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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:13 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
One more try then I promise to get back to the regularly scheduled debate.

Success...and cool car.

Returning to topic...I recall your first whistle was gifted to you with the stipulation that you learn to play "The Wild Rover." Did you accomplish that mission?


Yup I'm pretty happy with my Wild Rover for now in it's barest form but imagine i'll go to pieces once someone joins in with another instrument or I sip too much whiskey.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:04 am 
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westonm wrote:
So I sat down for the first time with a tin flute for about an hour and I can play Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkly Little Star, and London Bridges.

I'm basically ready to do sessions with ITM groups I assume :D


Yes. If those are the tunes your local session plays. If not, well, come back next week.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:48 am 
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Polara Pat wrote:
I build old cars as a hobby and speak in terms of tiny victories but even when they get really close to being finished, they are never done.


I think that's how music is. It is for me, anyhow.

I'm an artist by profession and myself and my fellow artists are rarely satisfied with our work. Once we finish something and give it to the client we don't ever want to see it again- on the occasions we do, we see all the flaws, all the things we would do differently if given the 2nd chance.

A problem is artists tinkering and tinkering and not knowing when to stop. Because they have a mental image of what they want the thing to look like, and since the actual thing never quite matches, they end up overworking the piece.

It's like all the Hollywood interviews with actors who have never watched a single thing they've acted in. They say they hate seeing their work- all they see is the flaws, all the things they should have done differently.

The professional musicians I know are the same. They can take pride in doing a good job, giving a gig their best shot, but were they to listen to it later they would pick it apart.

There are exceptions, with myself anyhow. Once in a blue moon I'll see a painting or drawing I did at some point in the past and say to myself "that's pretty good, it's about the best I can do." There's one of those for every hundred or so I think have obvious flaws.

Same with music- rare is the time I hear a recording of myself and think "that's pretty good, it's about the best I'm capable of."

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:53 am 
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Polara Pat wrote:
Not sure how else to post images. This forum is about as tech as I get.


Yes the PhotoBucket thing is terrible. No more free ride, they want money!

My images should still show up for a while, since I paid for the ad-free version.

But I've given up on them and I've migrated most of my images over to Imgur.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:53 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
But I still maintain - and you seem to agree in principle - that no matter how good I get, it is for others to say I have any mastery.


I'll agree in more than principle: I'll enthusuastically agree on the substance. The last thing I wanted, getting into this thread, was to somehow set myself up as an arbitor of tin whistle mastery. I know almost nothing about that. However, I don't need to in order to say something useful about beginning to learn tin whistle.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:49 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
I build old cars as a hobby and speak in terms of tiny victories but even when they get really close to being finished, they are never done.


I think that's how music is. It is for me, anyhow.

I'm an artist by profession and myself and my fellow artists are rarely satisfied with our work. Once we finish something and give it to the client we don't ever want to see it again- on the occasions we do, we see all the flaws, all the things we would do differently if given the 2nd chance.

A problem is artists tinkering and tinkering and not knowing when to stop. Because they have a mental image of what they want the thing to look like, and since the actual thing never quite matches, they end up overworking the piece.

It's like all the Hollywood interviews with actors who have never watched a single thing they've acted in. They say they hate seeing their work- all they see is the flaws, all the things they should have done differently.

The professional musicians I know are the same. They can take pride in doing a good job, giving a gig their best shot, but were they to listen to it later they would pick it apart.

There are exceptions, with myself anyhow. Once in a blue moon I'll see a painting or drawing I did at some point in the past and say to myself "that's pretty good, it's about the best I can do." There's one of those for every hundred or so I think have obvious flaws.

Same with music- rare is the time I hear a recording of myself and think "that's pretty good, it's about the best I'm capable of."


Lots of good examples here and I guess that's how it goes in life, if you are passionate about something. My other example would be tying flys. My first year or two of tying I knew I wasn't that good but sometimes scraggly offering are what the fish want. Now when I see my early efforts I'm embarrassed and want to strip the hook clean with a blade so no one sees them. I could just as easily have been talking about whistling here but maybe without the blade. I do need to start listening to more traditional music to develop my ear a bit but for right now I have the challenge of learning 11 tunes to play with my friend, so I'll focus on that for now. (I'm) about half way in.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Polara Pat wrote:
My other example would be tying flys. My first year or two of tying I knew I wasn't that good but sometimes scraggly offering are what the fish want. Now when I see my early efforts I'm embarrassed and want to strip the hook clean with a blade so no one sees them.

No, don't do that. I think you could lay out a timeline comparison exhibit (for yourself, if no one else) showing your progress from beginner to where you are now. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:51 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
westonm wrote:
So I sat down for the first time with a tin flute for about an hour and I can play Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkly Little Star, and London Bridges.

I'm basically ready to do sessions with ITM groups I assume :D


Yes. If those are the tunes your local session plays. If not, well, come back next week.


to loosely paraphrase groucho marx

I don't know that I would attend a session that would allow me to play at my skill level ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:21 pm 
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might be a bit off topic but

where i go to church we sing unaccompanied, which is to say unaccompanied by instruments, obviously we sing together

the unexpected side effect of this is that 15 years of unaccompanied singing 1 hour twice a week does wonders for ear training. we used shaped-notes (do re me fa so la ti do) as an aid but...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:18 pm 
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westonm wrote:
we used shaped-notes (do re me fa so la ti do)


Sacred Harp hymns? I love that stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:21 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
westonm wrote:
we used shaped-notes (do re me fa so la ti do)


Sacred Harp hymns? I love that stuff.



hmmm, i never heard it called that. but yes after a brief googling that's what it's called


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:09 am 
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westonm wrote:
pancelticpiper wrote:
westonm wrote:
we used shaped-notes (do re me fa so la ti do)


Sacred Harp hymns? I love that stuff.



hmmm, i never heard it called that. but yes after a brief googling that's what it's called


The Sacred Harp is a particularly popular hymnal of music written out in shape note notation, one that pretty much dominates most people's understanding of shape note singing. The fact that you use do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do rather than the more usual Sacred Harp syllables of fa-sol-la-fa-sol-la-mi-fa suggests that you're actually from a different shape note tradition. The ethnomusicologist in me always likes to point this out because of the unfortunate leveling-out of tradition that happens when one subset of a type of music gets popular among outsiders and subsumes its sibling and cousin traditions. Not unlike what we've seen in ITM, really.

Anyway, while this was said a while ago, I think it's the most important bit of advice in the whole thread when it comes to Irish music:

pancelticpiper wrote:

I will say that when I practice jigs or reels slowed down a bit with a metronome I find that my fingering gets more precise and that I memorise the tunes more quickly. It also ingrains, with me anyhow, keeping the rhythm going forward no matter what.


(Emphasis mine)

Great Irish musicians play a variety of tune types on variety of instruments with a variety of ornamentation and at a variety of tempi. But every great Irish musician has complete control over the rhythm. Sure, they may slow down or speed up for dramatic effect, but that's a choice they consciously make, and they can keep a rock-steady tempo no matter how slow or fas they're playing. At a session one of the immediate indicators of accomplishment on an instrument that I can hear is how a person keeps the tune driving forward, without stops and starts or speeding up/slowing down through particularly easy/difficult passages. I won't offer any definitions of or opinions about what constitutes mastery, but I will say that a consistent approach to rhythm is a big part of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:54 am 
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The Sacred Harp is a particularly popular hymnal of music written out in shape note notation, one that pretty much dominates most people's understanding of shape note singing. The fact that you use do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do rather than the more usual Sacred Harp syllables of fa-sol-la-fa-sol-la-mi-fa suggests that you're actually from a different shape note tradition. The ethnomusicologist in me always likes to point this out because of the unfortunate leveling-out of tradition that happens when one subset of a type of music gets popular among outsiders and subsumes its sibling and cousin traditions. Not unlike what we've seen in ITM, really.

Anyway, while this was said a while ago, I think it's the most important bit of advice in the whole thread when it comes to Irish music:

Really? The most important advice in this 5 page thread? I guess I believe you but this thread is titled "On Learning", as in someone who has no musical knowledge whatsoever like me and would be keen to get reasonably proficient in playing over a long-ish timeline. But for right now, just starting out, and I don't speak for all beginners but I've gleaned some great advice from this thread so far and truthfully have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe someday I will but it's too advanced for me at this point.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:51 pm 
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Polara Pat wrote:
The Sacred Harp is a particularly popular hymnal of music written out in shape note notation, one that pretty much dominates most people's understanding of shape note singing. The fact that you use do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do rather than the more usual Sacred Harp syllables of fa-sol-la-fa-sol-la-mi-fa suggests that you're actually from a different shape note tradition. The ethnomusicologist in me always likes to point this out because of the unfortunate leveling-out of tradition that happens when one subset of a type of music gets popular among outsiders and subsumes its sibling and cousin traditions. Not unlike what we've seen in ITM, really.

Anyway, while this was said a while ago, I think it's the most important bit of advice in the whole thread when it comes to Irish music:

Really? The most important advice in this 5 page thread? I guess I believe you but this thread is titled "On Learning", as in someone who has no musical knowledge whatsoever like me and would be keen to get reasonably proficient in playing over a long-ish timeline. But for right now, just starting out, and I don't speak for all beginners but I've gleaned some great advice from this thread so far and truthfully have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe someday I will but it's too advanced for me at this point.


I was speaking about the comment on rhythm by pancelticpiper, which is absolutely about learning an instrument. I was not (as I think you may be inferring) congratulating myself on my knowledge of shape note hymnals. There is a colon after that statement that I believe you may have missed.

For someone who is looking to get proficient, pancelticpiper's comment on keep the rhythm constant throughout practice is both very important and hard to do. As I said in my comment, I have heard a lot of beginning and intermediate musicians whose music is close to unlistenable because of lack of control over the rhythm. It's easy to slow down for tricky fingerings, speed up to try to mask uncertainty about a passage, or let your breathing disrupt the natural pulse of the music. Getting a hold of all that will go a long way towards making your music sound like you know what you're doing.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:29 pm 
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bigsciota wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
The Sacred Harp is a particularly popular hymnal of music written out in shape note notation, one that pretty much dominates most people's understanding of shape note singing. The fact that you use do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do rather than the more usual Sacred Harp syllables of fa-sol-la-fa-sol-la-mi-fa suggests that you're actually from a different shape note tradition. The ethnomusicologist in me always likes to point this out because of the unfortunate leveling-out of tradition that happens when one subset of a type of music gets popular among outsiders and subsumes its sibling and cousin traditions. Not unlike what we've seen in ITM, really.

Anyway, while this was said a while ago, I think it's the most important bit of advice in the whole thread when it comes to Irish music:

Really? The most important advice in this 5 page thread? I guess I believe you but this thread is titled "On Learning", as in someone who has no musical knowledge whatsoever like me and would be keen to get reasonably proficient in playing over a long-ish timeline. But for right now, just starting out, and I don't speak for all beginners but I've gleaned some great advice from this thread so far and truthfully have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe someday I will but it's too advanced for me at this point.


I was speaking about the comment on rhythm by pancelticpiper, which is absolutely about learning an instrument. I was not (as I think you may be inferring) congratulating myself on my knowledge of shape note hymnals. There is a colon after that statement that I believe you may have missed.

For someone who is looking to get proficient, pancelticpiper's comment on keep the rhythm constant throughout practice is both very important and hard to do. As I said in my comment, I have heard a lot of beginning and intermediate musicians whose music is close to unlistenable because of lack of control over the rhythm. It's easy to slow down for tricky fingerings, speed up to try to mask uncertainty about a passage, or let your breathing disrupt the natural pulse of the music. Getting a hold of all that will go a long way towards making your music sound like you know what you're doing.


Although I can't very well disagree with you since you have obviously been at this for a while and I'm just a noob. Constant rhythm makes sense to me and should be a priority in my practicing but I'm still learning in broad strokes: breath control, clean fingering and scales. Simple repetitive actions that will get me closer to what you are talking about. If I'm all wet on this topic then please feel free to tell me. I can take it.


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