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 Post subject: B roll problems
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Can anybody help break down the mechanics of the B roll? I'm having trouble getting my fingers to cooperate. I am not the most dexterous person, but I can do all the other rolls at a decent level. This B roll, though, in the context of this tune, is giving me fits. Something about [f cB~B2] in particular is messing me up. It has something to do with the upper octave >fingers up for c# > fingers down for B > initial cut on B for the start of the roll. This combination is especially tricky for me. The initial cut sounds just too long and awkward, and is, of course, throwing off the rest of the roll.

FWIW, I have tried to keep this roll slow and play it perfectly, but my speed doesn't seem to be increasing much in the last 3 weeks. Hence, my request for advice, and if nothing else, just a chat about it.

For context, the B part of this tune has the offending figure.

X: 2
T: The Tattie Ball
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
AcBc AF~F2 | DEED EFAB | AcBc AF~F2 | effe f~f3 |
AcBc AF~F2 | DEED EFAB | AcBc AF~F2 | f4 a3e||
faef cB~B2 | eAce fc2e | faef cB~B2 | effe ~f4 |
faef cB~B2 | eAcA ~B2AB | c3f ecBc | AFFE F4 ||


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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Practice this for a while:
X: 2
T: The Tattie Ball
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
AcBc AF~F2 | DEED EFAB | AcBc AF~F2 | effe f{a}f{e}f{a}f |
AcBc AF~F2 | DEED EFAB | AcBc AF~F2 | f4 a3e||
faef cB{A}B{c}B | eAce fc2e | faef cB{A}B{c}B | effe f{a}f{e}f{a}f |
faef cB{A}B{c}B | eAcA ~{c}B2AB | c3f ecBc | AFFE F4 ||

Check back in about 6 weeks. All will be much better

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:18 am 
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Flexismart wrote:
Practice this for a while:
X: 2
T: The Tattie Ball
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
AcBc AF~F2 | DEED EFAB | AcBc AF~F2 | effe f{a}f{e}f{a}f |
AcBc AF~F2 | DEED EFAB | AcBc AF~F2 | f4 a3e||
faef cB{A}B{c}B | eAce fc2e | faef cB{A}B{c}B | effe f{a}f{e}f{a}f |
faef cB{A}B{c}B | eAcA ~{c}B2AB | c3f ecBc | AFFE F4 ||

Check back in about 6 weeks. All will be much better

Yeah ... the trouble with that is that it isn't a roll. You need to do the cut first and then the tap, not the other way round, IMO. You need to articulate the start of the roll somehow, not just with fingers. On a whistle, I'd probably use a bit of tonguing - on flute a glottal stop. That tune seems to need a mouth articulation of some sort at the start of the first B and then again at the start of the B roll.

My suggestion would be to just keep practising the roll, and the whole passage, nice and slowly until you can play it really slowly. Don't even try to speed it up. But I would definitely keep it as a roll, and not do as Flexismart suggests with that sort of inverted turn thingie.

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:29 am 
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Thank god it's folk music and not Bach. The dragon can be slayed in many ways.

Tonguing can work wonders, too. Try them all until you're comfortable with the result. And, as Ben Hall says, "(do it) until you can play it really slowly." Eventually, with patience it will make sense and you can move on to the next impossible thing(ie).

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:36 am 
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Thanks, guys.

I'm working specifically on the b roll. Alternatives are certainly nice, but unless they are going to help me execute that roll cleanly, I'll have to save them for later.


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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:15 am 
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awildman wrote:
Thanks, guys.

I'm working specifically on the b roll. Alternatives are certainly nice, but unless they are going to help me execute that roll cleanly, I'll have to save them for later.


Exactly,-alternatives are useless, and only serves to never learn that B-roll.
Perhaps you're having the same problem as I had? -A roll with the right hand fingers is OK, but trying the same with the left hand on the upper half of the whistle is difficult.
The B-note is played with the left hand index finger on the topmost fingerhole. Now,-a roll is made up from a cut and then a tap.
Play the B-note and then lift the index finger off the hole super fast and then slam it back down just as fast.
This is the cut.
It should sound like a very short blip.
Then comes the tap: Play the B-note and slam the middle finger of the left hand down onto the A-hole and then lift it up again very fast.
You don't need to close the hole completely when performing a tap.
It is enough to just move the finger close to the hole at an angle in order to disturb the airflow from the hole.
Now, play the B-note, a cut and then a tap . . . that's your roll.
When practicing, the cut/tap themselves need to be super fast, but the time between the cut and the tap can be rather long to make it easier for you.
If left hand dexterity is what is lacking you need to give your hand some workout.
Pratice the B-roll and all the other left hand notes for half an hour every day for a month,-not playing tunes,-only rolls and you'll be fine.
Regarding the cut: Get used to performing the cut with the left hand index finger (topmost fingerhole) regardless of doing the following tap with the left hand or the right hand. -The cut will sound better that way.

I have a feeling that people are trying to play tunes before mastering the dexterity needed to play ornaments the way they should be played.
Then they run into trouble, and start looking for ways to avoid the difficult stuff like substituting rolls with glottal stops and the like.
Last time I checked, glottal stops were never an ornament used in Irish trad music.


Last edited by emtor on Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:59 am 
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Quote:
,-alternatives are useless


No, they're not, although I would perhaps question the value of reversing the cut and tap in this case.

However, alternatives can, in the long term, be a means of variation and are thus worth having under your fingers. In the short term they allow you to play a satisfactory version of a tune you like while you're learning a more complex form for use at a later date.

Remember that playing a roll is a means to an end, and rarely is the be all, end all way of approaching a tune.

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:51 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
,-alternatives are useless


No, they're not, although I would perhaps question the value of reversing the cut and tap in this case.

However, alternatives can, in the long term, be a means of variation and are thus worth having under your fingers. In the short term they allow you to play a satisfactory version of a tune you like while you're learning a more complex form for use at a later date.

Remember that playing a roll is a means to an end, and rarely is the be all, end all way of approaching a tune.


What I meant was that seeking out alternatives in order to avoid learning ornamentation because they seem difficult is useless..
Variation in general is of course useful.


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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:29 pm 
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emtor wrote:
You don't need to close the hole completely when performing a tap.
It is enough to just move the finger close to the hole at an angle in order to disturb the airflow from the hole.

So want to suggest a context where that's either easier or crisper than closing the hole?

Quote:
Regarding the cut: Get used to performing the cut with the left hand index finger (topmost fingerhole) regardless of doing the following tap with the left hand or the right hand. -The cut will sound better that way.

While it's useful to be able to cut with any finger, there's no way it's always going to sound better with T1!

Quote:
Then they run into trouble, and start looking for ways to avoid the difficult stuff like substituting rolls with glottal stops and the like.

What, repeated glottal stops at speed? Sure you're not thinking of (for example) triple tonguing? In which case do you think the likes of Brian Finnegan are avoiding rolls as too difficult?

Quote:
Last time I checked, glottal stops were never an ornament used in Irish trad music.

Think most folk consider them an articulation!

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:43 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
emtor wrote:
Quote:Last time I checked, glottal stops were never an ornament used in Irish trad music.

Think most folk consider them an articulation!

Quite.

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:45 pm 
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I never said that Brian Finnegan uses triple tounging to avoid the difficulty of using rolls as I doubt he finds rolling difficult at all..
As for cutting with the left hand index finger,- I find that it is both easier and that it sounds better, but by all means, people may use their toes for doing that if it pleases them.
Regarding a tap by disturbing the fingerhole with the finger at an angle, I find it to be much quicker than closing the hole completely, and this makes the tap sound faster. It's not easy to explain in words, but I sometimes hear recordings (by amateurs like myself) where a roll sounds like three distinct and consecutive notes which makes the roll not sound like a roll at all. Cutting with the index finger and tapping the way I described makes it sound more like I hear when the pro's are playing.


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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:54 pm 
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emtor wrote:
Regarding a tap by disturbing the fingerhole with the finger at an angle, I find it to be much quicker than closing the hole completely, and this makes the tap sound faster. It's not easy to explain in words, but I sometimes hear recordings (by amateurs like myself) where a roll sounds like three distinct and consecutive notes which makes the roll not sound like a roll at all. Cutting with the index finger and tapping the way I described makes it sound more like I hear when the pro's are playing.

Yet whenever I have had a lesson from a pro, they are very definite that one should close the hole completely, but very, very fast. It sounds better, and more like a roll when you do.

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:53 am 
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Yes you only get that wonderful "pop" out of pats if 1) the hole is accurately sealed and 2) the pat is done extremely quickly.

Likewise you only get cracking cuts if the cutting finger is raised high enough for the note to clearly sound.

Beginners will often try to get both cuts and pats quicker by sacrificing the clarity of the note; this addresses one of the requirements by abandoning the other.

I can't make much out of ABC notation, but does that tune have both a long roll on B coming from the C# above, and a short roll on B coming from the A below?

Neither poses any particular technical problem* I don't think. It's just a matter of practice.

Many Pure Drop people will roll their eyes (no pun intended) but if you're having trouble getting precise clean rolls, practice them very slowly with a metronome with a single click for each 8th note. It's critical that your hands are completely relaxed the whole time. If you practice an ornament tensely, your hands will remember it, and every time you come upon that ornament in a tune your hands will tense up, which will prevent you from playing the ornament as well as you might otherwise.

In other words, "practice" doesn't mean just blowing through the tune over and over, which might result in reinforcing your mistakes. Focused, purposeful practice will make the difficult bits easy in time.

*(Caveat: I'm talking whistle, above. On flute, if the normal flute grip is used, the upper-hand index finger is unique in that the flute is resting on the base of the finger, and the rest of the finger is curled around the flute tube. So rather than having the motion coming from the knuckle as with the other fingers, the motion is a potentially clumsy one of the finger curling and uncurling. So doing cuts with the upperhand index finger requires more practice, and for many flute beginners B rolls are their bogey thing.)

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:03 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I can't make much out of ABC notation, but does that tune have both a long roll on B coming from the C# above, and a short roll on B coming from the A below?

Yes it does, in the version posted by the OP. (I've only added that in case there are other versions - it's not a tune I'm familiar with.)

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 Post subject: Re: B roll problems
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:08 pm 
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emtor wrote:
I never said that Brian Finnegan uses triple tounging to avoid the difficulty of using rolls

Neither did I!

Quote:
As for cutting with the left hand index finger,- I find that it is both easier and that it sounds better,

Well, I might cut with T1, 2, 3 or even B1 or 2 according to context (how the note 'pops', which note I'm approaching from etc.), but can tell you straight that T1's just not going to work on some notes (try it on second D or E, for example)...

Quote:
but by all means, people may use their toes for doing that if it pleases them.

Now that's just plain silly!

pancelticpiper wrote:
and 2) the pat is done extremely quickly.

Which is why I prefer the term 'strike'.

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