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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:52 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
the delrin head didn't look posh enough, I can only assume so she had another comment on her adjudication sheet (both whistles sounded fine, by the way and she played them well) so by the time she made it to the All Ireland I had to get her a Sindt. It's silly stuff, not based on sound but on looks.

That stuff is the bane of competitions in general, and we Highland pipers are always faced with it.

A friend was puzzled why he was placing at bottom in competitions (though obviously in the middle of the pack regarding his playing) and at one competition the judge helpfully noted at the bottom of his scoresheet "get a Naill". He had noticed that all the other competitors were playing Naills. Sure enough when he showed up at the next competition playing a Naill he placed in the middle of the pack, where he deserved to be. (This was quite a few years ago when pretty much all solo competitors were playing Naill chanters.)

Worse yet is when judges are linked to a manufacturer and give highest scores to the competitors playing their products. There have been competitions where, as soon as the competitors found out who the judge was, everyone pretty much knew how the competitors would place, due to what make of chanter they were playing.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:53 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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I just spent two weeks trying to nail down Cooley's and that's supposed to be a beginners reel



I am not too fond of shoveling tunes into the 'beginner's enclosure'. It sort of diminishes them. Cooley's is a classic tune and part of a classic set : Cooley's/Wise Maid. It's a lovely set to fall back on and when played well it can really fly. Over the summer I have heard several groups of the finest musicians we have, play it. In fact I have had a recording of Paddy Canny and Vincent Griffin playing that set on rotation in recent weeks. Wonderful stuff.


I've actually been looking for good accompanying tunes, I'll look into Wise Maid. I've been playing Cooley's with Drowsy Maggie and it seems to work pretty well. I've also been pushing Cooley's on my accordion playing friend and he went a bit gaunt when he realized how hard it was to play on his instrument. Looks like Tam Lin will be on deck for my next reel since he thinks he can conquer that one.

As mentioned, my tune learning is a bit slow (but what else did I have to do?) so I need to choose my selections carefully. I'm sure that I'll be able to pick up tunes faster as my skill improves but until then I'm still in kindergarten.

Feel free to throw out more suggestions. It helps.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:03 am 
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I've also been pushing Cooley's on my accordion playing friend and he went a bit gaunt when he realized how hard it was to play on his instrument


That is interesting, Joe Cooley was a bit of box player himself, after all. I thought this would be solid accordion territory.

Here he is, his last stand, as it were : Joe Cooley ; The Wise Maid

By the way, if you find Cooley's hard, perhaps it's still a bit early on for The Wise Maid. But give it a go and see how it goes.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:21 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
I've also been pushing Cooley's on my accordion playing friend and he went a bit gaunt when he realized how hard it was to play on his instrument


That is interesting, Joe Cooley was a bit of box player himself, after all. I thought this would be solid accordion territory.

Here he is, his last stand, as it were : Joe Cooley ; The Wise Maid

By the way, if you find Cooley's hard, perhaps it's still a bit early on for The Wise Maid. But give it a go and see how it goes.


My buddy has been playing the box only as long as I've been whistling, he's better on the piano accordion. I didn't find Cooley's too hard, I just really need to take my time at this stage of learning so really hit all my notes and avoid sloppy fingering. I learned a few tunes early on this way and it took me longer to unlearn my mistakes than to do it right the first time. Thanks for the link.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:25 am 
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Polara Pat wrote:
I learned a few tunes early on this way and it took me longer to unlearn my mistakes than to do it right the first time.


If any learners reading this take anything from this thread, it should be this right here.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:26 pm 
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JTU wrote:
4. For me wood is the whistle material of choice. It’s gentler on the ear and after 6 months give or take it plays in unbelievably. I have an Erle Bartlett wooden D whistle

I too prefer a wood D whistle for the tone and the larger tube. For some reason the wood just "feels" nice too. I have whistles in the other materials as well except for ebonite, which I would like to add to the kit. Each of my whistles have and play their particular qualities whether good or bad and that makes for certain tunes to play uniquely. I enjoy the differences with the whistles.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:30 pm 
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Quote:
Feel free to throw out more suggestions. It helps.


I was thinking about what I said about very simple reels and found myself playing this one today. For some reason the tunes of the old concertina players come floating to the surface when looking for the type of tunes I was thinking of. Simple statement/reply structure and strong rhythm.

Have a go:

T:John Naughton's
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:reel
K:EDor
EFGA BE~E2|GEBE GEDF|EFGA BABc|1 dBAG FDDF:|2 dBAG FDD2||
e2ed BABd|edef gagf|~e3d BABc|1 dBAG FDD2:|2 dBAG FDDF||

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:14 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
Feel free to throw out more suggestions. It helps.


I was thinking about what I said about very simple reels and found myself playing this one today. For some reason the tunes of the old concertina players come floating to the surface when looking for the type of tunes I was thinking of. Simple statement/reply structure and strong rhythm.

Have a go:

T:John Naughton's
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:reel
K:EDor
EFGA BE~E2|GEBE GEDF|EFGA BABc|1 dBAG FDDF:|2 dBAG FDD2||
e2ed BABd|edef gagf|~e3d BABc|1 dBAG FDD2:|2 dBAG FDDF||


Thanks so much, you must have known that it was my birthday. I'll have to find a sound bite so I can get the feel for it but I look forward to digging in.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:07 pm 
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Thanks Mr. Gumby. Keep them coming and we promise never to play Harvest Home, Off To California or Rattlin’ Bog ever again!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Per the OP: I started playing whistle 5 years ago, so I still think of myself as a beginner. Here goes: Questions 3 & 4: To my knowledge, the tin whistle was patented in 1843, though the instrument is not unique. Six-holed diatonic flageolets in the key of D were readily available long before that. What makes the tin whistle unique IS the price point. Anyone could afford one, whereas a lathe-turned wooden instrument is more expensive due to the cost of materials, labor, and time. The issue of sound quality is more subjective, however, the low cost and ready availability of tin whistles is the determining factor, even today. While $100 may seem like a small investment for some, it could be 4 months salary to another. My first instrument was a Cooperman, which can still be found for under $5 USD. It played in tune until the fipple came loose due to the different expansion between tin-plate and wood. After that, I bought a tunable Susato, which played louder and clearer than the Cooperman. After hearing Mary Bergin play, I bought a few Generations and still play one as my primary instrument.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:00 pm 
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So many good comments have been made I won't repeat them. But the best way to get to the feel of a tune type is to listen, listen, listen. If its jigs your after listen to jigs if that makes you happy, but listen to the best players playing the best music you can find. The Online Academy of Irish Music seems to have some pretty good playing and teachers that break things down well, and I've heard good things about Blayne Chastain though I have never looked at his lessons, but avoid most random youtube teachers until you get the feel in your bone that only comes from listening. Eventually you can pick out a tune taught be a poor teacher and turn it around on your own, but right now focus on listening to great whistlers like Micho Russell (They just put out a new 2 cd set of is work) and Mary Bergin and immersing yourself in the old standards like the Bothy Band and Planxty. There are lots of other great players and groups but those 4 seem to set a tone. Good concertina players seem to transmit the feel... Maybe it is the nature of the way the body and instrument enter into a bit of its own dance... Really archival old stuff can be a bit off putting until you get your footing and some of the really modern stuff adds a tilt to their swing that may be confusing. And some players play so fast you can't sort it out yet. If you are on Facebook: Irish Traditional Music and Traditional Button Accordion are both pages that post some really good stuff on a daily basis. As does Cairan Kelly on his Facebook page. As for Barn Dances-- my favorite listening to and learning set this summer was Cormac O Beaglaioch playing Joe Banns and The Gypsy Princess. It takes some advanced playing to pick that up since he's playing in a different key but it will still warm your heart if you listen now and learn it later. And you can't go wrong with Celine Tubridy dancing the Blackbird set dance both are out there on YouTube.

Enjoy the journey!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:12 am 
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Quote:
I'll have to find a sound bite so I can get the feel for it but I look forward to digging in.


Probably not the easiest one to find a recording of. I lifted the tune off a John Naughton tape (with P Joe Hayes) and like many of his tunes it was not named so named it after him. There are more than a few named 'John Naughton' that are not this one. A copy of the recording has since been put on the Clare library site but the server is down at the moment so you can't get at it that way. Pat O'Connor plays it (with Maty MacNamara) on his 'Humours of Derrybeha' and possibly Martin Hayes plays it somewhere or other. If the worst comes to the worst I'll put up a clip.

[edit/add: Found one here: Yvonne Casey and Christy McNamara ]

Another one, from the same tape and Pat O'Connor and Mary Mac play it after the other one (quite possibly they learned both off the same private recording I learned them from) :

T:Lackaroe
M:4/4
L:1/8
R:reel
K:EDor
BEGE DEGA|BEGE d2BA|BEGE DEGA|BGdB A2GA:|
Beed BAGA|(3Bcd ef gfed|Beed BAGA|BedB A2GA|
Beed BAGA|(3Bcd ef ~g3a|bgag fged|BGdB A2GA||

Again very simple in structure, it's all in putting the rhythm on it.

This is more to illustrate the point about simple tunes for learning and not needing tunes that have been done to death. There are more wellknown tunes in similar vein, Ashplant, Morning Star, perhaps. I was working at the computer most of the week, editing a collection of photographs for the Irish Traditional Music Archive and was listening to the CD I mentioned above, that had those tunes on it. That brought them back up and I was playing them a bit over the past few days. But I feel everybody should find their own tunes to play, whatever takes your fancy when you listen to music. It's easier than learning someone else's favourite tunes.

Another one in a Major key that I used when teaching the pipes. One of Séamus Ennis' :

T: I Have No Money
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: FAdB ~A3G | FAdA FE EG | FAdB ABdf | afeg fddA |
| FAdB ~A3G | FAdA FE ~E2 | FAdB ~A3f | afeg fddf ||
|: afef dcdf | afeg fB Bf | afef dcdB | ABAG FDDf |
| afef dcdf | afeg fB Bf | afge dedB | ABAG FDDE ||

Clear phrase structure, simple rhythms. And not played to death. You can build up to more complex ones from that. But take them where you find them, or they find you. Ideally from hearing them played well.

I always like to think tunes find you, it's the ones you hear and they stick when you're ready for them. You can waste a lot of time trying to learn tunes only to find they just won't stay with you or fall in place. It's better to go with the ones that hit you on the spot, ready to go. They may be tunes you have heard for years and then, suddenly, you hear someone play it a certain way and you have it.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:20 am 
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She'll be here Thurs. 10/11 :)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:36 am 
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She'll be here


Just herself or will she be with Dermot Byrne?

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[fixed a sentence]

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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She'll be here


Just herself or will she be she with Dermot Byrne?

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Yvonne Casey for sure. Great photo!

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