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Sep 23, 2022 - 6:00:55 AM

2869 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Erock77

Love your insight. I am watching and listening to EVERY style of bowing. From Ray Chen, to Bruce Mulsky, Kenny Baker to Darol Anger, Dirk Powell to Michael Cleveland (Wicked Bow I might add) and all points in between. 


If one investigates O.T.  may I suggest investigating Cyril Stinnett. If it appears the video is mirrored or reversed it's not. Well worth knowing he lived, and played.

Sep 23, 2022 - 6:46:13 AM
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JonD

USA

129 posts since 2/12/2021

“...the polyrhythm is obvious.” “…that’s not polyrhythm”. “Keep discussing polyrhythms” OK OK but what bow actions are we referring to as “whatevers” and what is it about them that deflects from the tradition? I listened carefully to both Winder tracks and I’m afraid don’t have a clue what is being critiqued here.

Sep 23, 2022 - 7:09:19 AM

Erockin

USA

227 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
quote:
Originally posted by Erock77

Love your insight. I am watching and listening to EVERY style of bowing. From Ray Chen, to Bruce Mulsky, Kenny Baker to Darol Anger, Dirk Powell to Michael Cleveland (Wicked Bow I might add) and all points in between. 


If one investigates O.T.  may I suggest investigating Cyril Stinnett. If it appears the video is mirrored or reversed it's not. Well worth knowing he lived, and played.


Subscribed to what I think is your channel. Checking ole lefty out now. Very cool to watch and listen. Thanks for the suggestion!

Sep 23, 2022 - 7:49:19 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1087 posts since 6/22/2016

It's worth bearing in mind that most musicians of any stripe just want to play music in the way that most athletes just want to play their game - they're not much interested in its history and traditions. Even in those traditions in which much seems to be made of tradition, when you hear the actual musicians talk about it, it's often little more than stage patter, as anyone who has really looked into the pertinent tradition will quickly recognize. Or, it's a personal reference such as, "My father insisted I hold the bow like this (but once I got playing at festivals and touring the world, I saw lots of other fiddlers holding the bow this other way, and I thought I'd give it a try, and I did, and I found it gives me more possibilities - to show you what I mean, I'll play you a tune I picked up from the local fiddlers in our Siberian tour ....") ....

Sep 23, 2022 - 8:20:23 AM

gapbob

USA

858 posts since 4/20/2008

Just think of it as being on a different level, don't have the time to explain it to you.

Edited by - gapbob on 09/23/2022 08:21:41

Sep 23, 2022 - 9:08:38 AM
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DougD

USA

10964 posts since 12/2/2007

Erock77 - I'm not sure that's such a wide sample of styles, but I guess time will tell. Since you mentioned Kenny Baker, I thought you might enjoy this little anecdote about his bowing:
youtu.be/Twkj7wBfHWA We have some members who firmly believe the "Nashville Shuffle" is the great key to fiddle playing, but apparently Kenny did not agree. You've probably found that there are some straightforward YouTube videos of him where you can clearly see what he's doing with the bow.
Another player who might be helpful for you was JP Fraley:
youtu.be/nYMLiC9wdAQ
And the late Paul David Smith also fit in that area between old time, Bluegrass and country. I'm attaching an example (I'm playing guitar and singing harmony).


Sep 23, 2022 - 9:24:40 AM

Erockin

USA

227 posts since 9/3/2022

Thanks for the links, Doug. I had to check the one of you out first. Very cool!

Sep 23, 2022 - 11:05:57 AM

970 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by JonD

“...the polyrhythm is obvious.” “…that’s not polyrhythm”. “Keep discussing polyrhythms” OK OK but what bow actions are we referring to as “whatevers” and what is it about them that deflects from the tradition? I listened carefully to both Winder tracks and I’m afraid don’t have a clue what is being critiqued here.


I'm glad you asked, and I think that answering it might help to clarify things and get back to the original topic. The "whatever" here is the use of slurs into the beat, or holding a note into the next bar or strong beat, which was described as a pause or waiting to catch up. A Celtic fiddler recently told me that this technique is a cornerstone of Irish playing and that slurring into the beat from the offbeat is the quickest way to develop an autbmhentic sound. It's important to distinguish here that the tempo of the tune is not changing in any way; it's the implied emhpasis of the beat that's different. Another thing that's happening is that on the second note of the slur, a double stop is being played with a higher or lower string (generally an open string) for just that one note's value, sometimes referred to as a pulse. To get a sense for that effect, you can try a long bow on one string while changing the bow level just enough to catch another string on the offbeats.

This is a technique that makes use of syncopation, as the emphasis of the beat is subverted. The confusion with polyrhythm or polyphony began when it was incorrectly assumed that the pulse was a polyrhythm because the string beats were being de-emphasized, some notes were being carried into the next strong beat, and the pulse was stressing weaker beats. What rules out polyrhythm is the fact that the pulse is still occurring on a regular beat, even if not a strong one. To be a polyrhythm, a separate rhythm that is not mathematically equivalent must be played simultaneously. An example of this is to overlay a rhythm of 3/4 beats on another of 4/4 beats. The metronome marking is the same, so each bar starts and ends with the rhythms aligned, but the beats throughout the bar do not align.

Here is a video that shows this with audral and visual cues:

https://youtu.be/wQWQUc8CCa0

Here is a video of Bruce Molsky talking about old time technique. I find it especially interesting because he cites his sources of inspiration for the techniques, none of which are new. The tune at the beginning of the video is a good example of the bowing patterns in question. 
https://youtu.be/2Kd0DIZ_IOU

Sep 23, 2022 - 2:39:47 PM

109 posts since 3/15/2022

I hear a lot of Kentucky in Kenny Baker's playing.

Sep 23, 2022 - 4:53:37 PM

2328 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by fiddlenerd

I hear a lot of Kentucky in Kenny Baker's playing.


I am a big Kenny Baker fan, and know he comes from Kentucky coal mining country. To me he's a singular figure in that his fiddling seems unique, but he must have had many influences from the area. What about his playing do you hear, echos of other players?

Sep 23, 2022 - 6:57:33 PM
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Mobob

USA

225 posts since 10/1/2009

marion summner

Sep 23, 2022 - 7:16:40 PM
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3217 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

3 into or against 4, is what a three finged banjer roll does.
Poly-rythmn is Professor Long Hair's Tipatina.
- As you were


A 3-finger roll is a triplet--three notes in the space of one beat. Three against four literally means two rhythms are being played at the same time. You need two players to do that or an instrument that's not part of the bowed or plucked family. There are different rolls a banjo player can use, but they're just varieties of the same thing, some with added syncopation. 
 

Polyrhythms are not actually that obscure in popular music. They're used in some very famous  rock and jazz pieces. 


??? It seems like you don't have much actual experience with that style of banjo?

But nope, banjo roll patterns are not triplets nor playing 3 notes in space of 4, much different concept and not point of that style of banjo. That style example does give good example that it doesn't require 2 players.

As all even eighth notes; 4 notes per beat, the 3 finger pattern (TIM or ITM) creates.... Doh da dit doh, Da dit doh da, Dit doh da dit, Doh da dit...  gives sense in groups of 3, but other accent(s), esp dynamic (as well melodic/harmonic); is in 4. It's like what Pete mentions in the Juba patting (up/down/over)... 3 against 4.  (the struggle some beginners is accent doing something in 3 but giving accent in 4; otherwise sounds like jig.)

Fiddle bowing can use that as well. Hokum/double shuffle, simple example. LOW low high low LOW high low low, HIGH low low high, LOW high LOW. Of course can be done in other ways, including more pitch diversity like banjo example.

In these more the pitches give sense in groups of 3, but dynamic accent is in 4. But it can be sometimes inverted where pitch (or melodic/harmonic aspects) gives sense of 2 or 4 but dynamic accent is using 3.

As well, a different but somewhat common rhythm idea comes from overlaying 332, (or offset 332), with straight binary rhythm (2 or 4). Along those lines, bowing patterns such as the 3311, somewhat naturally create that dynamic rhythmic accent/pulse; interplay with other aspects in the tune gives binary 2ness. So similar of one rhythm against another; and can come from player.

[The reason one player can achieve this; goes a bit more into music theory and discussion of meter, rhythm and importantly how there are different accent types going on at same time, even from a single player employ each aspect a bit separate.]  

Which I think might relate to what gabob, or Billy are referring to... "using the bow in a poly rhythmic way"... that aspects of the tune giving a binary 2ness, but the bowing is not aligning to that default, rather giving some secondary rhythmic feel... probably using some aspect of 3s.

Sep 23, 2022 - 8:23:52 PM

3217 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by fiddlenerd

Observation...

Estill Bingham is the source .
Notice the predictable and mechanical bowing from the modern fiddler that sounds just like a bunch of other modern fiddlers.
Notice the bowing of Estill Bingham.
Two different worlds. Two different styles of music.

Modern: youtu.be/PI2w_Nsh1Mk
Source: slippery-hill.com/content/cotton-bonnet


To this original tune... a curiosity to me is playing it in G? 

I learned it in D, perhaps from that same Estill Bingham recoding, but might have been a friend? What we've always played it in, and plays great in D.

Yet I noted lot's of references to it being a G tune, (as listed on SH); including Paul on TOTW says what typically played in. That's what Tatiana and Alison play it in. But that Estill recording seems like it is played as a D tune (it is a bit sharp though closer to Eb). Does seem esp a bit odd that some folks who are very "to the source" folks, and even the Slippery Hill file says key of G. Is there some other recording Estill or is from some other played as G? 

I'm not really that concerned with some idea of authentic/source, "right"... find nothing against playing it as G tune, that works too; but just found bit curiosity?

Sep 23, 2022 - 9:55:21 PM

109 posts since 3/15/2022

Echos of other players in Kenny Baker... Paul Smith, JP Fraley,Carlton Rawlings, and Snake Chapman. Listen to their phrasing. They're making statements with the bows not playing a pattern. Long bow when they want. Saw it when they want. Also it's sophisticated.... like Appalachian people .

Sep 23, 2022 - 10:00:25 PM

970 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler
??? It seems like you don't have much actual experience with that style of banjo?

 

Yes, that's true, I don't have much familiarity with banjo playing styles. I've played with some banjo players in jams over the years, but I don't recall them using rolls in playing. Maybe they did and I was unaware.

To learn about the rolls, I watched a couple tutorial videos after reading the comment about them, and in both of them, the players taught the rolls as groups of three, all played like a 3/4 pattern with its emphasis pattern. After doing this, the series of 3 notes continued, but the emphasis was shifted over a series of 9 notes (strong weak weak, weak strong weak,  weak weak strong). I also found that in some examples, the pattern was not three eighth notes, but something more akin to a dotted eighth with two sixteenth notes. 

After reading more about it, I see what you mean by a series of 4 notes, as that's how it shows up in the Wiki article. Notated that way, the emphasis shifts so that a series of 8 notes seems to hint at a 3 note structure. The tutorial videos are at odds with this, so it seems they were perhaps wrong. In that I stand corrected. 
 

All that being said, my other points still stand--3 against four means two separate rhythms being combined on top of one another. The banjo roll may imply a different rhythm, but it still follows one rhythmic structure; in other words, the time signature remains 4/4, even if the stressed beats hint at a 3/4 pattern. That means the roll is not three against four. My point about needing two players is that to actually accomplish that pattern you need one hand playing a 4/4 pattern while another plays a 3/4 one. A pianist or drummer can do this because the hands can play separate lines. A monophonic instrument may mimic the sound of a pattern, but it doesn't truly play in a polyrhythm.
 

Sep 24, 2022 - 5:32:37 AM

DougD

USA

10964 posts since 12/2/2007

Alaskafiddler - That's an interesting observation. That recording is definitely close to concert Eb, but not only the M-K Collection but also Jeff Todd Titon's "Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes" just confidently say "G" without comment. In the nice little handout linked to earlier in this thread, Ron Pen, a fiddler and scholar, says Estill liked to play in G, and to me it "feels" as though he's playing that tune in G position. That would mean he's tuned down a major third, or the source recording is off speed. As I said earlier, I was in pretty close touch with Bob Butler at the time those recordings were made and that's probably a cassette recording, but it doesn't sound that far off. I don't think Bob played himself and we never discussed it. A few years ago I asked Bruce Greene if he knew what had become of Bob and he didn't know.
Bruce, who of course is a fiddler himself, also recorded Estill Binghamat about the same time and might know the real answer. There are a lot more recordings of Estill at Slippery Hill and at Berea, easily found through the DLA, if you want to investigate further.
Don't know for sure if this will work, but here's a link to recordings of Estill at Berea by both Bruce and Bob, including this one, which plays in Eb there too. dla.acaweb.org/digital/search/...20Bingham

Edited by - DougD on 09/24/2022 05:44:30

Sep 24, 2022 - 6:07:26 AM

DougD

USA

10964 posts since 12/2/2007

PS - One tune both Bob and Bruce recorded was "Old Granny Blair." Both recordings are identified as "audio cassette" and both play in the Eb to E range. In my experience its fairly rare for a fiddler to tune UP, so my guess is that Estill was playing in G position, but tuned pretty far down.

Sep 24, 2022 - 6:26:50 AM

55 posts since 6/12/2015

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

 Since you mentioned Kenny Baker, I thought you might enjoy this little anecdote about his bowing:
youtu.be/Twkj7wBfHWA We have some members who firmly believe the "Nashville Shuffle" is the great key to fiddle playing, but apparently Kenny did not agree. You've probably found that there are some straightforward YouTube videos of him where you can clearly see what he's doing with the bow.


One weird thing about that video is I actually like the first, shuffley style Wicklund plays (as well as the smoother Kenny Baker style). I wonder what Kenny Baker thought about Paul Warren's fiddling. I know they shared stages often and were probably good friends. Warren definitely seemed to use a lot of Nashville Shuffle, and sounded great.

Sep 24, 2022 - 6:59:49 AM

JonD

USA

129 posts since 2/12/2021

There is a transcription of Salyer's recording here tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:K...ky_Winder

It's described there as a variant of Big Scioty but crooked. I listened through both Salyer and Hargreaves slowed down, comparing to the notation, and it sounds like she is doing a bit to smooth out the crookedness where she adds back a couple beats to the measures notated as 3:4. Anyone hear this too? I could be wrong.

She is definitely slurring across the bar line more often than Salyer, as pointed out earlier. But I'm still not hearing anything close to what was described as a pulse of 3 across a series of 4 to the bar. Her version has a different feel, a lot 'snakier' to me, I guess due to the slurring. The Salyer is brilliant and boldly crooked, a whole other beast. Apples and oranges for sure.

I'm fascinated by crooked tunes, having learned to back a few over the years as a guitar backer, but I haven't ventured there on fiddle yet (main focus on Irish trad). But I'm intrigued and want to listen to more.

Sep 24, 2022 - 7:22:49 AM
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14110 posts since 9/23/2009

Just an observation from groundhog's eyes and ears...so take with a grain of groundhog gravy...er, maybe salt...anyhow...when Fiddle Nerd says he hears Kentucky in Kenny Baker's fiddling...I agree...I hear it too. But then what I mean is not a comparison of other Kentucky fiddlers, but a sound that conjures up Kentucky culture or just the feeling of being there. Sort of like Canadian fiddling...I've never been anywhere near Canada and never studied, listened to or heard Canadian fiddlers...yet, when I hear certain fiddling I feel that I'm in Canada...right there and it almost feels like home. When I hear Cajun fiddling...again...never been to Cajun country...never knew of any real Cajun fiddlers, but their fiddling screams Cajun country and there I am in the delta feeling it. I mean...just some fiddlers...they don't need to study or try to get a sound...it's just undeniably there...it's in there so tight so you can't pull it apart or compare it, parse it, etc....Kenny Baker just brings Kentucky mountains out through his fiddling. A lot of fiddlers bring a cultural nucleus to life in their fiddling. Just my opinion, based on my observation...a person who has never bought records or studied or even knew about many famous fiddlers...just what I sense as the overwhelming core of their playing whenever I do hear it.

Sep 24, 2022 - 7:33:13 AM
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14110 posts since 9/23/2009

...and I will say in my opinion again...lol...you don't have to have actual roots in an area to just get that in your playing...I mean, I don't think you can just jump in and imitate it...well, you can, but I think that cultural nucleus I'm calling it today...at least with this cup of coffee I'm calling it that...just that thing has to be ready to explode out of you when you play...any style. And certain things just easily explode out of certain people...I say this remember when they were making the movie, "The Dollmaker," (not recommended, by the way...that is a terrible rendition of the actual novel by Kentucky author Harriette Simpson Arnow, if you wanna know about that, buy the novel...read that book, which is a difficult read, emotionally I mean...it's as wild an emotional/psychological/philosophical trip as any Tolstoy novel...but the movie is absolutely horrible...)...anyway when they were filming that movie...Jane Fonda was in town for some of the filming...by the way, this was just down the road from the author's grave, but Jane Fonda was the lead character in the movie and was in town and decided to run down to the Museum of Appalachia, just down the road in TN. She was trying to assimilate some old Appalachian culture to try to get her character down...anyway, they had a quote from her on their brochure for a while after that...I don't remmber exactly how she said it, but essentially she felt very nostalgic for the life remnants she saw at the museum...homesick for a life she didn't even live herself...and that, regardless of how bad that movie was (lol...part of it was how bad the writers strayed from the novel and just didn't understand it), that to me is the same feeling that music will happen to a fiddler. You play Kentucky, you play Cajun, you play Canada...you play Mexico...you play so that the listener gets the culture...without ever having to go there. That's what I think. How you get that way I don't know, but how Jane Fonda got homesick for Appalachia must be the same psychological process of how any of us get anywhere with music. And a place, a culture, a life is more than the observable.

Sep 24, 2022 - 8:49:47 AM

DougD

USA

10964 posts since 12/2/2007

Screecher - Interesting question. I know Kenny was good friends with Josh Grves, but I don't know about Paul Warren. Funny that I'd consider both of them (along with maybe Curly Ray Cline) to be among the most "old time" sounding Bluegrass fiddlers, even though their styles were so different (although I don't think Paul Warren always used that "shuffly" style).
For those not familiar with Paul Warren - Awhile back someone here was trying to learn "Roll in my Sweet Baby's Arms" and I thought of suggesting they watch this clip of Flatt and Scruggs: youtu.be/zDgYN5qeG4Y I decided that was probably useless for a beginning fiddler!
But compare that to the Mercury record that was released:
youtu.be/2UvSJcqJeyc
That's Benny Sims playing fiddle. No suffle at all, but it still works!

Sep 24, 2022 - 10:22:05 AM

109 posts since 3/15/2022

And Kentucky itself is in the music...The land shapes the culture and the music and vice versa.

Sep 24, 2022 - 11:32:46 AM
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14110 posts since 9/23/2009

which came first, the chicken or the egg? Just wondering if anybody knows. You can't explode unless you have somehow absorbed what you'll be exploding first...how does it happen? In my illustrative story above...in which Jane Fonda, of all unlikely people, seemed to absorb a lot from her trip to the Museum of Appalachia...i guess she exploded that in the movie, yet the movie writers were so bad it did no good...but...just meanderings of unleashed groundhogisms...take what you will...explode if you can.

Sep 24, 2022 - 12:00:14 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

1087 posts since 6/22/2016

Ezra Pound came up with the term 'vortex' for the kind of thing you're talking about, where the artist and/or the work of art is the center of a swirl of cultural, social, political, geographical, etc., elements that you can't really distinguish one from another, with no 'first' to the chicken and egg conundrum, so to speak.

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