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Playing OT G tunes down an octave: Your method?

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Sep 11, 2019 - 1:56:44 AM

Jimbeaux

Germany

266 posts since 5/24/2016

Most of my favorite G tunes don't have many notes below the G on the D string, which makes them perfect candidates for playing an octave lower. Of course you miss the occasional dramatic drone effects you can get by brushing the G&D strings while you're busy on the high strings, but I like the sound of playing the tune low a few times during a jam, especially if there's another fiddler.

Normally, I take the approach of using totally different fingerings in the regular old first position. That seems like the most "oldtime" approach to me. However, I started messing around with sliding up to use the same fingerings that I'd use on the high strings.

For example: when I play the high part of John Salyer's Lost Girl, I usually hold my index and middle fingers on the G chord (B on A string/G on E string) for most of it. I can play with the exact same fingerings on the G&D strings if I slide up to those same notes an octave lower (B on G string and G on D string).

Could this behavior get me shot if I did it at your local jam?

What's your preference in general when playing a different octave for anything? New fingerings in first position or shifting position to maintain the same fingering (if possible)? Anyone else fart around with both ways?

Sep 11, 2019 - 5:00:38 AM

4204 posts since 9/26/2008

I say shift, IF you can do it in tune. If not leave it at home. smiley

Edited by - ChickenMan on 09/11/2019 05:00:52

Sep 11, 2019 - 5:03:12 AM
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Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2152 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Jimbeaux

What's your preference in general when playing a different octave for anything? New fingerings in first position or shifting position to maintain the same fingering (if possible)? Anyone else fart around with both ways?


New fingerings and sometimes new harmonies in the double stops.

Sep 12, 2019 - 1:55:35 PM

332 posts since 8/10/2017

How would anybody know or care what you are doing with your fingers at an old-time jam? I mean, they might be watching and they might ask, especially if they think it sounds good and want you to show them what you're doing. But I can't imagine anyone would take offense let alone shoot you.

Sep 13, 2019 - 4:30:52 AM
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boxbow

USA

2394 posts since 2/3/2011

Changing by an octave, either up or down, makes for a nice variation.

Sep 14, 2019 - 1:30:09 PM

7466 posts since 3/19/2009

Try this some time.. Go an octave lower on a tune, and then SHIFT a set of strings..That will usually put you playing the tune in a different key, a 5th higher..What I like about this is that many C tunes can be shifted to G or D...so that they become acceptable in jams that don't usually play C tunes... Plus.. It stimulates your Brain..!! (well, mine, anyway..it needs all the stimulation it can get..)..Today I was playing Hogskin (C) and decided to play it in D..which made it easy to then play in G..etc... Working with changing keys and octave shifts is FUN...Many tunes, to me at least, sound better played in keys different than their original key.. Catlettsburg is an example.. That tune IMO sounds better in D...No rules here, just opinions.. Once you get familiar with changing keys/octaves ..it can only make fiddling more fun and it will make you a more versatile musician..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/14/2019 13:42:52

Sep 14, 2019 - 1:42:25 PM

4204 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Try this some time.. Go an octave lower on a tune, and the SHIFT a set of strings..That will usually put you playing the tune in a different key, a 5th higher..What I like about this is that many C tunes can be shifted to G or D...so that they become acceptable in jams that don't usually play C tunes... PLus.. It stimulates your BRain..!! (well, mine, anyway..it needs all the stimulation it can get..)..Today I was playing Hogskin (C) and decided to play it in D..which made it easy to then play in G..etc... Working with changing keys and octave shifts is FUN...


Great suggestion if we were talking about playing in another key. However, it’s a terrible suggestion for “playing OT G tunes down an octave” wink

Sep 14, 2019 - 1:44 PM
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7466 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Try this some time.. Go an octave lower on a tune, and the SHIFT a set of strings..That will usually put you playing the tune in a different key, a 5th higher..What I like about this is that many C tunes can be shifted to G or D...so that they become acceptable in jams that don't usually play C tunes... PLus.. It stimulates your BRain..!! (well, mine, anyway..it needs all the stimulation it can get..)..Today I was playing Hogskin (C) and decided to play it in D..which made it easy to then play in G..etc... Working with changing keys and octave shifts is FUN...


Great suggestion if we were talking about playing in another key. However, it’s a terrible suggestion for “playing OT G tunes down an octave” wink


TRUE.. That put one in the BANNED KEY OF C..... I get that..!!! I try to never 'go ' there.!!

Sep 14, 2019 - 10:36:16 PM

4204 posts since 9/26/2008

It would have a sort of Asian-y sound, playing in 5ths the whole time (C and G together at the same time).

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