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Uncommonly Strong Clawhammer Tunes #11: Voch Me Dzaleeg

Posted by tfaux on Friday, July 4, 2014

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Voch Me Dzaleeg ​("There is no Flower")

Last month I was chastised by a former student for labeling a common Irish session tune as "un-commonly strong." Sharper than a serpent's tooth, and all that, still, the point was taken: I'm hoping that this month's post will satisfy the requirements, and that my student will rise to the challenge of claw-hammer in 10/8 meter.

This is yet another tune from the playing of my late friend Al Shavarsh Bardezbanian. Al was an extraordinary Armenian-American musician from West Bath, Maine, a master of Turkish, Armenian, and Arabic music, a subtle virtuoso on the oud and bass clarinet, and the leader of a glorious small orchestra--Al Bardezbanian's Middle East Ensemble--that worked the New England festival circuits. This tune and the previously posted oud number "Anatolian Memories." can be heard on their recording "Oud Masterpieces."  


I have transposed Voch Me Dzaleeg to C minor from the original Am, but with the 4th string tuned to D (gDGCD) because it works well the banjo, and because my band likes to play in C minor. A good place to start is by adapting the underlying 10-beat meter to claw-hammer. The basic rhythm is something like: "IN-the-deep-dark-JUN-gle" etc. I play this with downpicking technique, but the transcription is obviously just of the melody and chords, and might as easily be played on any melodic instrument including banjo with a flatpick.  I have included the timeline for a percussionist, and a standard melody line. The result is, unfortunately, a three-page transcription.





My own rudimentary banjo rendition is HERE>






6 comments on “Uncommonly Strong Clawhammer Tunes #11: Voch Me Dzaleeg”

Jocko MacNelly Says:
Monday, July 7, 2014 @2:39:10 PM


Jocko MacNelly Says:
Monday, July 7, 2014 @2:45:30 PM

And I loved Anatolian Memories. Do you have a fretless? Seems like some Persian saz music would fit the clawhammer vibe!

Jocko MacNelly Says:
Monday, July 7, 2014 @2:46:29 PM

oh duh, gourd banjo right on your thumbnail... :o)

zevio Says:
Monday, July 7, 2014 @8:28:38 PM

excellent rendition Tom. Appreciate the effort you put into these.

wallflower Says:
Monday, July 7, 2014 @10:14:11 PM


Noto Says:
Monday, July 21, 2014 @2:57:16 PM

Thank you for the transcriptions, I also am really enjoying Al Shavarsh Bardezbanian's CD

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