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Aug 19, 2020 - 10:42:10 AM
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3559 posts since 12/8/2007

Or at least folk fiddling? Maybe Old Time? I've always enjoyed just a touch of bending into notes; however, one of our members here told me that she hated it, wanted the notes pitch perfect right away. I've always thought this view to be primarily a Classical players viewpoint. Is it? Or do fiddlers largely feel the same? Mark O' Connor, I'm told, purposely bends into to notes to this day when he plays Classical. My friend who's a conductor heard Mark warm up playing Tchaikowsky's ...er...Tschaikovsky's ...Chiikowski's Violin Concerto both ways, notes bent and pitch perfect, so with Mark it's a choice. What about you? Do you hit your notes pitch perfect right away or do you bend into them from time to time?

Aug 19, 2020 - 10:56:08 AM
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5016 posts since 9/26/2008

Yes.

 

 

 

laugh

 

Edit to remove those question marks. What the hill? 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 08/19/2020 10:56:59

Aug 19, 2020 - 11:14:02 AM
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1863 posts since 8/27/2008

That's a good question. I feel free to slid into notes for effect even when it's also helpful for finding the pitch. But I strive to play accurately in general. Even accomplished classical players, I would suggest, are very good at micro corrections as they play. A finger is a fleshy thing so even coming down with precise muscle memory may require some very minor adjusting. I'll probably get a classical player saying they're perfect and I'm wrong. They might also deny that vibrato is ever used to hide this micro correcting, but of course it does. People are not machines.

Aug 19, 2020 - 11:28:13 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

680 posts since 6/22/2016

It's a matter of style - if you want to sound more 'Southern', you do more sliding up into notes; if you want to sound more Irish, you slide up occasionally, as a decoration; anything else, once in a while as an 'effect'. That's my impression.

Aug 19, 2020 - 11:42:41 AM
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8933 posts since 3/19/2009

I like to delay intonation and I also like to Vary VOLUME, something that is not done enough in fiddling, Imo.

Aug 19, 2020 - 11:51:37 AM
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3559 posts since 12/8/2007

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

I like to delay intonation and I also like to Vary VOLUME, something that is not done enough in fiddling, Imo.


Vary VOLUME...that's allowed?  Well then, next time I get to that kinda tricky part of "Banish Misfortune," I'm gonna let the volume go way down low...and then just tell everybody I "nailed" it!  wink

Aug 19, 2020 - 12:23:53 PM
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1742 posts since 12/11/2008

If you don't overdo it, bending/sliding upwards into the first note of a measure or phrase adds a friendly, "c'mon, let's dance" informality to tunes. If you always hit the pitches square on, it adds a bit of primness or even anger. In any case, it's one more sleight of hand in the musician's bag of tricks.

Aug 19, 2020 - 12:47:13 PM
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5016 posts since 9/26/2008

I like a combination of hitting it solid and sliding. For an unusual example, if there were two long D notes, I might slide the second one to differentiate them, or slide out of the first and back into the second, my sort of old time cuts and taps as an uillean pipe or whistle might use them to separate same notes.

Of course there are the classic 'bends' as a blues guitar may use them as well as the often over used big slide into the 3rd of the chord/scale.

Aug 19, 2020 - 1:54:45 PM
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boxbow

USA

2604 posts since 2/3/2011

I want to play the tune, not just the notes. That means dynamics, including slides. If I slide into the note while whistling the tune, I'm likely to slide into the note on the fiddle.

Aug 19, 2020 - 2:34:14 PM

8933 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by boxbow

I want to play the tune, not just the notes. That means dynamics, including slides. If I slide into the note while whistling the tune, I'm likely to slide into the note on the fiddle.


If I'm lucky to have my daughter to play along with in  a jam we can do a lot of dynamics..via sliding and volume.. but normally.. fiddlers just don't LISTEN to what the LEAD fiddler is doing.. and that just drives me NUTs.. Often I'll go quieter and quieter to see if the others will pick up on what I'm doing and it just goes over their heads.. These are not new fiddlers .. They should know better.. Of course my own response to a lead fiddler  is always  FLAWLESS.. (JK).. I have my pet peeves, but my friends are my friends and I need to tolerate their flaws  (again, as if I didn't have any)..

Aug 19, 2020 - 4:18:59 PM
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2314 posts since 10/1/2008

IMO Music as a language requires punctuation .... sliding into and out of tones syncopating beats ... volume dynamics ... all add expression to the melodic statement. Playing the music pulls different things from different individual players and yields different results .... it adds personality to a melody.

Aug 19, 2020 - 4:32:17 PM
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2204 posts since 10/22/2007

Well, i call them closed keys: C, E, Bb, & B. Let's remember i am not told a key. I must find the key. Anyway, closed key are a bit more work. But the shorter the note, the less critical intonation is.
Sliding in, i think, sounds weak. But who knows who heard it but me? Seriously, i don't know. The more you drink, the better we sound!

Aug 19, 2020 - 4:50:58 PM
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5016 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

Well, i call them closed keys: C, E, Bb, & B. Let's remember i am not told a key. I must find the key. Anyway, closed key are a bit more work. But the shorter the note, the less critical intonation is.
Sliding in, i think, sounds weak. But who knows who heard it but me? Seriously, i don't know. The more you drink, the better we sound! 


Sliding works best when done with intention and accuracy, played musically rather than randomly. Closed keys are definitely a good way to discover and explore those nuances.

I've been in bands where the unfortunate tag line was the more you drink, the more we drink. Now we're all drunk. Let's fight! laugh

Aug 19, 2020 - 5:40:30 PM

311 posts since 6/11/2019

Slide into the blues notes--3rd, 7th, and sometimes 6th. The rest should be spot on (meaning, slid up or down without anybody noticing)

Aug 19, 2020 - 5:54:54 PM

3559 posts since 12/8/2007

I guess what I'm loving is this sort of stuff, part of which is delaying certain intonations (at least from my hearing):

youtube.com/watch?v=z1llafiGM8s

(btw, I've seen OBD--Jonny Hardie every time they come anywhere close to me).

Aug 19, 2020 - 7:06:30 PM
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311 posts since 3/1/2020

The use of slides, glissandi, or portamenti, is something that players can use to add expression to music. Some pieces naturally call for it, some do not.

Incidentally, these techniques used to be in much wider use in classical playing. Players today tend to avoid slides as they view them as corny and archaic, but they really can add color when used judiciously.

I don’t think of it so much as a delay of a proper pitch, more as a connection between the notes.

Sometimes a player will use the slide or bend as a pickup, putting the final pitch on the first real beat of the measure. This technique can be helpful for signaling other players or dancers.

Aug 19, 2020 - 9:30:14 PM
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1304 posts since 7/26/2015

One of my mentors told me, even when you slide, you should make sure there are two distinct notes. Yes, it's a slide, but there's a place it begins and a place it ends.

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 08/19/2020 21:30:34

Aug 19, 2020 - 9:31:55 PM

2253 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Humbled by this instrument

 Do you hit your notes pitch perfect right away or do you bend into them from time to time?


In folk fiddling and song accompaniments I use slides as a ornamentation, I especially like the effect of sliding between first and third positions, occasionally. But when I practice the Bach G minor Presto I endeavor to hit every note pitch perfect because there is no time for sliding or correcting out of tune notes. And I think Mark O'connor demonstrates both aspects in this clip...

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sTxMw5Q188

Edited by - buckhenry on 08/19/2020 21:32:17

Aug 20, 2020 - 6:28:07 PM

639 posts since 8/10/2017

I think that David Bragger demonstrates this really well right here in his B section variations for Cripple Creek.
youtu.be/SZyUK25Igkg?t=1314

I think you want good intonation and then when you don't, you want to be deliberate about it. It's laziness or lack of skill (that would be me) when people's intonation is always bad.

Aug 20, 2020 - 8:04:26 PM

218 posts since 6/3/2016

I generally try to hit the note, especially for faster, "notey" tunes. If there are chromatic runs then I have to slide a little. For slower, more bluesy tunes I slide more.

Aug 21, 2020 - 6:38:04 AM
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2653 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy

One of my mentors told me, even when you slide, you should make sure there are two distinct notes. Yes, it's a slide, but there's a place it begins and a place it ends.


That is one way, but there are different types, for different effect; and not limited to fiddle. Singers use similar devices. So do guitar and banjo players. The start is not always a fixed 12TET spot. Some are very, very slight and subtle, not even a half step. But might need to be there to help get the feel, give little lift or push.

Many more ornamental, bit like grace notes, in both pitch and timing, they are they are not really a quantified fixed but qualitative. The qualitative effect is to lead into the strong melodic note; help give slight anticipation, and push into the beat. Just to say, quantitized dead on... is not always what want. There is no hard fast rule about how far, or time... just have to listen to what feels right.

edit: On fretted instrument, I often use slide over (not sure how to describe) vs a slide from one fret to another... different sound, feel, effect. Guitar string bends are antoher sound; and like guitar can also do slides away from, that is hit the main note dead then slide/bend off the note (rather than into).

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 08/21/2020 06:45:59

Aug 21, 2020 - 9:58:04 AM
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gapbob

USA

736 posts since 4/20/2008

Sometimes I want to delay intonation until after I've finished the tune.

Aug 21, 2020 - 10:06:35 AM

8933 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

Sometimes I want to delay intonation until after I've finished the tune.


Ha Ha.. That is what I do with tuning.. I figure, "How can you tell you are out of tune until you've played the tune..."  That might explain some of the 'looks' I get.

Aug 21, 2020 - 2:56:32 PM
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Fiddler

USA

4138 posts since 6/22/2007

Q. How can you tell the fiddle is out of tune?

A. The bow is moving.

One way that classical string players manage this is through vibrato or micro-adjustments. It's close, but the vibrato allows them to move around the note. Those who play early music (Baroque, etc.) where vibrato is not used (or at least not much), hitting the exact note is nerve wracking! I have friends who are professional musicians in Early Music ensembles tell me that their stress level increases several notches with this style of music when they perform.

Reminds me of an East Texas hunting story that can be applied to this intonation business...

Two guys, Bubba and Rufus, go out squirrel hunting one crisp fall morning with their 410 shotguns. Rufus has endured years of hardship and his frail frame showed it. Additionally, his eyesight is nearly totally gone and he had given up his driver's license. Bubba was much younger and still had his strength and eyesight and driver's license. They made a $20 bet over who would get the first game.

Well, they scared up a squirrel. Since Bubba saw it first, he got first shot. He raised up his gun and carefully aimed. He was rock solid still. He slowly squeezed the trigger sending #6 shot into the tree blasting shards of bark from the loblolly pine tree. They waited for the squirrel to fall. Nothing.

Soon they heard the chattering bark of the squirrel taunting them. The squirrel had survived.

Rufus said that is was his turn. With all of his energy, he raised the gun to his shoulder and squinted looking for the squirrel. The weight of the gun was almost too much and he struggle dto keep it pointed at the tree. Soon he was pointing the gun all over the forest - left, right, high, low - there was nothing steady about his aim or his stance.

Rufus winced in pain. He tightly closed his eyes and pulled the trigger. A few seconds later they heard the familiar thud of the dead squirrel hitting the ground.

Rufus grinned, especially at wining the bet.

As he was handing over the $20, Bubba replied, "No wonder you got him. You aimed all over that tree!"

Aug 21, 2020 - 3:05:19 PM

8933 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

Q. How can you tell the fiddle is out of tune?

A. The bow is moving.

One way that classical string players manage this is through vibrato or micro-adjustments. It's close, but the vibrato allows them to move around the note. Those who play early music (Baroque, etc.) where vibrato is not used (or at least not much), hitting the exact note is nerve wracking! I have friends who are professional musicians in Early Music ensembles tell me that their stress level increases several notches with this style of music when they perform.

Reminds me of an East Texas hunting story that can be applied to this intonation business...

Two guys, Bubba and Rufus, go out squirrel hunting one crisp fall morning with their 410 shotguns. Rufus has endured years of hardship and his frail frame showed it. Additionally, his eyesight is nearly totally gone and he had given up his driver's license. Bubba was much younger and still had his strength and eyesight and driver's license. They made a $20 bet over who would get the first game.

Well, they scared up a squirrel. Since Bubba saw it first, he got first shot. He raised up his gun and carefully aimed. He was rock solid still. He slowly squeezed the trigger sending #6 shot into the tree blasting shards of bark from the loblolly pine tree. They waited for the squirrel to fall. Nothing.

Soon they heard the chattering bark of the squirrel taunting them. The squirrel had survived.

Rufus said that is was his turn. With all of his energy, he raised the gun to his shoulder and squinted looking for the squirrel. The weight of the gun was almost too much and he struggle dto keep it pointed at the tree. Soon he was pointing the gun all over the forest - left, right, high, low - there was nothing steady about his aim or his stance.

Rufus winced in pain. He tightly closed his eyes and pulled the trigger. A few seconds later they heard the familiar thud of the dead squirrel hitting the ground.

Rufus grinned, especially at wining the bet.

As he was handing over the $20, Bubba replied, "No wonder you got him. You aimed all over that tree!"


My brother, a friend and I went rabbit hunting one brisk winter morning.. I shot a rabbit..but it wasn't quite dead.. my buddy aimed his 12 gauge ( yep, 12). at the rabbit to finish it off.  Well at close range, there was NOTHING left of the rabbit..

Aug 22, 2020 - 8:52:27 AM
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Earworm

USA

170 posts since 1/30/2018

There are a lot of musical traditions and genres that bend notes. I think people mischaracterize fiddling when they try to compare it to classical music. Consider Jazz, Blues, Rock, and many folk music traditions the world around. Bending notes is part of the language of the person playing, almost as nuanced as speech itself. I don't believe in overdoing slides, but with a full spectrum of tonalities like strings naturally have, why not use them? It's just delicious music.

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