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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 11/2/2018 - Julianne Johnson


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/347891

mjt0229 - Posted - 11/02/2018:  07:28:43


This tune has been a TOTW before, way back in September of 2010, when @oldwoodchuckb gave a nice writeup. This is a busy week for me (I'm subbing with an orchestra out of town) and I don’t know if I can add a whole lot of information to what Tony and others wrote, so mostly this is a week for those of you who already know this tune to pick up an old favorite and see how it’s evolved over the years. For newbies like me, it’s a chance to learn a classic. I'll try to add some resources about Emmett Lundy and about the tune later today or after the concert this weekend.



I got interested in the tune when a local fiddler called it in a jam session over the summer. I hadn’t learned the tune yet but had a fun time trying to keep up with the many fine players around me. The version the fiddler played was closest to the Emmett Lundy version as played by Rayna Gellert. She recorded it on her album “Ways of the World” but you can learn it from her tune videos page (raynagellert.com/tune-videos/). This is a great resource for banjo players and fiddlers alike - don’t forget to put something into the tip jar to support great music and teaching resources!



I played my version for Adam Hurt and he suggested a few changes to my arrangement, and fixed up a couple of awkward spots. One of his suggestions was to use the IV chord in the B section, something oldwoodchuckb says Emmett Lundy didn’t do, but I like how it sounds and it adds some challenge to the B section for me. He also found an interesting chord to brush in the A section, which changes up some textures and avoids some repeated notes. I'll try to get a rough audio or video of it posted later this week, although I'm still putting some polish on it.



I taught this tune to some friends at a jam last night and everyone had a really good time with it.


Edited by - mjt0229 on 11/02/2018 07:32:41

rudy - Posted - 11/02/2018:  07:43:17


Here's the previous September, 2010 TOTW Julianne Johnson (with lots of great versions!) so folks don't have to go looking for it:



banjohangout.org/archive/187068



A fine tune to re-visit, and one of my favorites to play either solo or ensemble.



EDIT: Just noticed that Mark did link the 9/2010 TOTW, but there may be someone else as dense as me...  wink



 


Edited by - rudy on 11/02/2018 07:45:09

Don Borchelt - Posted - 11/02/2018:  08:42:42


This is still one of my favorites to pick, after all the years, I never tire of it. The video below is from one of my busking sessions in Harvard Square with my friends Ed Britt and John Maguire, about a year ago.  Looking forward to hearing some other versions!





- Don Borchelt


Edited by - Don Borchelt on 11/02/2018 08:44:20

dbrooks - Posted - 11/02/2018:  08:45:58


This is a favorite that we play at our contra dances as well. Lots of drive.



David

cmic - Posted - 11/02/2018:  11:29:39


this one of my favorite too. And this where I took my tips to play it:

banjomeetsworld.wordpress.com/...n-videos/



Cathy Moore explains how to play it with more syncopation. Lilt ?



 



 

RG - Posted - 11/02/2018:  12:23:41


One of my favorite tunes to fiddle, great TOTW...

mjt0229 - Posted - 11/02/2018:  14:54:21


I am about to head out the door so I didn't take time to get a great take, and I only ran through the tune once, but here's what I've been working on.


JanetB - Posted - 11/02/2018:  16:44:04


Thanks for a tune so many of us enjoy, Mark, and for sharing your innovative version.  I remember Adam's suggestion a few years ago for me to arrange an Emmett Lundy tune of my choice after we had worked on another one.  I chose Julianne Johnson and it indeed had the characteristic style of Emmett Lundy.  I asked Adam about it and he gave me a remarkable description: 



"I attach a number of adjectives to Emmett Lundy's style: syncopated, as

you noted, but also rolling (as he was a considerably more melodic fiddler

than the Round Peak fiddlers just down the mountain from Grayson County),

punctuated (his notey melodies were not JUST running eighth notes from

start to finish; rather, he left interesting, deliberate spaces between or

within phrases), and anticipatory (which relates to syncopation, but for

me describes what so often happens at the very BEGINNING of his phrases or

parts; this is the concept of the first important note being played just

ahead of the downbeat and that beat being more implied than expressed)."



Because of the appreciation I've grown for Emmett Lundy I dedicated a page to him on my site:  Emmett Lundy page on My Banjo World.  It only has seven of his tunes, but is bound to grow.


 


RV6 - Posted - 11/03/2018:  13:52:16


Just recorded this on my Roger Young "Electric" tone ringed banjo.



Julianne Johnson

chip arnold - Posted - 11/04/2018:  07:23:08


Janet, that is just wonderfully played. Thanks for posting :-)

tommac - Posted - 11/04/2018:  07:30:19


Here is a short and sweet version; just enough to wet your whistle.



Julianne Johnson

mjt0229 - Posted - 11/04/2018:  13:23:53


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

Thanks for a tune so many of us enjoy, Mark, and for sharing your innovative version.  I remember Adam's suggestion a few years ago for me to arrange an Emmett Lundy tune of my choice after we had worked on another one.  I chose Julianne Johnson and it indeed had the characteristic style of Emmett Lundy.  I asked Adam about it and he gave me a remarkable description: 



"I attach a number of adjectives to Emmett Lundy's style: syncopated, as

you noted, but also rolling (as he was a considerably more melodic fiddler

than the Round Peak fiddlers just down the mountain from Grayson County),

punctuated (his notey melodies were not JUST running eighth notes from

start to finish; rather, he left interesting, deliberate spaces between or

within phrases), and anticipatory (which relates to syncopation, but for

me describes what so often happens at the very BEGINNING of his phrases or

parts; this is the concept of the first important note being played just

ahead of the downbeat and that beat being more implied than expressed)."



Because of the appreciation I've grown for Emmett Lundy I dedicated a page to him on my site:  Emmett Lundy page on My Banjo World.  It only has seven of his tunes, but is bound to grow.


 






Janet, your rendition is beautiful as always!

zeppelfahrt - Posted - 11/05/2018:  15:56:24


Julianne Johnson



banjohangout.org/forum/attachm...eID=41638

mjt0229 - Posted - 11/06/2018:  07:21:35


Nice! Unrelated: zeppelfahrt, is your username related in any way to your profession?

Grimm - Posted - 11/06/2018:  13:51:16


Hey everyone



I started learning the banjo about 3 months ago and I want to start doing the TOTW with you guys. Sorry for the late submission this week.



THIS is my video. I learned this tune by watching a beautiful version by Brad Kolodner. You can see his video HERE.



I'm going to work on all the neat variations he does in the tune. Please give me any notes on how to improve this tune or playing in general! Thanks!

mjt0229 - Posted - 11/06/2018:  15:05:45


quote:

Originally posted by Grimm

Hey everyone



I started learning the banjo about 3 months ago and I want to start doing the TOTW with you guys. Sorry for the late submission this week.



THIS is my video. I learned this tune by watching a beautiful version by Brad Kolodner. You can see his video HERE.



I'm going to work on all the neat variations he does in the tune. Please give me any notes on how to improve this tune or playing in general! Thanks!






That sounded pretty solid to me! Nice work.

zeppelfahrt - Posted - 11/07/2018:  05:13:03


quote:

Originally posted by mjt0229

Nice! Unrelated: zeppelfahrt, is your username related in any way to your profession?






Yes it is (or was). I am now "retiredfahrt".

zeppelfahrt - Posted - 11/07/2018:  08:34:57


Here I try a second time with Julianne Johnson. I hope I haven't broken any rule by posting the same tune more than once.


rudy - Posted - 11/07/2018:  14:31:24


Here's a quick pass of JJ:



 

mjt0229 - Posted - 11/07/2018:  16:27:15


quote:

Originally posted by rudy

Here's a quick pass of JJ:




 






Some great chords and a nice pup there.

rudy - Posted - 11/07/2018:  17:59:15


quote:

Originally posted by mjt0229

quote:

Originally posted by rudy

Here's a quick pass of JJ:




 






Some great chords and a nice pup there.






Thanks.  The camera audio is atrocious and I should really take the time to do a better audio track, since that's what it's all about.  Toby is a great dog, but sometimes requires a bit of attention at inopportune times!

slc - Posted - 11/15/2018:  08:46:27


This is one of my FAVORITE tunes, and has been for years. It has that perfect mix of simple melody, with a ton of room for variation. It allows up-the-neck stuff, rhythm gimmicks, strumming, pulsing drones, flexibility with chords - yet somehow always stays itself.

Plus, it sounds great either solo or against a fiddle.

I've attached an old clip of me playing it, though this definitely needs a do-over for better sound and a recording device that doesn't lose power midway through...


mjt0229 - Posted - 11/15/2018:  09:46:49


quote:

Originally posted by mjt0229

I am about to head out the door so I didn't take time to get a great take, and I only ran through the tune once, but here's what I've been working on.






My teacher pointed out that I was playing the B section incorrectly - the last half of the B section should refrain one of the phrases from the A, which sort of dropped out of my rendition as I was working to add the IV chord. I'll try to post another video sometime with the corrected B part.

slc - Posted - 11/16/2018:  14:22:45


On the Skillet Lickers record, Clayton McMichen plays guitar on this tune and he ONLY plays the D chord all the way through. If I recall correctly.

For my own playing, I prefer that it NOT go to A at all - rather a passing note at the end perhaps, but not a full chord. Actually even the G, to me, sounds better when it's hinted at rather than played with full chords. In jams, when everybody goes to full G it just doesn't sound "right" (ultimate subjective term there).

I don't know the music or guitar terms very well, so might not be expressing myself clearly here.

J-Walk - Posted - 11/17/2018:  17:13:26


And each part must end on the A note, not the tonic D.

carlb - Posted - 11/18/2018:  06:12:29


quote:

Originally posted by J-Walk

And each part must end on the A note, not the tonic D.






True, but the accompanying chord is still a D (DF#A).

slc - Posted - 11/21/2018:  14:59:32


Apologies to any purists, here is a NOT traditional take on Julianna Johnson, more as a experiment on how far can you stretch a tune and still call it the same tune?


BrooksMT - Posted - 11/21/2018:  18:24:39


Stefan - Because I already knew a plain version of JJ, I enjoyed your kitchen sink :-)

To me, a good jazz musician lays down the basic melody in his/her first pass through the song. Then, as the jazz player departs into variations, the basic melody still plays in my head, and I become a part of the gig, albeit only in my head. That is lots of fun - and audience participation is key to getting invited back to perform again.

So, your version, if preceded by a basic version, should work with your audience, be they beginner or experienced listeners.

On further suggestion: by dipping back into the basic version, occasionally, your flights of fancy will be seen as interesting for the entire length of your performance. But if you only play fancy, then your performance risks becoming less of a musical experience for your audience, and more of a "hey watch this, aren't I something!" ego trip.

Just my opinions, of course. Hope it helps.

Don Borchelt - Posted - 11/23/2018:  17:01:21


I didn't hear any ego trip in Stefan's performance, just great picking.

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