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Jul 21, 2022 - 6:51:43 AM
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7622 posts since 11/4/2005

My busking partner John Maguire and I made this video last week over the internet, using a latency reducing system called Jackstreamer, so we could play in "real time," rather than overdubbing. We're playing Lester McCumbers' wonderful version of the old West Virginia tune, Yew Piney Mountain. I'm playing my semi-fretless 1928 Tubaphone in a G variant tuning (gDGAD).

Edited by - Don Borchelt on 07/21/2022 06:53:33

Jul 21, 2022 - 8:19:53 AM
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carlb

USA

2410 posts since 12/16/2007

Yes, a favorite  of  mine too.

I first heard Lester McCumber play this tune in Gerry Milnes 1997 film "Fiddles, Snakes and Dog Days" (Augusta Heritage Center). Even though I knew two other versions (French Carpenter and Melvin Wine), I thought this was the neatest of them all. It's taken me many years before I finally sat with it and figured out how to play it. [AEae though probably pitched lower, maybe even GDgd, or somewhere in between]

https://www.hangoutstorage.com/fiddlehangout.com/storage/audio/20/yew-piney--2081-411119612013.mp3

Jul 21, 2022 - 11:18:33 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26299 posts since 6/25/2005

Beautiful, Don. Somehow I t thought you’d figured out how top play it in D tuning.

Jul 27, 2022 - 6:37:58 AM
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7622 posts since 11/4/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Beautiful, Don. Somehow I t thought you’d figured out how top play it in D tuning.


Thanks, Bill.  You know, every once in awhile, you will run across a fiddler who will prefer to play what would normally be a G tune in the key of D.  I guess it is not that hard for them to transpose from G to D, since the fiddle is tuned in 5ths, so they just have to move everything up a string, sort of.  That goes for common tunes like Turkey in the Straw, Cumberland Gap, and Sally Ann, but I've also heard it done with more obscure tunes, like Garfield's Blackberry Blossom.  Anyway, the same thing is true for D tuning on  banjo; anything I normally play in G can generally be easily shifted to D using open D tuning, you just move the notes down a string.  Can't do that with double D tuning!

Jul 27, 2022 - 7:59:02 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

65956 posts since 10/5/2013

Beautiful, Don and John. That mode reminds me of Middle Eastern music for some reason,, I felt transported to a Turkish bath (which isn’t a bad thing, btw)

Jul 27, 2022 - 11:43:27 AM
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198 posts since 10/6/2014

Sweet!!!

Jul 27, 2022 - 1:04:28 PM
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RB3

USA

1421 posts since 4/12/2004

Yews guys sound really good together!

Jul 28, 2022 - 2:34:31 AM
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Players Union Member

pickn5

USA

1702 posts since 8/8/2012

Nicely played and very enjoyable!

Jul 28, 2022 - 5:12:14 AM
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7622 posts since 11/4/2005

quote:
Originally posted by chuckv97

Beautiful, Don and John. That mode reminds me of Middle Eastern music for some reason,, I felt transported to a Turkish bath (which isn’t a bad thing, btw)


Thanks, Chuck, I appreciate it!  Yeah, that's in Dorian mode, sometimes called Mountain Minor.  Well, that's probably what it's in, the tune as McCumbers plays it is actually using a pentatonic scale, meaning it is using only five notes up to the octave, rather than the usual seven.  In this case, in the key of G, those notes are G Bb C D F (G).  The difference between Dorian mode and Aeolian, our modern Minor scale, is just one note, the 6th degree of the scale.  In Dorian it's the note E, while in Aeolian it's Eb.  But this pentatonic scale doesn't have that 6th note, so we cannot characterize it definitively.  Still, I think it's Dorian, as the Aeolian scale is actually pretty rare in Appalachian music.  Dorian tunes go way back, and I would bet you would hear tunes in that mode often in a medieval Turkish bath.

Jul 28, 2022 - 7:15:06 AM

8054 posts since 8/30/2004
Online Now

Mighty fine, Mighty fine Don and John....Jack

Originally posted by Don Borchelt

My busking partner John Maguire and I made this video last week over the internet, using a latency reducing system called Jackstreamer, so we could play in "real time," rather than overdubbing. We're playing Lester McCumbers' wonderful version of the old West Virginia tune, Yew Piney Mountain. I'm playing my semi-fretless 1928 Tubaphone in a G variant tuning (gDGAD).


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