TOW#19: Wistfulness - Printable Version
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TOW#19: Wistfulness - nigelgatherer - 23-05-2011 08:56 AM
Wistfulness at Wiston
At a recent residential course, the theme was "La Folia" - an old chord progression from Spain which has been used by many classical composers. It doesn't really have any relevance to traditional music, so I composed some tunes myself using the structure. This one is a slowish air. On playing it, I find myself wanting to finish the tune on a high A (5th fret E string).
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Trish Santer - 23-05-2011 03:20 PM
Nice melody, and indeed, sounds very wistful!
I agree about the high A to finish.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - John Kelly - 23-05-2011 05:21 PM
Nice one, Nigel, and you have definitely whetted my interest in this tune. Chord sequence is very appealing.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Peter Beaven - 24-05-2011 10:05 AM
Hey Nigel, I prefer the D, or a double stop fretting the D and A.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Tosh Marshall - 24-05-2011 07:28 PM
I enjoyed this, here is my vid, apologies for getting the tune numbers wrong!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwXd0-XR5YM
It's really great to do duets, it's an interesting process, especially trying to line up the video tracks........
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Trish Santer - 24-05-2011 10:59 PM
Here's my attempt on piano: couldn't resist a little "theme and variations" on the third time through. Although in the end I finished on a very high A, it does end nicely on the F as I did on the first and second times through!
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - John Kelly - 25-05-2011 02:37 PM
Interesting and very different versions here, Trish and Tosh. Hey, there's a name for a musical duo! The tune really suits many instruments as you two have shown in your postings. The duetting on the mandos works well Tosh and I like the split screen thing your are doing on your videos now. Trish, the piano arrangement brings out the simple beauty of the tune and the chord progressions.
Here is a link to my version, using octave, guitar, piano and the midi cello once again.
Wistfulness at Wiston
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Eric Renshaw - 25-05-2011 02:55 PM
(25-05-2011 02:37 PM)John Kelly Wrote: Here is a link to my version, using octave, guitar, piano and the midi cello once again.
Really nice multi-tracking, John. Is this fairly easy to do or is it an acquired art in order to obtain a nice and balanced sound? Only I seem to have acquired a large number of mando duets and it might be a useful exercise for me to try and dual-track some of them. I have Audacity rather than Reaper, but I guess that Reaper is more flexible to handle? Thoughts welcome. Thanks.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Tosh Marshall - 25-05-2011 05:03 PM
Fantastic versions Trish and John, really loved them. It was great to hear it on the piano, gives a different perspective Trish.
John, great arrangement and I love the Octave, beautifully done. The Power Director 8 is fun, but it's a bit hard on a pc that lacks memory and power. Need a Mac badly..........
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - John Kelly - 25-05-2011 07:37 PM
Eric, the multi-tracking I do is reasonably straightforward. How I usually go about it is to record the melody straight on the first track, then add tracks one at a time while playing back the original melody track, but then you know that from your experiences with Audacity! I have used this great wee program quite often to edit audio files but have not explored it as far as multi-tracking goes, though I have spoken with folks who use it and like it a great deal. For your duetting mandolins it would be very suitable.
When recording via mics (my usual way) headphones are needed to avoid picking up the tracks already played, though with the midi tracks I can just record them while monitoring through my loudspeakers, as the midi goes straight in without the need for any microphone. I find that as I add tracks I often mute any I do not need, keeping the melody unmuted to give me the anchor which holds the others together. By playing back regularly and muting/unmuting individual tracks I can keep an ear on how the tune is developing.
When mixing I adjust the volume levels of each track to get the overall sound I want and also use the pan controls to place the tracks centre or left or right, varying the pan again to suit. Received wisdom is to leave any bass tracks central as bass seems not to have the directionality of the higher frequencies.
I use little in the way of effects other than a bit of reverb on the master track and often some equalisation on individual tracks to bring out or lower certain frequencies. If I have guitar backing I often have one track with open position chords and a second with chords played higher up the neck using a capo. This gives the two tracks more "space" of their own. I always record with no effects so that I have a good dry signal to which can be added selected effects; the dry method ensures that if you do not like the effect after you have listened to it you can remove it again, whereas if you record the track with effects from the start that is what you have from then on.
When mixing it is useful to listen to the tracks both on headphones and on your reference speakers - I have a pair of powered Samson Resolv 40A which are pretty neutral as opposed to many hi-fi speakers which can be tweaked by the makers to enhance bass or treble frequencies. If you burn your tracks to CD or put them on to mp3 players or whatever you will hear quite interestingly different sounds coming from the various systems you play back on!
For the recording I did with Trish's accordion melody of Innisheer, I put her file on as track 1, copied and pasted it at the end of the track to have two verses, then added 4 more tracks: midi cello, midi piano, octave mandolin and a short bouzouki part at the end. I panned the cello left, piano further left and the octave and bouzouki to the right.
I have not delved very far into the more arcane areas of recording but prefer to keep it as simple as possible to leave me some time to play the instruments. Each time I try a bit of recording I learn something new.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Eric Renshaw - 25-05-2011 07:50 PM
Many thanks indeed for such a comprehensive reply. Getting the correct balance and effects, plus not letting the tempo vary between tracks, still sounds like a black art to me. But I guess it all boils down to practice (just like learning the mando!). I was thinking of playing against a click track through headphones, but the catch with that is that the music can easily lack soul if there is no slight change in speed incorporated. I must copy and paste your excellent description somewhere handy so that I can try it out.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Beginner Sandra - 27-05-2011 03:16 PM
What a great idea Tosh! I'm inspired to learn the tune but maybe not to film it just yet.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Tosh Marshall - 27-05-2011 06:42 PM
What I would say Sandra is video yourself even if you don't post it. It's a good way of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. I see things all the time that make me cringe in my playing, knowing full well I could have done better. I can see areas where I'm tense and need to relax more, because that is 90 per cent of playing to me, is relaxation. You'll notice that when you feel good and have a great practice session, it generally comes about because you are more relaxed in your playing. I've always been a fan of 'feel' over 'technique' and I don't spend a lot of time practising scales and arpeggios, but more time on tunes, which may be to my detriment and others will have different opinions here, but for me I'd rather hear a good piece played well rather than someone trying to be the next Chris Thile and cramming as many notes into a run as possible, and not always getting it! I'd rather try and be patient and accurate than technically gifted and a speed freak. Speed and technique are by products of accuracy anyway and the more relaxed you are, the more accurate and faster you will be.......
Having said that I don't consider myself good or an expert, just an enthusiastic amateur having fun in my spare time whether it sounds pants or reasonable. I think you should try videoing yourself, so at least then you could try playing the harmony part along with the main melody. Just have fun with it...........
Just to point out that I did play bars 3 and 11 wrong, I played B instead of B flat. Thankfully Trish spotted it and she kindly let me know my mistakes! Sometimes my brain is half asleep when doing these and I can't see the wood for the trees! Told you I was pants!!!!! Hahahahaha...In the words of Morecombe & Wise, I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!!!!!
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - John Kelly - 27-05-2011 08:19 PM
Good sound advice there, Tosh - no pun intended! I would add that even if you do not video your playing, at least record yourself as it is a great learning tool. Just to sit and listen to your own playing is very revealing and highlights not only the dodgy parts but also the bits which you actually played quite well. I often record then leave it for a while before going back to listen, sometimes the next day.
I have just put a couple of pipe marches up on SoundCloud and can admit that it took me many attempts to get the 4th part of Irene Meldrum's Welcome sorted, and even listening back today I can hear where I was hesitant and know where I need to get the tune sorted out in my head. I find that when playing from the music, as I did for this recording, I feel that I do not fully know the tune and this is when the hesitations come in. When I have got it fully in my defragmented brain I will have another go and see if it is more fluent.
The tunes are here, should you wish to spot the dodgy parts:
Two Pipe Marches
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Beginner Sandra - 28-05-2011 01:14 PM
I will take on board your advice Tosh and John and give it a try. Part of my problem is the minute I know there is an audience of any sort my playing goes to pot. I guess the answer is keep recording and then one day I'll get used to it!
I'm a big fan of pipe tunes so enjoyed your SoundCloud John. As I don't know the tunes I'm happy to say I couldn't spot the "dodgy" bits.
RE: TOW#19: Wistfulness - Trish Santer - 28-05-2011 10:26 PM
Another nice track from John Kelly (Wistfulness on several instruments) and thanks for the tech advice. I have yet to listen to the Pipe marches.
My own little trick when self-recording is not to stop if I go wrong, but to keep playing until I get it right twice over, then just chop out the bad bits! If I really can't get it right twice (getting late and feeling tired) I'll just loop (copy/paste) the one good bit (As John did with my recording of Inisheer).
With Garageband you can almost not spot the joins if you weld the bits together carefully! I haven't subjected myself to video scrutiny yet, but watch this space!