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Apr 17, 2024 - 11:28:17 AM
17 posts since 7/21/2023

I'm working on a version of Wildwood Flower from Dual Arrangements for Banjo by Dick Sherriden and there is this section where the open fourth string is played three times in a row. For it to fit the rhythm the only way I can think to do it is strike, aspo, strike. 

I'm not a great player but I can aspo, and I cannot fathom an approach to this that doesn't choke the note and sound jarring while aspo-ing.

There's zero explanation in the book, and the audio example is a pretty awful midi track. On top of that I can't find an example of anyone playing a version with this rhythm to it.

 

Can anyone let me know if it's just a case of getting good?


Apr 17, 2024 - 11:57:51 AM

JSB88

UK

579 posts since 3/9/2017

I'm not greatly experienced but what I would do is play it so it sounds right to you, then when you get better at the tune you may see how the tab as written fits and you can adjust at that point. Would it really matter if you don't play exactly what's written so long as it sounds good to you?

Edited by - JSB88 on 04/17/2024 11:59:07

Apr 17, 2024 - 12:40:50 PM

6308 posts since 3/11/2006

Your ASPO solution is feasible.

There are tons of things you could do instead.  A couple more measures of the tune would help put it in context. 

Make the second 4th string note a 2nd fret instead of open, and get the third 4th string note by pulling off.

Or change the third 4th string note to a 5th string, thereby converting the figure to a simple bum-ditty.

Apr 17, 2024 - 1:16:40 PM

17 posts since 7/21/2023

Thanks for the feedback. Attached a bit more of the tune.

I mainly ask because I've never seen an ASPO in tab with no explanation, plus it seems to be the only one in the whole book. Given the difficulty level of the rest of the book it almost feels like a misprint tbh.


Apr 17, 2024 - 1:46:12 PM
Players Union Member

dbrooks

USA

4672 posts since 3/11/2004

Is this from Dick Sheridan's two-finger tab book? I don't know two-finger style well enough to make a call about that.

It may also be an error where the second note would be played on the 5th string. I have written lots of tabs and still make errors like that.

David

Apr 17, 2024 - 1:53:27 PM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by CrazyCatLazy

. . . there is this section where the open fourth string is played three times in a row. For it to fit the rhythm the only way I can think to do it is strike, aspo, strike. 


I'm a three-finger player, not clawhammer. So what I'm about to suggest could be wrong.

But looking at the tab I see that the first open 4th string is a quarter note. In three-finger, this timing allows even conventional pickers to use the same finger for the next note and to even do so on the same string.

So I wonder if another way for you to play this is: strike strike aspo.  The first open 4th gets the count of "one and"  (hitting the string on "one")  Then you hit the string again on the count of "two" followed, I assume by your ASPO on the count of "and" after two.

Does this make sense? 

Or maybe RD is correct and the third open 4th is supposed to be open 5th. Hearing it in my head, that sounds more musical than all those low notes in a row.

Apr 17, 2024 - 2:31:01 PM

17 posts since 7/21/2023

quote:
Originally posted by dbrooks

Is this from Dick Sheridan's two-finger tab book? I don't know two-finger style well enough to make a call about that.

It may also be an error where the second note would be played on the 5th string. I have written lots of tabs and still make errors like that.

David


It's from the seemingly rather obscure "Dual Arrangements for 5 String Banjo" book which has clawhammer and Scruggs style arrangements for a bunch of songs. 

Apr 17, 2024 - 4:42:30 PM

2441 posts since 2/9/2007

That has got to be a misprint. Makes good sense if that second eighth note is moved down one string, not much sense at all where it is.

Apr 17, 2024 - 4:49:19 PM

199 posts since 9/5/2013

I agree with R.D.'s third possibility. My guess, it's just a typo -- tabs have them from time to time -- and the second fourth string eighth note should be a thumbed fifth string.

Apr 17, 2024 - 4:53:43 PM

88 posts since 12/8/2011

Unfortunately it appears Mr Sheridan passed away just under a year ago.

If I were in your shoes I'd try to do it as Ken described (strike, strike, ASPO). I tried it for about 40 seconds and I think if I stuck at it I could get it sounding clean (although I'm not sure I could do it consistently clean, at speed, on semi-autopilot). It was starting to sound interesting and different, and even if I decided later it was a misprint (or simply sounded better converting the third note to an open fifth string) that would still be a little maneuver in my fingers to be deployed somewhere else in a different tune perhaps.

Wait, scratch that. The first thing I would try is just skipping the middle note entirely, and use some convenient syncopation to get around the awkward tab phrase. (I'm not sure what the consensus standard term for that is. Ken Perlman called it an M-skip, others call it a ghost note.) See photo below (I hope).  The first open 4th is played with the index/middle.  Then the index/middle goes in the air and the thumb catches the fourth for another open string note.


 

Edited by - Barnacle Joe on 04/17/2024 16:56:16

Apr 17, 2024 - 5:10:42 PM

2441 posts since 2/9/2007

Or instead of the thumb note, you could pluck the 1st string (aspo).

Apr 18, 2024 - 4:31:47 AM
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Players Union Member

dbrooks

USA

4672 posts since 3/11/2004

For those really interested in this, here's a link to the Hal Leonard page for this book of dual banjo arrangements. There is a link to sample pages which includes links to full-page 3-finger and clawhammer tabs for "Wildwood Flower." The notes in question are in the last measure of the 3rd linwe of the clawhammer arrangement.

Dual Arrangements for the 5-String Banjo - Frailing/Clawhammer and 3-Finger Scruggs Style (Sheet Music) Banjo (00193460) by Hal Leonard

David

Apr 18, 2024 - 3:38:23 PM

17 posts since 7/21/2023

Thanks to everyone for the input. In the context of the song, to my ears at least, the simplest solution of hitting the 5th string as the quarter note sounds best.

It's an interesting book with a few quirks for sure.

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