Monday, January 31, 2011

Fairly Complete List

Here's a fairly complete list of the tunes I'm considering:

Chinese Breakdown
F&D Rag
Planxty Irwin
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
Make Me Down a Pallet
Star of Munster
Banks of the Lough Gowna
Blue Skies
In C
Maid Behind the Bar
Blackberry Blossom
Rights of Man
Kid on the Mountain
Bogalusa Strut
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Shoe the Donkey
Valse de los Panos
Hohokum Polka
Gandzia Polka
Old Grey Cat
Reel Semeur
Ma Yofus
Oriantalische Melody
Sonny Brogan's
Milk Shake
La Gigue
Camp Pleasant Jig
Boswell's Fancy
Purple Lilies Polka
Bleu Rocking Chair
Mazurka de Famille
Les Brise Pieds
El Churrumbe
Madame Sosthene
Bosco Stomp
You Are My Sunshine
Schottische from Lima
Parlez-nous a Boire
Home w/ the Girls in the Morning
Haste to the Wedding
Miss Mcleod's Reel
Mug of Brown Ale
Pipe on the Hob 1 & 2
Golden Slippers
Irish Washerwoman
June Apple
Little Sadie
Lilting Banshee
President Garfield's Hornpipe
Red Haired Boy
Tripping up the Stairs
Wind that Shakes the Barley
Ballydesmond Polka
Soldier's Joy
Temperance Reel
Plus 5 to 10 other tunes from the Early/Medieval/Celtic books.

Cool that's between 50 and 60 tunes. I thought it would be a little bit more. And it should be less than 50 by the time I'm done whittling them down. I'll need to work out some pairings for these.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More than I thought

I intend to start playing sets again in mid-February. Until then I'm still working out the tunes I'll be playing. When I first started playing/learning, I was immediately drawn to tabbing out tunes...finding two or three versions of it in tunebooks or on the internet, then finding the audio to the tune and playing along. I would adopt my own rendition of the tune based on aspects of the different versions I found. Usually the versions were pretty similar to begin with. So, I literally have hundreds of tunes tabbed out. Recently I've been going back through those and selecting many that I'd like to play again. So my original plan of having just a core group of tunes is probably going to be expanded. At this point I really have no idea how many tunes I've set aside...but I bet it's probably more than 50 (this is in addition to the 50 or so I was already playing in Nov/Dec.). Plus I'm still going through my tunebooks and other sources for material and picking out new stuff to play. So it's a pretty long list. I'm kind of at a pretty good point now, where I'm sure I'll be adding 2 or 3 Cajun tunes, 4 or 5 Southwestern tunes, 3 or 4 French tunes, some Portland Collection contra dance tunes, some old-time fiddle tunes, some celtic jigs, reels & hornpipes, 2 or 3 Klezmer tunes, some folk song melodies, and hopefully some O'Carolan tunes and some additional rags/jazz. If I like the melody of the tune but the key it's commonly played in doesn't fit well with my comfort range, I'll move it if possible. Over the next couple weeks I hope to have a more tangible idea of what these tunes are exactly, and a rough idea of how they will be paired and played.

Friday, January 21, 2011

That High B, new tunes

Continuing to develop new tunes. The name escapes me at the moment, but the French tune in 2/4 or 4/4 for the A-part, then 6/8 for the B-part almost got cut, but a moment of clarity brought that tune into focus and now it should remain. Also - I believe it's called Ton Roban Bleu - is a tune with a nice A-part but a no fun B-part. Usually with a tune like that, if it's a two-part tune and one of the parts is a drag, I'll drop the tune. However in this case I feel like the A-part pairs nicely with Red Rocking Chair, oddly enough. So I'm going to work on that pairing some more tonight - Red Rocking Chair with Ton Roban Bleu part A...calling it Bleu Rocking Chair! Also going through my whole collection of previously tabbed-out tunes to find ones I overlooked or am ready to play now.

I'm comfortable with frets 1 through 6. I don't go any farther than that, really. On the G, D or A strings, if it calls for a 7th fret note, I get around that by playing the open string on the next lighter string. (This isn't a good advice - closed position allows you to easily change keys on a whim, but I don't play jazz or in a band so I can do what I want!). I will occasionally go to the 7th fret B on the E string, if a tune requires it. Although more often than not this is too difficult to pull off smoothly. But, I'm not going to let that stop me. If there's no way - with my limited abilities - to cleanly play a tune with that B note, I'm going to simply move it down a 5th, so that the 7th fret B can now be played as an open string E. At the very least that alleviates the problem and allows me to play tunes like Blackberry Blossom (G to C), Ebenzer (G to C?), and Star of Munster (Am to Dm), which previously just weren't any fun because of the difficulty of hitting that 7th fret B.