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Jerusalem Ridge.. A tune to be reckoned with

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Oct 2, 2019 - 5:39:33 PM
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8706 posts since 3/19/2009

Jerusalem Ridge is a great tune.. When learning most tunes you'd just listen and then try to dominate the tune with YOUR bow and that is that.. Not so with Jerusalem Ridge.. Although the actual fingering and parts are not all that difficult...there is something about the tune that make YOU cater to IT and you can't just make it fit you.. I listened to about a zillion youtube versions of the tune..all pretty much the same....only different!!..
What I found challenging is that to get that smooth sound, I had to change how I used my bow.. Not the same as just any old Old Time tune...
I love the challenge..
As I tell students, "The tune already knows how it sounds.. You are not just dominating the tune.. The tune is Dominating/Teaching YOU... " Such is my experience with Jerusalem Ridge...

Oct 3, 2019 - 4:08:18 AM
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Dave Churm

Canada

20 posts since 8/26/2007

Yes, been working on it daily for years, I use anytune to slow it down. I still don't have the smoothness.

Oct 3, 2019 - 4:45:04 AM
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4840 posts since 9/26/2008

Well the reason not just any old time bow works is because this is a bluegrass tune (actually written by Mr. Monroe). The reason everyone pretty much plays it the same is because there is no question as to "the source" just "THIS is how it goes." Make sure to learn the part where you shift to a higher position. Timing is tricky on the little in between parts.

Oct 3, 2019 - 4:49:30 AM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Well the reason not just any old time bow works is because this is a bluegrass tune (actually written by Mr. Monroe). The reason everyone pretty much plays it the same is because there is no question as to "the source" just "THIS is how it goes." Make sure to learn the part where you shift to a higher position. Timing is tricky on the little in between parts.


Good suggestions... I can play the entire tune, but I'm focusing on smoothness phrase by phrase.. Yesterday I used it as my Busking tune of the day and it really helped playing it for a good two hours..I'll get it...Also trying to get a good, fast Red Apple Rag..!!

Oct 3, 2019 - 5:08:08 AM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Dave Churm

Yes, been working on it daily for years, I use anytune to slow it down. I still don't have the smoothness.


Good luck with it Dave!!!   Any other favorite tunes??

Oct 3, 2019 - 6:23:03 AM
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211 posts since 11/5/2014

One of my favorite tunes; the one that got me into fiddle from violin. Should work on it again, agreed that this one is tricky on the smooth phrasing. Baker just makes it look so darn easy...

Oct 3, 2019 - 6:37:53 AM
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Mobob

USA

139 posts since 10/1/2009

instructional video on youtube by blaine sprouse, just search blaine sprouse fiddle, you can clearly see both hands, might find it helpful.

Oct 3, 2019 - 7:25:52 AM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Mobob

instructional video on youtube by blaine sprouse, just search blaine sprouse fiddle, you can clearly see both hands, might find it helpful.


Thanks.. That was helpful..

Oct 3, 2019 - 7:35:22 AM

192 posts since 1/3/2019

Interesting how we all view tunes and bowing differently. I always thought Jerusalem Ridge was more like traditional tunes than most bluegrass pieces and found the bowing to be similar as well.

Oct 3, 2019 - 7:50:02 AM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ShawnCraver

Interesting how we all view tunes and bowing differently. I always thought Jerusalem Ridge was more like traditional tunes than most bluegrass pieces and found the bowing to be similar as well.


Well, it IS in the Milliner Koken book....I don't think of it as either OT or BG.. just a good tune..

However, Shawn.. do I just go to the second position for the high part.. ? or can is just  'reach'? from First position?

Oct 3, 2019 - 9:52:26 AM
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4840 posts since 9/26/2008

I played another Kenny Baker tune with Claire and Walt (the M and K of the collection) at Clifftop this year, I think it was called "Wild Horse Breakdown." A fiddle tune is a fiddle tune for sure, no matter the genre, and can usually be bowed in many ways. My point above was that there is no ambiguity as to how it is played and if you deviate from the arrangement and "play what works for you," people will notice and not likely agree with deviation.  If course Kenny played it vwith a bunch of saw strokes and at least one double (triple) up bow pulse (can be seen in a video with Aly Bain), but Georgia shuffle works in a couple of places as do some long bow moves.

All this 'talk', now I'll have to play at it vwhen I get home from work. You think it's hard Lee, you should play it with some bluegrass backup! Whew, no mercy I tells us. 

Oct 3, 2019 - 10:14:50 AM
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2045 posts since 10/22/2007

Love J. Ridge! Love it for that challenge, you betcha!
Then i started on Bluegrass in the Backwoods. I know Gerry Sizemoore, and a few others have ytubes of it. That's been enough for the last 5 years or so.

Oct 3, 2019 - 12:17:52 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

Now that I've played the tune maybe 50 a day I'm not so intimidated by it.. I still don't know why I need to shift to second position when I can reach that high C with my pinky finger.. What am I missing, guys..

Oct 3, 2019 - 2:31:18 PM

280 posts since 6/21/2007

Yeah I love J Ridge. And after a year of wrestling with it I gone ‘painfully pathetic’ to ‘not horrible’! YAY ME! ??

Oct 3, 2019 - 2:48:55 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by stumpkicker

Yeah I love J Ridge. And after a year of wrestling with it I gone ‘painfully pathetic’ to ‘not horrible’! YAY ME! ??


Reminds me.. Today I had a student playing "cluck old hen".. My wife came from the other room and said that she couldn't tell the playing of the student from MY playing.. The student was flattered.. but I said, "Guess we BOTH sounded terrible!!!"..

Oct 3, 2019 - 2:53:03 PM
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2045 posts since 10/22/2007

Yeah, i don't think i really shift either Lee. Not like Road to Columbus, or anysuch. That being said, who knows if i'm playing it "right." Like Kenny said, "that's the way i heard it."

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:04:58 PM
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8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

Yeah, i don't think i really shift either Lee. Not like Road to Columbus, or anysuch. That being said, who knows if i'm playing it "right." Like Kenny said, "that's the way i heard it."


I guess it has to do with the length/dexterity of one's fingers?

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:11:21 PM
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4840 posts since 9/26/2008

No, shifting is part of how you get it smooth in that part. Not just the C but the notes surrounding it. I look forward to playing this with you some time, Lee.

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:13:08 PM
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8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

No, shifting is part of how you get it smooth in that part. Not just the C but the notes surrounding it. I look forward to playing this with you some time, Lee.


OK, now you have raised the bar.. I have to play WITH someone.. Gulp... OK.. I'll send you a progress tape when I can..!!

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:21:40 PM
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Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by ShawnCraver

Interesting how we all view tunes and bowing differently. I always thought Jerusalem Ridge was more like traditional tunes than most bluegrass pieces and found the bowing to be similar as well.


Well, it IS in the Milliner Koken book....I don't think of it as either OT or BG.. just a good tune..

However, Shawn.. do I just go to the second position for the high part.. ? or can is just  'reach'? from First position?


Jerusalem ridge is a bit hard to label under a genre because it has some Bluegrass, some Old-Time, and to my ears, a bit of gypsy jazz like Bluegrass in the Backwoods. The MK Book doesn't specifically say it's an OT book. Just American fiddle tunes. Though they snuck a few Canadian ones in too wink  I think they did this so they wouldn't cause any "controversy" over which tunes they include because there are a few bluegrass tunes, quite a few rags (which some consider OT, some don't), and a few swingy pieces and blues (again, maybe OT, maybe not). I think it was wise choice. And either way, both the book and tune we're talking about are masterpieces and it would be a shame to limit them by genre.

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:23:22 PM
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2045 posts since 10/22/2007

H@ll, i didn't even know it was a C.:)

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:24:34 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Tyler94
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by ShawnCraver

Interesting how we all view tunes and bowing differently. I always thought Jerusalem Ridge was more like traditional tunes than most bluegrass pieces and found the bowing to be similar as well.


Well, it IS in the Milliner Koken book....I don't think of it as either OT or BG.. just a good tune..

However, Shawn.. do I just go to the second position for the high part.. ? or can is just  'reach'? from First position?


Jerusalem ridge is a bit hard to label under a genre because it has some Bluegrass, some Old-Time, and to my ears, a bit of gypsy jazz like Bluegrass in the Backwoods. The MK Book doesn't specifically say it's an OT book. Just American fiddle tunes. Though they snuck a few Canadian ones in too wink  I think they did this so they wouldn't cause any "controversy" over which tunes they include because there are a few bluegrass tunes, quite a few rags (which some consider OT, some don't), and a few swingy pieces and blues (again, maybe OT, maybe not). I think it was wise choice. And either way, both the book and tune we're talking about are masterpieces and it would be a shame to limit them by genre.


No argument here. I agree with every word you typed!!!

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:27:04 PM
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Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

Yeah, i don't think i really shift either Lee. Not like Road to Columbus, or anysuch. That being said, who knows if i'm playing it "right." Like Kenny said, "that's the way i heard it."


I guess it has to do with the length/dexterity of one's fingers?

 


I also agree that shifting makes it easier for more than just the C note. I think I play open E,  then slide a G note up with my second finger to an A when I do it. Kenny might have done that too. It's quite a bit easier than just shifting up and hoping your next finger falls where it should. And the slide is a nice sound too.

Oct 3, 2019 - 3:56:03 PM

4840 posts since 9/26/2008

Yes, that, Tyler.

Oct 3, 2019 - 4:08:40 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Tyler94
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

Yeah, i don't think i really shift either Lee. Not like Road to Columbus, or anysuch. That being said, who knows if i'm playing it "right." Like Kenny said, "that's the way i heard it."


I guess it has to do with the length/dexterity of one's fingers?

 


I also agree that shifting makes it easier for more than just the C note. I think I play open E,  then slide a G note up with my second finger to an A when I do it. Kenny might have done that too. It's quite a bit easier than just shifting up and hoping your next finger falls where it should. And the slide is a nice sound too.


THe challenge has been made.. I'll slide up to the second position. and see what kind of trouble I get myself into..

Oct 3, 2019 - 4:15:28 PM

1240 posts since 10/13/2010

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by ShawnCraver

Interesting how we all view tunes and bowing differently. I always thought Jerusalem Ridge was more like traditional tunes than most bluegrass pieces and found the bowing to be similar as well.


Well, it IS in the Milliner Koken book....I don't think of it as either OT or BG.. just a good tune..

However, Shawn.. do I just go to the second position for the high part.. ? or can is just  'reach'? from First position?


It is a great tune. Once upon a time I set learning that as a goal for knowing when I might actually be able to play this thing. I achieved it this past summer. smiley I'm not playing real fast but a friend said, "If I were on a pirate ship they wouldn't throw me in the water."

I can't reach those higher notes from first position. What I do is put my first finger on D on the A string, where the third finger usually goes, and slide into the E bowing both the A and E strings until I hear the unison.

Then I play the high part until I can shift down a few bars later.

Edited by - martynspeck on 10/03/2019 16:17:45

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