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Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?

GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 23 Aug 03 - 03:14 AM
greg stephens 23 Aug 03 - 05:53 AM
Mark Cohen 23 Aug 03 - 05:57 AM
Jim McLean 23 Aug 03 - 06:01 AM
Mark Cohen 23 Aug 03 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 23 Aug 03 - 06:21 AM
catspaw49 23 Aug 03 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 23 Aug 03 - 07:14 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Aug 03 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Jon 23 Aug 03 - 08:06 AM
smallpiper 23 Aug 03 - 08:18 AM
Pied Piper 23 Aug 03 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 23 Aug 03 - 01:09 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Aug 03 - 01:11 PM
wysiwyg 23 Aug 03 - 01:18 PM
Barry T 23 Aug 03 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,Jon 23 Aug 03 - 02:02 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Aug 03 - 03:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 03 - 04:21 PM
Kim C 23 Aug 03 - 04:53 PM
Phil Cooper 23 Aug 03 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 24 Aug 03 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Jon 24 Aug 03 - 07:00 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Aug 03 - 01:04 PM
Art Thieme 24 Aug 03 - 01:52 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Aug 03 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Aug 03 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Rick 25 Aug 03 - 01:08 PM
alison 26 Aug 03 - 05:28 AM
mooman 26 Aug 03 - 06:03 AM
Tattie Bogle 26 Aug 03 - 09:06 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 26 Aug 03 - 10:27 PM
alison 26 Aug 03 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,Martin Hughes 27 Aug 03 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Frankham 27 Aug 03 - 06:22 PM
treewind 27 Aug 03 - 07:06 PM
Kudzuman 27 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM
fogie 28 Aug 03 - 06:08 AM
greg stephens 28 Aug 03 - 06:56 AM
treewind 28 Aug 03 - 08:02 AM
death by whisky 28 Aug 03 - 08:47 AM
Snuffy 28 Aug 03 - 01:42 PM
alison 29 Aug 03 - 01:34 AM
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Subject: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:14 AM

I am learning to play tenor mandola. I can play some morris and country dance tunes from ear and I am slowly learning tunes from the dots, which I can't really read but if it goes diddly, diddly the notes come in 3s and tunes roll out ok.

But why is 9/8 time so odd? I can nearly play the Foxhunters Jig and the Drops of Brandy but I have wrestled with the Rocky Road to Dublin for some time and it continues to defeat me. It's as if somebody has snipped bits out of the tune just when you need them.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 05:53 AM

Persevere, Les. 9/8 (and 3/2 even more so) are both slightly archaic dance and song rhythms, so you won't have them drilled into your bones from a lifetimes top twenty(or whatever)listening.But they'll soon come naturally once youve played a few tunes.
   The Rocky Road to Dublin is a slightly different rhythm to Drops of Brandy and the Fox Hunters, which is probably why its not coming so easy. I dont think there is any agreed terminology for the difference. With 6/8 jigs, the distinction can be made into normal(or double)jigs, and slides(or single jigs). The basic difference is the double jig is sort diddley diddley , but the slide is more tumti tumti. In the case of 9/8 tunes, the Drops of Brandy/Fox Hunter tunes are more diddley diddley didddley, and Rocky Road to Dublin is more tumti tumti tumti.
    The direction you move your pick in will take some while to settle down...different players use different approaches, so you cant really say what's right. I play virtually all the main beats on a down stroke, in jigs and slip jigs, but not everybody does that.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 05:57 AM

Les, the tunes you're talking about are known as slip jigs. That doesn't explain why they're hard to play and follow (though the name might give you a clue--the downbeat seems to keep slipping past), but at least you'll have a better idea of how to ask the question!

Actually, I think it's because when we hear groups of triplets we assume the tune is in jig time (6/8), so the strong beat should come every six beats. Instead it comes after 9, which is later than 6 and too soon for 12, so it feels odd. That's the best I can do.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 06:01 AM

I find slip jigs easy to play if I count, 123,123,123 for each bar (9/8) and emphasise the first 1 in the bar.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 06:07 AM

Actually where I said "groups of triplets" I should have said "groupings of 3 beats," since a single jig generally has one set of triplets and one quarter-eighth combination per measure, while a double jig has two sets of triplets. Or do I have that backwards?

Aloha,
Mark

(Greg, you beat me to it!)


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 06:21 AM

thanks thats very clear. Does anybody else have that feeling that a bit has been chopped out and their is no time to pause before the tune is off again?

Tumti sounds useful. I had sort of spotted der dit in O'Keefe's slide, is that the same?


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 07:07 AM

On slip jigs the 123,123,123 count works well, but in anything using an "odd" time signature, you have to get the flow of the count for that particular song. Not that you're going to play a lot of other stuff in 9/8, but as a for instance since the time is popular in jazz, "Blue Rondo a la Turk" (Brubeck) counts 12,12,12,123.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 07:14 AM

Speaking of songs. Carthy and Swarbrick doing Byker Hill. I seem to remember Carthy saying they got it from Bert Lloyd, very strange and I believe in 9/8 and it does sound odd doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 08:04 AM

Les, if I was learning a slipjig from written notation, it would certainly feel a bit counter-instinctive for the reason Mark gave (5.57am). As you get familiar with a 9/8 tune though, it should start to sound quite natural. I would guess that if you were already familiar with a slipjig tune before having to think about its time signature, it would probably sound fine from the outset.

Long before John Cage and Stockhausen etc, Tchaikovsky used a time signature of 5/4 in his 6th symphony (second movement). To most people hearing that music for the first time, I think it would sound as "classical" as anything else from that period. But if you were having to learn it from the written notation, I can imagine that five beats in a bar would take some getting used to.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 08:06 AM

I don't find a bit snipped out. I feels to me that the extra (compared to 6/8) 3 beats sometimes seem to get in the way, sort of like they have been stuck on as an afterthought.

As for picking the beats, 6/8 or 9/8, As a general rule, I'm a down/up/down player for the groups of 3 notes. a freind of mine favours down/down/up for the 3 note groups, arguing that it makes it easy for him to insert an up between the 2 downs to make a triplet.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: smallpiper
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 08:18 AM

You might find that it helps if you emphasise the first beat of the groupings i.e. 123 123 123. Pipers often hold that note for a fraction longer that the others. Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Pied Piper
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 09:33 AM

Hi Les
9/8s unlike most of the the other trad dance tunes are not symetrical round the middle of the bar, this means that the stress points of the bar can be 1,4,8 but also 1,4, or 1,8,. A lot of slip jigs came from 3/2 hornpipes which have a similar asymetrical phrase structure, for example "Dance to thi Daddy" 1234, 56, emphasis on 1 and 5.
Slip jig are oftern phrased in note lengths like this
1/4 1/8, 1/8 1/8 1/8, 1/8 1/8 1/8
or
1/8 1/8 1/8, 1/8 1/8 1/8, 1/4 1/8
but all the other possibilities occur as well.
An interesting technique used in some 9/8s from the North East Tradition is to phrase the tune as if it were 6 bars of 6/8,
1/4=2 1/8=1
|2 1, 111, 2 1 | 111, 2 1, 111 | and so on.
Rhythmic ambiguety is quit common in tunes from the NE. A good example is "Kissed Her Under The Coverlet", which does not appear to on JC's Tune finder, so I'll try and post an ABC of it.

All the best

PP


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 01:09 PM

Well, seriously out of my depth now but fascinated and loins girded I return to the mandola. I see what you mean about learning the tune by listening but that Rocky Road is rockier when Luke Kelly does it more than justice.

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 01:11 PM

The dots are really a crude approximation for many tunes, particularly for those collected from an aural tradition. The 6/8 and 9/8 (and 12/8) notations are often rough equivalents to 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 respectively, but with each "beat" played in triplets.

It might be simpler, for some tunes, to think of 9/8 as being a "3/4 in triplets" rather than trying to "feel" it as having 9 beats per measure.

The difficulty comes from the inability of simple notation to show the "traditional rendering" where the 3 notes of the triplet are not strictly equal in time, and may have slight "sub-accents." In some tunes, the "sub-beats" actually move around within the triplets as well. Quite often, an accented note is held a little longer than an adjacent unaccented one, so that there is not a strict 9 equal spaced strokes in the measure. Usually, though, there will be 3 triplets (in 9/8 notation), each of which is at least approximately the "same length."

Quite a few "trad" tunes, particularly those of Irish derivation, can be found notated as 4/4, common, cut common, 2/4, or 6/8 time - all for any given tune. None of these notations is likely to accurately show a true "traditional" rendering, due to the "rubato" used by traditional performers. The 2/4, C, and 4/4 notations ignore the "swing" or "schmaltz," and the triplets implied by the 6/8 aren't equally spaced in traditional performance.

It probably does come down to "practice until it feels right." (or as my son would put it - "it only feels kinky the first few times.")

John


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 01:18 PM

Erm, we seem to sort out tunes best if we keep in mind that they are dance tunes.... to see/hear/feel one played and danced by experienced folk sort of marries all the awkward bits so they work... as the dancers move you see why there are little hitches in rhythm here or there, I think...

I play the chordal accompaniment that keeps our beginning fiddlers sorted out, and I hammer it sort of in arpeggiations on an autoharp. The different rhythms of dance tunes have endless internal rhythms and syncopations, places to put the accent with or against the fiddlers/pipers/whoevers.....

Sometimes I think that to really get the feel of them, a picker/fiddler ought to tap out these rhythms first on washboard, play around with them, since that's how I first got some facility in these internal and variation rhythms. Or, to just have someone who can feel the rhythms accompany you to liven up what looks like a straightforward melody on paper--

Anyway, when you practice them alone too much they can lose their magic, or never find it.

Good luck!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Barry T
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 01:46 PM

I discovered that my feet really helped me to get a grip on understanding the cadence. Actually it came somewhat naturally when I started to play the smallpipes... while seated.

Typically we tap one toe or the other, and that happens in a very natural way, almost without thinking. If a player taps both toes, he or she will find that nearly all tunes fall into the familiar left-right idiom. With slip jigs, however, that natural left-right pattern goes out the window.

Try to get both toes going like this...

LEFT-right-left  RIGHT-left-right  LEFT-right-left  RIGHT-left-right.

You'll feel clumsy at first because you'll have to think about it, but after a short time this, too, will become comfortable, then almost subconscious.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 02:02 PM

Thinking picking patterns again. I've just tried playing Rocky Road To Dublin as I would sing the chorus on tenor banjo. I find for me that I play most notes on down strokes. If I was to take every sylable in this to be a note I wanted to play, there would only be one upstroke to make "Dub-u-lin"

Hunt the hare and turn her down the roc-ky road and all the way to Dub-u-lin.

I think McKenna on the Dubliners recording plays 2 notes for do-wn in which case again I would play the second one on an upstroke. There could of course be other extra notes that fit between the down beats.

I THINK (I don't really read music) what I'm trying to say is much of the way I would sing that bit seems to be a 1/4 1/8, 1/4 1/8 rather than 1/8 1/8 1/8 and that I would lose my sense of the 1/8 groupings if I played 1/4 1/8 as down up.

Please note, whatever, that is just how how find it and naturally try to play. As has been pointed out, another person could prefer a different picking pattern.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:09 PM

There seems to be an implication of playing downstrokes for accented, or "beat" notes, and up strokes for "less strong" ones, in a couple of posts above. It brings to mind an old march cadence that gave a lot of drummers in my high school band (not a bunch of pro's) quite a lot of trouble. It was straight 4 beats per measure:

1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4

But if a put in an "X" for the accented beat, and "()" for an omitted one, it looked like:

X (2) 3 4, X 2 X 4, X 2 3 X, X 2 X (4).

NO drummer in our little band who "associated" the "strong beat" with one hand or the other was ever able to master this simple rythm (because they had to "change hands" in the 3d and 4th measures?). Those who were able to play the "accents" with either hand had no problem with it. I can see the same, or similar, difficulty at "show band" march speed (140-160 bpm?)if you try to put the "beat" always on the downstroke on a mando.

I've was urged (mainly by a couple of "how to.." books) to learn to alternate strokes, and to accent appropriately "going either way." For melodic playing on the mando, I find that it was well worth the effort to train my puny muscles to do so.

For "chord chops" a.la. bluegrass, it wouldn't appear to make a lot of difference. Although the chords would be arpegiated differently between up and down strokes, the ones you can play on a mando are (in my personal and extremely biased opinion) so "unpretty" that they need to be chopped to a snare drum simulation anyhow.

This is not meant to insist that anyone should learn to "alternate stroke." I'm just curious whether those who play mostly traditional (and particularly Irish/Celtic/mountain trad) do prefer to emphasise one direction for accents; and whether they feel that it aids in getting the "trad rendering" of such tunes.

John


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Subject: RE: Tunes in9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:21 PM

They don't really seem any harder to me. There's some advantages to not having the faintest notion about musical mathematics. In the cvase of the Rocky Road, if you hold the song in your mind while you are playing it it might come easy.

Probabaly the best thing is to have some familiarity with the dancing the tunes, but I never could do that.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Kim C
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:53 PM

Personally I love odd rhythms - odd as in Not Even. I am especially fond of 3's and a good many of the tunes I write myself are usually in a 3-type rhythm. It's just what I naturally choose. 9/8 is a little different, but I love the lilt it has.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 11:12 PM

I think Vin Garbutt said once, "Slip jigs finish before you do," which kind of sums of the tunes. The end just leads back to the beginning. Take "Drops of Brandy" mentioned earlier. Another song in 9/8 where it pays to keep the verses running while playing the tune is "Rattlin' Roarin' Willie."


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 04:57 AM

Even more good advice. I think the Vin Grabutt "Slip jigs finish before you do," says it for me too.

Just returning to Byker Hill, perhaps it sounds even odder because the words come from a very straightforward tune where words fall comfortably on notes, but not so in the Carthy/Swarbrick/Lloyd version. I think the words fall well on the Rocky Road so it is to that tune I must return.

Thanks again to you all.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 07:00 AM

I can only speak for myself John but I do prefer to hit the accented beats on a down stroke. I can alternate pick a 6/8 tune DUD UDU if I want to but don't find I get the same effect. I don't find any problems with speed playing basic tunes even at fairly brisk session paces using this type of picking.

I think part if it though is that I find I get into my own standard picking patterns and can find it hard to change some of my ways. The picking style I said Dan uses for 6/8 is in fact one where alternate picking is used a lot but keeps the accented notes on the down stroke.

His basic DDU DDU is clearly not alternating but he plays lots of triplets on the first couple of beats of a grouping of 3 so (marking the triplet by brackets) the pattern becomes (DUD)U (DUD)U. I could really do with learning that one as my tendancy is to play (DUD)D (DUD)D and at times I find it can be quite hard to get the downstroke on the 3rd beat quite hard to get in after a downstroke on the triplet.

I guess it would probably also be useful for me to learn to play a triplet starting on an upstroke. In 6/8, I tend to play D(DUD) D(DUD) but it may make more sense to play D(UDU) D(UDU).

Just my thoughts. I'm not suggesting any of this is how anyone should play.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 01:04 PM

Jon -

I suppose that my curiosity about how people "stroke" the notes comes largely from a lack of access to "trad" players in my area.

We have lots of guitars, and specifically we have lots and lots of "rhythm chord backup" guitarists, who want to play these tunes, but who seem to inject a more "rigid" rhythm than seems appropriate for what - as has been mentioned repeatedly - was dance music. While we don't have any real shortage of fiddles and mandos, most of the players on these instruments are too much influenced by "bluegrass" (I just mis-typed it as "blurgrass," maybe a Freudian slip?) Instead of "ornamenting," they seem inclined to drop the pretty parts in order to playreallyreallyfast on everything.

I found that the deliberate attempt to "alternate stroke" on the mando for a while did a lot to improve my ability to "get around on the instrument," but it seems that I've gotten away from any fixed pattern. What works for me is more a "direction-independent" ability to accent about the same going either way, and to use whichever stroke gets me most directly to the right string - at the right time; and to do it without thinking too much.

The problem is in finding examples of "authentic" traditional renditions to learn from. Even most recordings are suspect, since they're usually by "virtuoso" performers playing for listening audiences, or for contest purposes, rather than for social dancers.

I like playing for dancers - but it seems about as useful in this era as my old hobby making buggy whips.

John


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 01:52 PM

By '98 it wasn't just hard to play, I was embarrassed every time I tried to pick. Say la veee! ;-) '97 was no banner year either.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 08:53 PM

A local group that does Irish stuff (containing parents who have suffered through many Suzuki lessons for their kids) says that their favorite mnemonic for 9/8 rhythm is "Give the Band a Beer". FWIW. :-)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 10:28 AM

Try thinking one-lol-ly, two lol-ly, three lol-ly. Try listening to some 9/8 songs by good musicians and fitting this pattern to the pieces before you play your mandola, so that you get used to it.

If you are doing accompaniment, try saying to yourself (for instance) D-lol-ly, G-lol-ly, D-lol-ly as you fit the chords to the tune.

This applies to tunes which are all eighth notes, of course. Most fast dance tunes are mostly eighth notes.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Rick
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 01:08 PM

The late Derek Bell reckoned that slip jigs were the oldest form of dance music in the Irish tradition. A useful piece of advice I had years ago was to count each bar "one-and-a two-and-a three-and-a...", which puts the emphasis in the right place and doesn't leave the player bound by the strict intervals of the notation.

Remember that just because it's in 9/8 doesn't necessarily make it a slip jig. Swarbrick and Carthy's 'Byker Hill' has been mentioned (is that in 9/8?), and another good example is 'The Famous Flower of Serving Men'. I've never quite worked out how to count that, the nearest I've got is something like '1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4-5' etc., but I'm not convinced that's right. Carthy of course is famous for playing in single-beat bars, giving him infinite flexibility to construct the rhythm, placing emphasis where he thinks it best suits the piece .


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: alison
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 05:28 AM

its is easier to do if you just resign yourself to the fact that each alternate bar will start with an upbeat.....

so you will strum DUD UDU DUD (1st bar)
UDU DUD UDU (2nd bar... etc


well thats how I teach the bodhran anyway... works for bouzouki too

the nemonic I use is "jelly & ice cream & choc'late sauce" ... thats if you want to strum every beat....

it is easier to leave beats out so use this nemonic

"bacon & eggs & sausages" (that skips the 5th beat)

by moving the food around you can skip whichever beat makes the rhtythm easier for you to play..

"sausages bacon & eggs &" (skips the 8th beat)
"eggs & bacon & sausages" (skips the 2nd beat)

have fun

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: mooman
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 06:03 AM

They aren't!

It's just a matter of "feeling" the tune and there are many good tips here about how to do that. Basically these are dance tunes and I rather like Barry T's idea above with the feet.

There aren't really rights and wrongs concerning pick direction and I've seen many variations achieving subtly different effects. To be honest, I haven't even really analyzed what I do with a pick on these and even suspect it might vary between different slip jigs according to the structure of the melody, "feel" and speed. I noticed my pick technique was a little different to Jon's and also to Bill Sables' when we were playing together last year but the end results were broadly comparable (i.e. we managed to play together OK)!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 09:06 PM

I agree it is better to think of it as an expansion of 3 time, rather than 9 individual notes. I play bodhran and cheat a bit with some tunes where it's e.g 123/223/3-3 so you can play dud/udu/d-u and therefore start each new bar with a downstroke. This works for the first half of Drops of Brandy, but in the second half you have the full 123/223/323 so you just have to get your upstroke as convincing as the downstroke and still try to accentuate the first note of each bar, whether it's down or up ......if you get my drift!!??


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 10:27 PM

My experience with these 9/8 tunes is this...

They seem impossible to play, and then, all of a sudden,... They are easy and fun.

Try listening to a 9/8 tune many times... over and over... and when you can hum it... get out your instrument and give it a go!

Let the tune take precedence over your 'inhibitions'...
ttr


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: alison
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 11:41 PM

try counting it as 3 beats to the bar

1&a 2&a 3&a

it works for some people..... I agree though it is a feeling, once you get that its simple

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Martin Hughes
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:21 AM

The easiest approach is to think how a guitarist would learn to accompany these tunes. Simply put, for each bar you have three principle beats as 3/4 (waltz) time or 3/2 (old english hornpipe) time.

In your mind you are counting 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3...... Once you can hold that rhythm it does not matter whether you are playing. Slip Jigs (3 x 3/8 triplets), Waltzes (3 simple beats), or 3/2 hornpipes (3 slow beats with lots of notes in between). The latter are sometimes called 6/4 (being 3 groups of 2/4 (crotchets) or 3 groups of 4/8 (quavers)).

Emphasis then comes once you have got the notes together.

Hope this helps


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 06:22 PM

Ya' gotta' think of it in slow pulses of 3. One-and-uh, two-and-uh, three-and-uh. Each syllable is an eighth note.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: treewind
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:06 PM

Playing in 9/8 is is OK, but what someone said earlier about the tune finishing before you do is very true about slip jigs. It's difficult to know how to stop with some of them.

Right on about keeping practicing until suddenly it's easy and fun. Even 7/8 and 11/8 and 13/8 Bulgarian rhythms aren't too bad eventually - after struggling at first you get in the groove and then it seems as natural as anything!

Slip jigs are indeed very old, and they have their origins in the border pipe tunes (the "border" extending from Cheshire to the Scottish Lowlands) and 3/2 Lancashire and Cheshire hornpipes. There are even extant examples of the same tune in both formats, like the Dusty Miller.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Kudzuman
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM

Try 13/8 sometime. That's a booger!! I just notated out "Sovay" or "Newry Town" which a friend heard me do and said, "Oh, that's in 13/8 and seems to be grouped 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,1,2,3,4,5,6. Seemed to be about right on. That was a rough one to get just right, but I finally figured it out. Just listen and make the tune part of yourself and the timing will come after awhile. I played "Sovay" for years before knowing the timing. Love it and it can be yours!


Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: fogie
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 06:08 AM

What we now refer to as slip jigs were very common in the past -presumably for the strip the willow type of dances. Ive always liked them and wondered why there are so few memorable ones, Apart from the ones mentioned and such as the Foxhunter's my favourites are Long room in Scarborough, and the wonderful Polly's the lass ?I think? from wherever the Committee band plunders tunes.
I've found it great fun to take reels and turn them into slips -theyre quite different, and have a life of their own.
Also if youre having trouble getting your head round slips try more unusual rhythms like 7/8 and youll soon be grateful to be playing 9/8!


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 06:56 AM

The Foxhunter's is a fine example of a tune(like the Dusty Miller mentioned by Anahata earlier) of tunes that exist in both 9/8 time and 3/2.In this case I would think the 3/2 version ise arlier: because the imitation of the hunters' horn blowing is clear in the 3/2 version, but is lost in the commonly played Irish slip-jig version.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: treewind
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 08:02 AM

Fogie: I've been trying to think of some good English slip jigs and ones that aren't too hackneyed - thanks for reminding me about the Long Room at Scarborough. I like a tune called the Sheep Shearers but I can't convince anyone in either of my bands of its merits.

As for the Committee Band - they plunder tunes from everywhere!

I've always assumed that the 3/2 or 6/4 versions are earlier than the 9/8, because the 3/2 tunes and the dances to go with them have died out - so I assume their whole history was earlier. Purcell and Handel were both familiar with the form and wrote many examples, so that puts them firmly in the 17th century.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: death by whisky
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 08:47 AM

re Rocky Road" on the rocky road to dublin"2x6/8,"wack-fol-lol-dee-ra! In"2x6/8.Source,A bonnie bunch of roses,Milner/Kaplan.
Anyway,my preffered rendition is Christy Moores Traveller album.Hes ot an mphasis on the firstbeat From the second bar,I count in 4s,emphasising the 4th.
For triplets,Isay LEM-ON-ADE.jIGS ARE two lemonades,slips three.
Reels,CO-CA-CO-LA.,pOLKAS COFF-EE.


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 01:42 PM

Don't forget Sir Roger De Coverley


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Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: alison
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:34 AM

thanks Kudzuman, back in 1998 I asked about Sovay.... you can read the discussion here

slainte

alison


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