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Sep 22, 2023 - 4:45:22 PM
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2626 posts since 8/27/2008

Since favorite tunes in specific keys has come up, I realized at a recent jam that I have a fondness for playing in standard tuning some A tunes generally played in AEAE. I play weekly with someone who plays these tunes (when we get to them) in altered tuning while I play straight. Neither of us could comfortably change positions now, and that is one reason I learn them in standard tuning - overall it's easier for me. An advantage in playing them straight is the fingered low A-E strings double stop can be slid into to, with some funky vibrato if you want. Either way these A Tunes are good tunes in my book (literally, all these tunes are here).

 

Boys Them Buzzards Are Flying

Greasy Coat

Hangman's Reel

Hell & Sissors

Long Time To Get There

Old Dirty Boot


 

Sep 22, 2023 - 4:52:49 PM

hayesdt

USA

411 posts since 12/14/2010

Goodbye Girls I'm Going to Boston

Sep 22, 2023 - 6:31:20 PM

3370 posts since 10/22/2007

"That Good Tune in A" from Dwight Lamb
"Rubber Dolly" (not Back Up & Push)
I don't keep alot of tunes in my head

Sep 22, 2023 - 7:00:43 PM
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892 posts since 6/11/2019

I'm not much of a dance tune fiddler--really just a lead/break guy for country music, but these cover numbers in A might jog a pleasant memory for those of a certain age:

- Amie (Pure Prairie League)

- Runaway (Del Shannon)

- Layla (Eric Clapton)

Edited by - Flat_the_3rd_n7th on 09/22/2023 19:01:07

Sep 23, 2023 - 6:07:09 AM
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wilford

USA

507 posts since 6/26/2007

Favorites in A that I play nearly every day:
Salt Creek, Red-Haired Boy, Theme Time, Uncle Pen, Charmaine, Big Country, Big Mon, Pike County Breakdown, Monroe's Hornpipe, Cherokee Shuffle, Missouri Road, Virginia Darlin', Union County, Old Dangerfield, Washington County, Sweet Memories Waltz, Sweet Journey, Cripple Creek, Maiden's Prayer, Big John McNeil, Joys of Quebec, Maple Sugar, Devil's Dream, Across the Big Sandy, Angus Campbell, Old Joe Clark, Sally Goodin, Clinchfield Backstep, Scotland, Little Liza Jane, Gold Rush, Road to Columbus, Fire on the Mountain, Black Mountain Rag, Flannery's Dream, Blanchard's Hornpipe, Wabash Cannonball, Rose of Sharon, Dance Around Molly, Goin' Up Brushy Fork, etc.....

Sep 23, 2023 - 6:10:12 AM

Earworm

USA

542 posts since 1/30/2018

Jenny on the Railroad
Donnez Moi Pauline

Sep 23, 2023 - 6:40:15 AM
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3370 posts since 10/22/2007

I wish Heber Springs wasn't ten hours away.

Sep 23, 2023 - 6:58:12 AM

6543 posts since 8/7/2009

Unfortunately, I don't play anything in the key of A (in standard tuning).  surprise

...perhaps one day.  indecision

Sep 23, 2023 - 3:40:33 PM
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2497 posts since 12/11/2008

I've gotten to the point of my ability (or is it sheer laziness?) where, often as not, I'll just play a Cross A tune in standard tuning. Yeah, doing the tunes in cross does lend them more authoritative tone and bite, but when I'm playing a fiddle with synthetic strings I just don't want to risk breaking a string.

Sep 23, 2023 - 5:26:41 PM
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892 posts since 6/11/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

I've gotten to the point of my ability (or is it sheer laziness?) where, often as not, I'll just play a Cross A tune in standard tuning. Yeah, doing the tunes in cross does lend them more authoritative tone and bite, but when I'm playing a fiddle with synthetic strings I just don't want to risk breaking a string.


That's not laziness--the instrument doesn't care whether an A is sounded by stopping a string with the nut or your finger.  Reverb happens with 1/2, 1/3 1/4 and other string lengths.  As long as there's another string tuned to A.  As in standard.

Sep 23, 2023 - 6:06:02 PM
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carlb

USA

2654 posts since 2/2/2008

From my list:

-GDAE - banjo: aEADE-, All Young, British Field March, Buffalo Skinners, Cattle in the Cane, Coo Coo Bird, Devil in the Straw Stack, Ducks in the Pond (Reed), Fine Times at Our House, Frosty Morning, Hannah at the Springhouse, Hickory Jack, Jenny on the Railroad, Johnny Cope, Kitchen Girl, Little Sadie, Loch Laven Castle, Me and My Uncle, Paddy on the Turnpike, Pretty Little Dog, Rainy Day, Sail Away Ladies (Jarrell), Same Old Man, Shady Grove (Reed), Shaking Down the Acorns, Texas, Twenty-eighth of January, Twin Sisters, West Virginia Girls,

-GDAE - banjo: aEAC#E-, Bill Cheatham, Boatman, Dinah, Fire on the Mountain, Little Beggerman, Margaret's Waltz (D&G), Prince William*, Salt River, Wake Up Susan, Who Broke the Lock, Wine's Delight,

Sep 24, 2023 - 5:13:19 AM
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Peghead

USA

1714 posts since 1/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Flat_the_3rd_n7th
quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

I've gotten to the point of my ability (or is it sheer laziness?) where, often as not, I'll just play a Cross A tune in standard tuning. Yeah, doing the tunes in cross does lend them more authoritative tone and bite, but when I'm playing a fiddle with synthetic strings I just don't want to risk breaking a string.


That's not laziness--the instrument doesn't care whether an A is sounded by stopping a string with the nut or your finger.  Reverb happens with 1/2, 1/3 1/4 and other string lengths.  As long as there's another string tuned to A.  As in standard.

I agree with you there, but there is a bit more  sustain and tension out of the tuned up A and  E, pluse you can move on to the next phrase and they're still ringing. That said, I don't retune much, unless the tune requires it specifically, I'm thinking of tunes like Fine Times at Our House ADAE that can't be done realistically any other way. For many A tunes it's just a convention but not absolutely necessary. Yes, it makes playing the melody in the low register the same fingering and immediately accessible but I personally don't find that parallism especially interesting tonally. For me, the decision for cross A vs standard is whether the open G and D strings are useful in the tonality of the tune. The low G in particular is huge and very useful to have in modal tunes.  In cross A it's not there. There's a little more technique required to get that full droned sound  in standard tuning, you need a good strong pinky drone but it's a good thing to be have generally especially for keys other than A. 

Edited by - Peghead on 09/24/2023 05:31:56

Sep 24, 2023 - 7:36:15 PM
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6485 posts since 9/26/2008

Tipping Back the Corn

Sep 26, 2023 - 2:25:37 PM
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Fiddler

USA

4399 posts since 6/22/2007

My commonly played Key of A tunes in standard, Italian tuning:
Granny Will Your Dog Bite
Lazy Kate
Bear Creek Hop
Miller's Reel
Devil's Dream
McLeod's Reel (hop high ladies, Uncle Joe, etc)
Wake Up Susan
Big John McNeil
Joys of Quebec.
Old Mother Flannagan
Speed the Plow
Margaret's Waltz
Pacific Slope
Angus Campbell
Mason's Apron
Growling Old Man and Woman
Falls of Richmond
Salt River Reel
Coming Down From Denver
Jack Danielson's Reel
Jimmy Johnson Bring the Cider Jug From Around the Hill
Bull at the Wagon (also AEae)
Little Billy Wilson (also AEae)
Booth Shot Lincoln (also AEae)
Half-past Four (also AEae)

.... and the list goes on ... and on...
Most things that I play in AEae, I also play out of standard.

Sep 26, 2023 - 3:45:40 PM
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99 posts since 4/4/2023

Sourwood Mountain

Sep 26, 2023 - 4:53:11 PM
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DougD

USA

11932 posts since 12/2/2007
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"Moneymusk" Henry Reed's version
"Waterbound" I'm sure some play this crosstuned, but I don't.

Oct 1, 2023 - 6:20:20 PM
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6485 posts since 9/26/2008

I know some who play all A tunes in cross like Tony does. I play in whatever is convenient. There are some tunes that really sound best in cross due to the resonance. There are some that sound best (in my opinion) in standard, particularly any that have a G natural note that is more than an accidental.

Oct 5, 2023 - 7:05:03 PM
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99 posts since 4/4/2023

Sugar in the Gourd, Oh Susanna, Chinquapin Hunting, Golden Slippers.
Tried that old-time version of Lost Indian in standard tuning but the lower 2 strings just don't sound as good noted as the open A & E down there do.

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