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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:00 pm 
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Hello,

how to play the rolls correctly? I was happy when I discovered Brother Steve's tinwhistle pages. On this page he explains the long roll:

https://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/rolls2.html

The 3/8 note is played with a cut between the first and second 1/8 note und a tap between the second and third 1/8 note.
The short roll with a cut at the beginning and a tap between the first and second 1/8 note.

But then I had a look into Geraldin Cotter's Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor. She discribes the roll different. The long roll is pictured as a quarter note followed by the last 1/8 note somehow containing the ornamentation of the roll (cut, base note, tap, basenote in 1/32 notes). On the other hand she also describes the short roll the same way like Brother Steve.

In this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG1er8Cst8s&list=PLDsgNWs6PRHyMkh6LW_OtyRlmt0Ep2gwO&index=8&t=41s

the guy plays the rolls rather like discribed by Geraldine Cotter's. Somehow trailing the roll after the first two 1/8 notes (or crotchet) or to say it different squeezing it into the last 1/8 note.

How do I know which type of roll to play?

Thanks & Regards
Klaus


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:05 pm 
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Trust Bro' Steve. But the real answer is to listen, listen, listen.

The reason I say that, is that you need a good, basic foundation. Then as you practice, your technical skills will improve and only then will your understanding catch up. Timing is everything, and doing it correctly slowly is different from doing it correctly quickly.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:47 am 
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You're safe with both Bro Steve and Geraldine Cotter, even if you detect differing approaches.

Rolls can vary with style, tune type, intention, among other things. The 'free hopping ball' vs the 'equal spaced' approach to their rhythm for example. There's perhaps not one 'correct' way, there are many incorrect ones though.

The best is to listen and listen to as many good players as you can. And with good I don't really mean random youtube tutorials, I mean well established and recognised traditional players, and take your influences from there.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:20 am 
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The roll that goes, for example

xxx ooo
xxo ooo
xxx ooo
xxx xoo
xxx ooo

will be timed differently according to which sort of tune (reel, jig, hornpipe).

Also in reels that same combination of notes will occur in different locations within a tune, which effects how they're played.

Sticking with reels, each bar of a reel (assuming a steady flow of eighth-notes in the bar) contains 8 notes grouped into two beats of 4 notes.

A roll occupies three of the four notes.

If you have the roll first, say

G'G,GB

the internal timing of the roll will usually be different than if the roll is pushed back one note

BG'G,G

In the latter case it feels to me more like two melody notes followed by a short roll on G

BG 'G,G

because the cut is happening sharply on a beat.

I'm using the definition of a "roll" being

note-cut-note-pat-note, G'G,G

and a "short roll" being

cut-note-pat-note, 'G,G

In jigs, where a roll occupies a full beat, the differences in timing are ones of individual style and the influence of the instrument.

There are uilleann pipers who play the rolls in jigs quite even, sticking with G they would be three Gs in strictly even timing

G'G,G

Be aware though that you'll often hear pipers do a different sort of roll, a roll with two different cuts and a pat

'G'G,G

xox ooo
xxx ooo
xxo ooo
xxx ooo
xxx xoo
xxx ooo

for example. (Exactly which fingers are used for the cutting, and for the patting, can vary.)

You'll also hear pipers and other players hold or "dot" the first note of a roll in a jig to varying degrees.

In hornpipes, rolls are often used to create triplets, and thus have the timing of the other triplets in the tune.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:55 am 
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Reading the OP again, and as Richard more or less pointed out, this is basically about the difference between long and short rolls in reels:

~G2 BG dGBG (short roll on G)

~G3 B or ~B3 G (long roll on G or B)

BG ~G2 (short roll on G)

In some places on the internet (but nowhere else I have come across) you will find B ~G3 for that last one, which I think of as plain wrong.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:29 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:

BG ~G2 (short roll on G)

In some places on the internet (but nowhere else I have come across) you will find B ~G3 for that last one, which I think of as plain wrong.


Yes that's what I was trying to explain. (These things are easy to play, hard to put into concrete unambiguous language!)

So using ABC notation BG~G2 and B~G3 produce the same sequence of notes and cuts and pats

xoo ooo (B melody note)
xxx ooo (G melody note)
xxo ooo (A cut on G, for example; any cut could be used)
xxx ooo (G melody note)
xxx xoo (F# pat on G, for example; any pat could be used)
xxx xxx (G melody note)

but BG~G2 implies what's happening rhythmically in the context of a reel, melody notes BG followed by a short roll on G, while B~G3 implies a rhythmic pattern that doesn't fit with the "lift" normally used with reels.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:42 am 
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Quote:
but BG~G2 implies what's happening rhythmically in the context of a reel, melody notes BG followed by a short roll on G, while B~G3 implies a rhythmic pattern that doesn't fit with the "lift" normally used with reels.


Spot on. It could be one of my hobby horses or bugbears if I let it (I occasionally do and somewhat heated discussions have taken place here over the issue) but the notion of B ~G3 is just bonkers and clueless. :moreevil:

I have seen it emerge and spread over the internet and disregards the rhythmic implications of the whole thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:54 am 
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Thanks Richard.

In my learning process, I found that jigs worked fine "square", which is the way Brother Steve suggests. The rhythm of reels didn't work for me, they just didn't feel right. I found that technical progress with rolls in jigs had to happen before I could arrive at reel rhythm.

The way you describe it helps:

Quote:
but BG~G2 implies what's happening rhythmically in the context of a reel, melody notes BG followed by a short roll on G, while B~G3 implies a rhythmic pattern that doesn't fit with the "lift" normally used with reels.


I eventually arrived at your point, mostly by listening, but also by realizing that the rhythm wasn't "square".

I think you would agree that the "BG~G2" is one way of doing it, and the exact rhythm depends on position of the element in the tune, as well as style, which could personal, local or regional.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:17 am 
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tstermitz wrote:

In my learning process, I found that jigs worked fine "square", which is the way Brother Steve suggests.


That brings up a question: is the using of dead-even timing of the 8th-notes in jigs generally referred to as "square" by Irish musicians?

Because in the Highland piping world they call dead-even timing "round".

BTW "round" timing in jigs has become standard in Highland piping just within recent memory. When I started playing (1970s) Highland pipe jigs were generally played dot-cut. Just around a dozen years ago we had issues in a band due to the older players wanting to dot-cut the jigs while the Pipe Major was trying to even everything out to fit the modern preference.

In Highland piping "square" is used in "squaring off phrase endings" which will get you marked down by the judges.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:54 am 
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I'd say this is all about the difference between rolls played "straight" and played "swung".

Brother Steve never got around to addressing this difference but as Tom pointed out, straight or square is a good place to start.

To me, swinging a long roll in a tune whose underlying rhythm calls for it merely involves holding the main note a little longer before executing the cut and tap or whatever you want to call them. But as always, your ear should tell you what to be doing, overriding any description in words on a website or in a tutor book!

Where I disagree with Peter (Mr. Gumby) is in calling the BG ~G2 a short roll. On the instruments I play, fiddle and whistle, it just doesn't sound like a short roll, mainly because a short roll, starting with a cut as it does, is very percussive, and on fiddle and whistle I (and the vast majority of players of those instruments) don't articulate (change bow direction, or tongue or glottal stop) between the G and the G2.

I call these things off-beat rolls for that reason, and really I think they are, basically, a straight long roll, the difference being that they are stretched across an off-beat rather than being sounded on an on-beat. Straight is important here - you don't want to swing these, or at least, on the few occasions I have heard someone attempt to do so, I have not liked the effect at all.

So I don't really take issue with B ~G3 notation. It's only a convention after all. You shouldn't IMO be executing rolls based on however anyone notates them but based on how you know they should sound. Which is true of interpreting any aspect of any tune from sheet music anyway.

Having written all this guff, I'd say none of it matters very much, as long as we are making the sounds we want to make. Cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:49 am 
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Quote:
Where I disagree with Peter (Mr. Gumby) is in calling the BG ~G2 a short roll. On the instruments I play, fiddle and whistle, it just doesn't sound like a short roll, mainly because a short roll, starting with a cut as it does, is very percussive, and on fiddle and whistle I (and the vast majority of players of those instruments) don't articulate (change bow direction, or tongue or glottal stop) between the G and the G2.


I agree that as long as we get the sounds right, it really doesn't matter much.

All I can say is my reference is and has always been Séamus Ennis' playing of the Dublin Reel dF ~F2, stopping the chanter between F and ~f2. But I have just checked a recording of a very flute player I made a few days ago, playing Trim the Velvet: in the third part bg ~g2 af ~f2 occurs and rhythmically I can't hear anything that would justify a notation other than the one I just used. To my ear there's bg, followed by a roll, call it short or offbeat or what ever you want but b ~g3 just doesn't properly represent what I hear in the playing.

But we can go on about it until the cows come home and really, that 's not worth the hassle, no time to right the wrongs of the internet, so I'll leave it at that. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:09 pm 
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Wow -- this all makes my head spin :o . If I had to learn by notation I think I'd go bonkers before even being able to play just one tune. I try to learn by mimicking the all time great players (not random dilletante YouTube-tutorials -- which are abundant and some get recommended often on FB). For my own amusement, I think I am doing fine. But might be another 5 years before thinking about joining any session (if I even find one on my area -- I was in a music shop the other day and asked about tin whistles, while my wife tried some accordions. He said they don't have any and I was the first person in 5 years to even ask for one :o ).


Last edited by Sedi on Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:07 pm 
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Thing is, rolls and cuts and pats (the bits that keep jigs and reels pumping along) are essentially straightforward things to play.

And tunes can be played in an acceptably trad-sounding way with very little of them.

It's a world apart from Highland piping where before you can play beginner tunes you need to master single gracenotes, doublings, leumluaths, taorluaths, D-throws, and birls.

I made a little video demonstrating cuts, pats, and rolls and it was all over in a couple minutes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfu_fDUyNHs

(I need to make a new one without corrupted sound.)

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Last edited by pancelticpiper on Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:09 pm 
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When people ask about "ornaments" on FB, I often link your short video that more or less captures them in a nutshell. That was really helpful.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:12 pm 
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Sedi wrote:
When people ask about "ornaments" on FB, I often link your short video that more or less captures them in a nutshell. That was really helpful.


Thanks!

To me cuts, pats, and the rolls made from them aren't "ornaments" but the gears that keep the tunes churning along.

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