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May 12, 2022 - 2:11:30 PM
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10148 posts since 3/19/2009

That thought is dear to me.. Each note is important by itself.. Today I've been working on the Robert Sykes version of Black Eyed Susan..not too fast of a tune but a tune that offers plenty of opportunities to LISTEN to how the individual notes sound .There is so much to learn..
What are your thoughts on this topic?

May 12, 2022 - 2:17:55 PM
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Swing

USA

2134 posts since 6/26/2007

The quick answer is yes, each note has a beginning, a middle and an end...the other side of that in certain types of music i.e. slow swing and jazz and even some waltzes... they are not even within a single note... thus when someone plays a tune we hear longer or shorter durations of a single note even though the timing is spot on..... makes sense to me...

Play Happy

Swing

May 12, 2022 - 2:48:45 PM

Old Scratch

Canada

951 posts since 6/22/2016

Whatever floats yer boat, turns your crank, gets you through the night ....

May 12, 2022 - 3:46:47 PM
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2188 posts since 8/27/2008

I think each note is important in the context of the other notes around it. I don't know how it can be important all on its own in a fast tune. When a tune is slow your idea is more meaningful because there is time to treat each note individually. In many fiddle tunes there's not time so I would tend instead to think of the clarity and personality of the phrase they make up. That is, each phrase has a beginning, middle, and end.

May 12, 2022 - 3:57:59 PM

Old Scratch

Canada

951 posts since 6/22/2016

Martin Hayes, from whom the notion came, habitually plays even 'fast' tunes 'slow' ....

May 12, 2022 - 4:59:18 PM

10148 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

I think each note is important in the context of the other notes around it. I don't know how it can be important all on its own in a fast tune. When a tune is slow your idea is more meaningful because there is time to treat each note individually. In many fiddle tunes there's not time so I would tend instead to think of the clarity and personality of the phrase they make up. That is, each phrase has a beginning, middle, and end.


Even in fast tunes there are often Long notes that can be worked with, but I know what you mean.. Funny, but what your last sentence is.. I had just typed before I realized you said the same thing.. about phrases having a beginning, middle and end.. I guess it is true that geniuses  think alike..wink

May 12, 2022 - 5:16:20 PM
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2357 posts since 8/23/2008

Another way to engage your total attention and avoid the unreliability of 'auto pilot'; focus on minute details....

May 12, 2022 - 5:17:34 PM
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3014 posts since 9/13/2009

Not sure if this is what you are after, or if explains.

One is sound envelope with  4 parameters...  ADSR envelope, attack, decay, sustain, release. (there are other similar concepts). Withing that envelope is not just change of volume, but timbre changes.

Related to that, the feel of rhythmic qualities is affected not just by timing (or loudness) of start, by how and when notes end... and sense of space between notes. which affects how notes connect, glue together to create phrasing... and sense of rhythmic accent. (even fast tunes)

Some of this can play around with by diddling... using different consonant and vowel sounds... and diphthongs. Technology, computer, DAWs, has made it easy play with these ADSR concepts...  help visualize concept and feel how changes make difference.

These concepts, to me relate to part of what my bowing is based.

FWIW, this was why MIDI/computer sounds struggled to create natural sound (like fiddle)... kind of use same envelope definition for every note, with little way to vary it.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 05/12/2022 17:33:14

May 12, 2022 - 6:11:26 PM
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408 posts since 7/30/2021

I was actually planning to read Martin Hayes' biography "Shared Notes" to figure out what he meant when he said that!

Did he mean, pay attention to the 'shape' of your notes, how you start them and end them?
Or there is the saying..."Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end"... did it come from that?
Is it some kind of zen music saying? ( Should I get it put on a Tshirt? :-)

Well, will post if I find more out!

May 12, 2022 - 6:31:53 PM

2637 posts since 10/22/2007

What about double stops?

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May 12, 2022 - 6:58:23 PM
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DougD

USA

10589 posts since 12/2/2007

About all I can add is that you can look forward to the beginning before it happens and reminisce about the ending after its over, but the real trick is to fully enjoy the middle while its happening.

May 12, 2022 - 7:28:03 PM

13313 posts since 9/23/2009

omg...this could be even more interesting that the bowing threads...lol.

May 12, 2022 - 7:38:06 PM
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10148 posts since 3/19/2009

I'm reminded of the young man who came for a free fiddle lesson.. He said he only knew one tune, Angeline the Baker.. He played it.. I was stunned... He played it a little slowly but Every note was played from his heart.....Every note was meaningful .. and every note sounded amazing.. I lost touch with him but I can only imagine that he has become a good fiddler....

May 13, 2022 - 4:45:34 AM
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carlb

USA

2433 posts since 2/2/2008

For me, it's all about the phrase, i.e. groups of notes and spaces between them, whether in fast or slow tunes.

May 13, 2022 - 7:01:57 AM
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boxbow

USA

2720 posts since 2/3/2011

Engage the string to initiate tone, sustain the tone, then either disengage the string to end the tone or move to a different tone. The playing sounds way better than the description.

May 13, 2022 - 7:29:55 AM
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2188 posts since 8/27/2008

To me, the idea that "Each note is important by itself" leaves me unsatisfied in the way that "music is the spaces between the notes" or whatever that is. Sounds important but nothing there.

May 13, 2022 - 8:23:56 AM
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39 posts since 12/26/2021

"Music is the space between the notes.

For some reason I've always associate that quote with BB King, but it turns out it was Claude Debussy,
neither of whom was an Old Time or Bluegrass fiddler. BB King was a master of the spaces between, he'd hit a phrase or note, and leave you hanging suspended, till the next note released the tension.

I kinda of agree with Carl that for fiddle music it's all about the phrase, rather than the individual notes that comprise it. It's all about how the notes flow together, how the stress and accents fall to create a meaningful phrase, more than the individual notes.

May 13, 2022 - 9:04:17 AM
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2188 posts since 8/27/2008

note


May 13, 2022 - 10:08:26 AM
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DougD

USA

10589 posts since 12/2/2007

Boy, I hope they were in tune!

May 13, 2022 - 10:24:17 AM

408 posts since 7/30/2021

LOL, thanks for leaving this note for us!

May 13, 2022 - 10:31:14 AM
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13313 posts since 9/23/2009

I don't think I even wanna get into this topic...lol....yet I'm enjoying the reading. Glad the caveman band just looks like they had only one note to worry about...life is complicated enough ...

May 13, 2022 - 12:10:51 PM

1868 posts since 4/6/2014

Martin Hayes's playing makes me feel sea sick.

heretically speaking...

Edited by - pete_fiddle on 05/13/2022 12:16:25

May 13, 2022 - 1:03:36 PM
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2043 posts since 12/11/2008

Sing the tune the way you want to play it. If you're getting the tune straight off a page of music, do the tune over and over until it makes sense to you. If it's a fiddle tune/folk tune, don't worry. It'll be eminently approachable and singable. It won't be long before you're just letting it happen.

May 13, 2022 - 1:26:08 PM

5958 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

 It won't be long before you're just letting it happen.


I like what was said earlier:

"Another way to engage your total attention and avoid the unreliability of 'auto pilot'; focus on minute details...."

May 13, 2022 - 1:50:09 PM
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10148 posts since 3/19/2009

As my old favorite saying goes, (from great banjo player Cathy Moore) 'if you can't play it slow, you can't play it fast.." Pretty much.. Slowing a tune down to get good fingering/intonation/phrasing.. can only help when playing it fast.(arguable, I know.. and you know me.. I'll hesitate before I argue about fiddling..)

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 05/13/2022 13:50:54

May 13, 2022 - 3:48:24 PM
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1868 posts since 4/6/2014

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

As my old favorite saying goes, (from great banjo player Cathy Moore) 'if you can't play it slow, you can't play it fast.." Pretty much.. Slowing a tune down to get good fingering/intonation/phrasing.. can only help when playing it fast.(arguable, I know.. and you know me.. I'll hesitate before I argue about fiddling..)

 


Sounds like good advise.... But playing a tune slow is no substitute for playing it fast. You'll have to drop/alter/ghost notes and maybe change the fingering and bowing to get it up to tempo.

learning how to do that and still sound good is a different thing IMO. i think that fast players practice playing fast.

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