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Archive for the ‘Scottish’ Category

A Bill Monroe tune. Watch this video from Aly Bain’s TV series Down Home, where it’s played by Kenny Baker and Monroe himself. He goes on to tell Bain (who is a Scottish player) about the connections between bluegrass and Scottish folk music. The A part is reminiscent of the sound of the pipes.

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Thank you, Meaghan!!!! This crazy girl sent me a video tutorial of herself playing her (current) favourite tune, “Road to Errogie”. Meaghan claims it’s a Cape Breton by Troy McGillivray, while the video linked above has a comment by an audience member saying it’s his tune, and it’s Scottish. The important thing is that it’s in B major, just like Rebecca.

So I practiced and played it plenty and loved it, too and will practice it until I next see Meaghan. At which point we’ll rip it.

I practiced Hangman’s reel for the last time today. My original plan would have seen me practice it last on the tenth day, so the same day I would have learned tune 13, but I liked it so much and I wanted to play it up to the same speed as the fiddler I learned it from. It took 12 days, and the bouncy bow is still not quite precise, but I am happy say to it’s learned.

And as for Minor Swing, tune 5, is going to stay on the roster for way longer than the ten days. At least until I get that slow vibrato on the high D#.  I project another six months.

This afternoon I wondered again if this was too big a commitment to have made. A tune a day is quite a lot . So far, though, it’s manageable. I am noticing in ever greater detail what it is I want to improve. Today, in particular, after watching a film of myself playing Eighth of January,  I realize how much more fluid my bow arm could be.  Style is a major component that needs a lot of developing (things like varying the types of grace notes and ornaments depending on the style of tune you’re playing – Cape Breton, Old Time, bluegrass…). And then just plain precision. How to play that Irish triplet! How to slow down your vibrato! I n t o n a t i o n.

I’m realizing how even a seemingly easy tune can be challenging.  But just like everything, you can’t do anything but what you are doing right now, so

One step at a time.

Thanks again, Meaghan, you and Road to Errogie rock!

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