12:33:44 Reply with Quote

I have found that playing with along a single instrument forces me to concentrate harder on my fiddling. Playing along with a group is fun, but doing this "covers up" problems with your technique. It is great for working on improvisation though. Today I decided that when I play along with just the banjo, I am going to play more slowly and use more double stops, shuffles, etc.. And I will listen more intently to my playing. When I play with a group, I will just "let her rip". Hopefully, I will have more fun. And, the attempt to improve never ends.  Maybe I will alternate each day - one day with the clawhammer banjo, the next day with a group.
 


Edited by - Dick Hauser on 07/18/2017 12:35:18

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