One of mine and a folk Trad PD

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VikingBlues
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One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:07 pm

I quite liked the way a recent attempt at a composition worked out - I was trying to avoid Celtic / Scots sounds, but still tuned in DADGAD.

:music1: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13531213 'Off the Radar'

The Vintage VE2000GG recorded on dual Avantone small diaphragm condensers (omni + cardioid)

I've also driven myself a bit demented the last 48 hours trying to get a public domain folk song to work as an arrangement.

:music1: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13533041 'House Carpenter'

With the vocal and rhythm guitar parts recorded in one take at the same time onto the Zoom H4n portable recorder I was stuck with the balance of vocal and guitar. The words get a bit buried in the mix - could be a good thing to hear less of me singing anyway, but the lyrics are on the soundclick page. Additional acoustic lead track, plus the uke bass and a bit of mandolin. The guitar used is the Tanglewood TW133 all Mahogany.

Everyone and their Auntie seem to have had a go at this song - including Pentangle, Mr Fox (my favourite), Nickel Creek, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, Buffy St Marie, Cara, and Pete Seeger. They all sound quite different and my attempt is not really based on any of them. Fun, but I wish I could get the song out of my head now - it's on a repeating loop in there!
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

MichaelRobinson
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by MichaelRobinson » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:08 am

VB ........................

I do not know if you favor one song in front of the other. What I think you have plenty able to give "Of the radar" the Scottish feeling. It deserves both you and the song.

"House Carpenter", you have done very well, I think, and put a lot of work.
Your voice fits so do not worry about it.

:clap: :clap:

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12bar
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by 12bar » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:04 pm

There's nothing wrong in sounding celtic - it's just beautiful music! :pray:
Perfect sound and playing, to my ears. :clap:

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:50 am

Thanks Michael and Gerd for bothering with what is far from the Blues! :D

I wouldn't favour one of these recordings over the other Michael - the two are very different genre and style. The challenge of one was in creating the music, the challenge of the other was with interpretation and the arrangement.
I guess on balance there's maybe more to be gained in satisfaction from creating the whole thing though. :icon_whoknows:

The Celtic / Scots feel is probably so embedded in my playing, particularly in DADGAD, that it keeps coming through. Fair enough and I'm really OK with that idea. I do just feel like I've got a connection with that style of music at some instinctive level - I wish I did with blues too!
I'm currently trying to work on a bit of DADGAD blues - it'll be interesting to see if Celtic creeps into that too! :roll:

There is a problem with a lot of folk songs like "House Carpenter" that it's just verse form and no chorus or refrain. Strophic form I think it's called. But it's difficult to avoid that repetition of just the verse structure getting too boring. The version I did of the song does have several possible verses cut from it, but more than 5 minutes to include them all didn't seem like a good idea to me.
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12bar
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by 12bar » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:40 pm

VikingBlues wrote:There is a problem with a lot of folk songs like "House Carpenter" that it's just verse form and no chorus or refrain. Strophic form I think it's called. But it's difficult to avoid that repetition of just the verse structure getting too boring. The version I did of the song does have several possible verses cut from it, but more than 5 minutes to include them all didn't seem like a good idea to me.
In Blues we have an even more fixed form, sometimes only one chord over 5 minutes. Maybe as someone with experience in both worlds you can apply this to some of these old folk songs? Sounds like an interesting project... :snacks:

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:01 pm

Hmm ... a touch of crossover .... that's an intriguing thought! :D

You're right about that fixed form in blues too - it has the same way of becoming a major problem if the length of the piece being played goes on too long - that 5 minute barrier gets broken in blues and it needs to be a collaboration so the contrasting guitar styles keep it interesting.

I never managed the trick in blues of one chord over 5 minutes - John Lee Hooker could do it of course, and make it sound incredibly good. :pray:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

fenson
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by fenson » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:02 pm

12bar wrote:In Blues we have an even more fixed form, sometimes only one chord over 5 minutes...
VikingBlues wrote:it has the same way of becoming a major problem if the length of the piece being played goes on too long - that 5 minute barrier gets broken in blues and it needs to be a collaboration so the contrasting guitar styles keep it interesting.
Sorry but I disagree with these two statements!
It sounds like you're melting (misunderstood) Form and Style concepts!
ex: Fugue is a form, Baroque is a Style, as for example one can write an 'atonal fuge' or a 'serial fuge' (Shoenberg, Messiaen, Bartok...).
Another example in between J.S. Bach (Baroque) and the three moderns given references is Beethoven (the contrapuntic voices quatuor ending Fidelio)... A fugue form in a terrific "new style" at least at the moment Ludwig wrote it.

The "5 minute barrier" doesn't exist either! Just answer this question: how many different G chords could be played on the guitar, including all inversions and altered form of that chord?
Lord knows how much I respect Mr John Lee Hooker but please listen to Scott Henderson, Robben Ford, John Scofield or Bill Frissel to named just few guitar players who eventually could play a full hour over the same chord vamp being NOT boring ever!
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:34 am

Your musical understanding is way ahead of mine Fenson and yes, it's more than likely I misunderstand Form and Style concepts. Self evident to me in that I don't really understand what you've said about them - but that's my fault, not yours! :D

As for the 5 minutes barrier I should have made obvious that it's a barrier for me. I would agree that there are many other players that can break that barrier and remain interesting - including those you mentioned - I just used JLH as an example. There are plenty of G chords and inversions, though significantly fewer when just three left hand fingers can be used - but you need to know them and to have the skill to know when to use them to good effect. I don't. Frankly, for my level, it's difficult enough to make a couple of minutes of music interesting. :sad:

The strophic form in folk, by comparison to the sort of song that has a verse chorus and bridge structure, has so much less built into it to provide interest for the listeners ears. Particularly if lines 3 and 4 of the verses are very similar to lines 1 and 2 - as they often are. For me even very skilled acoustic musicians like those in Fairport Convention can hit the buffers because of this and it ends up that I feel I'm listening to skilled playing but am getting bored - even a very fine singer can't save this form for me.
So where does that leave the less skilled musician like me? Scrabbling away in the hope that something might work.

Long folk songs ..... this one by the Fairports - 'Tam Lin', which I'm afraid doesn't hold my interest, despite Sandy Dennys wonderful voice:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy3ihk205ew
Compared to Steeleye who bring much more variation to the form ....... to my ears:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e196Jsd-oQ
But most people prefer the Fairports version so what the hell do I know!??? :roll:
Last edited by VikingBlues on Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fenson
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by fenson » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:22 am

VikingBlues wrote:Frankly, for my level, it's difficult enough to make a couple of minutes of music interesting. :sad:
Once again I do not agree! :D
I pretty much appreciate the one you sang... and others you've already posted here!
By the way you hopefully don't have to play all the notes a chord mights contain to ear the harmony...
Scales don't exist because of the notes it contains... but because of the order of the intervals that really make it; that is also the case for melodies...
At some point as 'improviser', you've to think as 'composer', just my opinion though :D
Be sure I wouldn't hurt but just clarify some key point, at least to my understanding of making music with a guitar :icon_whoknows:
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:48 am

I think we have to agree to disagree on my abilities! :D

But that's the good thing about a forum - to be able to put different points of view across.

I don't know if I've got a low boredom threshold or don't know enough about music to appreciate its finer points (or both!), but I really find very little music that I want to sit and listen to for any length of time. That's where people who are good enough to make a living at music are playing!

It's a good point you make about needing to bring some of the thoughts of a composer to improvisation.
I have found since I started trying to sit down and 'compose' and write down fingerstyle acoustic music that some of the thought process that involves has crossed over into improv. But having said that any attempts at composing I have done have been very much from an angle of moulding how the music sounds and what melody, bass note etc would sound good next ... or what would sound good along with a melodic phrase and what would that suggest should follow. I'm a bit too long in the tooth and too mentally drained by the joys of work to tackle anything as mammoth as musical theory! Much as I would like the result I don't have the stomach for all the hard work and every time i have looked at this sort of theory in the past I have just found it an immensely frustrating experience which threatens to stop music being fun.

On the plus side despite all the imperfections I recognise in myself I do enjoy playing and trying to create music. :thumbsup:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

fenson
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by fenson » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:01 am

VikingBlues wrote:Y
So where does that leave the less skilled musician like me? Scrabbling away in the hope that something might work.
Here again, I feel like you're "mixing concepts": skilled and gifted!
One was born gifted, but this one having such a chance will certainly do not a lot if not working enough to get skilled enough to benefit that gift mother nature gave to him ;-)

About https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy3ihk205ew :
Listen to what Jethro Tull have done with such a simple melody...

About https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e196Jsd-oQ :
Here, we're dealing with a dance music, the trik might be not spending too much time on melody and/or harmony but on rythm (augmentation/diminution --tools that also work with both melody and harmony yet).

Once again, do not take my words as personnal attack or blind criticism... Why would I wanna hurt you ?
VikingBlues wrote: It's a good point you make about needing to bring some of the thoughts of a composer to improvisation. :
Happy you join me here!
VikingBlues wrote: I'm a bit too long in the tooth and too mentally drained by the joys of work to tackle anything as mammoth as musical theory! Much as I would like the result I don't have the stomach for all the hard work and every time i have looked at this sort of theory in the past I have just found it an immensely frustrating experience which threatens to stop music being fun.
On the plus side despite all the imperfections I recognise in myself I do enjoy playing and trying to create music. :thumbsupc:
:think: Eyes bigger than belly ? The bad thing with theory is that you can spend all your life talking 'bout it without playing a single note, on the other hand, as practicing musician we always need to get back to it!
Talking about Robert Johnson, Keith Richard said he began to understand that music is not the notes you're playing but what is in between these notes... And that's exactly what I think! Look a the scales... they do not differ because of the notes that compose the scale itself (it all come from the 12 notes chromaticism gives to us) but because of the interval between each note of one scale or another :D
:beer:
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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12bar
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by 12bar » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:54 pm

Interesting discussion! :dance:
I hope I get the right words...

I'm not a studied musician and never had any lessons (OK, some keyboard lessons when I was young), but I've learned some background reading books etc. and it helps me to play a song. For me the interesting thing is that I prefer simple things, be it style, form, melody, harmony or even lyrics. I can take a song and analyze it to death, chord progressions, scale, theme, but it doesn't explain why I like it. Same for an artist - I simply can't listen to Scofield or Ford more than a few songs, but I never get tired of listening to JLH. I'm not limited to the Blues, I listen to Classical music as well as folk, rock, pop, whatever.

What I'm trying to say is musical taste is very individual and depends on many things, not just musical knowledge. And I think that's good... :big_smile:
fenson wrote:It sounds like you're melting (misunderstood) Form and Style concepts!
I referred to VB's strophic form, not style. Blues is in strophic form, I think, but can be used as a base for improvisation. Which does not mean you have to play chord inversions or solo through a song like Cream's spoonful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dftrm1bPu88 is very simple, many people would get bored, but for some people (like me) it's just great.
VikingBlues wrote:On the plus side despite all the imperfections I recognise in myself I do enjoy playing and trying to create music. :thumbsup:
Enjoying and having fun should always be the most important thing for amateur players. :thumbsup:

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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by fenson » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:28 am

Who is talking about musical taste?
Not me!

Many Blues do not adopt the strophic form (Big Bill Broonzy) so many use inversion all along a "simple Blues" (Memphis Slim/Willie Dixon --had the wonderful chance to see them together many times in Paris by the sixties in St Germain des Prés... :D )

Once again I do not entirely agree with you Gerd:
Enjoying and having fun should always be the VERY most important thing for PROFESSIONAL players too!
Incidentally, I really do not understand why learning a bit of technic/theory would minimize joy and fun...

Let's play :D


Scale Game.mp3 - (6.39 MiB)

"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:54 am

Just to say reference your earlier post I didn't take any of your words as an attack on me or as blind criticism Fenson. No worries! :thumbsup:

Learning technique and theory can be fun if it's geared towards playing and is using that in a practical way to demonstrate the possibilities.
When it stops being fun for me is when it is presented as dry concepts with lots of technical buzz words and with no practical demonstration of how it can be applied. So many teachers and teaching materials seem to rely on those sort of dry abstract methods.

I must have had at least three determined but failed attempts at getting to grips with modes before I found a teacher that demonstrated how to play them in a practical way rather than banging on for thousands of words about the theory of what makes modes.
Being told what makes modes = failure by me to learn = no fun. Being told what makes for playing modes = learning = fun.
It's really failure to learn that stops theory being fun.

But any learning process needs a fair amount of mental energy and time, and other commitments of life unfortunately mean they are in short supply.
Maybe when I retire, if I ever can, I will be able to give theory more of the focus it needs to progress more.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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12bar
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by 12bar » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:56 am

fenson wrote:Once again I do not entirely agree with you Gerd:
No problem, that's life. :handshake:
fenson wrote:Enjoying and having fun should always be the VERY most important thing for PROFESSIONAL players too!
Sure it should, but it's not always the case. If you need it for your living, you sometimes have to play things you don't like, or don't like anymore.
fenson wrote:Incidentally, I really do not understand why learning a bit of technic/theory would minimize joy and fun...
I never said so.

Nice playing btw.! :thumbsup:

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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by fenson » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:32 pm

OK, here is my outro :D

Thanks Mark for your understanding of my words.
Agree about modes and the way most teachers try to teach what they are and how to utilize this harmonic recipe... As I wrote one can talk about theory without playing a single note or producing smth musical. For me, theory is a just great tool one can/may use or not.

As for example: over a Bm chord most of us are going to play a Bm pentatonic scale (standard shape starting from 7 fret). Now let's play a C#m pentatonic over the same Bm chord (same shape, just 2 frets above)... now try a F#m pent (same shape starting from fret 2) over the same Bm chord. It works!
Its quite easy to theoretically explain why, but it is not necessary to be able to do so to play such a superposition and appreciate (or not :D ) the resulting sound (harmony) it allows. But knowing a bit of theory helps one to become able to use that kind of possibilities to enhance his musical grammar and vocabulary.
Thus it helps more since you start thinking of composition (or as a composer)... You can then easily write the music you've got in your head with no instrument in your hands :D

To not neglect any point of this discussion Joy and Fun, at least for me don't depend on the kind of music I play actually but on the fact of being playing...
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by Blindboy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:38 pm

Those are both very nice pieces of music, VB. I like what you're doing in DADGAD, and it is great to hear you playing and singing at the same time (quite a challenge for me).
An interesting discussion on theory, etc... I didn't chime in, because I am so weak on theory. I have absorbed some through osmosis, but can'y articulate it very well. I am pretty much a one trick pony... still trying to master playing the blues. I do love playing with my band, but will soon be traveling much of this coming year. I will bring a couple of guitars and an amp, so I will be playing solo a bunch and, hopefuly, sitting with bands here and there. I expect to be learning a lot from this.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:35 am

Cheers Blindboy. :D

I find it is much easier playing the guitar part while imagining the vocal, and then recording the vocal after. It allows for more feeling in the vocal and also allows getting just the right balance volume wise between the two parts. But it does feel like cheating so I have to try both at once every so often to try to prove to myself that I can do it.

Your focus on blues has certainly resulted in your being very good indeed at the genre. My butterfly approach leaves me spread very thin and I feel I'm often just skimming the surface. But I can't help myself!
Someone on the Acoustic Forum I visit mentioned the Byzantine scale in a post I read yesterday morning and I had to try and record an improv piece using that scale straight away before I went to work.
:music1: https://app.box.com/s/u1yj8nkswy8r3ohyl3ykycwiiyrhod4i
It's like an itch I have to scratch. :wall:

Good luck with the travelling plan - sounds like a good way to learn to me! :thumbsup:
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12bar
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by 12bar » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:47 am

VikingBlues wrote:Someone on the Acoustic Forum I visit mentioned the Byzantine scale in a post I read yesterday morning and I had to try and record an improv piece using that scale straight away before I went to work.
Never heard of this one (edit - googled a bit: also called double harmonic scale which maybe more common) but it clearly sounds both arabic and gipsy - quite interesting!

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VikingBlues
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Re: One of mine and a folk Trad PD

Post by VikingBlues » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:19 am

Yes - a close relation to the Phrygian (my favourite minor mode) to my way of thinking.
It has a major 3rd and major 7th instead of the Phrygians flattened 3rd and 7th.

The Byzantine has that Phrygian b2 which I feel has such a lot to do with the Arabic sound the way I play.
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