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Jimmy Ward's Fancy (Miles Krassen's version)

Posted by Yigal Zan

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- Play count: 183

Size: 360kb, uploaded 3/11/2013 9:11:34 AM
Genre: Fiddle/Celtic/Irish / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Miles Krassen - fiddle, Yigal Zan - 5-string banjo. Tablature and notes at, http://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjohangout.org/storage/tabs/j/tab-jimmy-wards-fan-18439-14791132013.gif



4 comments on “Jimmy Ward's Fancy (Miles Krassen's version)”

JanetB Says:
Monday, March 11, 2013 @12:17:37 PM

Nice Celtic flavor. I'd be curious if you use the 5th string. Is it all clawhammered, Yigal?

Yigal Zan Says:
Monday, March 11, 2013 @2:06:02 PM

Yes, in general I do use the 5th string both for melodic or filler purpose. In
this particular arrangement, where the tune is played "abnormally" low - key of
G, and hence being mapped from the open 4th (low D) to the 3rd fret on the 3rd string
(natural C), the high g note, the one for which the 5th string could be used
melodically, is never reached to. So in this case the 5th is used only as a
filler, between the 1/4th and 1/8th notes consisting of a 3/8ths groups. As a
matter of fact, and you can verify by taking a look at the tablature, in the key
of G setting, both the 1st and the 2nd strings are idle. I played this tune also
in the key of D. In that key the mapping is more normal (thesession.org has more
than one D versions, check the "sheet music" in each case) - the maping is over
the 3rd, 2nd, and the 1st strings (the 4th is idle). I decided to remain with
the G version because to my ear the sound was more pleasant. It should be kept
in mind that what we play is a version synthesized by Miles Krassen from his
working with several "authentic" Irish fiddlers. This version doesn't match
those found in thesession.org, or on youtube. As for the use of the 5th as a
filler, it should be kept in mind that the banjo is a texture instrument. To
keep all the six slots of the 6/8 measure, filled, on the tenor banjo 1/4 notes
are played by two pick strokes. In clawhammer, the 5th filler note is the
equivalent of the tenor's second pick stroke.

JanetB Says:
Monday, March 11, 2013 @4:34:51 PM

Interesting. Very interesting. I was noticing on a jig I play, Haste to the Wedding, the clawhammer strokes required either drop thumbs or two downstrokes in a row. I never needed the 5th string and did not use it as a filler, either. Paul Roberts noticed that in John Burke's book (which I studied at the same time as Miles' book) there are some tunes that also don't use the 5th string. You say that the 5th string is a filler note, and I assume it is harmonious, too. I'll need to take more time to study your tab.

Yigal Zan Says:
Monday, March 11, 2013 @8:23:48 PM

I'll be sending you an email. For the time being, I'll say that for 6:8 meter tunes - jigs (or 9:8 - slip jigs) to sound in the "correct" jig timing, the notes are played in compulsive, repetetive patterns. On the tenor banjo the six slots of a jig measure, are executed in the following pattern DUD DUD (D -down pick, U - up pick). This means that consecutive slots, 3 and 4, are done in the same picking direction. The two successive downpicks occur in each measure, and exactly at the same place. The clawhammer equivalent is, DS {H,P,Pl} DS DS {H,P,Pl} DS, (DS = down stroke, H = hammer, P = pull off, Pl = pluck). Again, the consecutive slots, 3 and 4, are done in two down stokes executed one after the other. Note that T (thumb) is not included as an option within the {} symbols. Of course, there are regular diviations from these basic patterns when embellishments are called in. But as far as the basic six notes per six slots are concerned, any diviation from the compulsive, repetitive patterns noted above, will harm the timing. In the case of the 5-string banjo, there are a few situations in which the use of the thumb - "drop thumb" is "legitimate." For example, at least in the double-D tuning, to get the A sound by hammering on - 7th fret on the 4th string, is just too difficult to do. So when this note happened to occur in slot 2 or 5, it is legitimate to activate the open 3rd string with the thumb. Then, the 5th string being used for filling purposes need not be harmonious.

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