(Sat Evening) Just had my first ten minutes on Soldiers Joy. However, It's a bit late and I'm not able to focus, so I'm gonna leave it till tomorrow. I thought 'difficult', but a quick look back in the blog from when I was checking I could manage the fingering shows I picked it up fairly easily. Maybe I'm just tired.
(Sun) A quick play this morning shows that actually the fingering is fairly easy. However, getting the tune to sound good is going to be an exercise in dynamics as the A part is a lesson in left hand technique. Probably no more practice today as my wrist is shot, I'm not sure whether from banjo or petanque.
(Mon Aft) 45 minutes or so sees the tune almost memorised. It seems easy to get this tune 'in the head' and be thinking about fretting for sound rather than tab notation. I can totally see why some people prefer to learn by ear. Pinkie alternate string hammer ons meant a tired pinkie brought this session to an end early. Maybe I'll be able to sneak in another half hour later on.(Mon Eve) A quick half hour and I think it's memorised.
(Tues Morn) Picked up the banjo with no tab. Played through the A part easy, on the B part I just could not get the second half. So, a quick view of the tab and a fair amount of looping has seen this tune (I hope) fully memorised. This tune with it's multiple alternate string hammers does 'pull you' to attempting it play it faster. That's something I will have to resist in order to prevent building in mistakes to that last 4 measures. Hopefully another practice todayi n order to consolidate playing of this tune. Tomorrow 'Over the Waterfall'.(Edit-Rock the Cradle Joe).
(Tues Aft/Eve) As per my blog 'Tune maintenance' the rest of the day saw me have to recoup my other 3 tunes. A quick look at 'Rock The Cradle Joe' shows no tricky fingering issues.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 @4:20:26 PM
What tuning are you playing it in? My instructor taught me a version in double-C that is pretty but I don't play it with enough variation to make it interesting.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 @10:16:30 PM
All of the 'Clawhammer From Scratch' tunes are in double C/D.
Your comment re 'variation' is intriguing. All the kitchen sink tunes are written apparently 'over embellished' (not Dan Levensons exact words) in order that you can later drop/change bits to make the tunes more interesting. Exactly how is 'later' for me. At present I'm engaged in rote learning the tunes.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 @10:29:15 PM
That is intriguing indeed. My instructor teaches a basic version and then has me add bits to make it interesting. Yours teaches all the bits and then you leave some out to make it interesting. There are so many ways to skin this cat!
Saturday, November 18, 2017 @10:44:06 PM
Dan L's approach I think is to give you 'All the tools in the kit' at an early stage so there is no perceived difficulty in adding so called 'advanced techniques' later on.
Hence a focus on double thumb/drop thumb early. And within the kitchen sink tunes syncopation etc slipped in with things like m-skips, galax licks 'just there' rather than being presented as difficult 'extra techniques'.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 @10:54:35 PM
Here is Dan Levensons explanation of the 12 'kitchen sink' tunes.
Quote-"To be fair, I should tell you that these versions have a whole lot more notes and techniques than you would likely play in one time through a tune. That’s why these are called the Kitchen Sink version. It has it all! What this means for you is that, while you may strive to play the tunes EXACTLY as they are written for the techniques in them, you may find that some of them seem harder than you wish them to be. What to do? I would recommend that you first take the time to play them as written, or as close to written as you can, then vary the tune - notes, techniques, timing - as you feel you are comfortable playing it. Try more than one variation and you’ll likely end up with wonderful
and unique versions of the tunes that are easy for you to play. As long as you can play it with the fiddle versions on the recording you should be able to play it at a jam session (or a close version). Remember, if you leave the traditional tune too far behind you won’t be able to
play it with others, but you might have created a new tune that other folks want to learn.
Sunday, November 19, 2017 @7:31:13 AM
Thanks for explaining Dan's teaching technique. It sounds like a good one to me.
Sunday, November 19, 2017 @7:39:58 AM
It does mean that once you think you have the tunes, you don't.
The approach probably fits in well with 'drop notes to get up to fiddle speed' that some mention.
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